“We Got A Little Soft Back There”

November 30th, 2021

Cornerback/nickel Ross Cockrell

The Bucs defense gets carved up in the short and medium passing game and stuffs the run in historic fashion.

It’s their identity, along with forcing turnovers and collecting sacks.

For those wondering, the Bucs rank tied for third in the NFL in takeaways per game and tied for eighth in sacks.

So it was no surprise to see Colts quarterback Carson Wentz complete a season-high 27 passes Sunday.

Bucco Bruce Arians sat down with Dangerous Dan Lucas of WFLA-TV (Ch. 8) to address the reason the pass defense got eaten up. It seems a bit of a fear factor crept in.

“Yeah, I think, you know, we got beat deep early in the game, [then] I think we got a little soft back there,” Arians said. “And then our inside backers were jumping some underneath guys because they’re such good run-after-the-catch guys they want to get on him, and it just opened up some of those throws in the middle.”

Of course, it didn’t help that starting cornerback Jamel Dean left the game early with a shoulder injury and was replaced by veteran Pierre Desir. The fragrant one is not on Dean’s level and the defense faltered quickly.

In the end, the Bucs relied on their strengths, hunting quarterbacks and seizing opportunities. With this iconic Bucs offense, that’s usually enough to get the job done.

19 Responses to ““We Got A Little Soft Back There””

  1. Tim in PSL Says:

    Even though we’ve spent some high picks on DB’s in recent drafts, do you think they’d pick another one high, given the struggles and injuries lately? Personally I think finding replacements for Suh and JPP would be higher on the list, not to mention replacements at TE and C.

  2. p Says:

    With the exception of the SB, played at home last year, none of our playoff wins were us playing lights out football. They were close games until our D would come up with a turnover and we’d score and then hold on to win. Winning ugly is ok as long as you win.

  3. PassingThru Says:

    The Buc defensive “identity” is the result of having missed their starting CBs, not that the CB group had much depth to begin with. When the Bucs had to resort to street free agents and career special teamers, Bowles had to focus on soft zone defense, which provided lots of padding. That’s “prevent defense” so the CBs don’t give up big plays. That left lots of space for QBs to exploit in the short to intermediate levels for opposing QBs.

    That identity will change once the starting CBs return to full health (knock on wood). You’ll see less padding and less ability for opposing QBs to pick the secondary apart.

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    With the exception of the SB, played at home last year, none of our playoff wins were us playing lights out football. They were close games until our D would come up with a turnover and we’d score and then hold on to win. Winning ugly is ok as long as you win.

  5. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Maybe it’s time to play two safties deep and allow these CB’s to play press coverage. It seems we are already giving up the middle of the field to short passes.

    I’m surprised the Colts offensive coordinator didn’t call more running back screens in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Tampa’s front seven smell blood in the water and become aggressive when opponents are forced to pass because they are playing from behind.

  6. Joshua porter Says:

    Man it would be nice to add the dB from lsu In the draft stingly. But I guess winning the super bowl back to back will cause us to miss out 🤣 😂 oh well

  7. Bucs54 Says:

    Joe, you keep talking about 6 turnovers; 5 by defense and 1 on ST… what one am I missing?

    Edwards punch out; David recovery
    Shaq strip sack/recovery
    Winfield Jr pick
    Miller muffed punt recovery
    Desir pick

  8. Francisco Guzman Says:

    If this pass defense doesn’t get better they’re not heading back to the super bowl.

  9. pewter941 Says:

    Is this the guy from the so easy a caveman can do it commercial?

  10. zzbuc Says:

    Those short and medium passes always hurt our defense….When you send the cavalry to the QB you will get, zones to throw….Is like using a short blanket, or your feet or your upper body will be “uncovered”

  11. Jmarkbuc Says:


    I was going for more of a Bob Marley vibe…

  12. Roy T. Buford Says:

    The stops and 1st and 2nd…good..but then long conversions on third do nothing but get them behind, tired, and burn the clock. Sunday was shaping up just like the WFT game save for the difference being TOs in the 3rd quarter. They can’t count on that. They’ve got to tighten up their zone D or learn to do man with the backups.

  13. Anglican Says:

    You cannot rely on turnovers especially that many per game. they have to do something with the secondary

  14. Robert Says:

    dude needs a trim. looks like a caveman exibit

  15. Robert Says:

    lol… looks like someone else beat me to it.

  16. Will Says:

    Everyone keeps talking about when we get all our DBs back everything will be OK. BUT seem to forget that Dak was carving us up with the starters. The problem is the cushion that our DBs give. Even if you’re playing a zone you can still line up tighter to the WR and then drop to your zone. But when it’s 3rd and 13 and you’re lined up at 15 then bail at the snap that’s just plain stupid and that’s what we do over and over and over and over and well we all watch the games you get my point. Never understand why in those situations if that’s how they want to play to prevent the deep shots then line up at least 2-3yds in front of the sticks and don’t bail out on the snap. I don’t love that but it’s better than what they’re doing.

  17. Rob in Land O' Lakes Says:

    Roy T. Buford – I have been saying the same thing. There is a gaping hole in our 3rd and 7+ defense. If someone has an answer, I sincerely would like to hear it;

    Why is the TE or the Slot WR wide open on the 10-12 yard hitch on 3rd and 7+? Almost always.

  18. Craig Says:

    Licht has always drafted DBs that are man-to-man players. There might have been a zone guy or two, but they didn’t pan out.

    Our man guys have a problem with zone schemes. It got a little closer at the end of last season. This season the starters, who were learning to communicate in zone language got hurt and we were back to square one, with lesser talent.

    Just got to hope our offense can out score everyone else.

    The sixth turnover was Miller falling on that dropped punt.

  19. JimBuc2 Says:

    Tim PSL They are already signed. JST for JPP, Anthony Nelson for Suh. The understudies have mountains to climb before claiming Star status,, but they are the next gen guys. Nelson needs more muscle, and ditto for JST. There just is no substitution for experience, but both are progressing nicely. We need to find LVDs replacement. Jenson is long in the tooth, too. I’m not sweating it though, our GM has been killin it the last few drafts.
    LFG Bucs!