Healthy Secondary For Sunday?

January 21st, 2022

Chance to play?

One area hammered by injuries all season has been the Bucs secondary, specifically the top three cornerbacks.

And too much for comfort  When one of those corners went down, this Bucs defense collapsed. It was very frustrating for Joe to watch. However, the sunlight may be peeking from the clouds this Sunday.

For one of the rare times this season, the Bucs may have all three of their cornerbacks healthy. Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean both played last Sunday and are healthy. Sean Murphy-Bunting has been hobbled by a hamstring but he did get on the practice field yesterday with limited participation.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was asked about the importance of getting those three top Gravediggers together.

“It’s been different every week, so we’ve been kind of juggling all year,” Bowles said of dealing with all the cornerback injuries this season. “We’ve kind of gotten used to it. It’s almost the norm right now.

“Whoever is healthy is going to play. We’re going to line up and we expect them to perform. We try to coach it the same way. We’ve figured out what everybody can do, and we try to jell that together to make sure everybody is on the same page.”

But with a quarterback like Matt Stafford throwing to elite receivers, the Bucs need all three of those corners healthy and on the field. Getting SMB back could be as important as getting Tristan Wirfs back on the field for the offense.

The way Joe sees it, the defense has to have a major effort Sunday for the Bucs to win. Having all three starting corners will sure help.

28 Responses to “Healthy Secondary For Sunday?”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Our Corners have more experience now than they did back when we first played the Rams.
    Stafford does not do very well when he is pressured, but will kill us if he has all day back there.
    Hopefully, we will make him uncomfortable Sunday, and our fans will make enough noise to make it hard for him to change the plays ?

  2. Swampbuc Says:

    Somehow Leftitch needs to script an opening drive TD and the D needs to be in Stafford’s face. He’s not real mobile anymore and if he is pressured he will turn it over.

    Brut he has theee ridiculously great WRs and an excellent TE to throw to. So the hammer has to come onto Stafford’s da e quickly.

  3. Swampbuc Says:

    Stafford’s face

  4. SOEbuc Says:

    Isn’t the gravediggers the the entire secondary. Whitehead and Weinfild lead that pack. We need our DL and LB to be fleet of foot against Stafford.

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Oh good, SMB Toast is back.

    I feel all warm and fuzzy now.

  6. Christos Says:

    The best overall games our secondary had was last year Playoffs vs Saints, vs Packers and vs Chiefs. When i was watching those games i could not believe (but also been really content) how aggressive they were. Jamming WRs in the LOS, playing tight coverage. They need to do that again often, sure not on every snap but early and often. SMB never looked better than in those games. Bring the fight to them, disrupt their routes, be physical. Just dont give them enough space to operate. Defense must step up. Go Bucs

  7. David Says:

    That would be huge. The better secondary, the better the pass rush. The better the pass rush, the better the secondary. The D has to play big. They can get turnovers from Stafford.

    And for those that constantly trashing the secondary…. Winfield and Whitehead are great safeties. Davis is better than Diggs in every single aspect except ints. Dean is a top 1/3 CB in the league. SMB is getting better.

  8. Cleanhouse Says:

    Wonder how Andrew Adams feels about all the weak noise about coach touching his helmet?

  9. Buczilla Says:

    Man, having all three healthy would be awesome! If our pass rush shows up as well I will be surprised if we lose to these dudes. Playoff time in the NFL is fun again.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    SMB made some great plays on the ball during the playoffs last year. His 3 INTs were a crucial component of the Super Bowl run….

    That said – we didn’t/haven’t seen much of that “play making” from Murphy-Bunting before or since….

    Yes – I know he’s only 3rd year – and suffered a very serious elbow injury early in game one which caused him to miss half the season…

    But to my eyes – Having Edwards and Winfield playing the “slot” vs Philly seemed to give our Defense an ‘edge’ it hadn’t shown much compared to when SMB is the Nickle CB……

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Rams played a very very physical game when we met up back in Sept. Heck they knocked 2 key starters out (Dean & Gronk) & both missed games as a result. Might have been a coincidence that both were critical performers to our offense & defense, but I’m not a huge believer in coincidences. Without Dean, our defense suffered big-time. Without Gronk, so did our offense.

    I expect the same type of smashmouth football game from the Rams this time around. But this time there won’t be any surprises; the Bucs can play smashmouth with the best of them, on BOTH sides of the ball. I expect a hard-fought game, somewhat lower scoring than our 1st meetup. Bucs 24-20.

  12. BillyBucco Says:

    Home field advantage can’t be overstated.
    The false start penalties early killed us in LA.

    Hopefully it kills them this time.

  13. BillyBucco Says:

    And Doosh SMB had three picks in his 1st three playoff games.
    That should make you all warm and fuzzy.

    I truly believe Stafford throws 2 picks in this game.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if SMB had both of them.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    I agree with Chris above. We had maybe one “starter” for that first game against the Rams in the secondary.

  15. Beeej Says:

    I’d love to see HOW many total games were missed by our starters this season, has to be a record

  16. rrsrq Says:

    We definitely need ”playoff Murphy-Bunting” back

  17. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Obviously, Cleanhouse, he feels better about it than you. Time for you to disappear again.

  18. Bob in valrico Says:

    Agree with Pickgren, Edwards has skills that the Bucs can’t do without. He has a nose for the ball and has prevented big plays from opposing offenses. SMB does get toasted at times and I am concerned he may be exposed with that hamstring.
    We will need to disrupt the QB and and blitzes from Winfield and SMB have been
    effective in past games.

  19. Bucs&Bolts Says:

    All I know is in the draft we need a CB that has to be a priority

  20. Doctor Stroud Says:

    When Joe mentions that the defense collapsed when one of the corners went down, I am assuming that he meant when Jamel Dean went down early in the Rams game (Week 3). That’s a good point. Just because the secondary is healthy before the game doesn’t mean that they will stay that way during the entire game.

    And, SOEBucs’s question is a good one. I saw Antoine Winfield put a shovel into the ground against the Eagles, and it was glorious! One down, three to go!

  21. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, the wind knocks Dean out of games. Bucs D have faced only 3 good QB’S this season, Dak off the couch, Strafford a loss and Allen that took the D to the wood shed second half. It’s actually good Jackson is not on Rams, Bucs DB’s struggle deep with faster receivers. The loss of woods is huge, he was their their Godwin and OBJ doesn’t fill that role. Their plan is getting to Brady, Bucs should be the same for Stafford.

  22. PSL Bob Says:

    The key to victory is a strong defensive performance. Keep Stafford on the move. Just do your job and don’t try to over extend. For God’s sake, tackle the damn player with the ball. Double cover Kupp.

  23. alaskabuc Says:

    More Edwards lesSMB

  24. Ash Says:

    I like our defensive better when smb isn’t there seems like our defensive success comes off of splash plays more than anything else and keeping Edwards on the field is an important key to that. Whitehead and Antoine are great safety’s Davis and Dean are solid and Edwards creates turnovers he needs to be on the field if that is at the expense of smb that’s probably a good thing

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … And yet Dean managed to play in 15 games. More than Davis (10 games), SMB (9 games), Edwards (14 games), Whitehead (14 games) or Winfield (13 games).

    And almost forgot, he just happens to have 9 PDs, 2nd most on the team behind Davis (11 PDs). And oh ya, Jamel’s held opposing QBs to a 48.5% completion percentage, best on the team.

    But surely you’re right; ‘the wind knocks him out of games’. No question we should replace him with Sherman. Oh wait, he’s on IR. Well, maybe Delaney then. Hmmm, how’d that work out for us last time we played the Rams?

  26. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Yeah I’m not so sure we want SMB back in the starting lineup. He’s highly inconsistent.

  27. orlbucfan Says:

    DR, both Dean and Gronk are playing Sunday. But Wirfs won’t and CG14 is out. The Rams weapons are all playing. Geez, I am rooting for the Bucs, long time diehard fan here, but man…….I dunno. Mighty Defense has got to play their best game of the season, if not the last two years.

  28. Brandon Says:

    I said this going into 2020 and 2021, but the Bucs have the best young trio of CBs in the game… that being said, they also have the best trio of safeties in the game… and as much criticized as our secondary is, it might be the best in the NFL. They just have to be healthy. My preseason prediction was that Edwards would push Winfield to SS and Whitefield out of a starting role… it never quite happened… quite… but it did… but it didn’t. Edwards is just too darn good to not get on the field.

    As for the CBs…. SMB came up huge in the playoffs, Davis has been great for a while, while the oft criticized Dean has been our best CB this year by a large margin, allowing QBs to complete 47.6% of passes against him for a measly 50.0 rating. Yes, that’s superstar CB good. Yeah, you can point to this play or that play where he got beat, everyone gets beat… but he has been near shutdown this season at times. If he’s on his game and Davis is doing what he’s supposed to do, those two and our three safeties will rule the game if we can mount any kind of pass rush. SMB, if he’s healthy, could play a big role. I’m not sure he can be counted on.