Overlooked Defense

March 6th, 2022

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians

As expected, when the greatest of all time retires (?) and he just happens to play at the game’s most important position — and he led your team to its greatest two-year run — it is easy to understand why so many were laser-focused at the combine last week on who may replace Tom Brady.

Or more to the point, who will try to replace Brady?

When discussing the chances of the Bucs contending for the NFC South title, Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians thinks whoever he has at quarterback will have the Bucs in the mix.

“I like our chances for sure with our defense,” Arians said. “Nobody wants to talk about our defense, but they’re not bad.”

Well, people wanted to talk about the Bucs defense, there were bigger questions about who will lead the offense.

But Arians has a point. Statistically, the Bucs played strong defense. Consider they were third in rushing defense, fifth in points allowed and seventh in sacks.

Additionally, since defensive coordinator Todd Bowles took over, the Bucs have been one of the NFL’s best in takeaways, sacks, tackles for loss and points off turnovers.

Yeah, the Bucs have key free agents on defense to worry about: Carlton Davis, Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Whitehead and Will Gholston. (Yes, Joe knows injured Jason Pierre-Paul is a free agent but Joe doesn’t get the vibe he’s a top priority to re-sign). So, Arians has a very valid point, and he’s got a very strong nucleus of defenders returning even with all the free agents.

 The defense may be overlooked. But is it strong enough to compensate for Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and still contend for the division title?

18 Responses to “Overlooked Defense”

  1. catcard202 Says:

    Last season’s defense was pretty good, but expect several of those guys being gone could hurt.

    What the 2022 team looks like, is anyones guess right now.
    Significant attrition should be expected…and with the GOAT & OL leaders gone, Ganber/Trask like elevated…offensive 3&out % could skyrocket & turn a good DEF core into a statistical mess by the time it’s all said and done.

    There’s just too many unknown variables to know, really.
    Need a few more weeks to gain some clarity of ultimate direction of FO for filling out the roster.

  2. David Says:

    Most of the core will be back and I expect them to be better simply because there’s no way they’re going to have that many injuries to the secondary again.

    What concerns me is the pass Rush of the front 4 when they don’t blitz. JPP & SUH are probably gone. Neither one of them were able to do anything last year anyway.
    JTS needs a big step forward. Hopefully whatever Nelson found at the end of the season continues. Regardless, I fully expect them to draft another D lineman. I love the DE/LB out of Georgia. I forget his name. But the guy is perfect for this defense. He’s big, fast, can drop in coverage, covers a lot of ground and can get after the passer.

  3. Cleanhouse Says:

    Gholston whitehead, Suh, bring back
    Let Davis walk

  4. Letsbuccinggo Says:


  5. VabucSINCE’97 Says:

    Defense is horrible cmon nah BA

  6. LambofGod Says:

    Dudes, can someone please explain something to me – why is everyone so down on Kyle Trask? I only saw him play in College, but honestly, what I saw wasn´t too bad. I know he hasn´t laid foot on NFL turf yet, but is that really a reason to trash him for it? I mean, let´s be honest, who would get the chance to play at QB when Brady is there (by all rights, don´t get me wrong!)But damn, look at how much luck Chargers are having with Justin Herbert, and he was also rated kinda low in the drafts – Jordan Love was supposedly better than Hedrbert, but what I saw from him to date was kinda dissapointing. I thinl the Bucs should let him have a go at it and see what happens… who knows, maybe a suprise similar to the one the Chargers got!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I suspect we will bring Gholston back & perhaps even JPP on a cheap incentive deal…..we may let Suh go because of the money….I think he’ll retire if he can’t earn what he wants.
    I think Davis will be too expensive….so look for the Bucs to draft a DT & CB in the first 3 rounds……the other player could be a TE, WR, RB.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs’ defense was too inconsistent last season, even considering the injuries. With almost half our starting holes unfilled because of FA (2 DT, DE/OLB, S, CB) … and all of those quality players (Suh, JPP, Davis, Whitehead, Gholston) … PLUS several key rotational guys also FAs (Minter, etc), we’ve got some real problems that we’ll have trouble fixing in 2-3 years, much less this year.

    I admittedly have trouble seeing how we can fill all those holes with comparable quality FAs with the CAP dollars we MIGHT have available. Beginning to think that the Swaggy Baker signing is still impacting my optimism when it comes to defensive fixes.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … I HOPE you’re right about us drafting a DT & CB in the Top-3 Rnds. Would love to also see us grab a DE/OLB in those top rnds to replace JPP (need more pass rush) but you’re probably closer to reality than I am (drafting a TE, WR, RB).

  10. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    DT, RB, G, CB 1,2,3,4. WR, TE. 5, 7. If we have an extra 7th rounder CB.

  11. Bobby M. Says:

    At best Gabbert is somewhere in the realm of Tannehil….that’s at best. In our division that might be enough but at some point QBs have to prove their worth by carrying a team to advance in the playoffs. If he can get us in the playoffs repeatedly, I can live with that but I’m guessing he’s probably going to perform in the realm of Winston….good stats due to weapons and passing offense but rarely makes a wild card appearance, mostly hovering around 9-8 or 7-10.

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree, we need to get pressure w/o blitzing, that leaves our secondary exposed.
    So that means we will need some more defensive linemen, to replace the aging JPP and Suh.
    This draft is supposed to be pretty deep this year in Defensive Linemen!

  13. Steven M. Says:

    Per BA above: ‘l like our chances with our defense, their not bad’ !
    With that rave endorsement, no wonder Brady retired from the Bucs and
    if he does come back, after that luke warm comment
    about the defense, unfortunately it won’t be with the Bucs.

  14. Medicated Pete Says:

    Seriously, they could compensate for Tom Brady. Last seasons stats were skewed because they played against dog crap and almost lost to many if them. Dallas, Bill’s, Rams Pat’s & Philly only playoff teams and all but the Rams could of went either way. Beating up on Atl, Bears, Giants, Carolina and Miami none exactly the elite of the league doesn’t make you a great D.

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    I got JPP returning. But no Suh. Shore up the Defense and get us some pressure up front. We win many games with our D this go around. Hope our Offense maintains.

  16. Buczilla Says:

    Between all of the injuries and decreased level of play our defense was a lot worse than those stats indicate.

  17. John F Ensch Says:

    The Bucs defense is overlooked for {1} good reason, their not consistently good.

  18. Stone crab sam Says:

    Rite on brother.