“Shore Up The Communication”

March 25th, 2022

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles appears to have a pointed desire.

Joe believes new Bucs safety/cornerback Logan Ryan is far too intelligent to choose the wrong words (without correcting himself) or make up stuff out of thin air at a news conference.

So Joe was very intrigued to hear Ryan talking this week at One Buc Palace about one of his job expectations in Tampa is to “be a great communicator, help shore up the communication” in the secondary.

Hmmm, interesting choice of words. The Bucs have a veteran defensive backfield that communicated its way through an impressive Super Bowl run and a lockdown performance against Patrick Mahomes in February of 2021.

Ryan, a veteran of nine seasons and an owner of two Super Bowl rings with the Belicheats, went on to say “some of my strong suits are just a natural fit of what they needed.”

Joe realizes the Bucs’ secondary was riddled with injuries last season, which can affect communication with literally a different lineup every week. But was communication lacking in the backfield? That’s unclear.

On many occasions, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had called departed starting safety Jordan Whitehead a heady player and a tireless worker. So it’s hard to believe Whitehead was a problem communicator.

47 Responses to ““Shore Up The Communication””

  1. BradyBucs Says:

    What about BEFORE the secondary was riddled with injuries? Like in that opening Cowboys game we barely escaped from.

    So funny how are crappy secondary gets such a pass rather than putting more attention into the PERSONNEL we have as being the problem and not just “bad communication.”

    Bad coverage & bad tackling have a lot more to do with our problems than communication.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Everbody cover Kupp! Get him!

  3. Daniel Says:

    Off topic who would be a good future replacement for Lavonte David (when he decides to retire) in this year’s draft?

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Spot on BradyBucs.

    Everyone wants to pin our secondary woes on injuries, when in reality, they sucked out loud way before that.

    The “Gravediggers” were merely a fortunate spot in time, an anomaly of great luck and timing.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How many times do we hear………”on the same page”…….you hear it from every player most every day…..
    Obviously, we weren’t on the same pages during that last play vs Rams…..I guess that means not only communicating but understanding the communication and acting accordingly.

    TBBF is always “on the same page” ……with himself.

    I remember a famous quote from the movie Cool Hand Luke….”What we have here is a failure to communicate”

  6. ClwJB Says:

    Our pass rush was markedly less effective in 2021 – any secondary playing soft zone with minimal pressure gives up a lot of completions and yards

    Our 3rd down D was especially troubling

    Bowles went soft due to injury but our personnel has been very inconsistent to date

    Maybe the vet can bring some stability

  7. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    “to intelligent”? Oh Joe… 😉

  8. D-Rok Says:

    That was first thought/comment when Ryan was signed: He will help with communication. I thought at times and games last season the secondary wasn’t communicating effectively enough – “You got that guy, I got this guy.” Not to knock any player, but vet leadership back there should help this year.

    Bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce hope vet leadership improves that unit.

  9. Bee Says:

    Maybe the DC needs to communicate a better defensive call on the most important defensive series of the season.

  10. Cleanhouse Says:

    I can no longer stomach any communication talk…. is our defense a special ed class?

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The NFL has changed significantly in my lifetime. Defenses used to have a decent chance, now the rules are stacked for offenses, to where most QB’s complete 65% of their passes. So yes, the Bucs secondary looks bad a lot of the time, just like every other secondary in the NFL.
    The Bucs need a better slot guy, hopefully that is Logan Ryan. I expect Davis and Dean (in a contract year) to be above average/decent this year. I’d like to see the Bucs draft a CB, too.

  12. Goatfarmer Says:

    Anyone who watched the last 30 seconds of the Rams playoff loss saw a profound and utter communications failure, at the absolute worst and most critical time. So, yeah.

    Our DBs have often looked confused on their zone assignments. Will Logan be able to learn the coverages well enough to tell everyone what to do? That remains to be seen. We might have won the super bowl if someone knew that covering Kupp might be a good idea.

  13. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    The middle linebacker needs to communicate the coaches call properly on the most important defensive series of the season. He should’ve had Winfield further back. Stop blaming Bowles for the call he had to send pressure the players didn’t cover Kupp let him run right by!

  14. AB Says:

    You heard it here first – the Bucs D has played ONE, yes ONE, big time (both in terms of performance and what the game meant) over the past two years…

    NFC Championship at GB…other than that? Nothing…

    They beat a decrepit Drew Brees, the Washington Commanders, Mahomes when literally running for his life because of essentially a 2nd string O-line, and Jalen Hurts…not exactly a tough gauntlet.

    They were blown out against the Rams (twice), only hanging around in the playoffs because of a ridiculous number of fluke Ram turnovers.

    This team got hot for a short period of time in 2020 against less than average competition – and somehow think they are the sh*t.

    Tom knows the truth – that’s part of why he wanted out of Dodge. The whole ‘run it back’ mentality of the team these days just speaks to inability to objectively see their strengths and weaknesses.

  15. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Should have “communicated” to the defense to cover Cooper Kupp after coming back from a 23 point deficit.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Goatfarmer: Kupp is the best WR in the NFL. If he was easy to cover he wouldn’t have averaged 114 receiving yards per game last year. This is like saying “Just don’t let Tom Brady pass against you”.

  17. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Been hearing about “communication “ problems since Smitty. Maybe they should pay attention in practice, or maybe some of our 700 coaches could communicate.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe i have an answer for your question “was communication lacking in the backfield?”……….Its a clear yes when you look at our last game. Look at the 1st Kupp TD. Carlton points to the safety to guard the sideline, safety runs the other way and leave an entire sideline uncovered(when did Mike Smith return?).

    On the last blitz take a close look at Winfield. He was caught looking into the backfield and cheating up. He didnt even cover Kupp just chased him after he blew right by him……..he clearly didnt know his responsibility and thats a major problem. And Ive saw Winfield make that play before.

    Didnt think about this before but maybe the reason they moved on from Whitehead is related to the lack of communication that was on display in that Rams game.

  19. JGhotier Says:

    Joe meant “far too ** intelligent to choose”

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    DavidBigBuc…….I agree with what you said except that we shouldnt blame Bowles for lack of communication.

    Calling a play and having your 11 guys run the play is as basic as it gets in football. 100% this should not be an issue in year 3 of your defense. It is absolutely the DCs responsibility to have a proper chain of communication to ensure all 11 are on the same page.

    What bothers me most is communication that shabby needs to be flushed out early in the season or in training camp. Not when you are playing for a trip to a title game for crying out loud.

    Todd is still a Godd for the turnaround he had on this defense but he really screwed all of us in that Rams game.

  21. SB~LV Says:


  22. Pickgrin Says:

    “was communication lacking in the backfield? ”

    It certainly was lacking on the 2nd to last snap of the Buccaneers 2021 season….

  23. Anonymous Says:

    SMB made a cryptic tweet that may be related to this signing..

  24. RPK Says:

    “The Bucs have a veteran defensive backfield”

    A little misleading.

    Winfield Jr: 23
    Bunting: 24
    Carlton Davis: 25
    Jamal Dean: 25
    Jordan Whitehead: 25

    Logan Ryan (NEW): 31

    I’m also not convinced the Bucs young secondary had a good day of communication against the Rams and Cooper Kupp.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘But was communication lacking in the backfield? That’s unclear.’

    TBBF … ‘Obviously, we weren’t on the same pages during that last play vs Rams’.

    Yup. There’s an obvious communication breakdown when your team captain is standing with his hands on his hips as the play starts. Seems like no one in the media has asked the question of any of the players who were on the field … ‘What happened?’

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    Been a Buc problem since Saint Dungy’s “we just weren’t in sync”…

  27. SKBucsFan Says:

    Shore up the communication is code for ‘We can’t have any idiotic blunders that cost us a Suoerbowl’

    I won’t pile on Bowles…again, but having someone that recognizes the right play at game speed is crucial. Maybe Ryan can add that maturity to the backfield and lead the defense.

  28. Adrnagy Says:

    How many days , weeks , months and years do players need to be in the same page ?

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    DavidBigBucFan99 … Agree with you assessment, but would add that there’s an obvious communication breakdown on that last play. Most important play of the year with the season on the line, and several players seemed to have zero situational awareness. Quite frankly none of it makes any sense.

    And interestingly, I haven’t heard a single player who was on the field say a word about what was actually going on out there. Even Todd Bowles has stayed mum on what transpired. Actually he’s probably trying to avoid throwing any players under the bus, but it’s still irritating when none of it makes sense.

  30. steele Says:

    Those infamous plays vs. the Rams is all you need to know that there was a clear communication and COMPREHENSION problem throughout the secondary. A problem that a leader like Ryan can help fix. He’s going to need a lot more, and some fresh talent on top of that.

  31. Daryl Green Says:

    This article is great. They had one good stretch. Super Bowl run.
    These guys have been in this system long enough.
    guarantee these guys will be the reason we won’t when the bowl.
    Even if healthy. Oh don’t forget about our LB’s in pass coverage oh gawd.

  32. geno711 Says:

    There were lots of times I was not pleased with our secondary play.

    But let’s be real. This defense allowed the 5th fewest amount of points last year.
    So it clearly was more good than bad. If you give me the 2nd leading points offense and the 5th leading points allowed defense every year, I will take my chances on our ability to go deep in the playoffs.

  33. Oddball Says:

    Communication breakdown? It’s always the same…

  34. Noles Says:

    Lets not forget one of our best #54 stood MOTIONLESS on that play

    Hard to understand how such a miscommunication occurred at this point in the game

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    If this team does not find a pass rush for somewhere this coming season, we will fare the same or worse than last season. I don’t care how many pts brady scores.
    We had better find a pass rush. It is the sole reason our secondary looks so pitiful. Opposing QB’s Have all day to throw.

  36. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Jimmy J I understand but the players practice this being that Bowles blitzes alot. It’s not like he pulled one out of the blue. The players knew what they were supposed to do but olay’d the NFL’s #1 receiver right thru the middle of their ranks. They are professionals and are supposed to know where to go. They allowed Kupp to get out of bounds earlier when everybody knows you keep the receiver in bounds. They do that Rams have no time to spike the ball. This loss is on the players.

  37. Brandon Says:

    “far to intelligent”

    Amazingly ironic.

  38. Goatfarmer Says:

    Joe in Michigan — never did I blame Bowles. It was obvious that the defense didn’t know what they were doing on the play — hence a communication issue. It could have been Bowles fault — did he get the plal call to Devin in time? Was it clear from Bowles to Devin or Devin to the rest of the team? We don’t know.

    But clearly it was a communications issue, since no one did anything on the play — . It wasn’t just Kupp being open — there were a coupe of guys standing still on the play. This gives our new free agent signing some credibility for what he has observed and said.

  39. westernbuc Says:

    I’d definitely buy that there’s been communication issues in the secondary. It’s a young group and the “veteran” was Vernon Hargreaves (yikes) when they got started. Licht never really went the veteran corner route until he brought in Richard Sherman, a shell of his former self.

    Position groups need real leaders (Ryan Jensen, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, JPP) all raise the game of the talented but less experienced guys around them. I’m glad we were able to rectify not signing him those years back

  40. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m glad there’s some people on this blog who have some sense. Nothing gets me more riled up than that Rams play. “Bowles, Bowles, Bowles….”!
    Well what about the accountability on the players who were just walking around aimlessly when the play started? Half the team wasn’t ready for the snap.
    The fact is, football is complementary. When our pass-rush was negated, smartly I might add, our secondary was left on an island. It’s clear they needed to upgrade this area. Whitehead made a name for himself as a hard-hitting safety but he wasn’t scaring anyone in coverage. He’s a young player it’s to be expected.
    Teams are not going to go all-in testing our run defense. We HAVE to get better on the back side. We can’t always trust that our pass-rush will be effective.

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … ‘Teams are not going to go all-in testing our run defense. We HAVE to get better on the back side. We can’t always trust that our pass-rush will be effective.’

    EXCELLENT points! I keep feeling that we’ve got some very talented guys back in our Secondary, but for some reason they get ‘disconnected’ too often & don’t play as a ‘unit’ like the 2002 Secondary did so well. Injuries surely played a big part in that, but I also think that lack of a ‘Field General’ back there did also. Really hoping that Logan Ryan fills that role for the next couple of years for us, and that Winfield learns from him & eventually assumes that role.

  42. Bucs Guy Says:

    Focus of 2023 draft (unless addressed through FA) will be LT (Smith replacement), LB (LVD replacement), secondary, TE depth, DT depth. Of course this is all after the ever present discussion on QB.

  43. Dman Says:

    Finally good to see that the rest of the D being called out for the breakdown (communication breakdown) against the Rams on that last play. We were blitzing so much because the front the line couldn’t get to the QB. And for the first time something felt off with Lavonte last season. Get the feeling we’re going to go defense heavy in the draft given the emphasis on offense so far. D line, CB, LB, S would be my sequence.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    BradyBucs Says
    “What about BEFORE the secondary was riddled with injuries? Like in that opening Cowboys game we barely escaped from.”

    That’s a valid point.

    Speaking as a lifer fan, I can say the defense on this team has always started out rough. It usually takes them 2-4 games to really start to gel.

    That said, I think a lot of people in this thread are acting like the Bucs didn’t win 13 games.

  45. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Yeah, what Bonzai said. And oh, AB: is that you, Antonio, the mental patient?

  46. Anonymous Says:

    More importantly, Logan Ryan will enforce discipline on the other side of the ball. The Bucs needed another seasoned veteran with rings, another captain on defense trained in the Patriot Way his entire career. Brady’s influence on the defense only went so far and I’m sure that he’s had to bite his tongue many a time the last two years. But now Tom has “his guy” raising the bar who will set the standard through example. Logan will be the first Buc defensive player to arrive each morning and be the last to leave. Logan will be the first at meetings and the one paying most attention. Logan will be the one watching more film than any other db. He be a stickler during defensive drills and Logan will be the the most vocal and the most effective at trying to shut Brady down. Watch for Logan to be the first to get under the GOAT’s skin. Whether contrived or not, doing so will earn him respect in TC. Watch also for the Buc players who challenge the new guy, the ones who don’t follow his example. Expect them to either get his mind right, or ride the pine until he does. Ryan Logan is just what the Bucs and Tom Brady needed/wanted.

  47. Steven M. Says:

    There is some good suggestions here. Do the Glazers read these posts ?