“Defensive Music”

April 2nd, 2022

New Bucs co-defensive coordinator Larry Foote.

Yes, new Bucs head coach Todd Bowles will still be calling the defensive plays in 2022. (Joe strongly suspects his next defensive call will be much better than his last one!)

But Bowles’ duties as a defensive wizard will be cut now that he’s the top dog. Linebackers coach Larry Foote and defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers were named co-defensive coordinators and will pick up the slack.

So how good are these guys? Well, Rodgers called the Jets defense under Bowles in New York. That didn’t go very well their defense progressively crumbled, ranking among the NFL’s worst in 2017 and 2018. Still Rodgers, 52. has a strong track record as a position coach and a ton of experience.

Foote, 41, was a favorite of Bucco Bruce Arians, a 13-year NFL linebacker who can put the historic resurrection of Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett on his outside linebackers coach resumé. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was under his wing last year and Anthony Nelson has done a steady job of developing.

Veteran defensive lineman Will Gholston was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday and he raved about the genius of Foote and the smarts of Rodgers and how their communication together in meetings and practice is “defensive music.” Joe takes a comment like that from Gholston seriously because he’s not one for hyperbole and he’s played for many position coaches under Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter.

Joe’s not sure the Bucs defense should be expected to improve much this season. It would help greatly if they can stay healthy. But they certainly are in excellent hands.

41 Responses to ““Defensive Music””

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If we can somehow draft some good pass rushers, we will improve.
    Getting pressure with only 4 Men should be the goal.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bring back Suh.

    Draft his replacement to prepare for next year.

  3. SKBucsFan Says:

    It will be interesting to see how a co-coaching situation works. Ultimately Bowles will have the final say. I am more concerned with their ability to recognize and adjust. It will be hard for a committee to do that in 40 seconds.
    Not to mention that Bowles and his buddy Kacy are 2 of the 3. Will Larry Foote, who on the surface seems to have the better track record, be able to convince the former failed Jet coaches when the chips are down?

  4. SKBucsFan Says:

    It seems like Bowles knows that Foote is a better option but didn’t want to hurt the feelings of his buddy and former DC in a failed Jets experiment. So he created a co-coaching role. Hopefully 3 minds are better than one.

  5. Jordan Says:

    Defense needs more help than the offense, I would not resign both JPP and Suh. One of them has to go, if not both, too much injury risk at their age.

    I would draft multiple players for the defensive interior and edge, if Shaq Barrett goes down…. It won’t be pretty as it is right now.

    We have to be able to get to the passer faster, so that we don’t have to blitz and that if we do blitz, it’s crazy how fast we get there.

    Corner is also still a need, but only if someone like Stingley falls super far would I touch one in the first round.

  6. Allbuccedup Says:

    The Bucs defense overall played well but seemed to be at times undisciplined. Hopefully Bowles will tighten up a little. I would hate to see the whole team undisciplined.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Agree about bringing back #93. I mean Suh, not Geraldine. Arians and Bowles realized that he wasn’t performing on the field to the level of his hype, and his soft locker room presence wasn’t helping anyone. I believe JPP screamed at him about being soft the one year he endured the soft Geraldine.

    Sug is the anti-McCoy and the defense is better when he is on it. But we’ll need some more restructuring to afford him, methinks.

  8. PSL Bob Says:

    Having Suh back will definitely help, particularly in the run defense, but we need to draft solid backups later this month. We’ve got to get younger and increase our CAP space if we expect to remain competitive into the future.

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    The last play call was poorly executed. Stuff happens. The call was solid. Had they gotten to Stafford, different outcome. No play is guaranteed. They all have risk. We know 41 seconds was enough because 13 seconds was enough in Buffalo v. KC. So let’s stop second guessing.

    It’s now history.

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Modhair? The call was solid?? Wuth 28 seconds left what is the percentage a QB gets sacked on a blitz versus side line pass prevent to keep the opposing team from getting into FG range? Horrid call.

  11. Aaron Says:

    Hopefully don’t go looking like the jets lol this season getting crazy already

  12. Tye Says:

    I just see the co-defensive Coordinator thing as a BAD sign… Can’t Bowles make a decisive decision on an important matter as HC or is he just trying some weird attempt for the Bucs to have the most minority coaches by adding an unnecessary role!… Seem like a bad look for his 1st action as Bucs HC…

    Hopefully this doesn’t cause the Bucs season to plummet!….

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    IF the blitz had gotten through and stopped that play I’m sure everyone would be hear lauding Bowles as a genius. OK snark font off now.

    I agree with Chris and Bonzai

  14. Steven007 Says:

    I didn’t agree with the last call with hindsight being a big part of the reason why. Bowles has even said as much. Obviously if the blitz worked and the defensive backs were where they should have been it could have been a different outcome. Water under the bridge at this point. If we were all judged only on our worst professional moment we would all be SOL. It’s also recency bias. Haven’t heard anybody talk about the defense that he led dismantling KC in the super bowl for a while now.

  15. cmurda Says:

    The Bucs defense and for that matter, the team in general, honestly don’t need improvement. Todd made a regrettable call as we all obviously know but I love him as Head Coach. Something tells me his temperament is just perfect for the position and the players seem to love him like they did B.A. If we were relatively healthy going into that Rams game, we likely would not have even needed to worry about a last second defensive breakdown.

  16. cmurda Says:

    @Steven007. That was nearly a jinx moment when I looked up and saw you saying about the same thing I’m saying at about the same time. Good stuff.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Steven because that was a while ago. Unfortunately this is a game of what have you done for me lately? Quite often Bowles lack of elasticity to adjustments hinders this D.

  18. Steven007 Says:

    List, hoping for improvement on that end for sure. But again, it’s recency bias. I think a lot of the posters here, particularly the recent Patriots fan editions, don’t remember the Smith defenses. As in lovie and Mike. Some of the worst defenses to ever step on an NFL field. Always want to win the big one, but I know my team is doing well when I’m complaining about a bad defensive call in a playoff game.

    Cmurda, agreed.

  19. cmurda Says:

    @Tye. WTF? Is that you Sean Payton? The players aren’t going to suddenly crap the bed just because the same coaches they are used to being coached by are in different roles. That doesn’t even make sense. Regarding the minority coaches on this team. I think it’s wonderful how B.A. and the organization encouraged the minority and female coaching advancement. Here’s the thing. This isn’t some fly by night operation trying to have token representatives to look good. Every single one of these coaches have earned their right to be where they are if not in a higher position. We all know about Bowles credentials. There will be several organizations that will regret not getting Byron when they had the chance. Have you heard Lori Locust? I heard a nice piece from her on JBF here and she was incredibly insightful. She’s an up and comer. I’m on record saying Byron is obvious but Lori will climb the ladder and Clyde Christiansen is going to be a stud coach too. I think B.A. did a great job assembling a staff that will rival the staff of the Bill Walsh coaching tree. Sorry for the long post. I think our coaching staff is underappreciated.

  20. cmurda Says:

    @List I don’t necessarily disagree with you either though. You’re right about Todd. That is exactly why having Kacy and Larry elevated will hopefully present other options. I understand Todd is still calling the plays but let’s see how that goes before assuming that will be permanent. There is only so much one man can do. He will need some major focus on the entire operation as Head Coach. Calling the defensive plays might prove to be too much and unwise. I really would like to see Todd give up playcalling. He can heavily influence when necessary but he need not repeat the mistakes with the Jets. He’s a smart dude. I believe he is going to see how well the operation can run without him. If well, he will back off.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I can see Todd Bowles taking BAs place…..for all the Buc haters who have to have someone to negatively focus on…….it’s already started.

    With the addition of Gronk our offense is practically set….add a TE,RB later in the draft.

    As for the defense….bringing back Suh will cost us at least one kicker…..or punter.

    We need to draft DT, DE, CB in the first 3 rounds.

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    If you resign Suh, the door is wide open to trade back for another second and a fourth. We could fill DL, OL, CB, ILB, TE. Bucs fans find themselves lost in stupidity about a RB early every year. Especially since resigned now. They say “He won’t be here next year.” Lavonte David and a fat Devin White contract will need to be filled. I do like Grant Stuard. They can’t all be Lavontes so it’s going to be very confusing at what a new ILB would look like.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Let’s face fact. Cooper Kupp is tough to cover. But actually having someone assigned to cover the best receiver in the league at least gives you a chance to cover him, a little.

    The cover zero blitz might not have looked so utterly moronic had someone actually tried to cover Kupp. But no one did. Making a horrible call disastrous because of even more incompetent execution.

    This defense does not know its situational assignments far too often. Bowles may be too smart for his own good, maybe neeeds to dial back the mensa scheme so that normal smart people can know what they’re supposed to do.

  24. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Steven let’s talk most recent, Rams twice, 1st Saints Gm, Dallas, Indy, Bill’s, Eagles reg season, Jets, WFT all nail biters that D kept in games. Hey maybe Bowles learned something last season and with a few more signings and a little luck with injuries he has the opportunity to redeem himself. I do believe he is a better option than BA, I will take a coach that is all in versus half ass any day.

  25. Hondo Says:

    Get Brian Flores

  26. NCBucfan Says:

    Find a way to get one of the DTs from GA! If we have to trade up a few spots, then so be it. Then resign JPP. I def think we can get him cheaper than Suh.

  27. NCBucfan Says:

    Plus if Gronk comes back, I don’t see why we would need to draft a TE in the first few rounds. Whatever happened to tanner hudson? I know he’s not a great blocker, but he seemed liked he was turning into a solid receiving TE. Why not sign him for cheap.

  28. JGhotier Says:

    They will be judged by how well they can stop the Spider 2, Y Banana!

  29. NCBucfan Says:

    Jghotier, we could stop it a lot better if D White was better in coverage. He seems to be out of position too much when he drops back. That and we have to start getting home more with a 3 or 4 man rush.

  30. Daryl Green Says:

    Definitely give me one of the tackles from GA.


  31. Francisco Guzman Says:

    This team has no done enough defensively. Will this defense improve? Right now there’s nobody upfront on this d-line except vea.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Francisco you’re right, but we’re not finished yet either. It seems obvious that we’ll be focusing on defense in the draft (because we’ve signed mostly offensive guys in FA?). Also convinced that we’ll bring back Suh (he’s still got plenty left in the tank, loves it here, and has indicated that he wants to stay a Buc). Like every very talented player, he expects to be paid (a sign of respect?), but that’ll get worked out, eventually. Same thing with Gronk.

    I like TBBF’s draft priorities: ‘draft DT, DE, CB in the first 3 rounds’ (hopefully based on the BPA in those positions when our turn comes). IF we can get 3 key rotational players out of those 3 players, I’ll feel much better about what we’re facing in 2023 (get the experience this year then move into starting slots in 2023). And looking at the Rnd 4 pick, kinda hoping now that we either grab a quality TE (good at blocking for now) or a ‘big back’ RB (kinda like the A-Train or Derrick Henry?). Those are hard to find though.

  33. Jmarkbuc Says:



  34. stpetebucsfan Says:

    @D.R. and TBBF

    Agree with both your takes and TBBF raises an interesting point. Bringing back Suh or spending too much money anywhere might cost us a kicker.

    I like our kickers but I’m not married to them.

    So the question guys is does anybody know what the kickers coming out of college look like. I’ve read about one who is certainly impressive. Cade York of LSU replaced a legend and became one himself in Baton Rouge.

    When evaluating kickers, completion percentage is important. But you also want to know if a kicker can come up clutch when needed. York was one of just three college kickers that hit a 50+ yard field goal in the final two minutes of a game last season. Is that clutch enough?

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Bucs are still carrying TWO kickers on our current roster: (1) Ryan Succop (with a CAP hit of $4.5 mil and a Dead CAP of $2.75 mil); and (2) Jose Borregales (with a CAP hit of 0.7 mil and no Dead CAP). Borregales was on our Practice Squad all last year, and is signed through 2023.

    Borregales never got called up last season, but interestingly we protected him game-to-game (just like we protected Kyle Trask) so no one else could snatch him up. We could only protect 4 PS players last year, but why was Borregales always one of them each game? Security in case of injury to Succop? Competition for Succop?

    Or MAYBE because he’s really good & Bucs see him as ‘the future’ (like Trask?) but wanted to keep Succop’s experience while making another SB run? IF that’s the case, they may well be reluctant again to turn over the kicking duties to a rookie while we’re positioning to make another SB run. Besides, since Succop has a Dead CAP of $2.75 mil, we’d only be saving $1.75 mil by releasing him. Never know though; stranger things have happened when it comes to the Bucs and kickers.

  36. BuccoBDub Says:

    Co-managing didn’t work out for Jim Halpert and Michael Scott.

  37. View from 132 Says:

    If you have 3 defensive coordinators you don’t have one.

  38. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    When do so many people lack common sense on this site??? That last play was ALL ON THE PLAYERS BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DIDN’T DO ON THE PRIOR PLAY!!! They allowed Kupp to go OUT OF BOUNDS on the previous play and everybody in the football world knows when the game is on the line the offenses objective with NO TIME OUTS is to call plays to the side line and the defense just let them do it! They do their jobs time expires even after the 40 yard completion! How many times do I have to ask you all what was Bowles supposed to do after that stupidity??? The dline was getting NO pressure on Stafford yet still completing passes! It was Devin White’s fault he didn’t have the guys in position on the field, the #1 receiver in all the NFL was the only one going out and they let him run right by without jamming him and Winfield was too close to the line. Stop being so lazy and status quo by blaming the DC and blame the QB of the defense!

  39. Listnfrmafar Says:

    David, blah, blah, blah every broadcaster and sports figure stated the obvious. Oh and if there was confusion, that’s on the coaches. These guys are pros and blitz the entire game now all of a sudden the don’t know what to do? My guess would be the coaches were discussing what to do and Rams ran a hurry up and the play came in to late. David is a what 11 yr vet and he picked that exact time to take a play off. C’mon wake up.

  40. Allbuccedup Says:

    Does the Bowles promotion come with his own golf cart?

  41. TampabayDJ82 Says: