Energized Defense

August 7th, 2022

Growling to stop the run.

Joe is really liking how this Bucs defense is playing.

Those at practice (so long as you have the disposable income for season tickets) see the contagious energy of the defense. Defensive backs are flying around and diving for ball. It seems the rush defense is determined to punish backs.

And when the defense makes a play, a big play, they all celebrate. There’s even trash talking of teammates for having the balls to try to test them. Backups, too.

The past two or three practices, Joe has seen a big difference in the run defense and the pass rush. Joe is guessing the defense felt handcuffed previously because, despite pads on, Bucs coach Todd Bowles didn’t want his defense beating up teammates. That’s understandable.

Whether Bowles has taken the shackles off or encouraged the defense to get after running backs and quarterbacks, there is a difference now. And pride.

Joe spoke with Rakeem Nuñez-Roches (“Nacho”) and it was obvious that the defense getting gouged by running backs earlier in camp gnawed at players.

Per Nacho, part of the uptick in the run defense and pass rush is the loss to the Rams is still bothering the defense. Guys got together recently and said enough is enough, he said. Time to put the hammer down.

“Coming into this year, we knew we had a standard [for rush defense],” Nuñez-Roches said. “What we did last year, unfortunately, we didn’t get to go where we wanted to go. So we have to raise it up a notch.”

Early in 11-on-11s, Playoff Lenny tried several times to penetrate the line. He got stuffed each time.

“We came out with the mindset that anything up front, we are going to stop it,” Nuñez-Roches said. “Nothing more than three yards. In the backfield, that’s where we are going to play.”

If the Bucs run defense is able to keep that goal, a crazy standard, the Bucs likely will lead the NFL in fewest yards per carry.

Last year the slimy Saints led the NFL in least yards per carry at 3.7. In the Super Bowl season of 2020, the Bucs led the NFL at 3.6.

So yeah, it’s fun to watch the defense practice with so much juice. Hopefully that carries over to gamedays.

16 Responses to “Energized Defense”

  1. SB Says:

    From everything I have read, the D has been flying all over the field.

    OH, I think you meant ‘yards’ not ‘years’ Joe.

  2. Maniac Buc Says:

    Man, I’m way more excited about watching our defense this season than our offense, even with the extra weapons. This defense is going to be fun, and I also envision them playing with more swagger. Everybody is healthy and we are deep at every position. This is going to be fun.

  3. Jerry R Jones Says:

    I’ve been wanting to hear this TYPE of chatter out of trying camp for years; truly believe the defense is going to surprise even myself this year.

  4. D-Rok Says:

    Good. Let’s hope all the D can carry this fire and determination over a full 17+ weeks, hopefully 20 weeks. If our D is much improved this year, coupled with our offense, look out league.

  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    Let’s see it in Dallas at Jerry World in a few weeks, then I’ll believe it.

    Streamline. Simplify. Teach assignments. Verify assignments have been learned. Tackle.

  6. GOB Says:

    This team will go as far as the defense takes them. I only hope that Bowles ratchets down the blitz percentages, especially against good QBs. That probably won’t happen, so they’ll live and die with it. Bowles doesn’t believe you can get home with four rushers.

  7. BillyBucco Says:

    You can’t simplify the defense so much that the QB and receivers KNOW what is happening, just so your rookies can understand.

    We won’t see as many missed assignments if the defense just communicates with those rookies.

    It takes time or ever defense would be good.

  8. Dooley Says:


  9. ModHairKen Says:

    I hope Nacho has learned some respect for animals. He certainly hasn’t learned respect for the toothbrush.

  10. David Says:

    Hopefully this is about the defense and not the new center and guards
    That said, I’m not concerned too much about Hainsey or Mason. I am concerned about left guard.

    JOE…. Any update on who is going to be the starter and how they have looked?

  11. ChuckBuc Says:

    I can’t help but wonder how much of a factor our still-gelling OL is in this uptick in the defense.

  12. ChuckBuc Says:

    Sorry, David, I just saw your comment.

  13. steele Says:

    I’m with ChuckBuc and David. The OL is the most glaring problem and every report needs to address it, Joes. How is Hainsey doing? How is Stinnie? Who else?
    I’m not worried about Wirfs, Shaq or Don. Just that middle.

    Staff is completely supportive of Hainsey, like it’s his job to lose.

    Jensen “still hasn’t gotten back to” the team regarding his prognosis. (Which is odd by itself, suggests Bucs med staff is not fully involved?) If there is any chance he is back by winter, that further strengthens the idea of taking the chance on Hainsey and in-house holding down the fort until then.

  14. brooks Says:

    Well see…. qe have lots of opposing QBs ready to carve our d up

  15. Kody Says:

    Now are D Just has to tromp the Rams and crush the Saints (twice) and they’ll have every ounce of my love and respect.

  16. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard thinks the defense will be Bradys best friend this season.
    They will be knocking opposing defenses off the field.
    Howard suspects this season will be the best Bucs D since the glory days of Sapp and Brooks