Wake-Up Call For Bucs’ Run Defense

August 27th, 2022

Vacation is over.

In what feels like forever, the Buccaneers’ first-team defense returns to the field tonight minus dings or dents among them.

When’s the last time Joe could type that?

The NFL’s best run defense for the 2019 and 2020 seasons took a step backwards last season. There were many reasons, including Jason Pierre-Paul playing with one arm, then-rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka being too green against the run, along with injuries to Lavonte David and Devin White, and a bunch of cornerback injuries.

Still, the run defense was strong. But the Bucs expect to return to elite status in a hurry. Against Indianapolis tonight, that run defense will get one hell of a wake-up call.

Like the Bucs, the Colts are playing most of their starters tonight. And that includes top-shelf offensive line featuring All-World guard Quenton Nelson, who barked at reporters earlier this summer when asked whether he wants to play in preseason games. Of course he does! (Tristan Wirfs had a different take.)

Joe can’t wait to see Akiem Hicks and/or Vita Vea fire it up on Nelson. It’ll be a hell of a taste of the regular season, something Joe has been yearning for desperately.

More interesting, perhaps, is David playing and full speed alongside White. David’s had a heck of a summer and Joe is happy fans will get to see the new look/old look David tonight.

If Joe sees a bunch of broken tackles, well, then at least it doesn’t count.

12 Responses to “Wake-Up Call For Bucs’ Run Defense”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘If Joe sees a bunch of broken tackles, well, then at least it doesn’t count.’

    Might not count towards regular season stats Joe, but it could well be an indicator of what’s to come. HOPEFULLY that’s not the case though, and the Bucs get their tackling act together.

  2. CrackWise Says:

    Hicks and Vita are going to be a BLAST FROM THE PAST and super fun to watch ALL YEAR.

    However, I am more excited about the BLAST FROM THE PAST that we are going to see in our backfield.

    #41 = John Riggins/A-Train

    The OLine will focus on what it does best and work on what it needs to do better. All the while, our D gets to stay fresh and not burned out.

    You know, make it a ball control game. Just don’t turn it over and kill your own D. You know, like ATM

  3. Mybucsdontbucaround813 Says:

    I’m almost certain you won’t see J Taylor tonight

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, the Colts top two backs, are not playing in this game. So no, the Bucs run defense will not be getting a real test tonight.

  5. GOB Says:

    As long as Hicks and Vea stay healthy, they’ll be scary good up front. 30 points a game from the offense doesn’t hurt either. Teams know they need to get to 24-28, just to have a chance. You can’t get there by running the ball 40 times. I expect the same pass happy approach on the bucs defense this season. I just hope Bowles has enough brains to play his corners closer to the LOS. They gave up way too much space last year. I’d like to see the bucs almost invite the run, especially when they get up on a team. Bowles hung his secondary out to dry last year. He blitzed far too much

  6. CrackWise Says:


    You kinda make my point. We know what to expect from other teams. Although I never said we should run 40 times a game.

    Actually, come to think of it. If we can get 80 plays a game. Running it 40 times would be niiiiiiice.

    If we control the ball, we make the other team predictable. Based on what I have seen so far this preseason.

    Our Focus Includes:
    1. Running the Ball
    2. Controlling the Ball/Turnovers
    3. Developing young linemen
    4. Not putting it all on Brady’s shoulder(s)
    5. Being more physical at the point of attack (tackling and YAC)

    I could be completely wrong. But the first quarter of the season is not going to simply be about airing it out.

    Although, I do believe ME13 is going to put up 5-600 yards and 4-5TDs in the first 4 games.

    Yes, I am a homer and I will never talk down on anything the team does. And I am an unashamed Lovie JW (lost decade) supporter. But that is what the team gave me to root for, SO, whatever.

    Im just so excited to not have to wear a paper bag again this season 🙂

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Vita played a career low 56% of defensive snaps last season. That’s all to do with conditioning. If you want to improve the Bucs run defense, then Vita needs to be on the field more. If Vita lost like 40 pounds, he could play a lot more snaps, and I highly doubt that 40 pounds of blubber is going to make him less of a run stuffer, and it might actually make him into a threat as a pass rusher.

    If I’m the coach, I’m trying to get Vita in better shape and play more downs, because currently, as the snaps prove, he’s just a 2-down run stuffer, and how often, last year, did we see other teams drive the field, then get down to the goalline, and then Vita, who is gassed, is on the sideline as Nacho is in the game in the most important situations. That can’t and shouldn’t happen, and it can change, by just losing some weight.

    BTW, Vita, I think, is closer to 370, so losing 40 pounds still leaves him at 330. If he’s legit 350, which I don’t believe, then make him lose 20 pounds. But at his size, and being a anchor in the middle, 330 shouldn’t affect that, and it would give him more stamina and speed.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Rod, if you don’t think 40 lbs would make a difference for Vea’s run stuffing ability, try taking a physics class.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … Vea missed Game 10 against the Giants due to a knee problem, then was Questionable the next week against the Colts, but played. I think he was playing hurt for the latter part of the season, and the coaching staff was trying to meter his def snaps.

    If you look at his 4 years here, he’s averaged between 38-47 def snaps per game. When he’s healthy he’s in the upper part (45-47) and that’s about it. Our opponents have averaged 62-67 offensive snaps/game over the 4 years that he’s been here. So I’d expect him to be on the field for anywhere from 60-75% of the snaps WHEN HE’S HEALTHY. And there-in lies the key … WHEN HE’S HEALTHY.

  10. BucsNoles Says:


  11. David Says:

    Stay Healthy!!

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – If you’re lighter, you have a better chance of staying healthy. Also, he should be playing around 75% of snaps, ideally. Again, I’m not saying he sucks – I’m saying I want him playing more, and there’s no way anyone can convince me that being lighter is going to negatively affect his play or reliability. I’m not saying get down to 300lbs, I’m saying be a Suh like 330lb.

    Anonymous – You really think at a solid 330lbs that Vita would be pushed around? He’s not a thin 370lb, he’s a round guy, if he does weigh 370lb, getting down to 330lb, is just going to make him less round, it wouldn’t affect his strength – but it might give him an extra half-step which would help in the passing game. Also, so far in his career, he gets hurt, a lot. Weighting less should help him with that as well. Again, I’m saying I want him playing more, not sitting on the sidelines like in the Eagles game at the goal line and then watching Nacho getting ran over.