Defense Carrying The Bucs And The Offense Knows It

September 22nd, 2022

Bucs receiver Russell Gage.

The Bucs defense, through two games, is kicking arse and taking names. It’s an awesome thing.

The offense? Well, it is sputtering.

The running game is just meh and the Bucs are one of the worst NFL teams in converting third downs. They scored one touchdown through the first seven quarters of the season.

Oh, and you may have heard from the AdventHealth Training Center that virtually the entire receiving corps is hurt.

(One would think with all the cash AdventHealth dropped on the Bucs for naming rights to the One Buc Palace practice facility they could provide someone on staff to help Bucs players prevent hamstring pulls.)

So while the defense balls out, it has bought the offense time to figure things out. This is not lost on receiver Russell Gage.

Joe spoke with Gage and he sure is appreciative of the defense suffocating opponents.

“That’s huge,” Gage said yesterday. “People talk about complementary football? That’s huge to have a defense like we have, that’s confidence.”

Gage said the Bucs defense is so confident, it embraces challenges. Gage said last week when the Bucs had a turnover, he saw in the defense’s eyes that they wanted to stomp the slimy Saints and get the Bucs’ offense the ball right back.

“They don’t blink, man,” Gage said. “I watched them come on the field when we turned the ball over. That one time they came on the field, they looked excited.”

Gage said he never experienced a defense looking forward to taking the field after a turnover.

“It was weird,” Gage said. “I’ve never seen that. They looked like they had been on the sideline too long.

“Their confidence, it gives [the offense] confidence so like when we get back in the game, we are like, ‘We have to make plays for these boys.'”

One reason the defense is so confident, Gage said, is defenders know it’s just a matter of time before the offense starts clicking. There is simply too much talent on offense for that side of the ball to struggle much longer.

The Bucs are No. 30 currently in red zone efficiency.

“They know we are going to get it rolling,” Gage said. “We’ll get it rolling in the red zone and all of those things.”

And when the offense does get rolling, the way the defense is playing, teams flat out won’t want to play the Bucs, that’s all there is to it.

26 Responses to “Defense Carrying The Bucs And The Offense Knows It”

  1. David Says:

    I’d love to see Gage play a big part in this game against the Packers. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot of Lenny and White though. From what I’ve seen the Packers cannot stop the run

  2. Austin Says:

    Best Defense in the league, could be an all timer.. Alot of offenses are sputtering, lack of preseason will do that. Gotta get in the zone

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    The OL even with the injuries is playing better than I’d expected. I think if Lenny had full health on his legs he would have gotten another 15-20 yards and that would have been huge.

    Does Brady trust the OL enough to ask BL for 4WR groupings? And if so, how about a nice dose of motion into the snap to free up at least one of our little guys from the press so they can get a free release.

    Anyone know Julio’s status?

  4. Austin Says:

    Best D in the League

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    David is probably right. Hope Lenny is healthy.

  6. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Offense would be a top 5 at this point too if it was not due to all the injuries.

  7. Mr. Editor Says:

    The Bucs finished the season in red zone efficiency last year, so the offense needs time to gel. I am proud of the OL for holding up, and I am looking forward to Donovan Smith coming back. The trade for Shaq Mason to replace Alex Cappa is looking like a wise move, so far. Cappa has given up a sack for the Bangals (I know that it’s spelled Bengals, but that’s how everybody pronounces it).

    Injuries will present a challenge to the kind of continuity that the offense is looking for. The Bucs are playing physical, and the team is playing the price for it with injuries. It’s got to be that way because other teams seem to think that the key to victory is to be physical with the Bucs. I hope that the fire ignited in the Saints game carries through the season and beyond.

  8. Dooley Says:

    Still plenty of football left, plenty of time for key skill position guys to rest up, rehab and get back at it. I could see if we were going to the Munich game with all these injuries, but I’d like to think we’ll be MUCH healthier by then and we’ve got a perfectly placed bye week afterwards to get ready to go down the stretch and hopefully DEEP into the post season. The offense is going to get it’s sh*t together, that I have no doubts about, but what I’d love to see is our defense to continue improving down the stretch until that happens.

    What I’ll be looking for, is that game in 2022 where we play down to our competition like we did against the Bears in 2020 & WFT last season. Two games in which Vita Vea went down, and even that last Saints game last season, where the team seemed shell shocked after Godwin went down. I’d rather our depth be tested sooner, rather than later with a wide enough window to get our starters back!

  9. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    $20 Million for a injury prone WR in Godwin (Hasn’t played a full season since 2018)

    $10 Million for Gage, who outside of 2 100 yard games in 2021 averaged 40 yards a game.

    So frustrating that our Front Office keeps chancing the last year with an elite QB on injury prone or unproductive players.

  10. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    Shame that we will never see all these weapons used by a creative and competent coordinator. Byron is very bland with his play design and struggles to scheme guys open.

    Watching other offenses it’s glaring that the coaching weakness of Byron is hurting us.

  11. HC Grover Says:

    3rd and 9 after 2 up the guts is not favorable. Tjey have Upthegutitis.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    Agree with Pewter

  13. Craig Says:

    The offense will get there. The line is doing badly, all things considered, and Brady will start believing in it.

    The receivers will get on the field, eventually, and it will blow open.

    Hope the defense can hold it together until then.

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I’ve already won the Packers game on Sunday… just by thinking about it.

  15. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the offensive line is holding up but needs the TE’s to help. One Problem is that the WR’s are not getting open and are not running good routes. Red zone is a disaster as the play calling is just bad and we don’t have a TE that can get open in the red zone. BL needs to change his play calling in the red zone as we don’t have the play makers. What is the deal with Rudolph?

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to use the backs & TE in the early downs more often instead of up the gut…..
    2nd & 4 is a lot better than 2nd & 9…..

  17. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    Leftwich ain’t changing. He was learning on the job when BA first got here and he still is clueless how to scheme guys open against the Aints zone coverage.

  18. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Someone asked, what is the deal with Rudolph ?
    Well, he is as slow as a Tampa Airport Taxi.
    IMHO, he was wasted money, as was Gage, as was Hicks, and Brate as well.
    We have spent so much, and got so little.
    I sure hope Beasley will work out ?

  19. Dooley Says:


    Saints were playing a ton of press man, which was why it was so hard for our WR corps to get open or separate. Also, there’s no scheme that safeguards an offense from drops, no-call PIs, and the injury report, but hey 19 years working in the same league, having an offense that have averaged 30ppg since 2019 with two vastly different talents at the QB position means nothing right? Yea he’s just a newbie LOL I guess BA sucks at picking and trusting his assistants.

  20. Oneilbuc Says:

    Kyle Rudolph. Russell Gage Julio Jones. Were all a waste of money!!!

  21. Bucamania Says:

    Vita Vea has been quiet the first two weeks. Time to step it up big man.

  22. Redeemer Says:

    ^ Better these injuries are happening now, then in December. Brady can’t carry an offense by himself anymore. He needs talent around him. We all saw how it looked his last year in New England. His recievers could not separate. Let’s hold off on the generational defense talk until they hold down a good offense. The cowboys sucked even with Dak, and Winston is a turnover machine. The bucs need this game badly. If they lose to KC next week, no biggie. They need to rack up as many conference wins as possible.

  23. Don Eladio Says:

    A big reason why Brady came here was because of Godwin. And he’s available 50% of the time. Hell even the yr before Brady got here both Godwin and evans were out at the same damn time the last 3-4 games of the yr. God damn dude I’m so over it. Is it any wonder that Brady wanted to try his hand with Waddle and Tyreek Hill? *allegedly* Injuries cost the Bucs back to back superbowls and 2 gd games in already we had to go grab Cole Beasley out of the rap studio out of desperation

  24. Jmarkbuc Says:


    A slimy Saint intentionally takes out CG14’s Knee, and you’re over it?

  25. Don Eladio Says:

    Oh right jmark- because that’s totally the only injury that our receivers have experienced. I referenced the fact that this has been going on for yrs now. It is a chronic, year over year issue. We were a complete mash unit against the Rams, thought last yrs nightmare was behind us, and literally 2 games in to a new year our entire unit is out. YES, it is beyond annoying, and yes it has gotten old. I would love for someone to explain to me how players in the 80s and 90s didn’t miss games anywhere near as much – and THOSE guys got the dog shi beat out of them starting with training camp.

  26. Buccobill99 Says:

    Man are we 0-2 or something jeez complain much