Don’t Put Anything Past Them

September 21st, 2022

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Take a bow, gentlemen.

The NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense has been on the details relentlessly through two weeks, compensating for a sputtering attack. While Tom Brady is tossing tablets in disgust, Todd Bowles is howling in delight because his marauders just ransacked Dallas and New Orleans on the road.

Now a defensive coaching staff that is operating at peak efficiency is preparing a game plan for Mr. Rodgers, who has been known to sulk when Green Bay struggles.

The back seven of this defense has been so remarkable that even a taskmaster like Bowles has little to quibble about. He can’t even apply his trademark sarcasm with a straight face.

What’s he going to say to tone-setters like Devin White and Lavonte David? Shaq Barrett’s play speaks for itself — loudly. No secondary is playing anywhere close to what the Bucs have put on tape.

Granted, it’s very early, but this defensive coaching staff deserves a dinner at Bern’s, courtesy of Bowles.

Ira talks ball with safeties coach Nick Rapone, among the early 2022 heroes on the coaching staff.

From Kevin Ross (cornerbacks) to Nick Rapone (safeties), from Larry Foote (inside linebackers) to Bob Sanders (outside linebackers), these coaches have maximized the skills of their individual groups.

And isn’t that what coaching is all about?

Everywhere you look in this secondary, you see a predator.

Carlton Davis ranks second to White with 14 tackles, defending two passes and adding a fumble recovery. Jamel Dean, whose pick-6 against Rodgers sparked a comeback win in 2020, intercepted Jameis Winston twice in New Orleans.

Antoine Winfield Jr. has 13 stops, an interception and a sack. When he whiffs on a tackle, you’re stunned. Mike Edwards returned a Winston pick 68 yards for a score at the Superdome.

Like Edwards, Logan Ryan has been credited with 8 tackles. His forced fumble against Mark Ingram was critical in last week’s victory. This defense is doing all the little things right at the moment. That could change Sunday if Aaron Rodgers is on his MVP form, but don’t bet on it.

The collective passer rating for the Cowboys and Saints against the Bucs? Try 54.6. A year ago, opposing quarterbacks posted an 85.6 mark. Tampa Bay leads the league with 10 sacks and opponents are converting third downs at a 25 percent clip.

Those are winning metrics.

As a result, Tampa Bay has forged a huge advantage in field position.

The average drive start for the Bucs is their own 34-1/2 yard line. For opposing teams, the average drive start is their own 22.7. That’s almost a 12-yard bump in favor of the Bucs every time there’s a change of possession.

That’s winning football.

This is the 20th anniversary of that magical 2002 season, when Jon Gruden challenged a great defense to be even greater. Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice responded with a defense for the ages.

Through two weeks, this one ain’t half-bad, either.

The sample size is small and Bowles isn’t contending with many injuries on his side of the ball. Still, there’s enough defensive depth on this team to survive if some starters go down. And don’t forget about the ability of this savvy defensive staff to adapt on a weekly basis.

That 2002 defense dared quarterbacks to throw rather than hand off.

Aaron Rodgers is in for a rough Sunday.

Monte Kiffin’s scheme was exquisite against the pass as Brooks earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The chants of “defense, defense,” will surely ring out at Raymond James Stadium Sunday, drowning out the thousands of Packer fans destined to be in attendance.

Green Bay is a good team and Rodgers is one of the all-time front-runners. When he’s humming, Rodgers is all-world. But when things go awry, he can lose interest in a hurry.

It’s the job of Tampa Bay’s coaching staff to make Rodgers pout.

At this point, I’m not putting anything past ’em.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

Ira Kaufman Talks Defensive Dominance, Running Backs Mysteries, Tom Brady Changes, Short Yardage, And Much More

21 Responses to “Don’t Put Anything Past Them”

  1. CrackWise Says:

    WOW, IRA, dare I say you are laying the wood as good as IF not better than our D right now.

    EXCELLENT write up, we are so blessed to have you here on JBF and in Tampa in genral.

    Thank You Sir!

  2. teacherman777 Says:

    Suh and GMC to replace Hicks.

    Suh on running downs.

    Gerald on passing downs.

    Numbers 92 and 93.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Aaron Rodgers does not play well when he is pressured, so I hope we are able to get pressure on him Sunday.
    Yes, there will be a zillion Cheese Heads there on Sunday, but I have yet to meet a rude Green Bay Fan.
    Edwards is on fire in our Secondary, and we hope to make some more picks Sunday.

  4. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    We are going to go Balls to the walls screaming when our defense is up. Guaranteed that Packers will have to burn a timeout or 2 and some false starts coming !! LFG!!!!!

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    Yes Suh ….no GMC.

  6. Buczilla Says:

    It’s one hell of a lot of fun watching our defense dominate like the old days. I wonder if the weirdos who b!tch about our defensive coaches will come out and play today?

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh yeah…another great read Mr. Kaufman.

  8. CrackWise Says:

    @Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa

    Perhaps you have been lucky or missed out on them being our division rivals BUT I remember talking SO much smack with some ROTTEN Cheese Heads in the old Sombrero.

    I also remember seeing this MASSIVE HUMAN BEING (Packers Fan) get into a fight going for a ball behind the goal post after a field goal. It was so crazy. When the cops came to get him, he started fighting the cops. Threw one of them down the steps and then rolled with a few of them over several rows of bleachers before the got him under control. The entire stadium, maybe 10,000 people in those days? ewwed and awed.

    Second thought, that might have been a Chicago fan.

    None the less, packers’ fans use to be a handful when we were in the same division. BUT I agree, not so much anymore!

  9. BucU Says:

    This is just a fantasy with this team but could you imagine a day when our Super Bowl roster could actually take the field with all or most of our starters?
    Me neither. It’s more likely you’ll run into a real life unicorn on your way home from work today.

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    Stop the run. Our DBs can hang with these receivers. Of course GB is saying the same thing about us.

    Sneak. Play action on 1st down please.

  11. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    The backend looks great, and I see that we lead the league in sacks, but my eye ball test does not see great pressure on the QB or shutting down the run. Little too much hype for me.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Back 7? Not Back 6?

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    “Rodgers: All-Time Front Runner”

    -A Sage Truism

  14. Crack3rK Says:

    Ira said predator and I thought Deshaun Watson.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    I’m not worried about the defense. It’s the crippled offense and Brady’s home problems that are a concern.

  16. Hodad Says:

    Anyone calling for GMC needs to have their head examined

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Truth be told…..with this defense Gabbert & Trask could have won those games…..

    Prefer not to test my theory…….I’m expecting a good defensive performance on Sunday but our offense has to do better…

    Run the ball….throw to backs & TEs…..compensate for the WR weakness….(can’t believe we are weak at WR)

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    74 Bucs Fan … ‘my eye ball test does not see great pressure on the QB or shutting down the run’.

    My ‘eye ball test’ said the same thing, but when you look at the 2-game results maybe our minds are playing tricks on us.

    o 130 def snaps
    o 6 takeaways (4 INTs; 2 FRs)
    o 10 sacks
    o 9 QB hurries
    o 8 QB knockdowns
    o 27 total QB pressures
    o 10 TFLs
    o 12 PDs
    o 3rd/4th down conversions: 9-for-34 (26.5%)

    And yet watching both games I kept getting the impression that opposing QBs were getting too much time to throw. They dropped back to pass 92 times & we pressured them on 27 of those (29.3% pressure rate). That’s fairly consistent with last year. We had 224 QB pressures in 727 dropbacks for a 30.8% pressure rate in 2021. And we had 193 QB pressures in 665 dropbacks for a 29.0% pressure rate in 2020.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    Never thought I’d say this but..its SUH time people. The guys a space eater and teams put 2 linemen on him often freeing up others to rush. I don’t know what kinda cash he’s asking. But Licht can make it happen if he wants to. We are down one of our starting D linemen. Makir it happen Licht. SUH time baby.

  20. Dave in Winter Park, Fla Says:

    Great story as always Ira. Bucs opened (-3 now -1) vs Packers at the Westgate Super Book. Packers have 2 RB’s, AJ Dillon (6’, 247) and Arron Jones (5’9”, 208) are the key for the Packers-Bucs game. Bucs hold the Packers under 100 yards rushing for the game Bucs win, if not, Packers win. Bucs run defense, not Arron Rodgers that’s the real story. Vince Lombardi’s famous quote “Run To Daylight.” The Vegas Wise Guys are all on the Packers, Public all Bucs money, Packers win the game.

  21. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Man I still talk up that 2002 defense. Loved watching those guys play. Watching the saints game Sunday deff brought back some of those memories. We need our defense to show up big Sunday vs karen. If we get another game like the last 2 from our big D watch out NFL