The Best Defense?

September 20th, 2022


Joe is driving this bandwagon for the Bucs defense and doesn’t want to get off.

Joe had a hunch before the season began that the defense would be stout and allow the offense time to iron out the wrinkles, and the Bucs would be a better team down the road as a result.

But 13 points through two games on the road? That’s a helluva way to start a season.

Albert Breer of thinks like Joe, that the defense will buy the Bucs time to get healthy both on the offensive line and at receiver.

In the meantime, man, that defense!

And after seeing his own through tractor-pull wins in Dallas and New Orleans to start this season, [Jamel] Dean says, “We’re starting to realize what we’re capable of doing. It’s like, Why can’t we do this every game? Now we basically just set the standard for ourselves, so we gotta keep playing at that standard and nothing less.”

Does Tampa Bay, at this point, have the NFL’s best defense?

“We have the potential of being that,” Dean told me.

Could the Bucs have the best defense in the league? Well, two games is a bit premature call it that. If the Bucs stop whiney Aaron Rodgers on Sunday — Rodgers’ record in warm weather games is awful and the high for Sunday is expected to be sunny and 89 — and Pat Mahomes doesn’t go bonkers in two weeks, then Joe believes the chatter for top defense will be warranted.

In the meantime, lay back and enjoy.

54 Responses to “The Best Defense?”

  1. John Sinclear Says:

    They better hang tough. That high-powered offense that “keeps defensive coordinators up all night” is only scoring ONE TD per game!! Keep this up and the only way to go to the Super Bowl is to buy tickets!!

  2. Dooley Says:

    I haven’t even checked the rankings, but I can say two games in we’re top 3-5 in all the defensive categories that count most. Something like 10 sacks, 7-8 turnovers, good amount of pressures and QB hits in 2 games. Now the goal should be to sustain and improve where we can, this can be a championship defense.

  3. Bucanero Says:

    If this D carries the Bucs through NOLA, GB and KC again(!) there has to be a gravediggers monument @1BucPlace.

  4. Dom Says:

    These next two games are going to really dictate how special of a regular season we can have. I’d be content going 1-1 here but If we make it out 4-0 we should be able to rattle off another 3 wins vs the Falcons, Steelers, and Panthers. Could be 7-0 before a tough two game stretch vs the Ravens and Rams at home.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe is driving this bandwagon for the Bucs defense and doesn’t want to get off.’

    When it comes to hopping on the bandwagon, better late than never Joe. And yes, you can drive it if that makes you happy.

    And BTW, lots of folks predicted that the Bucs’ offense would be scoring in the 30-35 PPG range this year (some predicted even higher). Others of us predicted that the Bucs’ offense would be considerably less than that for various reasons. I’m thinking now that I may have been too overly optimistic in anticipating a 25-27 PPG average.

    Anyone want to revise their predictions yet?

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Packers are definitely going to try to run against us…..early & often…..we need to shut that down & then pressure Rodgers…..

  7. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Looking back at this franchise since ‘76
    You have to like the tradition of good D in 3 separate eras, albeit with a lot of losing in between

    1. ‘78-‘81 ish, Joe u don’t pay enough homage to what John McKay built in 3 short years, McKay had The man Lee Roy and a bunch of Publix grocery bag boys literally , they were dominant for a few years

    2. The very special D of Sapp, Brooks and Co. speaks for itself and is the standard and one of the best defenses in NFL history

    3. This Bowles group. Heard Devin being asked recently if this D compares to the Kiffin era. I liked his answer as he said we have the talent to potentially be that good, but have to go prove it

    Long way to go folks but I like the start
    Go Bucs

  8. Mr. Editor Says:

    The defensive line is critical. Are there any updates on Akiem Hicks’s injury? The Aints opened up some running lanes by doubling and scheming against Vea. I’m sure that our opponents are looking at that tape.

    Turnovers will also be key. How many of those Aints turnovers happened in the red zone? More than that, Bowles should issue a challenge to the defense to score points, much like Gruden did in 2002. By my count, the Bucs are undefeated when Mike Edwards scores.

  9. Ash Says:

    Think the injuries are hindering the offense more than anything bucs are not going to be world beaters with miller and perriman. Once they get healthy again it will resemble more of what fans are used to seeing.

  10. Pancake block Says:

    I remember at least 3 or 4 open field tackles by AW 31 on the running back that if he misses, it goes to the house.
    Let’s just pump the brakes on best defense ever.

  11. kyle Says:

    i was hoping to go 2-2 through the first 4 game gauntlet. It would be great to win 1 out of these next 2?? Im thinking the Packers game is their chance. Offense may not be ready yet to go toe to toe with the chiefs this early in the season.

  12. SB~LV Says:

    Stupid to even think like that after 2 games!

  13. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    It has to help having training camp against our offense. I think the offense starts coming around as they get healthy. I still think we are the best team in football and we go 17-0 this season and win it all for Brady’s farewell tour. Perfect ending for the greatest of all time.

  14. Beeej Says:

    I remember when the schedule came out, the general consensus was if we got out of the first four with two wins we’d be doing okay. Well, we’ve already done that

  15. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    He’s awful in cold games too when the super bowl is on the line!! Lol … The Bucs are one of those teams that just have Green Bays number! The Bucs have trouble with the saints, the Patriots even with Brady have trouble with the dolphins even when the dolphins were horrible they always played the Patriots well … They have Green Bays number and they match up perfectly against the Packers offense!! … I think they’ll blow them out again … Green Bay will look good on the first drive or two then it’ll start to break down for them…. Bucs 24 – Packers 17

  16. #8 Says:


  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s little to complain about through two games. However, I will say that I haven’t seen much out of Hicks yet and our rushing defense has allowed some pretty big runs. Nit-picking, I know!

  18. Architek Says:

    Go negotiate and sign Suh please and thanks!

  19. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    There’s little to complain about through two games. However, I will say that I haven’t seen much out of Hicks yet and our rushing defense has allowed some pretty big runs. Nit-picking, I know!


    It’s not nitpicking, man. It’s problematic. I’m shocked the Cowboys or Saints didn’t take better advantage of it, because the running game was there for them. The Packers are bringing in quite possibly the best RB combo in the league. I think the Packers will try to jam it down our throats.

  20. BucsFan Says:

    Even though the defense looks solid overall we have not exactly played against top tier offenses yet. I am still baffled as to why they contintue to play Devin White in coverage so much, he is a much better pass rusher than coverage LB and I think the Bucs are wasting his talent by not having him play more of a Micah Parsons type role. Having him “blitz” isn’t the same as lining up as a pass rusher and going after the QB. Kick JTS inside on pass downs and have White come off the edge on obvious passing situation and watch White rack up the sacks.

  21. GABucsBall Says:

    We haven’t played a good offense with a real QB yet. I love what I see, but I’m betting Green Bay will expose some issues we have in the run game.

  22. Elita Vita Says:

    No Hicks
    # Suh

  23. orlbucfan Says:

    The 1979 defense was more than Lee Roy Selmon (RIP/HOF). They had guys like his brother Dewey. The DBs were top players like Mark Cotney and Mike Washington. I saw them play at Tampa Stadium. They are the reason Bucs made it to the playoffs in 4 years. This 2022 Bowles defense is looking like something similar to Dungy’s championship squad. I hope they can stay healthy cos I want to see them fully develop.

  24. Beeej Says:

    Pewter report has a very damning video analysis of why the Bucs didn’t re-sign Suh (at least at the rate he’s demanding)

  25. sasquatch Says:

    The performance thus far has been good to see, but let’s remember they faced Dak Prescott’s no-name backup and Jay-Miss. I hope they can keep up the performance against Aaron Rodgers. Another area of concern is that opponents are averaging about 5 yards per carry on the ground, which isn’t dominating. I hope they can continue to pile up sacks.

    I’m gonna wait a few more weeks before anointing this a great defense.

  26. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe! What is the status of Akeem Hicks’s foot injury?

  27. Jonny Says:

    Our defense goes as Shaq Barrett goes. This was true in 2019, in 2020 during the playoffs when Barrett started to explode, in 2021 when he regressed (and so did our defense) and now in 2022 where he’s starting to dominate again. Everyone else, especially Devin White, is a product of Shaq Barrett ‘s dominance. He is undoubtedly the best player of our defense and has been playing like it this season. LVD would be the second.

  28. Goatfarmer Says:

    sad – Bucs put Dak out in the 4th. Cooper Rush is the QB that just led the Cows to a W on Sunday. He’s the grandson of a friend of mine.

    Suh for $3 million.

    Suh is better than Hicks who even when healthy was invisible.


  29. CrackWise Says:

    Defense Rules

    Nope, my prediction is right on schedule. Granted, ME getting suspended throws a monkey wrench in on what I expected from him. ALTHOUGH he is still a big reason for the first two WINS

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … I’ve asked multiple times for ANYONE to tell us exactly how much Suh is asking, and thus far no one has answered. Probably for good reason: none of US know the answer.

    What we DO KNOW is that Suh is making $6.8 mil THIS SEASON from the Bucs for NOT playing (ie, compensation from years past). We also know that the Bucs currently have $6.8 mil in salary CAP space currently available.

    I have zero idea how much Suh is willing to play for this season. But it seems to me that we’ve used a LOT of shall we say ‘creative salary CAP management’ to create the team that we’re currently fielding. Got a hunch we could do the same for Suh to get him back in the fold. No idea how long Hicks will be out (this time), but I’d feel a LOT more confident if we had Vea, Hicks AND Suh on our roster to man our interior DLine.

  31. CrackWise Says:


    The status of Hicks is HURT. He will be a game time decision. Just like everyone else who is hurt.

  32. geno711 Says:

    It seems apparent to me that we are willing to give up more rush yards this season to control the passing game better.

    The ultimate test though is that we are giving up less points. This sure feels like a top 5 defense to me. And I don’t care how we get there. Don’t give up a lot of points.

    Fans are nitpicking the rush defense stats. Our 173 yards allowed rushing are 10th best in the league after 2 weeks. If our Achilles heel on defense is something we are still in the top 1/3, so be it.

    I do believe the way we are set up right now that the Green Bay rush offense may be more a problem for us then the Kansas City pass offense.

  33. Craig Says:

    If Devin White could figure out how to actually tackle a running back it would help a lot.

    Behind him is only Winfield and he isn’t going to be there all of the time.

  34. CrackWise Says:



    Bend DONT BREAK!!! Its a real thing 🙂

  35. CrackWise Says:

    The reason Todd is the Head Coach and BA is his side kick.


    The D will be ready to attack!!!

  36. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Cedric Brown bad ass free safety
    Richard “Batman” Wood
    Dave Logan
    Cecil Johnson

    Orlbuc I guess you are right
    But is sure felt like we didn’t have any good players, which is why ‘79 Bucs were good

  37. LakelandSteve Says:

    I am not hopping on the great defense train just yet. After the Packers and the Chiefs then we will see. If the Bucs defense locks them up then we can definitely start talking about one of the best defenses. My old Pappy always used to tell me your never as good as you look or as bad as you look.

  38. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Thanks for the shoutout orlbucsfan. Danny Reece scored the first TD in franchise history on a Bert Jones fumble recovery. Batman Wood was real deal too.

  39. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Dave Pear .. One fist salute.

  40. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    The first Pro Bowl defender for the Bucs was Dave Pear – a straight up beast. Please do not quote rushing yards allowed as if it is a GOOD stat when both of the first two opponents had completely abandoned the RUN for the whole 4th quarter. Use your eyes-what did you see? I saw our Dline being pushed backwards when the games were close and giving up 10 yard runs left right and center. The game plan is to LET them run?? That is so counter intuitive to everything Todd has said for years- which is to shut down the run-put the offense in 2nd and 3rd and LONG-so please stop with this nonsensical garbage that we are LETTING anyone run the ball. SIGN SUH NOW-IT IS OBVIOUS YOU NEED HIM,

  41. Jeff Says:

    They don’t have the pass rush to be the leagues best defense. Top 5 at the moment. Very capable and serviceable defense for sure.

  42. Bucsfan13 Says:

    To all the casual fans who were expecting some high-powered offense, please explain your position. Have any of you looked at the actual roster construction? Not to mention we have a defensive minded coach who obviously sent the directive to Leftwich that he wanted a more ball control offense. I’m so sick of you whiny fans complaining about an offense that obviously is in a work in progress. You guys did the same thing in 2020. We had a new QB who was learning a new offense and a shortened off-season, and you guys expected perfection from the start. We found out the QB played with a turn MCL tear the entire season. It takes time to gel. We need players to get healthy.

  43. Beeej Says:

    The two times I’ve seen mentioned that Suh was talking to specific teams the number mentioned was $8-$9 million

  44. Redeemer Says:

    The rankings after two weeks mean nothing. The cowboys are inept even with Dak, and the Saints aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. I don’t think this week will tell us much either. Rodgers is throwing to rookies. I expect another low scoring affair from both teams. If they play this way against the Chiefs, then it’s for real.

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … I’ve seen that $8-$9 mil also, but have assumed the authors were just guessing based on what Suh made these last 2 years ($9 mil last year & $8 mil in 2020).

    That $8.5 mil average equates to $500,000 a game on a 17-game season. So sign him for that (literally a per game salary), with the option to cut him any time & re-sign him at any time. Slide some of that salary CAP impact to next year (we’re already taking a $6.8 mil CAP hit for him, so it’d be easy to slide some to next year IF he’s under contract). See, creative salary CAP management (but I’m sure they’ve got much more creative ways of making it happen).

  46. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Shut down GB and I’ll jump on the band wagon.

  47. Beeej Says:

    I also figure $8-$9 million is a reasonable salary for a starting D tackle

  48. BucsFan Says:

    After a quick review of snap counts on PFF one thing that is glaringly different this year than last year is Sean Murphy Bunting hasn’t played a single snap. After being by far the worst pass defender in our secondary last year giving up a passer rating of 121.3 and 942 passing yards. Based on the numbers Logan Ryan has been inserted into the lineup in nickel situations. I assume he pops up to Safety and Edwards comes down to play the actual nickel back. Haven’t really paid attention while watching the game. But Edwards has an elite PFF rating through 2 games this year at 90.3 by far the best on the defensive side of the ball.

  49. steele Says:

    Don’t even start proclaiming “best” anything just two weeks in.

    Hicks is already hurt. JTS still doesn’t get to the QB. Shaq has been quiet, and “pressures” isn’t good enough. The D so far has been held up by the secondary (thank you Logan Ryan) and the LBs, but DL isn’t great. I’m concerned about this upcoming game, with so many injuries. They are still a couple of bodies short, especially if Hicks can’t stay on the field, and Vea is always a ding away from going out.

  50. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Hugh Green OLB 53

    F iNG stud
    I was only 9-10 yrs old but damn that Bucs run was awesome

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    We’ll know at the end of the KC game if this defense has leveled up this offseason, or if we’ve just been playing offenses that have been out of sync.

    But the Bucs DOMINATE Aaron Rodgers, historically, so if that keeps up, people will really be buzzing. But the actual test will be vs the Chiefs, if they can handle Rodgers and Mahomes, in back to back weeks, you’re going to be very happy.

  52. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey you all, thanks for the great memories. You bet I remember Batman Wood, Dave Pear, and David Logan. JBF know I’m a Bucs Radio nut, and I have fond memories of Logan on those broadcasts. It was a very bad shock when he suddenly died in the off-season. Now, I don’t think Suh is worth 8-9$M. Give the defense a break. With ME13 being suspended (and why ain’t Lattimore), they’ve got something to play for even if half the offense feels like it’s on IR.

  53. brooks Says:

    Nice points all well said. Gb and KC are the test. Need to keep everything in front of us.

  54. Carl L Says:

    This defense looks really very good. Gonna be fun to watch their twist and turns all the way to the super bowl. Guess who’s gonna be leading them.