An Answer For Slow Defensive Starts

October 5th, 2022

The Tampa Bay defense is on a four-game streak of starting slowly in games.

It’s not a coincidence, and starting cornerback Jamel Dean thinks he’s figured out what’s wrong. Apparently, the Bucs are way too tentative, kind of like a boxer jabbing, moving and waiting for his opponent to strike first.

“I think like for some reason we got a habit of trying to feel people out first, which we shouldn’t be doing because it always costs us points,” Dean said. “It’s like we need to just go out there and just play our game. I don’t know why it’s like that, but it’s almost like a habit that we can’t break for some reason. So it’s more of just we’re feeling guys out, see what they’re gameplan is and then once we figure out the gameplan, now it’s like, ‘Ok, this is what they want to do with us,’ instead of just being us and also figuring out what they want to do.”

Joe is not one of those people hung up on the defense’s slow starts. The Bucs defense was lights out in Weeks 1 through 3 after the opening drive. Sunday night was a different story.

Still, Dean is correct. It needs to be fixed. Spotting points in the NFL is dangerous territory.

32 Responses to “An Answer For Slow Defensive Starts”

  1. Kansas95Bucs Says:

    Am I being blocked?

  2. Redeemer Says:

    Sounds like an advanced scouting problem. Bowles should already know how offenses will attack them. Time to get some red jerseys on a film crew alla Belichick, and get those signals taped!!!

  3. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    Pounding the dirty birds will bring some level of closure to the ugliness of last week’s defensive showing!

  4. Bob in valrico Says:

    Good that he has been thinking about how to change it. two things come to mind.
    The offense is also starting slow so we are not matching scores. Could be playoff
    Lenny is still injured or he is wearing down. The other thing is we were not ready for the balanced attack K.C. had. it was too easy for them to run on us. Both their backs were effectively getting past the D line.

  5. SB Says:

    kudos to Dean. Telling the truth could get you in trouble tho.

  6. firethecannons Says:

    Chiefs were on fire, they could not wait to play this game and beat the sh out of the Bucs. Their offensive line was dominant. Our guys were tired and not motivated against the Chiefs, our guys were not wanting a hard battle so they lost. Also momentum has alot to do with it and Rachad white is responsible for this outcome also.

  7. Z31 Says:

    Kansas95Bucs Says:
    “Am I being blocked?”


  8. Coburn Says:

    That’s exactly what it is. Even in the couple of games we played in the receivea faces we didn’t start until he game that way. First drive at least for first couple of games we were playing a ton of off coverage. After being scored in we switched to tighter at the snap. Was one thing I picked up on in the first couple of games

  9. captivajim Says:

    Chiefs were fired up -thanx Shaq ..

    But maybe , Dean is right & that should Not be difficult to correct….

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    The defense emulates its leadership. Todd Bowels, what are you going to do about it? History would suggest, you’ll say some stuff, and not change anything. You won’t get different results. Let’s the soft band of talented underachievers go out there and pridelessly lose your 4th home game in a row.

  11. Carl L Says:

    Our defense is looking for safe angles. Most of our defense does this to start every game then some more. Some of our defense guys play the whole game this way.

  12. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Refreshing to hear instead of the annual claim of “communication issues”

  13. steele Says:

    Let’s applaud Dean for telling the truth. His statement is telling.

    Why doesn’t Bowles already have the team prepared and ready? They should not only already have the opposing team’s game plan, but their own game plan on how to stop them—and IMPOSE, DICTATE and ATTACK the other team.

    Collectively “feeling things out”, “figuring things out” with the game already underway is a recipe for disaster. Exactly what happened in two consecutive games.

    This is a Bowles disaster. That he had better get hold up immediately. Does he have what it takes to lead and motivate this entire team, every individual, to do their jobs?

    Or is this the way it is? It feels very much like the collective disarray that led to losing the playoff game vs. the Rams, carried forward.

  14. Kody Says:

    >We’ll wait till the other team scores
    >Then try to figure out why they scored
    >And then try to make adjustments

    Makes perfect sense to me

  15. Bucsfan13 Says:

    This team does feel like it’s lacking real veteran leadership on defense. Lavonte is laid back. Vea is soft, and White is an annoying loud mouth. I’m still in shock that Shaq ran his mouth and gave the Chiefs bulletin board material. This defense was arrogant and I’m happy they got knocked down a peg. Absolutely embarrassed on National TV. I remember I watched a doc with Brady and he was so pissed off that the Patriots lost to Carolina. He was venting to Josh McDaniels and he said the team thought they could just roll their helmets on the field and the other team would just bow to them. He was disgusted.

  16. PassingThru Says:

    Yeah, the D started slow. And finished slow. And played slow in the middle too.

  17. BucU Says:

    These continuing home losses are straight up unacceptable. This team isn’t prepared. Fix it NOW. 3 in a row and counting.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Jamel Dean … ‘So it’s more of just we’re feeling guys out, see what they’re gameplan is and then once we figure out the gameplan, now it’s like, ‘Ok, this is what they want to do with us,’ instead of just being us and also figuring out what they want to do.’

    First I’ve gotta ask ya Joe: Why does Jamel Dean all of a sudden look like Lavonte David’s twin in that photo?

    Dean’s more than likely correct, but it really doesn’t matter in the case of the Chiefs game. The Chiefs built their game plan on the blueprint the Packers developed for beating us, and Mahomes & the Chiefs executed it to perfection. It really was as simple as that.

    o Drive 1: Chiefs got the ball on our 21-yard-line. They attacked our MIDDLE immediately … CEH run up the MIDDLE (5 yds) followed by Mahomes short pass in the MIDDLE to Kelce (16 yds). Touchdown! Nothing to figure out there.

    o Drive 2: Chiefs started on their own 21-yard-line after our FG. First play? Mahomes short pass in MIDDLE to Kelce for 12 yds. Then Mahomes got us running side-to-side with short passes right, left, left, right, right, left (that one to Kelce for 13 yds). Then a run to the left (8 yds), short pass middle (1 yd) to set up a 3rd-and-1 on our 32-yd-line. Result? CEH run up the MIDDLE for 20 yds. Mahomes then scrambles around left end for 9 yds to the 3-yd-line, followed by CEH up the MIDDLE for 3 yds. Touchdown!

    Could keep going but the pattern is similar. Chiefs had us scrambling all over the field with their surgical mixture of runs & short passes, but the biggest damage was done in the MIDDLE, with both runs & passes. They gained 45 yds rushing on those 2 drives; 28 on 3 runs up the MIDDLE, and 17 on 2 runs to the left. They gained 55 yds passing on those 2 drives; 29 yds on 3 short passes in the MIDDLE, 4 yds on 1 short pass to the left & 22 yds on 3 short passes to the right (plus 2 incomplete passes to the left).

    Our weakness that game was primarily in the MIDDLE, running & passing. My guess is that the Chiefs focused on running Vea out of gas, then exploiting the MIDDLE. He got too many def snaps too quickly is my guess (he got 57 def snaps … 71%), and his sub (RNR) was ineffective (1 tackle in 43 def snaps … 54%)). Mahomes also threw to Kelce 5 times (4 complete for 43 yards) on those 2 drives; we apparently had no one shadowing him (like we did in the 2020 SB?). Just a hypothesis though.

  19. Bobby M. Says:

    Brady tends to do the same…..once he recognizes what the defense is attempting, he then dices the strategy up by exploiting the holes in the defense. Maybe our defense is simply taking on a similar mindset because that seems to work well for the GOAT.

  20. Chris l Says:

    I don’t think this is as big of an issue being made. Aside from the chiefs game if you hold teams to field goals that’s a win. Red zone efficiency and turnovers . Those are the key stats to win any game

  21. Hodad Says:

    Simply playing to soft to start the game. Have to come out throwing punches instead of doing the rope, a dope. Offense too needs to come out attacking. Slow starts have been a problem with this team going back. Sunday would be a good time to change that.

  22. m Says:

    you could see Mahomes staring at Kelce and yelling at him in the huddle. every time the play went to Kelce. they should have doubled him. can’t believe we could see that on tv and the bucs d could not. it was like the Kupp bomb at the end of the Rams game maybe Bowls is not a defensive genius. someone could have stepped in front of a pass for Kelce. Mahomes was on fire! the whole chiefs team was jacked way up. we did not meet there intensity.

  23. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    PassingThru, I think you nailed it. Great summation

  24. Bucamania Says:

    That is absolutely how it feels. This defense should be dictating the game to the defense not trying to figure them out after a couple drives.

  25. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    Have a feeling the D gonna play angry as heck on Sunday. No way this teams starts off 0-3 at home

  26. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey DR, one more factor you’re missing: Hurricane Ian. Bucs O was already crippled going into this one, and Brady and wifey are headed for divorce. Bucs could not practice in Tampa. They had to go to Miami. They weren’t sure where the game would be played. Nashville? Miami? Walk in their shoes mentally. KC didn’t have that climate problem. Plus, I HATE these games played in Europe!! They have their own brand of football, and it ain’t ours.

  27. Kansas95Bucs Says:

    Disregard my first comment, for some reason my comments wasn’t showing for the last few weeks

  28. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    We lost our only DOGS on D – that is our problem imo. Suh and JPP.

  29. Freeze Says:

    I finally realized when Lovie said Tennessee ready he meant he had tickets to Dollywood

  30. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Dean has been the best defensive player on the team!! 2 or 3 picks and I don’t recall much, if any, blown coverages!! You didn’t even hear his name against the Chiefs and that’s usually because he’s shutting down his side of the field … He also made some great tackles!! Dude is on his way to being a leader himself and one of the best in the league!! It’s the small shifty guys that kill Dean! Like Hill

  31. Oxycondoms Says:

    Game in germany and Thursday night game seem like good games to bet against bucs if preparation woes are real

  32. garro Says:

    I miss JPP lighting people up on the sidline. Like it or not it got peoples as in gear!