“Underrated” Secondary

August 4th, 2023

He tackles.

Joe was so happy to learn writers Aaron Schatz, Mike Tanier, Thomas Bassinger and the rest of the Football Outsiders gang found a life raft to allow them to inform football fans with quality data, including Bucs intel.

Schatz, the creator of Football Outsiders, sold his outfit maybe a year ago. After this spring’s draft, the new owners decided they didn’t like to play people. Allegedly.

But crafty Schatz kept the rights to the statistical mumbo jumbo he himself developed. So when Football Outsiders went dark this spring, Schatz decided to publish the annual Football Outsiders Almanac under his name using the same stats, and the same gang of writers like Tanier, etc.

Naturally, Joe purchased a copy.

So you’ve likely read all the doom and gloom about the Bucs secondary from learned football people. Evan Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio thinks the Bucs’ secondary is the worst in the NFC South.

Can you imagine?

Well, Schatz and his gang think the opposite, and they use stats to back it up. Scott Spratt, typing for the Aaron Schatz Football Almanac, classified the Tampa Bay secondary as “underrated.”

And they have underrated talent in the secondary — safety Antoine Winfield whiffed on just one attempted tackle in 2022, and cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis had 60% and 53% coverage success rates that ranked 10th and 35th among 86 qualifiers, respectively.

How many times has Joe written that Antoine Winfield Jr. reminds Joe of Rondé Barber because of the way he tackles? It’s because he’s like Tony Gwynn. He rarely whiffs.

Joe guesses many folks are down on the Bucs secondary because they don’t get picks. Well, picks are nice but you know what’s nicer? Corners and safeties covering receivers.

18 Responses to ““Underrated” Secondary”

  1. Tim Says:

    Tony Gwynn was one of my favorite players back in the day. Tim “Rock” Raines and Donny Baseball too.

  2. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I am excited to se what young Ryan Neal has to offer. Neal and Winfield could be in the running for on of the best safety duo in the league.

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    A couple of pretty good UDFA safeties are having a good camp as well.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I think we’ll be fine especially if the pass rush is much improved. Need to start better than we finished last season, though.

  5. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    The Bucs secondary have one big problem.
    That is they have a big failure to communicate in my observation.
    Just look at the last game they played. Busted coverages was the standard.
    Look at it. It’s on YouTube.

  6. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Until this secondary proves it on the field, starting in week 1, it is all blah blah blah.

    Anyone remember THE LAST GAME PLAYED, and Dallas going up and down the field in a home playoff game loss???????

    Prove it on the field boys.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  7. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    It’s more being 28th in giving up passing TD’s, then the being 24th in INT. And those numbers are worse than they appear when you see how weak the schedule was.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    A big problem, as I saw it last year, was the inability to adapt – in the game. Opponents could complete ten short passes in a row (too loose coverage). No excuse for that. It’s poor coaching.

  9. Rocky Dugan Says:

    Lack of experienced quality depth appears to be a concern not the starters. Injuries happen and who can step in and do a decent job remains to be seen.
    McCollum needs to step up big time this year. So far if I read right, he is not lighting it up in training cam.

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    Ryan Neal is a guy Tampa needed. He fills out the secondary and brings confidence and energy.

    Licht, be prepared to pay the man.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Well, IMO the two “problems” the secondary has are:

    1) Staying healthy
    2) Pass rush (lack thereof)

    When Shaq got injured QBs were free to order DoorDash and picnic behind the LOS. I don’t care how good your corners are. If they have to cover for too long, the WR will get open.

    We have talented players. Do we have depth and can we rush the passer.

    The Fanman’s family crest states: “You can never have enough competent DBs”!

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If Neal pans out and #29 or #27 can grab control of the nickel spot then we should be decent. If injuries happen we have zero depth. That is the main reason Dee Delaney has stuck around.

  13. BillyBucco Says:

    We have way better depth this year than last year.
    I noticed the soft coverage a lot last year.
    Way different than the NO game in 2020.
    Need to man up these receivers and play aggressive.
    Pass Rush is the key for sure.
    Just ask Patrick and the Chiefs.

  14. Mosey Christmas Says:

    You have to create turnovers this is not the case. Got rid of ball hawks.

  15. Fred McNeil Says:

    I was concerned about our depth as camp opened. Not so much now. Thanx for the reports.

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    winfield is a bigger bob sanders that can cover lol

    GO BUCS!!!!

  17. unbelievable Says:

    Football Outsiders was the best! Shame what happened to it…

    Hopefully the data continues to get put out, one way or another.

  18. garro Says:

    Bowles leaves his secondary hung out to dry with blitzes from his “best player” Diva White. That was a large part of our pass rush last season less Vea and Nelson.

    The stat geeks don’t actually watch any football from Tampa because we are “small market” and thus irrelevent. Most of it is utter nonsense.

    I will say that the rating from my only favorite talking head Pat Kirwan rates us weak only because of lack of depth. He is not wrong about our depth, because none of our depth pieces have done anything in the NFL. Yet

    Go Bucs!