Bucs Defense Soft On Tight Ends?

September 9th, 2023

Dangerous Vikings weapon.

Jenna Laine can see it now.

The long-time Bucs beat reporter for ESPN has a bad premonition that began last year.

Laine pointed out that in 2022, the Bucs got burned by tight ends and burned regularly. She has a bad feeling this will carry over to tomorrow when the Bucs face the Vikings amid the cries of “Skol” and that damn horn to open the 2023 season.

Laine has a hunch the Bucs will be paying too much attention to All-World Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson and as a result, Vikings stud tight end T.J. Hockenson will mop up the defense.

Bold prediction: Tight end T.J. Hockenson will tie a career-high with two touchdown catches against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers’ defense surrendered nine touchdowns to tight ends during the regular season last year — the fifth-most in the NFL. With Justin Jefferson getting the lion’s share of attention from Todd Bowles and the aggressive nature of that defense, it lends itself to a big day for Hockenson.

That’s an interesting thought process but Joe look backs back at how the Bucs shut down the Chiefs in the 2020 Super Bowl.

Carlton Davis can take care of Jefferson. Joe has faith. In 2020, their last meeting, Davis and the Bucs held Jefferson to 39 yards on four catches.

With Davis defending Jefferson (with help from Ryan Neal), Joe would put Lavonte David on Hockenson with a little help from Antoine Winfield.

That, boys and girls, is how you take out a quality tight end.

25 Responses to “Bucs Defense Soft On Tight Ends?”

  1. Infomeplease Says:

    Your take sounds good to me!! LFG!

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Sounds like a job for LD54 – one of the best pass defending LBers in the league….

    Vikings will probably anticipate that and line their TE up on the strong side (away from LD) most of the game – forcing the Bucs to defend him with a smaller safety or god forbid Devin White….

    Crap – now that I think about it – if White is “covering” Hockenson for even a few plays – Jenna’s nightmarish prediction may well come true….

  3. D-Rok Says:

    Yep, I wouldn’t put Devin on TJ. I like your game-plan, Joe.


  4. Pewter Power Says:

    Even if they devote no attention to Justin Jefferson Devin white gets eaten alive by tight ends every week. david njoku comes to mind

  5. Steven007 Says:

    White can’t cover the tight end. They will have to be open to moving linebackers during those formations or having some other solution. White should spend about 50% of his snaps rushing. Either the quarterback or a run blitz. On second thought, make that 75% of his snaps.

  6. #99 the big fella Says:

    A good pass rush will help…fingers crossed that we keep cousins running for his life!

  7. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Tampa will go into their loved ‘lawnchair 4’ packages where everyone runs wide open, and the Vikings will get 38+ at home. It will be a harbinger of things to come. A foreshadowing if you will for the season as the Bucs will go ‘full on smitty’ from those koetter days gone by.
    As a result, evans will get his thousand way earlier than thought because of coming from behind mode… way behind mode.
    When asked why this is happening team captain David will respond; ‘we just didn’t know we had to pay attention to detail’.

  8. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I think Joe nailed it. Perfect scenario

    When it’s “Jenna vs Joe” I’ll always go with Joe.

  9. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    What I’m saying is the over looks really good here on game 1 at Minnesota.

  10. #99 the big fella Says:

    Bring back the lawn chair, have you ever thought about teaching a positivity class? I am convinced you would be really good at it.

  11. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    99, appreciate your candor man. My brother says the same thing! I’ll tone it down. 😂
    The glass is half full.
    The glass is half full,
    There I feel better already!

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Lawn chair, though I can see the temptation to make this prediction, with the coach in job saving mode and being that defense is his specialty, I don’t see that happening. Offensively will have more concerns likely.

  13. BillyBucco Says:

    So because they scored 9 total TDs Hockenson will have 2 in 1 game?
    Stupid take.
    Not like they gave up 34 TDs to TEs.
    Can it happen, sure, but just another pre-game guess to sound smart after.
    If it doesn’t happen, you simply say they did a good job shutting him down.
    Please let’s just play already.

  14. Joe Says:

    When it’s “Jenna vs Joe” I’ll always go with Joe.

    Thank you. 🙂 But be nice to Jenna.
    “Other Joe” says treat Jenna as you would anyone else (hopefully that’s with some decorum). Absolutely no reason not to.–“Other Joe”

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    my hope is for the Bucs pass rush from the outside to be so stout, that a TE needs to stay in.

    Force a slow release off the line.

  16. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    Lol. Making predictions based on what this team managed to do 3 full years ago when this team literally won the Super Bowl is actually hilarious.

  17. No Mercy Says:

    I also have a premonition TJ Hockenson will have a massive day against us. We’ve already seen that when JJettas is covered, kirk tends to hyper target Hockenson over and over. He’s not afraid to become a checkdown Charlie. Hockenson should get a touchdown and at least 7-8 catches

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The same TJ Hockenson that has 18 TD’s in 4 years? That’s respectable, but hardly dominant. We’ll see.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    To put Hockenson’s stats in perspective, he’s averaged 1 more TD a year in his first 4 years as OJ Howard did in the same time frame.

  20. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Everyone knows offenses are targeting Devin White when he’s in coverage. Maybe Bowles will figure it out too. It’s a legit concern for this defense. I don’t know what the answer is but if you have to scheme to help out White. I would imagine that leaves someone else on an island. But what do I know Bowles thinks Devin White is the bee’s knees.

  21. Paul Says:

    That’s because Devon White is a liability in pass coverage, as well as all other aspects of his game aside from rushing the passer.

  22. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Full agreement w/ the approach. double JJ where possible and LVD#54 keeps Hockenson in check.

    Go Bucs!

  23. ScottyMack Says:

    Well, Joe, I like your reference to how the Bucs shut down the Chiefs in the Superbowl. They, too, had a stud receiver in Hill and the best of all time at tight end, Kelce.

    The reason they were able to obliterate the Chiefs, however, was the pass rush. The Chiefs were missing a lot of talent up front and the Bucs took advantage.

    Like the Chiefs, the Vikings have a very weak O-line. Let’s hope this new, younger Bucs team can put the pressure on Cousins like the 2020 D-line did against Mahomes.

  24. garro Says:

    Jena gets one right!

    Umm this was no secret. Diva White only wants to grandstand and get sacks. Slot corner is a work in progress. Safeties have been of little use. Tackling has been an issue for multiple guys on the back end. Saw tight ends running free or dragging arm tacklers down the field multiple times las year.

    Go Bucs!

  25. Mark A Swygert Says:

    I think the team that rushes the passer best wins this game. I also think Cousins and Mayfield are similar QBs. Cousins is about 2 inches taller, but a little lighter Mayfield moves a little better, but both can get the job done when they are hot or kill you when they are cold. Cousins tends to be cold the more there is at stake. Unfortunately, the stakes in a home opener are just low enough that you are likely to see the best version of Cousins.