Bucs Secondary Is Just Lousy

December 23rd, 2023

Bucs best corner?

Joe doesn’t know how the franchise possibly has reached a point in history where the Bucs’ best corner might be Zyon McCollum.

But here we are.

Joe isn’t sure what’s happened to Carlton Davis and/or Jamel Dean. Is it usage, injuries?

Simply put, the Bucs’ secondary is getting torched this year. And that’s even with a guy who should be an All-Pro, gamewrecker safety Antoine Winfield.

Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis put out a disturbing piece of information about the Bucs’ pass defense. To Joe, it points straight at the secondary.

Tampa Bay is allowing the most passing plays of 20 or more yards per game (4.2).

That is simply heinous.

Joe can’t blame it all on Ryan Neal, Davis and Dean. These guys are getting little help from Bucs edge rushers.

Thankfully, it appears Bowles has phased out Joe Tryon-Shoyinka out for YaYa Diaby. Last week in Green Bay, Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett finally demonstrated he was still a dangerous man on the roster with a late-game strip-sack of Jordan Love.

But the Bucs have gotten very little edge rush for the past month. Any NFL quarterback will burn a secondary with time to throw.

Joe isn’t sure if the Bucs have to find ways to get out form under the contracts of Davis and Dean and draft replacements or not. There is no question the Bucs need to find someone to play safety alongside Winfield next season, assuming he re-signs.

There is not a whole lot you can do with personnel this time of the year. As former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter used to say about the roster after the trade deadline, “Our guys are our guys.”

45 Responses to “Bucs Secondary Is Just Lousy”

  1. Beeej Says:

    As opposed to the 10 yard cushion and soft zone TB routinely runs, HOW much worse could we be employing press coverage with our corners? Couldn’t help but noticing Atlanta all but erased Evans and Godwin from the game doing just that, and as has been stated before, CD3 and Dean only seem to be good at man

  2. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Really lol lol

  3. kyle Says:

    wow?? cant believe we would be begging for the days of E.J., Lequan, Danny and Alteron!!

  4. Steven007 Says:

    What’s hurting the secondary most is not getting home with four guys. We’re very seldom getting home as the case may be. I think they can probably get rid of one of the big CB contracts. Run with either Davis or Dean along with McCollum. Then both draft another pass rusher and get an established one in free agency. I would bet that would lead to an elimination of this particular stat.

  5. Andrew Fish Says:

    if Dean, Davis, and McCollum are healthy play press man which is their strength and blitz which is our teams strength. Dean is horrible at zone and Davis isn’t great at zone. Every fan knows this.

  6. Steven007 Says:

    * along with drafting another safety or picking up an established one that doesn’t break the bank.

  7. Bojim Says:


  8. Bucsfan951 Says:

    10 yard cushion and zone doesn’t work when you can’t breathe on the qb. Even sending a blitz doesn’t get home, and that is even more trouble! I don’t blame the secondary as much as I blame Todd B. This is why I am not confident in him, at all.

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Where has Markees Watts been? Still learning the system?….LMAO!

  10. dmatt Says:

    Dean is the player I’d let go. I’ve said it since he became starter. He’s passive,fragile,soft, inconsistence,nonaggressive, very stiff, n after 5 yrs in the league plays confused with a lack of field awareness. I’ve recorded several plays of what would’ve been sure ints that hit him in the hands or gut. He get lost on plays that are in motion which he feels the play is over. He does not play with football intelligence. He’s 6’1 201 lbs 4.4 forty of dead weight. Other than the two ints he had in one game last year against the king of throwing ints (JWinston) Dean is an afterthought.

  11. Smashsquatch Says:

    Dean & Davis will hamstring Licht moving forward. He spent too much, and needs to reverse course. Ronde Barber never sniffs the HOF without a dominant line playing in front of him. Spend on the d-line, and the secondary improves.

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    Totally agree with Steven 007 here. If our front 4 would get there, get to the QB a little more, it would help our secondary tremendously. Instead, they are always playing on their heels because our opposition QB usually has time to make subs in the pocket and on the run. We have gotten slightly better in the last couple of games. But our D line has to get to the QB. Stevie Wonder can see that……

  13. PowerOfPewter Says:

    After re-signing Mayfield, Evans, Winfield, and David, the Bucs aren’t going to have much cap space to bring in FAs from outside the organization. Will have to use draft to replace Devin White and improve cornerback position. Keep in mind the Bucs also need to draft interior OLine and DL, not to mention a RB and #3 WR/KR. Licht better nail this draft if the Bucs are going to become better than a .500 team.

  14. NJbucs23 Says:

    Every nfl team secondary is crap. The nfl is designed now to pump the ball downfield and teams play weak zone coverages that anyone can pick apart.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s a combination of weak pass rush and secondary…..let’s face it….Shaq has been ineffective this year……not any help from JTS.
    We blitz but don’t get to the QB……and where are the batted balls?

    Our zone doesn’t work and forget our prevent defense….prevents nothing.

  16. RagingBrisket Says:

    This defense is hard to watch. They seem to always have receivers running wide aas open in every game. It’s not supposed to look like that.

  17. John Sinclear Says:

    Lack of pass rush. Simple as that!

  18. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I can tell you how Joe, Two words:

    Bud Licht

  19. TonySoprano Says:

    It’s a pretty damning indictment on Todd that he employs this soft zone, which is meant to prevent the big plays, yet we’re allowing more than any other team.

    Unfortunately I think it’s a combination of a lousy scheme that Todd refuses to budge from, and 2 corners that got paid and are now putting in the minimal effort.

  20. Buc4evr Says:

    JTS and Hall are still developing. lol. 😂 Not seeing much out of Shaq or White. Other than one play Kancey was getting owned in GB. In the meantime poor Vea is being put in the same position that McCoy was for several years. If you are going run cover two with a soft zone you better have a decent rush. We don’t….

  21. Bucsfan007 Says:

    Joe has been running with this theory for a while but has no proof – does Joe know football or the cb position because McCollum has progressed nicely but he has not been tested at all against top receivers. Davis and Dean have gone through the fire in the years with Brady against top comp – you let these guys go ‘hoping’ McCollum is the one and you end up on the wrong side of deal – Bucs fans always complainin about nothing. Take a look at other CB deals and their availability for other teams – Bucs fans including Joe will get real appreciative – let McCollum enjoy his progression while not having the pressure to be the guy it will help him even more

  22. Joe Says:

    Joe has been running with this theory for a while but has no proof – does Joe know football or the cb position because McCollum has progressed nicely but he has not been tested at all against top receivers.

    When did Joe write that McCollum is the next Patrick Peterson? Joe wrote he may be playing the best of the three corners. ***May be*** playing the best is a far cry from playing like a Pro Bowler. Hell, even Todd Bowles did not discount him starting tomorrow even with Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean healthy.

    Joe is hardly alone in this theory. Even Ian Beckles mentioned it.

  23. SlyPirate Says:

    CDIII and Dean won a Super Bowl against Mahomes and Hill. It ain’t them.

    1. Everyone has figured out Bowles defense. He needs to evolve but can’t.
    2. Zone doesn’t work with man-players.
    3. No pash rush. Suh and JPP are gone. Need more.

  24. Jay Molina Says:

    It is painful to watch how much cushion the cornerbacks give to opposing receivers. Davis and Dean are great press corners, but they’re asked to play off the receivers. They are not playing to their strength and it shows. Maybe it’s because the line is not putting any pressure on the quarterbacks, but there seems to be a lot of open space for underneath routes.

  25. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Carlton Hargreaves and China doll Dean won a SB against a Chiefs team that lost both Tackles, and whose HC’s son maimed a child a week before the game.

    Think about all the tremendous throws that Mahomes made that were dropped too. We could have easily lost that game.

  26. Since76 Says:

    The bucs D Is ranked higher than the bucs O isn’t it. Is the bucs passing game or rushing worse than the secondary. Both maybe?????

  27. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The Bucs have to continue the success of last Sunday. No let up. If they go back to playing scared, they will lose. The Jags’ defense is ranked 27th, so there’s no excuse for not putting up points.

  28. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Jmarkbuc, but we didn’t.

  29. HC Grover Says:

    Poor ole Plan 9. Marooned in orbit.

  30. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    A stud DE to pair with Kalijah might fix a bunch of that problem

  31. Jerseybuc Says:

    The off coverage is a joke. Gives up 8 yards with no effort. They miss Edwards alot he was a ballhawk back there man

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Joe can’t blame it all on Ryan Neal, Davis and Dean. These guys are getting little help from Bucs edge rushers.’

    Actually you CAN blame it all (well, most of it) on Neal, Davis & Dean. Our Front-7 is performing just as well as it has for the past few years in some stats. Right now we have 40 sacks, 75 QB Hits, 75 TFLs with 290 Points Allowed (20.7 PPG) through 14 games. Project that through 17 games & it becomes 49 sacks, 91 QB Hits, 91 TFLs & 352 Points Allowed (20.7 PPG). For the past 4 years those numbers have been …

    o 2022: 45 sacks – 104 QB Hits – 89 TFLs – 358 pts (21.1 PPG)
    o 2021: 47 sacks – 127 QB Hits – 81 TFLs – 353 pts (20.8 PPG)
    o 2020: 48 sacks – 116 QB Hits – 91 TFLs – 355 pts (22.2 PPG)
    o 2019: 47 sacks – 117 QB Hits – 87 TFLs – 449 pts (28.2 PPG)

    Our sacks, TFLs & PPG are right in-line with what we’ve had for the past several years; our QB Hits are down quite a bit though. Implies to me that we’ve not doing enough in terms of pressuring opposing QBs, although if I understand past JBF articles correctly, ‘pressure’ comes in a distant second to sacks (which will probably be a tad better this year).

    Interestingly Davis’ PDs are roughly the same as last year. Dean’s are WAAAAY DOWN, but Winfield’s are WAAAAY UP. Neal has 0 PDs & Izien only has 2 PDs. Overall as a team though we SHOULD end up the year with 68 PDs (extrapolating). That’s better than we did last year (we only had 59 PDs in 2022), but worse than we did in 2021 when we had 85 PDs, and roughly the same as we did in 2020 when we had 70 PDs.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    There’s simply no pass rush way too much of the time. Which would make any secondary look bad, even the legion of boom. Even our blitzes don’t get home most of the time.

    Simple as that.

  34. unbelievable Says:

    @Defense Rules – I think the QB hits number is telling… because that means we probably have less pressures and hurries as well. Gotta get the QB off his mark / make him rush throws, and I think that’s where we are lacking the most. Seems like opposing QBs have way too much time to throw and way too many snaps each game.

  35. unbelievable Says:

    *way to much time to throw ON way too many snaps

  36. Bucsfan007 Says:

    @joe – you didn’t have to say McCollums the next Pat P – but you’re hiding behind the word ‘maybe’. I know every Bucs fan can appreciate McCollum’s progression (the more quality CBs the better) but not enough pressure has been put on him to even consider him as the best out of the 3, it’s disrespectful to the other 2 – 27 is still going through the phase of being battled tested. You & Ian Beckles are jumping the gun – Dean & Davis are quality CBs and as Bucs fans we need to understand the CBs have the MOST pressure on the defense! No normal pass rush from the d-line (always needs to blitz 1 or 2 more guys without hardly any sacks) linebackers are below average in pass coverage except 54, and although Winfield is an All-Star he plays in the box 50% of the time – from someone who watches every snap of the team the CBs have too much pressure in this poorly run scheme. Hope I’ve given perspective to the fans who bash our CBs!

  37. Destinjohnny Says:

    Is it coaching ?
    Or is the person picking the players?

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    Oh, give it a break, you negative aholes. Hey joes, you got any credible reports on tix sales? This is a RARE interstate game. Glazer Boyz got any brains, they will cut tix prices and the stadium will be sold out! We’re talking walk-ups. My feelings id we will win but it will be Cardiac Bucs. Merry Xmas, genuine Bucs fans!! GO MIGHTY BUCS!!!

  39. Darin Says:

    Bad coaching.

  40. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Davis and dean are like the gift that keeps on giving, to the opposition. Just who are those guys working for?

  41. garro Says:

    It is easier for our guys to rush the passer when we can play with a lead. We have not done that much the last two seasons. Helps when none of the front four have to worry about the run game biting them.

    Dean has not been earning his money…Period. Davis has been banged up. Izien has tackled well but has a 76% comp number. Bowles fixing the zone problem will help everyone, including the pass rush.

    I looked at passes defensed numbers last night and we got some guys who ain’t getting it done. Davis, Winfield, and McCollum numbers are good getting hands on footballs! Dean and Izen? not so much although Izien is better.

    If our corners can make a QB hold the ball just a split second longer our sacks will come.

    Go Bucs!

    Lets hope the offensive success last week was not a mirage.

    Go Bucs!

  42. BillyBucco Says:

    Everyone calls Bowles defense complicated and we hear and see miscommunication almost every game, yet there really isn’t a lot of shifting out of what we are showing to run something else post snap.
    This is why even backup QBs still get yards between the 20s on the Bucs.
    They can just go with their 1st read in off coverage on soft zones that don’t confuse the QB at all. Then also if extra time to throw happens, long developing routes hit too. That is not HARD to do for opposing QBs.
    If our defense was complicated, they would be switching to man or vise versa post snap and jumping routes more often.
    Outside of Bakers gift at the 5 and Anthony Nelson running by Love instead of containing, the Bucs played good defense however.
    Yes, Dean and Davis have had subpar years, but they both have the capability of flipping a switch when healthy.
    They DID shut down the Chiefs and no amount of, well they dropped balls will convince me they didn’t. I WATCHED IT. LOL.

    I expect the Jags to throw for 300+, but only score 17 points.
    With a little more offense, this team is 9-5.
    The Jags went 6-2 before their bye week and 2-4 after.
    They beat the Colts twice and Buffalo and Houston all teams we lost to.
    I hooe the REAL BUCS show up for this one.

  43. Paratrooper Buc Says:

    Dean doesn’t have good situational awareness in zone and often makes a mistake then flashes he his big grin that should have the soundtrack of “Oops I did it again” by Britney Spears. Zyon in his first year was too green and aggressive that he would screw up but he learns so I’d drop Dean.

  44. covertwo22 Says:

    It’s not the CB play, it’s the scheme.

  45. Idroolpewter&red Says:

    I’ll tell you how McCollum became the Bucs best corner – too much soft zone coverage. Licht drafted press man coverage corners, and Bowles has them playing soft zone most of the time.