The Buccaneers defense has been a huge liability this season. After Lovie Smith gloated this offseason of how he believes that an elite defense can win you 8 games by itself, Bucs fans made the false assumption that this Buccaneer defense this season could be elite. We were all wrong.
On Sunday, the Buccaneers gave up 48 points which was the 3rd time in the past 4 games that the Bucs defense has given up at least 37 points in a game.
"It starts with us," Lovie Smith said after Sunday's loss. "What you see is what you coach. So for us, we have to do a better job of coaching up what we have. And then, talent-wise, again, it's becoming a habit a little bit now. It's happened too many times, so we do have to make improvements and look at our roster, and any other. We have a week. The good part about it is we have a bye week coming up. We have a little bit of time to see what direction we need to go. But, of course, we need to change course."
What does Lovie Smith mean when he says they need to "change course?" Well, it's not the scheme, if that's what you were thinking.
"Absolutely not. I'll stop you right there," Lovie Smith said. "Absolutely not. We're not changing our scheme. I've been doing this scheme every year I've been in the league. I believe in it. We're not coaching it and we're not playing it as well as we need to. Zero chance we change our scheme."
Lovie Smith talks about the "Tampa 2" as if it were his own child.
As for the players playing the scheme, Lovie had as big a hand in picking those players as he did bringing the "Tampa 2" with him to Tampa. Michael Johnson provides zero pressure, Alterraun Verner is getting beat for a touchdown per game, Clinton McDonald has not been the run stuffer everyone had hoped he'd be, Mike Jenkins is injured, and Major Wright, who's a veteran in this defense, looks lost in coverage. Four of those five players started in today's game and were all brought to Tampa by Lovie Smith.
I do not believe it is fair to blame the scheme alone. Hell, it's working for the Dallas Cowboys under Rod Marinelli, but Rod's not walking into One Buc Place anytime soon. The coaches coaching it are to blame. The players are to blame. The decisions on bringing some of those players to Tampa are to blame.
The unfortunate part is that the Bucs offense and special teams aren't much better.
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