LANDOVER MD - DECEMBER 12: Santana Moss #89 of the Washington Redskins eludes Elbert Mack #33 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on December 12 2010 in Landover Maryland. The Redskins lead the Buccaneers at the half 10-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Hey Bucs fans, I am one of the new writers for Bucs Nation. I would like to start off talking about the defense of the Bucs. The defense has improved from near the bottom of the league from 2009 to middle of the pack in 2010. This improvement, however, is not good enough for me and it shouldn’t be good enough for the Bucs organization. We seem to be lacking the key play makers on defense that we have had in the past, such as Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. We still have Ronde Barber, but his age is catching up and soon we will be without the leader of the defense. In the past three drafts, the Buccaneers have spent eight of their 12 top picks on defense. In 2009, we picked 3rd round Roy Miller and 4th round Kyle Moore. In 2010, we picked 1st round Gerald McCoy, 2nd round Brian Price, and 3rd round Myron Lewis. In this year’s draft we spent another top three picks on defense with 1st round Adrian Clayborn, 2nd round Da’Quan Bowers, and 3rd round Mason Foster. These three drafts include two first round picks and two second round picks on defensive players, while only one first and second round pick have been spent on offensive players.
The offensive picks, Josh Freeman and Arrelious Benn, have proved themselves worthy. But our defensive picks have yet to show any impact. This year’s draft class obviously has yet to play, but the other five players have made little impact or have been injured. The Bucs needs play makers on defense in order to compete with the top of the league, but we cannot do so with under performing and injured players. Admittedly, this year the defense was in the top 10 of the league with fewest points scored (19.9), a significant improvement from last year when they were ranked 27th in the league with 25 points allowed a game. But yardage allowed is still lacking, ranking 17th with 332.7 yards per game. Two years ago the Bucs were ranked 9th in the league with 306.1 yards allowed per game If this defense can cut down on yardage allowed, then it will significantly cut down on points allowed as well. With the defense allowing fewer yards it will be able to give Freeman the ball more on offense and everyone knows what Freeman is capable of.
Next season, if it happens, is the time for the defense to step up. The offense carried the team this year and now it is up to the defense to pick up its slack. With a top offense already on the field and what will hopefully be an improved defense the Bucs will be unstoppable.