Week 12 just rapped up and we are closing in fast to end of this race with playoff hopes and aspirations still in our hearts and minds. The 2012 Schiano led Buccaneers
has given us plenty to cheer about and lots more to look forward to in the upcoming seasons. Doug Martin
is a stud, David is well on his way and Barron has already established a physical presence on the backend which hasn't been seen since #47 days(some may say #23 though). Yet every great situation must have a achilles heel and thats where thhe secondary comes in. Riddled with injuries and inexperience, the secondary has been the culprit for my losses/ near losses throughout the season. Even though it is such a obvious problem, why is it so hard to correct this blatantly clear issue? Follow me as I take a look at each position on the defense side of the ball as I critique their pros/cons..
: With a bad blend of 1 part veteran and 3 part inexperince/inconsistent, the secondatry is a headache to say the least. We all dream of the days when it was fortified with Ronde Barber
, Brian Kelly
, Dexter Jackson and John Lynch
eliminating any passing attack they faced. Only Barber reamins as he tries to lend leadership and experience to a bunch of journeymen or guys who shouldn't be no higher than 4th on a depth chart. E.J Biggers has been a thron in our side for awhile now and though he is often on the negative sides of plays, he is far from a completly bad player. Never in my football days have I ever seen a player 80% of the time in postion to make a play on the ball but doesn't because he literally has ZERO ball skills. Leonard Johnson
might be the best of the bunch but thats not saying much. Gorrer and L. Lewis are incredibly unproven yet may possess some talent that needs to be tapped. Mark Barron
rounds out the backend with a physical style that surely gives recievers alligator arms across the middle though his pass d needs improvement. Though the secondary lacks significant talent I believe playcalling has alot to due with these numerous miscues.
One MANY plays the defense runs you can see the CB's running a "bail" technique. This this the technique in which upon the ball being hiked the corner turns and runs with the reciever; rather than mirror his moves; basically trying to deny the deep ball. This is often used when expecting a deep ball or if a cornerback knows the player he is guarding his far superior speed wise. Good QB's recognize this and call curl routes, outs, ins and even screens to take advantage of the corner 'running away' from the player. Schiano and/or Sheridan calls this play ALOT during the game. After surrending enough yards with this play, the corners are then instructed to "man up" with a birage of blitzes from the LB's and S positon to hurry the QB up. Except the blitz rarely hits home and then you are left with mediocre players tring to fend the like of Julio and Roddy for excess of 5 seconds+, not even Revis or Bailey could do this.
: Hands down the most improved postion group of the defense. Mason is playing at a very high level and is bringing the thump on some plays, David is one of the tops steals of the draft with his blazing speed and sure tackling..heck, even Black was playing pretty solidly before his injury. All 3 read their keys really well and routinely knife in the backfield to notch a TFL which is evident by us leading the league in this category. This group has rank pretty high on the list of best run stopping LB cores.
But thats just it, they are magnificent against the run but outside of 1 pick by Mason against NYG where is this group against the pass. Pass defense is a group effort and I feel as though this group could do more to contribute. We criticized him for being not "physical enough and soft" but Ruud ALWAYS got to right depth in his zone. Mason somehow can't consistently grasp the concept. David and Black both are two of the fastest LB's in the league and should be sent in a variety/better disguised of blitzes to crash into the QB. Key words is variety/disguised because like the safety blitz I can see it coming from my couch let alone Peyton when he is right on the other side of the line.
: 5 games left and McCoy is healthy?! YIPPY!! (knocking on wood) He has provided the interior push we so desperately needed along with great run penetration on running plays. Miller seems to have grown and settled into his postion quite nicely as well as he is a man eater to allow tacklers to roam free. Bennett is shoing the world why he deserves a payday and Daniel Te'o Nesheimis performing pretty solidly in clayborns absence. These guys are the anchor the #1 ranked run defense and they do a damn good job at it. But where's the pressure?!
Offensive line to QB is like defensive line to secondary, one can't survive without the other. Period. Yes the pass defense is atrocious but they are receiving little help from the 4 men upfront. Bennett is doing it by himself cause McCoy is doing a magic trick and making his self disappear. Double team or not the great ones find a way. Also I feel as though it would behove the Bucs to to invest in a run stopping/pass rushing nose tackle. All of your pass rush shouldn't come from one side of the line. Also keep the defense in a 1 gap rush technique focusing on getting after the opposing QB.
My Solution: Keep it simple. Rush your 4 down linemen straight up field and play 2 man under on the backend with press man. This allows your CBs to get their hands on the reciever with a jam and disrupt timing as your 4 line rush (NOT 3!!!!!!) close in on QB. And if the reciever beats the jam you say? Don't worry its 2 safeties up top staying deeper than the deepest. This playcalling will result in making a offense dink and dunk until the QB gets frustrated and starts to force passes. Works on the same principle as a Cover 2 but without the many holes.
**S/O I honestly believe Schiano and Dom are seriously regretting the Talib trade, for all the headache he was, the migraine compared nothing to the head throb we see on Sundays now. Atleast if he was still here we would only have to worry about one CB position not both on game days. It may be best for us in long run but we will feel this trade for the rest of this season and possibly next. Even if we do draft a corner(s) they will be rookies and have growing pains like most. Rookie sensations are few and far between in these parts..**
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