Thats when Raheem Morris made the decision, and replaced Jim Bates as defensive coordinator. Bates should not be punished for his system which is proven to work....when it has the right personnel. But here in Tampa, there is a defense named after us, and Raheem knows how to run it.
So keep in mind grades, for the most part, will be refering to Defense AB. After Bates.
Defensive Line: F
For the second year in a row, the leading sacker has 7 takedowns. That is simply unacceptable, and Jon Gruden was criticized when he pointed out the lack of pressure in 2006 and 2007 when this problem started. Tampa Bay, despite the change to Tampa Two, gives up a ton of yardage on the ground still. There were some small signs of promise, such as draftee Roy Miller and little heard of Kyle Moore. Tim Crowder and Jimmy Wilkerson along with Stylez G White (Sack leader) are depth potential for the next few years.
Future: A dominant Warren Sapp like Defensive Tackle who can play the three technique is a must, and Suh AND McCoy both fit that bill. The draft is deep at D Linemen. Expect 3 to get drafted out of ten picks.
Barrett Ruud finished 3rd in the league in tackles, though some say most of the tackles were 6 yards down from the line of scrimmage. One guy to really come on in the change is Geno Hayes. He has been flying around and playing great in the T2. Quincy Black will grade the lowest, but he is a first year starter, and shows potential.
Future: Free Agent Cromwell from Buffalo never got a chance as he went on IR as the season started. Of all the defense, linebacker is probably the most stable, and its coached that way by Joe Barry.
Secondary: B- Only Sabby Piscitelli pulls down the grade on a whole. Ronde Barber deserves credit for making Jim Bates defense look not so bad. Barber still played with reckless abandon. When Aqib Talib's name is mentioned (He gets an A- btw) he is one of the best defensive players on the team, and in the NFL. Pro Bowls are in Talib's future. Elbert Mack gets a D+, but he is young, and will learn and provide depth. Tanard Jackson is super solid at Safety. Sabby Piscitelli gets an F+, with a plus for effort. He cannot do many of the things he is asked to do.
Future: This position needs to be addressed in the future, but is not in the top 3 other than a new safety. Should Suh and McCoy be taken and no other D lineman meets the Bucs criteria, expect Berry from Tennessee to become a Buc. Monte Kiffin all but told the Bucs if they draft 1st Berry would be worth it.
Punter: D+ Josh Bidwell should come back from IR and reclaim his old position. TY very much backups, Dirk Johnson watch out for BucWild on your way out of town...he is still smoking from the ears when your name comes up.