If we don't get a takeway, we don't stop them. - Bucs Safties coach Mykal Smith
Bucs coach Mykall Smith told this to his players in this bucs video.
A couple minutes later he again harped on turnovers. I'm a fan of turnovers as the next guy but if that's your defensive strategy - not to defend a team - not to stop them, but get turnovers or else you're screwed - its no wonder most of these guys are out of position.
Lavonte has said multiple times, "I'm doing what I'm told." Maybe we should listen.
Tampa Bay is tied for 7th in the NFL in takeaways with 15 (6 interceptions, 9 fumble recoveries) and turnovers have likely helped the Bucs get to their 11th overall ranking on defense but let's face it.
If you get two turnovers in a game, that's a good performance. Three or four turnovers forced is a great day. But what about the 60 or more other plays on defense?
We've all been racking our brains trying to understand why this defense isn't working. We've blamed the system, we've blamed the players...perhaps the blame lies with the philosophy.
There's no doubt the Bucs defense has to counter for the turnovers the offense will make under a rookie quarterback (a rookie QB who now has the second longest without an interception streak in the league), and its evident by the Bucs +1 rating in turnover ratio.
But if Coach Mykal Smith is parroting what other coaches are telling their players - we either get a turnover or we can't stop these guys - how is this a mentality that's going to work on defense?
To me, you don't wait for the turnovers to come, turnovers are a product of you doing your job, hitting the other guy hard or making the right keys at the right time (and maybe a little luck thrown in).
If players are trying to overcompensate to force turnovers (ie trying to strip the ball instead of making a tackle or biting on a double move because he's watching the QB's eyes hoping to jump an interception), then its going outside of your job, puts you in bad spots and yes, allows teams to methodically move the football down the field.
With that said, Tampa Bay has forced 2 or more turnovers in four of their eight games this season. They are 3-1 in those games, so in the end perhaps coach Smith is right?