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Snap counts demonstrate the massive overhaul of the Buccaneers defense

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent much of the offseason overhauling their defense, and Greg Auman just stumbled across a nice tidbit to demonstrate that: five players with significant playing time on

Of those five players, only Danny Lansanah arguably deserved to come back based on their play last year, though Da’Quan Bowers was occasionally useful as a defensive tackle. But there’s a telling statistic here: those five players combined for 1,550 snaps, or one-and-a-half full-time defensive players. Add in the 1,013 snaps of departing defenders Sterling Moore and Bruce Carter, who did find new teams, and the Bucs lost two-and-a-half full-time defenders.

That alone would be a big overhaul for any team, given the amount of time-sharing happening on most defenses, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes should push at least one cornerback to the background, likely Johnthan Banks. And George Johnson is likely to be entirely displaced by Noah Spence, who may even jump ahead of Jacquies Smith by the end of the season.

In all, the Bucs defense should look very, very different this season. That’s a good thing, hopefully, as the team’s defensive performance was lackluster at best under Lovie Smith. The biggest defensive change may have been his firing, but the Bucs have certainly overhauled their personnel as well.