It’s embarrassing. And it’s time for an immediate change.
This 2018 Buccaneers team was heading in the right direction as they started out 2-0. But as I previously pointed out, they played a bad New Orleans team at the time and a Philadelphia team hampered by injuries. Those teams are still winning and this Tampa Bay defense is still terrible.
Their offense was their best defense. Now that has caught up to them in the past two games.
On Sunday, they traveled up to Chicago to face a Bears’ offense that ranked 26th in the NFL and a quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky who has not thrown for over 220 yards before Week 4. In both instances, the Bears looked like the No. 1 offense with the league’s top quarterback against Mike Smith’s defense.
Trubisky threw for 354 yards on 19 completions and six touchdowns with no interceptions. It was a career day for the young Bears quarterback, which is what I feared would happen because it had all the makings of a game where the Bears offense would make the Bucs defense look foolish. Oh, and Chicago also had over 100 yards rushing.
Tampa Bay’s defense has no business being on the field with anyone else. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith has no business calling another defensive play for the Buccaneers. Head coach Dirk Koetter needs to make a decision during the bye week. That decision being removing Smith, his friend, from the coaching staff.
Defensive line coach Brentson Buckner should take over. Players and front office personnel have raved about Buckner’s ability to eventually be a defensive coordinator in this league. We’ve all heard how that will be his next job.
While it may sound like a knee-jerk reaction, it’s the appropriate action.
There was promise of a positive season but as the offense falters, the defense can’t bail them out even if their careers depended on it. Smith once said that his job was to put his players in position to be successful. We have yet to see that.
Heading into the bye week with a 2-2 record is disappointing after starting 2-0. It is an embarrassment to the organization, largely because a Mike Smith defense is an embarrassment.
The time is now. It’s time to replace Smith with Buckner. If 2018 was the year where Koetter’s job was on the line, his own friend isn’t doing him any favors.