Can The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Defense Be Better Than The Seattle Seahawks’ 2012 Defense?
By Leo Howell
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ official website this week, Bucs’ defensive back Danny Gorrer told the reporter he was speaking with that he believes the Buccaneers can be “as good as them, if not better,” when it comes to comparing the Bucs’ D to the Seattle Seahawks, his former team. Gorrer also said that the sky was the limit for the defense, and in particular the defensive backs. And while all this sounds like the kind of positive chatter you’d expect from a guy who is competing to make the roster against an influx of new talent, he makes a pretty reasonable point.
Looking back at the 2012 Seahawks’ defense, one thing that stands out are the physical corners and capable safeties. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are an excellent duo of cornerbacks, and having Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas behind them provides an umbrella for the rest of the defense to operate under. The Buccaneers can have a very similar set up, with an elite corner (Darrelle Revis) opposite a good corner (Eric Wright), and a duo of safeties (Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron) who may wind up being a few steps ahead of the Seahawks 2012 setup.
So in regards to the defensive backs, Gorrer is certainly on track here. Health will play a role in just how good the Buccaneers’ defensive backfield can be, and there are questions still to be answered about the second cornerback position, but at this early stage it’s easy to draw comparisons. How about the rest of the defense?
The Seahawks didn’t have any Pro Bowlers in the front seven, but they did have some impressive performers. Chris Clemons tallied 11.5 sacks with 4 forced fumbles from his defensive end position, something that not even the departing Michael Bennett could match for the Buccaneers. Combine his disruptive nature with Bruce Irvin, the rookie who earned eight sacks of his own as a part-time pass rusher, and we begin to see where the 2013 Buccaneers’ defense must show marked improvement. The talent at defensive back is in place. Now it’s up to Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn to combine for 20 sacks and some forced fumbles to match the Seahawks’ impressive 2012 defensive output. Both Buccaneers’ defensive ends have the talent to combine for that kind of output, especially with Gerald McCoy in the middle of the field to help distract and disrupt.
So Danny Gorrer has a point. The Buccaneers have a similar set of talent on defense as the Seahawks. Now it’s up for the players to realize their talent and perform on a week-to-week basis like the Seahawks did during their impressive run through the 2012 season. Health will be key as well, as 9 of the 11 starters plus the part-time pass rusher Irvin appeared in at least 14 games for the ‘Hawks, providing a level of consistency the Buccaneers didn’t have this past season.
So what do you think, Bucs’ fans? Can Revis, Goldson and company give us the kind of performance the Seahawks’ defense did last year? Let us know in the comments below.