Tampa Bay Buccaneers Midseason Report Card: Grading the 2013 Buccaneers on Offense, Defense, and Coaching
By Leo Howell
Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive Line other than Gerald McCoy: F
Gerald McCoy: A
Notes: I know this is cheating, but McCoy has been one of the best players in the NFL at his position, and his fellow linemates have not been good enough.
McCoy is unblockable and routinely beats double teams on his way up the field against the pass and run. He’s showing that last year was not a fluke, and he’s developing into one of the most feared linemen in football.
But he’s getting absolutely no help.
The defensive ends for the Buccaneers get no pressure on the quarterback at all, and the other defensive tackle spot has occasionally seen a flash of brilliance from Akeem Spence, but has otherwise been mediocre.
Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) gets the crowd pumped up against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Arizona Cardinals defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Notes: Lavonte David is in the discussion for best linebacker in the league so far this season, while Mason Foster and Dekoda Watson are both having the best seasons of their young careers.
In other words, the Buccaneer linebackers are the best positional unit on the team.
David is playing at an All Pro level, while Foster is showing improvements in his game and Watson is making a small but important impact from his strongside position.
Defensive Backs: B
Notes: 100% or not 100%, in zone or in man, no matter the situation: Darrelle Revis is the best corner in football.
Teams still respect Revis and his ability to make a quarterback pay for even the most perfect of passes. His presence has allowed the Buccaneers to shift coverage to other receivers (although not in the same way the Jets did with Revis), and it’s helped them keep opposing passing games in check in almost every contest this year.
There have been some bumps and bruises in recent weeks as a lack of depth at safety has proven to be costly, but the secondary for the Buccaneers has still been very solid.
Special Teams: D
Notes: Michael Koenen is still solid on kickoffs, but nothing else stands out about the special teams this season.
There have been no meaningful plays in the return game, and the coverage units have been shaky. Throw in the lack of faith in Rian Lindell, and it’s easy to see why the special teams don’t get a passing grade.
Notes: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers get outcoached every week, and it becomes especially apparent in the second half of games.
The Buccaneers have surrendered late leads in nearly every game they’ve played this season, as opponents figure out their vanilla offense and blitz-heavy defense.
Greg Schiano has come under a lot of fire for secondary problems that don’t directly relate to him, like MRSA and the Josh Freeman situation.
What he should be under fire for his is lack of game management skills and his inability to put together a 60-minute gameplan to win an NFL football game. He’s yet to win a game that has been decided by three points or fewer, and that’s the sign of a coach who gets beat from the opposing sideline in the second half.