Following the 2016 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers have quite a few new faces on the defensive side of the ball. So how is defensive coordinatorMike Smith
planning to use everyone?
More from Bucs News
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
- Todd Bowles admits he only looks at three things on Bucs schedule
In one of the deepest defensive tackle drafts in recent memory, the Buccaneers came away with exactly zero new players at the position. That came as quite a surprise to most people, especially given that they traded up to get a kicker. Defensive tackle was a position in need of some major upgrading, yet the Bucs seem content with Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence, and William Gholston rotating in and out alongside Gerald McCoy. But what if addressing defensive tackle wasn’t really part of the plan all along?
I am beginning to believe Mike Smith will run far more 3-4 looks than has been led to believe. With the additions of Robert Ayers and second round pick Noah Spence, the Bucs seem poised to be able to run this set with far more ease than in years past. Ayers can play inside or on the edge, so he may be rotating that way on passing downs with Spence and Jacquies Smith on the edges, but what about this; The Bucs could put Clinton McDonald at nose with McCoy and Ayers on the edges, allowing Spence and Lavonte David to line up out outside linebacker with Kwon Alexander and Daryl Smith on the insides. This gives Mike Smith some versatility to run some exotic blitz schemes with his speed at linebacker while still having Brent Grimes, Johnthan Banks, and rookie Vernon Hargreaves in coverage.
They could even run a single safety in passing downs with Bradley McDougald or fourth-round pick Ryan Smith as the lone safety and put Alterraun Verner on the field as a fourth corner. There are some very interesting, and intriguing combinations that can be pieced together in a 3-4 look for this team that many are overlooking simply because the Bucs have always been a 4-3 team.
Dirk Koetter wanted to bring Mike Smith on board as defensive coordinator for a reason. I, for one, can’t wait to see what kind of alignments Smith comes up with to utilize the speed and talent of this defense. Things are certainly going to look different than they did under Lovie Smith and the Bucs are going to want the best eleven players on the defensive side of the ball at all times. How Smith pieces that together has yet to be seen, but it’s certainly exciting to speculate on for the time being.
How do you think this current Bucs roster will fare in 3-4 looks this season? Let us know in the comment section!