The Buccaneers secondary is horrible. They went out this offseason and acquired Brent Grimes, an aging but reliable corner, and drafted Vernon Hargreaves, who looks like a rookie.
The Buccaneers had multiple opportunities to sign a safety to help on the back end and they went against better judgement and went with the guys they had. The Bucs just got burnt by the LA Rams and face a much better offense in the Denver Broncos this week.
Last week we talked about the Buccaneers player that needs to wake up and I said Lavonte David. He woke up this week and had a great game against the Rams. However the entire secondary appears to still be hibernating for almost three whole years now. The secondary still has yet to force a turnover. After facing two upper tier quarterbacks they had trouble again against the Rams and Case Keenum. After giving up 816 passing yards in three weeks and multiple big plays they have to step up to stop the Denver offense this weekend and offensive player of the week Trevor Siemian.
Siemian had 312 yards and four touchdowns in his first career road game against a strong defense in the Cincinnati Bengals and should have a field day against the week Buccaneers secondary. The Broncos also have a much better offense than the Rams and they can utilize Demaryius Thomas‘ height or Emmanuel Sanders‘ speed. C.J. Anderson isn’t Todd Gurley so maybe they could have some better safety help if Conte, Tandy, or McDougald figure out what Safety help actually is.
Grimes, Hargreaves, Verner, Conte, and or McDougald need to get at least one interception soon or players will off the team sooner than later. This game is going to be tough because they apparently forgot how to play after the Atlanta game.
Mike Smith needs the secondary to step up because they are down two strong pass rushers in Jacquies Smith, for the season, and Robert Ayers, for hopefully only one more week with an ankle injury. The fact that the Bucs started an undrafted rookie in DaVonte Lambert over Noah Spence really says something about his progression into an NFL pass rusher. Dirk Koetter says that Lambert was in because of his run defense but Noah Spence was drafted to eventually take over as a starting end. They may want to actually get rookie fourth round pick, Ryan Smith, some snaps this week to see what they have in him because the safeties have been putrid. If Smith turns out anything like last year’s fourth round pick we could have a dominant defense.
This is going to be a really tough game for the Buccaneers. The Denver Broncos are reigning Super Bowl champions, if you didn’t already know that, and are looking stronger than they did last year. The only hope they’ll have at beating this team is if the defense actually steps up and plays to a NFL capable level and they don’t turn the ball over on offense. Well there’s always hope.