The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the worst defense in the NFL last season in a number of categories and had plenty of work to do this off season to fix the soft defense. How much defensive personnel revamping was really done this off season and just what effect will it have on the defense?
As we all know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the worst total defense (378.1 yards/game), the worst pass defense (4169 yards, 260.6 yards/game), the worst third down defense (48%), the twenty-third ranked run defense (117.5 yards/game), an NFL worst twenty-two sacks, and allowed teams to score touchdowns on 54.72% (29/53) of their trips into the red zone. Obviously then this off season was focused on improving that awful defense, and every level of the defensive starters needed to be addressed.
After finishing 9-7 in 2016 and being hyped as a playoff team the Buccaneers were front and center, and then HBOs Hard Knocks showed a little more goofing around (icing your own kicker, really?) and not much physicality, toughness, or aggression at practices. The performance on the show might have foreshadowed how the Buccaneers 2017 season was going to turn out as the Buccaneers went on two five game losing streaks, and a costly off sides penalty didn’t help in a loss to the Panthers and may have been a breaking point for some players who played hard all season.
Ending with a 5-11 record and many fans and media “talking heads” a like calling the Buccaneers a soft team who didn’t practice real hard and didn’t play real physical or aggressive in most games. With coach Dirk Koetter and possibly GM Jason Licht on the hot seat for the 2018 season changes had to be made in the off season especially to the NFL’s worst defense, so let’s take a look at how the Buccaneers revamped the defense and figure out what effect it will have on the defense.