The Buccaneers defense has held the team back the last two seasons. Although it did improve slightly after Mike Smith was finally fired. Still, it was not enough to help them win games.
Here are some of the defensive stats from last season: 6th most total yards/game allowed (383.4), 7th most passing yards/game allowed (259.4), the worst completion percentage allowed (72.5), 9th most rushing yards/game allowed (123.9), 2nd most points/game allowed (29), 3rd most touchdowns allowed (36), the worst red zone defense (77.6%), and bottom five for interceptions (9) just to name a few.
For this team to be successful these numbers need to improve drastically, and with the hiring of new DC Todd Bowles that could be possible but there is still lots of work to be done.
Bring Experience to the Secondary
After Brent Grimes, the oldest starter in the secondary was Chris Conte who made it just three games before getting injured, and then it was 26-year-old spot starters in Andrew Adams and Isaiah Johnson who each started four games this year.
The remainder of the secondary who saw regular playing time average just 23 years old, and were rookies or second-year players.
With Grimes likely (hopefully) not coming back next season, it is very important that some experience is brought to the secondary to help teach the younger safeties/corners.
Bringing in an experienced player on the back end of the defense would come through free agency, and with Arians last coaching for the Cardinals I am pretty sure there is an experienced secondary player who may be available this offseason. Who could it be, hmm…?
With the hiring of Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator who has mainly been known for running a 3-4 scheme (even though he said he could do both) is it time for the Buccaneers, who have basically run a 4-3 cover two alignment for … ever to change to a 3-4 defense or at worst try some 3-4 formations? Mike Smith said that he was going to mix in some 3-4 formations when he ran the defense, but he did not utilize it too much, and the other question is, do the Buccaneers even have the players for a 3-4 formation? The current roster if everyone stays healthy could work with a 3-4 defense, but I think that Bowles said it best when he said that he would use everyone at what they do best and not try to fit someone into a mold that they are not. I do not think that the Bucs will run a 3-4 defense exclusively but that it will be used situationally and when the time is right.
So there you have it those are my solutions as to what the Buccaneers need to do to fix their issues and help make this team relevant again. Give me your thoughts in the comments section, on Twitter, or directly to me on Twitter and let me know if you think these improvements will fix this team? As always … GO BUCS!