Depth remains an issue on defense
The starters for the Buccaneer defense look ready to go. It seems as of the first day (which is quite early to make these assumptions), that the Bucs will be far better on defense in 2019 than they were in 2018. The mixture of talent and the coaching staff can breed optimism in the hearts of the fans for the defensive efficiency of the team built around the likes of Lavonte David, Devin White, and Vita Vea. The biggest questions that pop up are how the team will function without these players on the field.
The Bucs defense from the eye test looks top heavy on the defensive line, a more even split at linebackers and pass rushers, and surprisingly balanced in the secondary. The Buccaneer defensive line of Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston seems to be a more than capable group. Past these three there are very few options that don’t have a steep drop off in playing ability. The Bucs could struggle on the line if these players are not on the field and the backups do not step up.
The linebackers and edge rushers appear to be a mixed bag. All of the players seem to be paired in duos, with Devin White paired with Lavonte David, Kevin Minter paired with Devante Bond, and pass rushers Noah Spence paired with Carl Nassib, and Anthony Nelson paired with Shaquil Barrett. These groups were mixed and matched in practice and seemed to already have good chemistry. The Bucs will look to keep these tandems healthy and in shape to switch as seamlessly as possible in the middle of games.
The final group is the secondary, which seems to have many players who are ready to step up at all levels. Safety could still be a question, but M.J. Stewart, Jordan Whitehead, and Mike Edwards all looked ready to compete and were making plays. Justin Evans is still a question mark and Deone Bucannon didn’t show much, but these two will only shore up this group even more. The corner position could still be a battle but has several competent returners and first year players that can all provide depth making the secondary a confident spot on the team.