Tackling one of Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest problems

Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kevin Sabitus via AP)
Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kevin Sabitus via AP) /

There are several issues affecting this team on both sides of the ball, so let’s see about tackling one of Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest problems.

If it wasn’t for their defense, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wouldn’t have been that close in any of their last few games. Now that’s not to say the defense has been great. It hasn’t, neither has the offense, but at least we could’ve counted on the D to keep the games close….er.

So now comes the job of tackling one of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ biggest problems.

With the offense starting to show some spark and making a brief cameo appearance on Thursday, we started to see the Bucs offense tease us ever so slightly against those dreaded Ravens in Raymond Jay.

But lest we rest on our laurels as we hoped and prayed that we were finally going to see a complete game on both sides of the ball from this team, the defense decided to go rodeo, and pretend they were trying to catch greased pigs, instead of playing pigskin.


What has happened to the most basic skill of these defensive players? Pretty darn good on some plays, but then crucial missed tackles on too many others. Not to mention some of those we’d like to forget, but can’t. Remember where Ravens running back Gus Edwards just plowed over and through this defense like a bull in a china shop. Too many big runs and long catches by the Black Birds for first downs that crushed the confidence of our decimated defense. You remember. Like those.

It was eerily horrifying of like watching 150lb. high schoolers trying to tackle 300lb. professional athletes. The Bucs had the Bird’s wings pinned back against that proverbial wall, near their own goal line, on third and long…and then you saw it. A bumbling bunch of keystone cops spinning in circles trying to catch the elusive crooks they were apprehending. You could just hear the collective angry outbursts of disbelief from Bucs fans everywhere.

Now granted, Lamar Jackson is one of the leagues best dual threat quarterbacks, but this Bucs defense just  couldn’t seem to stop him let alone slow him down as he just ran through that swiss cheese of a defense. And even worse it was, once again, when the Bucs had them pushed way back deep inside their own ten-yard line.

This seems to be one of the biggest issues with this Bucs defense lately. Brilliant plays do occur, although not enough when it really counts.

Where is Devin White? Half the time he looks lost out there, which a veteran shouldn’t, or at least looks as though he’s trying to over compensate. Discipline hasn’t seemed to develop fully yet, as he and others are missing angles, getting juked, and basically just getting embarrassed on that gridiron.

All of this can be fixed, but it seems evident this team seems mentally out of it. Seemingly rapidly reverting right in the middle of the game, trying too hard to make plays, playing tight and tense, and subsequently lacking any semblance of confidence. It’s time to right the ship and what better way then in Munich, for the first ever game in Germany!

None of us want to see a similar scenario play out like after the 2002 Super Bowl win where the culture quickly reverted back to mediocrity. With Tom Brady at the helm, there shouldn’t be this regression.

This D needs to be the run-stopping, stuffing, hard-hitting defense this league used to fear. But if the discipline to tackle properly, wrap up the opponent, and allow fewer big plays when they are needed the most isn’t happening, it’s going to get uglier. Much uglier. ALL of the D needs to dig deep down and play this game they love, and we love to watch.

The Bye Week is still a couple weeks away, and I hope the Bucs can right the ship even before that. But as the offense starts to come back from injuries, the defense should elevate their game as well, despite recent injuries to Shaq Barrett, and do the same, even as we wait for Davis, Ryan, Winfield, Hicks and others to get back in the fold.

It could be a long rough couple more weeks, but it’s right in front of us. Tackling, one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ biggest problems. It’s certainly not the only thing, but one that can be fixed fairly readily as this defense needs to get their discipline back, and get back in the hunt for the big prize.

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