I think we can all agree, the Buccaneers defense didn’t exactly begin the season with a bang last season. Thankfully, halfway through the season, something clicked, and our defense, specifically our pass defense became more formidable as the remainder of the season went on. This went against the grain and showed that even with a not so stellar rushing defense, if the other 7 guys behind the line can do their part in the passing game, then there will always be a shot to come out on top. Now that’s not to say that we should just forget about our rushing defense and focus solely on the passing d, but it does go to show that if the front 4 aren’t doing well in a certain game, our passing defense is formidable enough to carry the weight.
After the season, defensive coordinator Mike Smith met individually with each defensive player to discuss the season, what every player felt they brought to that season. In fact, Smith kept them honest by breaking down tape of each individual players plays during the season. The good, the bad, the ugly, nothing was off limits. Judging by linebacker LaVonte David’s quote that this was ‘what we needed’ to get to work improving in the off-season. This also seems to have helped coach Smith figure out the abilities of each of his players.
The Buccaneers finished 25th last year in total defense, but after the handful of upgrades we made during this off-season, our preseason ranking is a respectable 15th. Mike Smith believes in the upgrades we’ve made and with him having another year to assimilate with the players, the arrow for what our defense is capable of doing this upcoming season is definitely pointing up. I don’t know about you, but I’m hyped for this season, it can’t start soon enough because this Bucs defense is going to be DANGEROUS!
Edited By: Harmeet Kapur