PFF ranks Bucs stud linebacker Lavonte David and All Pro Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy as 2 of the top 50 players in the NFL last season.
David finished the season with a combined 101 tackles and 5 fumbles forced while his partner in crime exploded through double teams to record 6 sacks on the season.
Having been compared to buccaneer Hall Of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks most of their tenure together one could only imagine how dominant David and McCoy could be with a more talented supporting cast on defense.
Sure Buc’s GM Jason Licht looks to have found talented players in Kwon Alexander and the injured Noah Spence but Vernon Hargreaves and Justin Evans look to be part of the future for this secondary and although they have plenty of athleticism they failed to make opposing quarterbacks hold on to the football long enough for our front seven to produce sacks.
Don’t pin all the blame on the rookies. Although the Buccaneers parted ways with former defensive line coach Jay Hughes I’m still very concerned with the way defensive coordinator Mike Smith have utilized the members of the secondary. I cringed at watching Vernon Hargreaves play 10 or more yards off the receiver in front of him as he continuously gave up 7 to 8 yards per catch. While Justin Evans wasn’t too bad I would like to see him get more playing time to develop Instead of giving so many snaps to hungry veterans T.J. Ward, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy.
If Tampa could be less predictable on offense and more aggressive on defense this season with the right acquisitions they could make the postseason even in the rugged NFC South.