With a defense that has given up an average of 34.6 points per game and has recorded only 1 interception (Justin Evans), something had to give. If you continue to give up over 34 points a game, you are not going to win very many games unless your offense can play flawlessly and score at will. That is not the case for the Buccaneers.
A long overdue change has been made, and considering that Tampa was likely faced with more losses in games that are very winnable, I like the change. It only can be an upside to the situation.
Mark Duffner, the Bucs new DC, has been a DC once before in the NFL and for a pretty bad team, the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished 2001-2002 as the Bengals DC with a record of 8-24.
Things are clicking for the Buccaneers despite the poor secondary play, but one key ingredient still may be missing: proper defense calls. I don’t believe firing Mike Smith was enough or done in time. Defensive Backs Coach Brett Maxie and Secondary Coach Jon Hoke should have been among the things Mike Smith packed up on his way out.
Duffner may not fix the situation right away, but at this point, what do you have to lose? The season? Your job? Coaches know the risks.
If things do not start turning around, HC Dirk Koetter will be next to go and Todd Monken will be promoted to HC. The offense isn’t doing badly at all; it’s the defense that hasn’t been able to stop teams from scoring and has forced the offense to play outside of their game plan. You cannot give up 34 points a game and score only 27 or 29. That’s how you get fired.