There is nothing more disheartening than to see the Buccaneer ship just floating with the tide, with no bearing whatsoever. A ship with no heading becomes a life raft. If there is one thing true about the 2018 Bucs ship, it has absolutely no heading. If this were 2008, not 2018, maybe we could expect to just go out and outscore all of our opponents on our way to a playoff birth, but in case you didn’t notice, there are a lot of teams that are setting passing and scoring records which means no matter how much Fitzmagic you sprinkle on it, with no defense, we are losing.
Back when Lovie Smith was fired and Dirk Koetter was named head coach, the first thing I truly wondered was how would the defense react? For almost 20 years Tampa Bay was the innovators of the “Tampa Two”. A defensive scheme that actually became such a widely used term in reference to other teams defensive philosophies, one really wished I would have patented the damn slogan, and could have retired by now. The Tony Dungy coaching tree spread far and wide with disciples of the defense, and teams running it. Not that Lovie Smith was setting the world on fire before his release but in one swift moment, the Buccaneers said thanks for the defensive memories, we have the #1 overall pick, a quarterback, and we will be employing an entirely new philosophy.
Even with the offense coming up with creativity on the field, the overall Buccaneer product on the field has been just plain “offensive”. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith seemed like a man who just moved to Florida with retirement on his mind, failing to whip the defense into anything that ever resembled a fury. Dirk Koetter has failed miserably to create an environment where anything but success will be tolerated. Choosing more to be like a friendly uncle, than a boss demanding perfection from both sides of the ball like a Bill Belichick would.
I want to know why Derwin James isn’t a Buccaneer? I want to know how it is possible we added $25 million in salary to a defensive line that looks like it should barely be making the veteran minimum? I want to know why other than Saint Ali Marpet, the Buccaneers have not developed a line of mean, aggressive blockers that can push downfield for positive running plays, but also block for the pass? I want to know if Koetter and Licht can sleep at night without worrying where they will be employed next year. Most of all, I want to know if there is a large enough chunk of team ownership that could be offered to bring Rich McKay back as a GM, and get this ship righted, just like he did back in the day.