Defense Played to Their Strengths

After losing two in a row in which his defense struggled to make stops consistently and were giving up a bunch of yards via the passing game, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said enough is enough. Smith finally got back to a more aggressive style of defense in which they had success against the Panthers and 49ers respectively. He ask his corners to play more press man coverage allowing the safeties to play more in the middle of the field and closer to the line of scrimmage which suits their strengths more effectively. Then bringing pressure from your front seven with linebacker blitzes along with corner blitzes were very effective as it allowed this defense to play downhill which is how they should be utilized every week.

Mike Smith was trying to compensate for the lack of pass rush by trying to mix up his coverages and pre-snap looks which ended up just causing miscommunication on the field. After the Atlanta game, the coaching staff got together and realize that this defense needs to be more aggressive and allow the players to play fast and downhill. Coach Koetter wanted them to be suffocating and after the Bears game he thought they were just that via Buccaneers.com.

That was great to see because so many of the things that the coaching staff identified and [Defensive Coordinator] Mike Smith and his staff worked into the game plan, to see the players carry it out like that, to see them playing fast, playing downhill and getting after the ball, really tightening up the coverage, the pass rush, hitting the quarterback, disrupting the quarterback. Fun to see, fun to see those guys have that kind of success.”

 “Across the board, the entire defense that we felt like we needed to – yeah, we needed to tighten up. The word we used was suffocating, we needed to be more suffocating with our coverage and I’ve got some really good film clips to show them on Wednesday of them doing that.”

With Kansas City being the next opponent, the Bucs defense needs to bring the same approach they did last week and bring the pressure on the Qb. Chiefs offense is an west coast style as they run a lot of route combinations and quick passes. The Bucs defense needs to continue to play press man coverage and allow their linebackers to play downhill and attack. Make Alex Smith throw it deep and play the short routes and likely their will be chances for interceptions.

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