Posted in General News

Defensive intrigue

by Roland Johnson on June 14, 2009

While most defenses are sound by design, call me intrigued by what the new scheme will entail for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under the guidance of defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

For the most part, it will still look somewhat familiar to many, but with little intricate differences. You here some say he doesn’t have the two gap personnel to run the scheme which was stated by Warren Sapp, then you here Bates say they will still basically be a one gap scheme, there has to be something to the point being made about needing larger more stout players to hold ground at the point of attack while pushing the pocket.

I stated before that even though it will be a one gap scheme, it will have some two gap principles to it.

But all of this got me to thinking about what the new run fits might be and what the base defensive shell will be pre-snap before Bates dials up his pressure packages.

The things that make a sound defense usually are Fundamentals, Alignment, Get off, Pursuit/ Fit, Block Destruction, Tackling, Hustle and above all else the execution and understanding of the weak points in the defense.

Should you jeopardize any of those tenets to do something else, you wind up with some bastardized monstrosity that will be a setup for a colossal failure.

But, every defense that is sound has a plain-jane, vanilla-flavored base that they can come back to at any point and execute. Many supposed defensive geniuses love to blitz and stem and roll coverages and disguise, but a truly sound defense, in my mind, is the one that can line up and play. Everyone knows their gap, their alignment, their job, and their technique all while executing it to near perfection.

We as fans have been spoiled with the play of the defense for the most part over the last decade with the team running the Tampa 2, but with a new defense being implemented this season one has to wonder just how long it will take before everyone is on the same page.

Count this fanatic as one who is very excited to see what Bates has in store, but also very hesitant to speak of how good they might be. There surely will be growing pains, but when will everything click to where fans see what they have become accustom to seeing on games days with a dominating defense taking over late in the game and preserving wins.

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