Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs' defensive failures personal for Schiano

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) INMC106

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) INMC106

TAMPA

Greg Schiano entered the NFL as a defensive backs coach with the Bears, so when his team came within a few yards of setting the league record for the most passing yards allowed last season, it was personal.

That's why he told defensive backs coach Ron Cooper to look for a new job. It's why 49ers All-Pro S Deshon Goldson was a must-sign at the start of free agency. It's also why the Bucs are willing to mortgage a good bit of their future to trade for Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

Tampa Bay allowed a staggering 11 completions of more than 40 yards and 69 of at least 20 yards last season.

"The big pass plays, those are killers," Schiano said. "They not only affect the game, but they affect the momentum of the game. When you're at home, it sucks the life out of your crowd, and when you're on the road, it ignites the crowd.

"Some of the changes we made are the result of people not doing things exactly how we wanted them done. We did make a staff change. I'm not going to duck that. … It's even more frustrating for me because that's supposed to be your area of expertise."

Fixing the problem began by replacing Cooper (who took a similar job at USF) with Jaguars defensive backs coach Tony Oden. Then the Bucs had to wrestle Goldson away from the Patriots, who also were major suitors, with a five-year, $41.25 million contract.

"(Goldson) represents who we are," Schiano said. "He's smart, he's tough, he's an intimidating player, in my opinion. That's kind of the way we want to play. He runs to the football relentlessly, and … we want to build our defense around … guys who play that way."

Schiano acknowledges Goldson and S Mark Barron share similar traits. Both are big hitters who thrive against the run but are adequate in coverage. "It doesn't matter to me," Schiano said. "We're actually an interchangeable safety defense. So there's not really a cover guy and a box guy."

The Bucs view Revis as a game-changing player worth paying twice for. They're willing to consider sending their first-round draft pick (preferably in 2014) and perhaps another high draft choice to the Jets, and they'd have to pay Revis about $15 million per year.

It's a chips-in-the-middle-of-the-table play by general manager Mark Dominik and Schiano. But in order for the Bucs to win Super Bowl XXXVII, they gave up a king's ransom for WR Keyshawn Johnson (a pair of first-round picks to the Jets) and four high draft picks to acquire coach Jon Gruden from the Raiders.

Those deals came back to hurt the Bucs in later years, but they'd do such a move again if it meant finding room for a second Lombardi Trophy. But the Bucs lose interest in Revis each day the Jets drag their heels.

BULLY ON BOWERS-CLAYBORN: Better coverage on the back end will help the Bucs' pass rush, which has been stuck in the mid 20s in sacks and near the bottom of the league for the past three seasons. Tampa Bay still would like to add another pass rusher and needs a defensive tackle to replace Michael Bennett and Roy Miller. But what they are banking on is a big year from DEs Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.

Clayborn showed speed and a lot of promise before his knee injury last season. Bowers missed the first half of the year recovering from an Achilles tear but used the time off in the weight room to get stronger.

"He's a tremendous athlete for a man his size," Schiano said. "He's explosive, and he's done it. If I'd never saw him do it, I would be concerned. It's our job to make him do it consistently. When you look at Da'Quan and say he hasn't been able to do it for a 16-game season, neither had Gerald (McCoy) until (last) year."

Is Bowers good enough to finish 2013 with double-digit sacks? "He needs to be. He should be," Schiano said. "That's why we drafted him."

Bucs' defensive failures personal for Schiano 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Calm (Largo) and clamorous (St. Petersburg) converge Friday night

    Footballpreps

    If Largo and St. Petersburg high schools are going to be successful this football season, it will be because of defense. And if those defenses are going to be successful, it will be because of secondaries that are potentially the best in Pinellas County.

    St. Petersburg High School CB Anthony Johnson  practices with his team Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
  2. Rays morning after: Secret to Alex Colome's success is staying cool, calm, collected

    Blogs

    The ninth inning couldn't have started much worse for Rays closer Alex Colome on Tuesday, who took over with a 6-4 lead and quickly allowed a single and a double to bring the tying run to the plate.

    Alex Colome said the key to his effectiveness is not altering anything, especially his locked-in focus on getting the final outs.
  3. How will former USF assistant Tom Allen fare at Indiana?

    Blogs

    Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo doesn't sound particularly optimistic about Tom Allen's chances of keeping Indiana competitive in his first year as the Hoosiers' head coach.

    "He has some challenges," DiNardo said.

  4. ESPN cites safety in removing Robert Lee from UVA broadcast due to name (w/video)

    College

    ESPN has removed an announcer from its broadcast of the University of Virginia's first football game next month because he has the same name as a Confederate general memorialized in statues that are being taken down across the country.

    Louisville lines up for a play against Virginia during an NCAA college football game in Charlottesville, Va., in 2016 ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not work Virginia's season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. A spokeswoman for ESPN says Lee has been moved to Youngstown State's game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network says the decision was made "as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name." [Associated Press]
  5. Celtics were only team in position to deal for Kyrie Irving

    Nba

    The Cavaliers found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation when it came to trading Kyrie Irving. Not only did Cleveland need to try to extract the kind of price a team looks to get to trade its star — some combination of cap relief, young players and draft picks — it also needed to acquire talent to …

    Kyrie Irving, left, is guarded by Stephen Curry during the NBA Finals last season. [Associated Press]