Buccaneer’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles held a conference call with the media yesterday.
The defense remains intact and is pretty much the same defense that ended the season giving up the least amount of yards per play over the last eight games.
During the off-season, the Bucs re-signed Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. The Bucs also put the franchise tag on linebacker Shaq Barrett.
The secondary should continue to improve. The Bucs drafted cornerback Antoine Winfield JR. from Minnesota who should come in and compete for a starting job right away.
Bowles wants them to take that next step. “Mentally, they’re still puppies though they played what we called last year and played it well. They understand what we’re doing on defense. But this year, they have to graduate mentally to understand what the offenses are trying to do to them and get a better grasp of the game that way.”
The Bucs defense improved the second half of last season. Bowles said that success in the last eight games is no guarantee that the defense will pick it up where it left off last season.
“You start over every year. I know we ended up pretty good and played a few good games ending out the season, but every year is a new year. You can’t rely on the past. But the fact that we’ve got the same guys back, there’s some continuity. The fact that they’re starting to get it mentally with each other, as well as the opposition, is encouraging. But we have to get everybody in and start that over again.”
Coming off a season in which the Bucs had the best run defense in the NFL, boles is excited to do with the virtual meetings and get them back together in Tampa.
“The kind of year we’re having right now, I think it’s very important to have chemistry and continuity. We have to continue to communicate and get back together on the field and not do everything by Zoom. To have everybody back from the same defense that ended last year is important from a communication and continuity standpoint.”
The Buccaneers and the NFL are taking it slow as they open up the facility. There has been no word as to when players may be able to check into the facility.
But as the calendar turns to June, it won’t be long until the Buccaneers will be back together under the hot Florida sun getting ready for the 2020 season.
And that will be good for everyone.