NFL NEWS: Leslie Frazier
Let’s see how Leslie Frazier’s Bucs defense measures to the 2013 defense Bill Sheridan ran.
Going into December 3rd, the Bucs currently rank 20th in the league in yards surrendered with 361.2. The 2013 Bucs finished 17th in total yards surrendered averaging 348 a game. The Bucs, for the past three games, have shown some signs of improvement in that department giving up 322, 204 and 263 yards respectively to the Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals.
The improvements as of late suggest the unit can meet or exceed the 2013 squad with four games remaining.
The 2014 squad has surrendered 314 points overall which is 10th most in the league. The 2013 team finished the year giving up the 12th most points with 389. At the very least, the Bucs surrendered six touchdowns in the last three games giving up one to Washington, three to Chicago and two to Cincinnati.
The 2014 team is currently on pace to give up 419 points, which can be even worse when considering that you’re facing the likes of Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
The Bucs are currently tied at 18th with 26 sacks for the season. They’re currently on pace to finish with 35 sacks for the season, which would match last season.
The pass rush helped hold teams to an average of 155.7 passing yards a game the past three games, which is not bad considering they’ve given up an average of 245.3 passing yards a game for the season, good for 22nd in the league.
The Bucs are currently tied at 13th overall in interceptions with 11, five of those interceptions came against the Bears and the Bengals. Sheridan’s squad finished tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for third with 21 for the year. They’re projected to finish with 15 this year.
Cornerback Johnathan Banks leads the team with four interceptions followed by his fellow starting cornerback former Pro Bowler Alterraun Verner with two. They also have eight and seven passes defended, respectively.
If the Bucs can keep on producing turnovers and pressure the quarterback, you’re going to keep finding this team in every game. Now if the offense can stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Turnovers are key for a successful Tampa 2 scheme and the Bucs are tied for 18th with nine fumbles forced for the season and are on pace for 12. Last year’s squad finished with 15.
One thing the 2014 squad does better than the 2013 one does is fumble recoveries. Frazier’s crew recovered 89 percent of their fumbles only missing one for the year while Sheridan’s defense recovered 67 percent.
Cornerback Leonard Johnson and Lavonte David are tied with two fumble forces a piece.
What needs to be addressed on the defense in the 2015 NFL Draft.
While the Bucs may go offense again in the draft, they can choose to address defense end or linebacker to complement McCoy and David, but the biggest hole to fill will likely be in the secondary.
The Bucs will need to have threats at the safety position to help plug the run and be a stifling presence in coverage. It’s clear neither Mark Barron nor Dashon Goldson have lived up to the hype. Now the Barron’s gone, Goldson will not be far behind. A steady Tampa-2 safety presence like a John Lynch or a Mike Brown would have definitely helped solidify the secondary. As much as people may clamor for quarterback with Florida State’s Jameis Winston or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota for the Bucs first round choice, but they should strongly consider Alabama’s Landon Collins or Ole Miss’ Cody Prewitt.