The Buccaneers struggled last year on defense, especially in the secondary. And, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times explains it, coach Greg Schiano takes that personally.
Schiano got his NFL start as the defensive backs coach in Chicago, but in his first year as a head coach Schiano’s team nearly set the league record for passing yards allowed in a season. Included in that total were 69 completions of at least 20 yards and 11 of more than 50.
“The big pass plays, those are killers,” Schiano said, via Stroud. “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,” Schiano said, regarding the departure of defensive backs coach Ron Cooper. “I’m not going to duck that. . . . It’s even more frustrating for me because that’s supposed to be your area of expertise.”
The Buccaneers have added safety Dashon Goldson via free agency, and they continue to be in the hunt for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Goldson and Mark Barron have similar styles, and that’s fine with Schiano.
“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 ultimate cover guy — Revis — would pump up the secondary considerably. And it could make the Buccaneers major players in the NFC South. Even if, in the end, the Bucs don’t have a spot in the lineup for future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber.