Despite a 31-29 win in Week 1, the Bucs aren’t satisfied with how they began the season. That dissatisfaction applies heavily to the defensive side of the ball, particularly in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has his unit getting back to the basics before Sunday’s game against Atlanta.
The Bucs allowed 403 yards through the air and three touchdowns in their Week 1 win over the Cowboys. But poor tackling was Bowles biggest concern coming out of Tampa Bay’s narrow victory.
Bucs CB Ross Cockrell – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“It was just fundamentals and open field tackles,” Bowles said. “We have to get our angles back together, we have to get our tackling down. It looked like a preseason game as far as tackling. We have to coach it better and they have to play it better.”
The Cowboys tried to exploit the Bucs’ secondary by abandoning the run game and throwing 58 times, as well as implementing quick screen passes to receivers on the outside. If this is the blueprint that other teams want to use to beat the Bucs, it’s nothing they haven’t seen before.
“It’s been like that last year,” Bowles said. “It’s just a matter of execution as well as helping out with some of the calls and understanding what’s coming at us.”
Losing cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting will be tough, but Tampa Bay does get a boost with safety Jordan Whitehead returning for Week 2. Bowles spoke about getting him back, as well as the importance of having a variety of traits at safety with Whitehead, Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr. at his disposal.
“It helps at the safety spot in understanding what he’s (Whitehead) done for us and what he can do for us,” Bowles said. “Him and Mike (Edwards) are different players as well as Winfield. So rotating those guys around and putting them where we need to put them is essential for us.”