As it’s been stated before, the Bucs secondary is going through a trial by fire.

Because of injuries, Tampa Bay has had to rely on three rookie defensive backs to play important snaps this season. That would be cornerback’s M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, and Jordan Whitehead at the safety position.

Through four games, it’s been a rough go of it for the entire unit, including a disastrous showing against the Chicago Bears in a 48-10 loss.

Defensive backs coach Jon Hoke gave his thoughts on the young core and believes that they have been progressing from game to game. There is still plenty to learn.

Bucs DBs coach Jon Hoke - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DBs coach Jon Hoke – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“They’re getting better,” Hoke said. “Some of the good plays we saw versus Philly, some of the good plays we saw versus Pittsburgh, they’re still there. It’s unfortunate that a lot of things happened poor in one game, but they’ll get better.”

Hoke has dealt with rookie players before now in his third year with the Bucs.

“I’ve seen it happen to a lot of young guys,” Hoke said. “I’ve had a lot of young guys keep getting better and these guys will keep getting better. They’re good guys, they want do it right, they ask great questions, and they work, so all those things are good.”

Unfortunately, the secondary’s worst performance came in that dismantling from the Bears in week four. If there’s any positive to find, it’s that many of the wide open passes let up were communication issues, which is something that can be corrected.

“For the most part, most of the time it’s miscommunication,” Hoke said. “It’s a breakdown somewhere in the coverages as far as it should be used and worked.”

Hoke has been trying to preach a message that every young defensive back should know.

“There’s four things that I always tell these young guys: assignment, alignment, technique, and key.” said Hoke. “Those four things will drive you on every play, it’s easy to say and hard to do, but if you do those four things, you have a chance to be successful on every play.”

 

 

 

 

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Oh Awesome! Can’t wait for the next game now!

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  2. I like Carlton Davis, I think he will be good (in the right scheme) but as of right now, Stewart isn’t looking too good…i hope he will turn out good but I think Davis is the real deal.

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  3. The problem isn’t that playing a bunch of rookies and second year guys in the secondary comes with growing pains…duh. The problem is that our DC didn’t expect this and didn’t create a game plan for it. If you’re going to have growing pains in the secondary then you better not put them in positions to fail spectacularly…genius.

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    • Amen to that! Smith should be scheming to these young guys’ strengths, not forcing them to adopt his zone philosophies when they are clearly not comfortable executing those concepts.

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  4. Can they realistically get any worse??

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    • Can’t believe there’s another Reno area Bucs fan on this comments page. I’m in Carson City. Glad to meet you!

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  5. The whole defense is trash, especially the secondary. This guy should be interviewed from the unemployment line along with Mike Smith.

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  6. Stewart might not have the athletic ability to play in the NFL. He’s a 4.6 guy, who didn’t do well in any drills at the combine. Licht saw a tough competitor when drafting him, but guess what, everyone is tough in the NFL. What Licht over looked is you also have to have the speed for the NFL game. Same goes for the Cappa pick. Licht liked the fact he saw him throwing around lesser talent in college, calling him a bar room bouncer. Guess what, that might be his next job. As bad as Benenoch, and Dotson have been playing, Cappa is a healthy scratch each week. Look at Licht’s draft picks compared to what the rest of the teams in our division have done since the 2016 draft, and you’ll better understand why we’re where we are. Scott made the claim Godwin was a better pick then Kareem Hunt. Got to disagree. We had receivers, still don’t have an every down back, and still have no running game. Anybody see T. Smith rookie wideout from UCF light up the score board last night? How about Kamara, Lattimore? The Saints will avenge their loss to us, and look like the team that wins the division. Carolina will be a wild card team. Us, and the Falcons will play this week to see who will finish in last place in the division. We have not drafted well enough to compete. The Saints lost their top guard in free agency this off season. Anybody notice last night? Brees was rarely rushed, and Ingram had holes to run through. Someone did a hell of a job putting that O line together, who are those guys? Certainly not Benenoch, and Dotson. You can’t whiff on as many second rounders as Licht has, and compete. The problem isn’t that our players are young. The problem is they’re just not talented enough.

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    • Good post ‘Dude’. Our draft results have been so hit/miss, with increasing misses. Then we try to backfill through free agency with guys who just want a payday or who have already started the downward track on their ability. While I think Licht has done a nice job with the undrafted FA’s, those should be the bonus pick-ups that fill-out quality depth, and now we look for them to be starters or make significant contributions. Falcons game is gonna tell a lot.

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    • I don’t think its our picks are busts. I think they are talented just not developed right. Its our coaching that makes them busts. You know what talent you have, you have to put your players in the right schemes and match ups to succeed. You also have to develop that talent. That’s what our coaches lack.

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    • Amen, I have been saying this for years. You have to be careful though the Jason Licht apologists comes out in droves. They forget that we had Darrelle Revis until Jason and Lovie decided we would be better off with Alterraun, Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins. Rationalizing the Godwin over Hunt pick was the worst piece of writing I’ve ever seen. Comparing the value of a Pro Bowl RB to our 2nd or 3rd WR is exactly whats wrong with this team. The Broncos found the Lindsey kid after the draft but we can’t seem to find a good RB after two years of actually drafting one, the problem is with the eyes doing the evaluating. We took MJ despite the mounds of evidence that his speed wasn’t up to par but then again Im not shocked he did the same thing with VHIII so I guess he loves small CBs with limited speed, some combo. All this and I haven’t even touched on the kicker we traded up to draft lol. And to think he came here with the meathead reputation bc he was so good with talent evaluation. Looks like another Patriot flunky who is more hype than production.

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    • Dude, I am extremely disappointed you didn’t mention RoJo.

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    • He should work with D Jax during the off season and D Jax’s trainer. It wouldn’t make him anywhere near as fast as D Jax, but it might result in taking off an additional .02 – .03 seconds off of that 40 time. That might just give him that edge he needs athletically against slot receivers.

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  7. Well, I likes me some Carlton Davis (if we would let him press) but MJ Stewart looks like he was a huge reach into the 2nd Round. Just playing lost out there and looks a step too slow.

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  8. Glazer’s, how can you not fire Koetter and Smith if we lose to Atlanta? Their Press Conference statements are signs of loser’s. I didn’t realize how miss informed Koetter is as to his responsibilities as a Head Coach. How can you throw so much money away and then over charge for your product? Please make a change. The Lightning and the Rays have surpassed you as to fans. You have really messed this team up since your Father past away.

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    • passed

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  9. What is more worrisome is that Licht thought that Stewart was better than Davis. I wanted us to get Davis in the second round and was stunned they picked Stewart first. Universally every draft evaluator had Davis round 2 and Stewart 3-4.

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  10. Great teams build from the trenches back. Our picks on both sides of the ball have been average at best, but mostly poor. As go the lines, so goes the team.

    Benenoch after almost three years is horrible. Pamphile showed promises and then something happened. Smith is an average to below average LT. The only drafted O-line stud is Marpet. Dotson was a nice FA development but he’s aged and just has constant injury problems. With a half decent O line the running game works and Barber is a solid back [1,000 yds RB in the SEC] in need of a stablemate.

    On D, there has been NOBODY. NOBODY. I’ll hold judgement on Vea until we get a look at him in live action. I’ll even give him a few games to get going since he missed the preseason.

    Horse may have hit the nail on the head – since Malcom Glazer handed the team off to his sons, the team has lost its winning edge. The sons aren’t the businessmen their father was. Businesses success is all about people. What businesses have the Glazer sons built successfully that they didn’t inherit.

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  11. We also took mj Stewart over dontae Jackson of the panthers..pathetic.

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