About the author

Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

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    Way, way too kind Trevor. How do you justify these kids d if scores; what did I miss? My thinking was both offense and defense is served nothing higher than C+and coaching C-. So far as to free agency in the off season, I give it a D. I haven’t seen much contribution from DeSean Jackson nor Chris Baker. We failed to get a defensive end pass rusher either in the off season or draft.

    1. 1.1


      Damn, I need to start typing versus voice talking my responses.

    2. 1.2

      Trevor Sikkema

      I think I justified things pretty well.

      I suppose you could change the defensive line to a C-, if you wanted, but McCoy has still been a monster and McDonald has been good, too. They were great as a unit against the Bears, which is a decent O-Line. Baker hasn’t been as good as we thought, but he hasn’t been terrible, either. Ayers having a good game last week bumped it up to a C+, for me.

      Linebacker has been great, all things considered. I don’t think there’s any question about that. Injuries are a part oft he game, and they’ve stepped up to warrant that grade.

      Corner is the worst spot, but Grimes and McClain have been pretty good, so it’s not like I’m going to give it an F just because of Hargreaves and Smith.

      As for safeties, a lot of what they do is scheme dependent. Plus throwing in Ward learning and getting reps, again, I can’t kill them for some missed opportunities with injuries and new acquisitions.

      I think Smith certainly has his struggles right now with getting the most out of his guys, and his grade could drastically drop if things don’t improve. But, for now, being out your two center pieces and getting good production out of your two rookies means I can’t totally kill you for it.

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    As with the offensive grades handed out, these are a bit too generous and inflated. I’d give the defense overall a C, but with an asterisk or “incomplete” due to the massive numbers of injuries that kept most of our starters off the field altogether, or operating at less than full speed. in terms of our ranking in points against, we’re 14th in the league, which isn’t bad considering the injury losses.

    All teams suffer injuries, of course, but of our two losses, one occurred with 9 of the 11 starters either not suiting up at all, or hobbling about on injured ankles. In our most recent loss, we were down to “only” four starters not suiting up on defense,and as a result they held the number one offense in the league to less than 2/3 of their prior points production per game, so that was a definite plus.

    If we get back most or all of the remaining starters who didn’t suit up last week, then perhaps we can climb into the top 10 defenses in points against. But we have several tough games coming, including two road games and a home game against the suddenly-high-flying Panthers offense.

    1. 2.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      You said they’re inflated but C or C+ is basically what mine average out to, haha.

      I don’t think they’ve been any better than a C, C+ grade as a unit, but you still have to look at things individually to make a whole.

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        Yup, though I think some parts you gave a B or B minus too are maybe closer to C or C+. But mainly because the whole defense is on track for an “incomplete” at the one quarter season point, to use academic grading terms. I think the potential remains quite a bit higher if all or nearly all the guys were playing instead of sitting on the sideline in street clothes.

        Last year our issue was a combination of the whole D having to relearn a new system, plus injuries. This year it appears to be mostly about the injuries. Since none of our defensive stars are done for the season yet (knocking furiously on wood!!!) like some of the other teams around the league have experienced, our upside is still pretty good.

        I’m a lot more concerned about our offense which does not have the injury bug to point to.

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