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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24 Comments

  1. 1

    johnny

    great insight as always trevor. really interesting stuff on beckwith and the overall make up of the defense . and to your point of the bucs should begin to draft like a 3-4 team i believe so. it would be a waste to have 3 super talented linebackers and not try to have them on the field as much as possible. that to go along with the fact that the bucs d line isn’t great to begin with and they have players who can line up in a 3/4 on the defensive line, i say they do it. i think they should give guys like bond and glanton looks too as 3-4 pass rushing linebackers i know bond especially could be good in that role

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    1. 1.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      I’ve been pretty hesitant about the 3-4 transition because of what it might do to McCoy, but he’s proving he can still be dominant anywhere, as long as they space things correctly. I also like the idea of Spence being a linebacker more than I do him being a defensive end. I can envision him in a rotation with the three other linebackers. Would be pretty fast.

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      1. 1.1.1

        tnew

        Putting Spence on GMC’s shoulder and making the guard, tackle figure out how to handle those two would be interesting.

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  2. 2

    Horse

    Trevor; that’s a lot of questions, but I’ll try to respond to some of them. For the rest of the season I am focusing on the Defense as it transitions more to a 3-4 Defense. I understand it could go to a 3-3-5 also, either way is fine with me as long as there is more pressure in getting to the QB quickly. Right now I am leaning in keeping all the Coaches and GM for one more season to see if they can work out the kinks. I wasn’t at this position before this last game, but I can see where the Defense is going. Now this based on if Defense keeps it under 20 points this last half of the season. Spence unfortunately is a big question mark because I don’t know if his shoulder can hold up especially in the LB arena; it doesn’t cost them much to keep him for another year and see if he pans out. Definitely need a pass rusher, but it won’t surprise me if a offensive left tackle is drafted first. Winston deserves to have someone to protect him from the blindside and also being able for that Tackle to get to the outside and run block. D. Smith should move OG where i believe he will do good.
    Yes it is worth it if Gerald has to set up differently; one thing I know, he will still be effective as he doesn’t give up. We have 2-3 more years with Gerald at most if he can continue to be in a rotational mode. I’m disappointed in Baker because he came in here out of shape and not walking the walk and Licht not covering himself enough if J. Smith or Spence didn’t work out by drafting a DE in the middle rounds who had potential knowing it would be a gamble. trevor I really enjoy these Articles. Where did Pewter Report find you?

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    1. 2.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      You don’t always have to answer all of the questions I ask! Haha. I just ask a bunch to stimulate people’s thinking caps. But, I appreciate you always voicing your thoughts!

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  3. 3

    Naplesfan

    It should not have taken this long for Coach Smith to finally figure out how to use the players he has. What the heck did he do throughout the offseason, OTAs, training camp, and pre-season games?

    Even if Coach Smith can answer that question reasonably (which I doubt), we’re still just talking about the results in one game against a mediocre opponent.

    By the time we get through the rest of our schedule against a lot of very good teams, particularly within our own division, we’re going to know if this was just a one-off performance against a bad team, or if the defense has really gotten sustainably better, albeit too late to do much good this season.

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    1. 3.1

      Horse

      Naplefan, I agree. Could be Smith may have been taken back as to how fast Beckwith was ready to go and perform. I think they were set for Bond to be in a 4-3 and Beckwith blew past him and they weren’t believing what they were seeing that the 3-4 or 3-3-5 coupld happen so quickly. Just my opinion.

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    2. 3.2

      WiltheBrewer

      I also agree w/ Naplesfan- after a couple of horrible performances mid season last year it was like the ‘switch was flipped’, and the D was awesome. Is this the same midseason turnaround? If so, why did it take 1/2 a season once again??

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  4. 4

    surferdudes

    McCoy’s get off should allow him to have success as a 3-4 end. Whether he’s happy about that or not who cares. We need to prepare for the day he’s gone anyway, he’s not getting any younger. A.Donald isn’t hampered when they moved to a 3-4, good players can, and should adjust. Remember what Mr. Spock had to say, “the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few”.

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    1. 4.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      McCoy can do what Donald does, versatility wise.

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    2. 4.2

      tnew

      Agree Surfer. I think GMC is better suited to be a 3-4 DE than Donald. If he embraces it, it could extend his career. I believe he could be more effective in that role.

      Evans is the player that is surprising me. I saw so many flaws in his film, for him to be making this positive of a contribution is very encouraging. I want him to start picking off a pass every fourth game or so. He’s been coming closer. This week he gets number 2 on the season.

      As far as Beckwith, I’ve been saying for a while, Kwon might be the third best linebacker on this team. I need to really evaluate before I really settle on that as I know I am skewed by the expectations from Beck and Kwon, but Beck is at least closing that gap, incredibly fast.

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  5. 5

    SCLOBERNOCKER

    But ADW said Beckwith was hot garbage!!!
    That man is blossoming and has surpassed everyone’s expectations. He went from a preseason liability to one of our most reliable players. Glad to see some film on him.

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  6. 6

    JustaBuc

    You go with the setup that puts the most players in the best place to succeed. It’s not like GMC will suddenly NOT be an elite player on the line if he’s moved, and it seems to light a fire in the rest of the D. Why not?

    Spence looks more like a 3-4 backer, Beck, LVD and Kwon could hit the field that way and in a way we could mask our deficiencies at DE atm by doing so. Makes sense to me.

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    1. 6.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      I agree. I think McCoy and Spence would be much better in 3-4 roles than we anticipated, but I will say that we need to see this have consistent success over the next few games before we jump to definitive answers. If it works, be all in for it.

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      1. 6.1.1

        Buc 1976

        Trevor nice article!
        The only problem IMO is for the last 2 years it has taken 8-9 games for the Defense to come together I am not saying the Bucs Defense was the cause for all the losses, turnovers and the kicking game contributed also. I agree Koetter should be given at least 1 more year. Let’s see if a new Offensive coordinator that he trusts to call play’s can help.Just my opinion

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  7. 7

    drdneast

    I’m really not concerned how a change in defensive scenes might affect McCoy’s playing ability or mood.
    The guy has maybe 2 more years left in his game so if the Bucs can move McCoy like The Pats do with their fading stars and god forbid find someone like Lovie Smith who will cough up a No. 1 pick , I say give McCoy a home version of the Buccaneer board game.

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    1. 7.1

      scubog

      DrD: Don’t you mean Buccaneers “Bored” Game? Seems more appropriate with the recent offensive display that could have a game called “No Clue”.

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  8. 8

    Jason

    Very insightful article… Now we are getting somewhere.
    This coaching staff has taken WAY to long to figure out what works “best”. They are too set in their stubborn ways and take too long to make adjustments. I yelled at the top of my lungs last year when they had Vernon playing 10 yards ( or more!) off Julio for the whole freaking game on TNF… No adjustments!
    Let the D coagulate for the rest of the season and hand the reigns to somebody else who can adjust quicker. They are young… they will get better… and why wouldn’t we be able to find a stud, like Beckwith, for any position again in the 4th… Who’s coming out of LSU this year??? Seriously I took the leading tackler last years word for it… and Kendall’s college tape clearly shows he was ready for the NFL. They need to go into the draft as though this is Gerald’s last year and treat the LB’s as the centerpiece of the D… which it clearly is at this point… just a few more “right” moves and we’re golden.

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  9. 9

    bEubanks11

    Love these articles Trevor! I’m finding it difficult to limit my answers to only a few of your questions as they’re all very thought provoking but I’ll start with what I believe to be the most crucial.

    First, Mike Smith. Who is this guy? Who waits half a season to make adjustments? Or better yet how can a coach with his level of experience field a scheme with so many elementary and obvious holes in it to start with? Is this his defensive identity or was that? He seems to be finding his footing now but didn’t that happen last year? If he’ll commit to sticking this route I can get on board.

    Have to admit, I was a huge hater of Justin Evans and the use of a second round pick for him. I’m still not sold on his instincts but I do love what his athleticism brings. The Seattle Single High is a defense, like you pointed out earlier in the year, that takes a specific skill set of players to pull off. When that all comes together there’s no disputing the results and it looks as though (IMO) that’s where we’re heading or should head. Evans high, Ward in the box, press cover and speed in the linebackers. Before now I thought this to be out of our network but with Evans emergence and the addition of Ward i believe we have the tools. I’m sure drafting a longer CB and a big solidly built DE in the first and second rounds next April wouldn’t upset anyone around here.

    This defense could be special with the right direction. Too much talent to waste.

    Go Bucs!

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  10. 10

    scubog

    Here’s all I know. Most college teams run a 3-4 formation so that’s where the majority of talent is available to draft. Seems simple to me.

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  11. 11

    Alldaway 2.0

    I am not a fan of 3-4 or 3-3-5. The 3-3-5 seems like a variation of Landry’s legendary defense. It works as a gimmick like the wildcat but teams will eventually counter it be spreading the field and exposing that third LB.

    So you need to build a defense either through a 3-4 base or 4-3 base long term.

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    1. 11.1

      Pick6

      as a bucs fan, my knowledge leans heavily towards 4-3 alignments, so pardon my possible ignorance but if the risk is that the LB will get exploited in coverage by a spread formation, how does adding a 4th LB to the alignment (at the expense of a DB) mitigate that? I would imagine this personell grouping to be more exploitable by a road grading OL and a power running attack that needs bigger bodies to defend

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  12. 12

    Pick6

    i’m no expert, but wade phillips putting aaron donald into a 3-4 hasn’t neutered that unit so there’s a way to make it happen with mccoy. alternatively – and this is my first trip on the “trade mccoy” express – you can flip mccoy for more draft assets and continue to build around your stud LBs (3 certified studs showing effectiveness behind a 3 man line, and a chance that it’s Noah Spence’s cup of tea also) with a beefier D line and at least one solid cover corner. Gholston is build like a 3-4 end and other than GMC i don’t think any of our DTs might qualify as “undersized”, so the cupboard is far from bare in that alignment

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    1. 12.1

      Pick6

      given how wide they kept trying to line Noah Spence up, moving him off the line a little and making him a rush LB doesn’t seem too crazy.

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