June 15, 2021

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Buccaneers Defense 2020: There’s a new dog on the porch

2 min read

Image Credits: Douglas DeFelice | USA TODAY Sports

After the 2019 Bucs defense found themselves towards the end of last year, there may not have been a better defense in the NFL. The Bucs showed early on in the season that they would be a stingy unit against the run. They held the rank of #1 run defense for most of last season. The only thing that was missing was the defensive backfield getting it together and playing to their potential for most of the season.

However, there is no denying that after Vernon Hargreaves III was let go for week 9’s lackluster performance against the Cardinals that the pass coverage began to come together. The emergence of Jamel Dean; played a big part in that turnaround, and Carlton Davis and Murphy-Bunting’s play also was inspiring, leading me to a feeling that this coverage unit is going to be special just like the rest of the Bucs 2020 unit. The Safety position; which includes Jordan Whitehead and Mike Edwards also seems to continually improve during last season’s campaign.

Last season was by far General Manager Jason Licht’s best draft since coming to Tampa. I will carry that thought several steps forward like I have before and venture to say that not only was this Jason Licht’s best draft but possibly the very best draft the Bucs have ever pulled off, even eclipsing the 1995 NFL Draft that saw Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks getting their eye patches. We all know that the 1995 draft yielded the aforementioned Bucs their tickets to Canton after their careers ended. I don’t think I’m going out on much of a limb in saying that Devin White – if he is able to avoid career-killing injuries – will, in my opinion, join them in the Hall of Fame. The other player from that draft that I think could join Devin White – if injuries don’t derail him as well – is Jamel Dean. If this information is surprising to you, then you are in store for some fantastic football this season.

From what I saw last season, especially from the rookies, this is a defense that will rank as a top 3-4 unit. This will be a defense that can help pave the road to a Super Bowl. They are every going to be every bit as good as needed to be. Shhhhhhhh, I actually believe the Bucs will be tops in the NFL in defense next season. Making claims like that can bring you ridicule if you are wrong, but the flip side to that is if they are tops next season, or right there near it, it will back me up as knowing what I’m talking about. Don’t be afraid to talk up the Bucs.

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