Alterraun Verner would have been a nice pickup, as a FA. Plenty of CB prospects have come and gone while our FO got amazing values like Jarvis Jones in the draft. I'll shut about about Jarvis, and the draft. But still.
We have a speedy midget platoon, which does not bode well against larger receiving squads. Like, ohhhh, the Bucs. With Ike out, we're even smaller. Well, whatever, Deshea Townshend wasn't large but he succeeded in this system. Of course, back then (way back then!), offenses geared more toward running early downs, and the PSD was geared to a more run-stop F7 concept; keep a tight lid and force opposing QBs to make mistakes, right? Well, not that this is Mac's fault, but we have a DL centered on a more mobile, penetrating NT than a human edifice, so we don't get those 2nd-and-9 situations, and we have CBs (and LBs) who are forced into reactive roles, trying to beat fast-release passing offenses and use raw speed to recover when the receiver beats them. I don't know how much of that is the DBs/LBs fault, actually. There is NO push up front. Mac is not occupying 2 guys, so that shifts the emphasis to Heyward and Cam Thomas. Heyward hasn't lived to expectations, and Cam is a backup, period. Keisel actually got 8 more snaps than Cam, which makes sense, but Tuitt got 3, which doesn't. We need to switch those snap numbers for Cam and Tuitt, stat.
Either because of or in conjunction with the lack of anything along DL, the OLBs have been ghosts. Worilds sightings have been weak sauce; we went about 60/40 Moats/Harrison, and while they've had some pep in their step I'm not seeing sacks and turnovers adding up. Maybe as they get more time, that will come. How the snap count sorts out, I don't know. I'm not missing Jarvis yet. Still think we should just trade his ass.
So without anything from the F7, RBs continue to get yards after contact, and our stops are 5-6 yards downfield from the missed tackles and bad angles. Sweet. And the CBs are never in a position to anticipate and jump routes... which is EXACTLY the strength of having sub-4.4 dwarves as your DBs. Shamarko Thomas -- NO snaps on defense, NOT ONE. Seriously, WTF? The guy is small, but covers OK, has missile speed and hits like a truck. So, yeah, don't get HIM any package work. I wouldn't want to strike FEAR into opposing players FFS.
The recurring nightmare of our inability to stuff the run (3rd and short is now a gimme for opposing offenses), and of WRs/TEs striding across the middle with the CBs stumbling 10 yards off like toilet paper that the receiver just shook off his shoe... all too sickening. For a couple of years, the defense was too old. This year, the defense is too young. Well, whateverthefuck, can we stop anything? At all? Please? Soon? I'm not even asking for the dominance of yore, though I pine for it.
Personally, I don't think the front seven (with Jarvis out) is that bad. I actually think the DL has been the bright spot on defense. Would be nice to get a little more pressure on the QB, but I don't see them as the biggest problem by any stretch. The secondary? Aren't too many that are worse. They couldn't cover me. I remember wanting Verner, bad and he didn't end up signing for much more than what they gave Cortez. Terrible, terrible, ROI there. Walter Thurmond and Tarell Brown were excellent options at bargain bin prices, but they passed because they were gonna address it via the DARFT...oh, wait...
Point is decent CB talent is out there...if you know what you're looking for...
As to the game, the turning point in this one was the flea flicker pass that went off AB's fingers. He makes that catch, decent chance he gets in the EZ, it's an 11 point lead with little over half of 4th quarter left and they hit the magical 30+ number on offense. Would've totally changed the complexion of the game; up two scores plus 2pt conversion; big play at home; crowd going crazy; Tampa forced to become one dimensional; etc.
Could've been sitting pretty at 3-1 looking at a very doable schedule, instead they're a very pedestrian 2-2 along with what feels like half the league.
they cost me my survivor pick.