Is the “Tampa 2” outdated? Will Lovie Smith have any success in Tampa with it?
We all know that the Tampa 2 is known for the pressure the front four bring to an opposing offense, but is the Tampa 2 becoming outdated?
|Typically, the [Tampa 2] players don’t have the prototypical size of other NFL defenders. Instead, stress is put on speed, smarts and flawless tackling. […] A quick defensive line is a must, but the middle linebacker position is the straw that stirs the drink.||”|
|—Bryan Mullen, The Tennessean.
So the major question is will this defense still work in the NFL? Last year the Dallas Cowboys and Monte Kiffin tried to install it and operate the defense with DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher and George Selvie and they were horrible. They finished worse than the year before when they implemented the defense. The sad part is the year before in 2012 the Dallas Cowboys had their worst defense ever in franchise history. That was snapped last year with Kiffin’s Tampa 2 scheme.
This may sound crazy but great quarterbacks have learned to kill and mutilate the Tampa 2 defense. Guys like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have field days on Tampa 2 defenses, because the defense has become a dinosaur in the NFL.
While the Bucs have a very solid personnel for the Tampa 2, they might not be able to get passed their arch rival New Orleans Saints.
The personnel used in the Tampa 2 are specific in position and required abilities. All positions in this defense place a premium on speed, and often the result is that they are all undersized by league standards. The defensive linemen in this scheme have to be quick and agile enough to create pressure on the quarterback without the aid of a blitz from either the linebackers or the secondary, with the defensive tackle in the nose position having above-average tackling skills to help stop runs.
The Bucs signed Michael Johnson to work off the edge, with DaQuan Bowers, and Adrian Clayborn. The team also has Akeem Spence and Gerald McCoy in the middle, but their weakness is Mason Foster at the Mike. The team needs to find a solid Mike backer that has speed, but there are not many veterans out there that can help the team out. I would not be surprised to see Lovie implement a decent defense, but I am not sure they will be as good as everyone is imagining.