Monday, July 27, 2009

Tampa 2: No Longer in Tampa

Everyone knows that the Tampa 2 defensive scheme was made popular under Tony Dungy. Dungy made the system famous when he was the head coach for Tampa...though he developed the system by watching the original Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh.
The system has since followed him to Indianapolis, and even branched out to many other football stadiums across the country. All-the-while, the Tampa 2 remained a big part of the defensive side of the ball with the Bucs, as Monte Kiffin was still there.
Now, Kiffin and Dungy are both long-gone from Tampa...and so is the Tampa 2.
CB Ronde Barber was one of the few longtime Bucs who survived the housecleaning done by GM Mark Dominik this offseason, and the team is expecting him to play at a high level this season, despite a clear decline in his performance during 2008. The club hasn't expressed much apprehension about Barber, but observers are concerned about his ability to play in new defensive coordinator Jim Bates' scheme, which asks the corners to play bump-and-run. That coverage doesn't mesh with Barber's capabilities at this stage of his career, and sources say Bates may have to tinker with his system to allow Barber to play off the ball more often.

I'd imagine as far as Rhonde is concerned, he might be better suited (at his age) for a bump and run as opposed to the hard hitting coverage the Tampa 2 demands. Sounds kinda like they are designing a defense around an aging player as opposed to obtaining younger players with more speed. Well, at least for now it seems like that's what they're doing. Barber is the only old guy/veteran in the Bucs' secondary, so I could see his days in Tampa being numbered. I mean, if they'll let go of Derrick Brooks, who was a Tampa icon, they'll probably be okay to part with Rhonde too. Should be interesting to watch.
Sounds like a short term solution brought on by a new coaching staff to make the best out of what they have. We'll see if it works out or not.
I'll sure be pulling for them November 29th, and January 1st!!!

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