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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians emphasizing keeping defense together for long-term success

Bruce Arians, Buccaneers

When it comes to terrible defensive teams in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers immediately come to mind. They were solid against the run in 2019, but terrible against the pass. Head coach Bruce Arians knows that something has to change in order to reverse Tampa Bay’s fortunes.

Arians is focused on defensive continuity, as he believes it will lead to a much-improved unit, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk via the Tampa Bay Times. 

“If we can keep this defense together, we can be really really good defensively for a long time. It’s a very young group, and the older guys are young. They’re guys who don’t age. It will be huge for us to keep them together and build off the way we’re finishing the last six, seven weeks, the growth in the secondary especially.” Arians said.

This goal is certainly achievable. Three of four starting defensive backs are on their rookie contracts, making working against the cap much easier. Only two defenders from the front seven remain on their rookie deals, making things a little bit trickier. But the Bucs only have one player who will earn big money in this upcoming offseason in linebacker Shaquill Barrett. The rest of the defense is either under contract for the 2020 season, or fairly low priced and easy to retain.

There is some upside to defensive continuity, but one has to wonder how effective it will be for Tampa Bay. This defense has been awful in 2019, so how much change can really be expected?