The Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense may look a bit different in 2017, but DL coach Jay Hayes doesn’t believe there will be any huge overhauls. Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times wrote:
“Bucs defensive line coach Jay Hayes said defense will be multiple, but no wholesale changes from 4-3 base defense are coming in 2017.”
Last season was the first year that Hayes was with the Bucs, and they ranked 23rd in the NFL with 5,887 yards allowed on the year. That gave them an average of 367.9 per game. They gave up 4,012 yards in the air (250.8 per game) and 1,875 on the ground (117.2 per game). They were better in points, though, giving up 369 total, or 23.1 per game. That ranked them 15th in the NFL.
Hayes himself is a former college defensive end who played at the University of Idaho. He did make it into camps in the NFL, as a player, but not onto the field. He played for a time in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats and the Michigan Panthers, coached in college for more than a decade, and then made his way over to the NFL. He’s now coached his way through 18 seasons and 2017 will be his 19th year at the NFL level, giving him a total of three decades of coaching experience.
The Bucs have added a number of pieces on offense, such as WR DeSean Jackson and rookie TE O.J. Howard. That can help to take some pressure off of the defense and keep the opposing offense off the field as they sustain drives.