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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Accountability All Around on Bucs' Defense

Defensive inconsistencies far from "one-player situation" according to defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves came under the microscope this week following a less-than-stellar defensive performance in Week 6. With quarterbacks shying away from veteran cornerback Brent Grimes on the opposite side, Hargreaves has found himself having to shoulder the load covering some of the league's top talent. When talking to reporters, Hargreaves admitted that his performance wasn't his best.

"I'm not making any plays, I'm not producing," Hargreaves said. "This league is about production."

However, the Buccaneers' coaches have reiterated the same point countless times - games are won and lost through a total team effort, not by the performance of an individual. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith made sure to emphasize that the blame doesn't fall solely on the defensive back's shoulders.

"I think his preparation has been solid," Smith said when speaking on Hargreaves. "I don't think the performance is what it needs to be. We don't want to make this a one-player situation. There's a lot of responsibility to go around in terms of why we have not been consistent."

Smith went on to throw his hat into the accountability ring as well.

"We've got to do a better job and I've got to do a better job," he said. "You see it in them at times and ultimately I'm the one that is charged with making sure these guys get it done."

Still, Hargreaves isn't letting his coach take him off the hook.

"I know this business," he said on Wednesday. "I know what I have to do to get better. I know what I have to do to start making more plays. So, it's on me."

Hargreaves and the rest of the Bucs defense will get their chance to improve against the Bills this week in their second road game in as many weeks. Buffalo is No. 30 in passing offense, giving the Bucs secondary a chance to step up.

"We just have to make more plays, we have to be on the same page on defense and we are going to get it right we are going to turn it around," said Hargreaves.

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