Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RED Chalk Talk: The Tampa 2

A look at Tampa's infamous defense.


Earlier in this series, we went over the concepts of defensive zone coverage. Now, since this is the Buccaneers website after all, let's get a bit more specific into a defense made famous in Tampa Bay by Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin: the Tampa 2.

The Buccaneers most often run out of a 4-3 defensive package, which has four defensive linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and two safeties. The defense is similar to a cover two (where the safeties will drop back and split the deepest part of the field) except the middle linebacker also drops into a deep coverage in the middle of the field when the play reads as a pass, effectively shifting the defense from a Cover 2 to a Cover 3.

This defensive strategy is popular and well-known because of its simplicity, its speed and the aggressiveness of the defenders within it. Without significant speed and discipline at all positions, concentrations on fundamentals like gang tackling to limit big plays and hard hitting to cause turnovers in the secondary, the system will not work.

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