Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Chris Hovan Said

"The old defense is out-dated and didn't work,'' Hovan said. "This defense is what it is, it's true. It's physical. It's violent, it's fast. It's Tampa 2. It's what this city has been raised on.

"You could just tell the swagger is coming back to this defense, the way we approach the game, the way we study, the way we take the field. There's a different swagger and it comes into play...We're not running the old defense against these guys, we're running the Tampa 2. We're about to find out how good we are. When we played them in the past and played this defense against them, we've been successful. Not to say that we're going to be successful, but we have a lot of confidence when we run this defense.''

Those are the words of Bucs starting defensive tackle Chris Hovan. And judging by the paraphrasing in the title "Hovan: The old (Jim Bates) defense is "outdated and didn't work.'" I am pretty sure that it will be played up as a shot at defrocked defensive coordinator Jim Bates. And who knows, maybe it was. But I am here to tell you that there is plenty of truth in what he said.

At the beginning of this season I started off with several complaints about this defense in general and in the defensive line set up in particular. Everyone on our defensive line started the year with their outside hand down. This was, in my opinion, crazy. Slowly but surely this changed as the season wore on. Another complaint that I had was that we never lined up our weak tackle over the center which made it easier to run in the A gaps. This never changed until Coach Morris took over calling the defense. I also complained that we never ran any under defense which would take advantage of Quincy Black's skills more. Again, this never changed until Coach Morris took over pay calling duties. And last but not least we were running so much bump man coverage in early downs that we were routinely getting bombed on almost every single game. And yet again, this did not change until Coach Morris took over.

Nothing Hovan said was factually wrong, and if you recall I was one of the few who was excited right off the bat when they announced before the Atlanta game that we were going back to our "Tampa 2" scheme (which incidentally is a lot more than just playing Tampa 2 every play). What I hope is that nobody takes what he says and tries to twist it and use it against him. I have seen and heard a bunch of clowns taking shots at Hovan over, of all the silly shit in the world, him painting his face with eyeblack recently. Something he has been doing practically his whole career. I mean here is a guy who has performed well since he has been here, has been a model citizen, never said or done anything remotely controversial since his arrival, and people are taking shots at him now over bullshit. And that is why it concerns me that this will get blown out of proportion in one way or another. All Hovan did was speak the truth and something that most Bucs fans themselves probably said a time or two this season. Maybe he shouldn't have come out and said it right now considering their record and how the season has gone, but I personally don't find anything wrong with it. Aren't fans always saying they want people to tell them the truth anyway?

It is what it is.


  1. Steve,
    Once again, I think you are dead right. Hovan is a great citizen and an honest interview. Besides, Bates's system completely sucked. Anyone who doesn't think so wasn't watching the games.

  2. Agreed, Hovan has been a model citizen for our community and a great defensive player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This team needed a leader on the field and in the locker room, and a true leader doesn't just tell the people what they want to hear, but tells the truth. Kudos to Hovan for saying what management already affirmed by firing Bates.