Going into this off-season I believed that addressing our CB corps was of the utmost concern to the Bucs and hopes of their continued success. Ronde and Brian Kelly were getting up there in years, and it was time for an influx of some more youth, albeit through the draft or via free agency. Bruce Allen and the Bucs decided they would look to both avenues to address this need, and now, in my opinion, have a very deep and super talented pool of corners to use.
Currently on the Roster – Ronde Barber, Phillip Buchanon, Torrie Cox, Sammie Davis, Marcus Hamilton, Darrel Hunter, Elbert Mack, Aqib Talib, Eugene Wilson
Guaranteed Spots – Ronde, PBuc, Talib, Wilson
Ronde should continue to hold his customary spot as the floater in the defensive backfield, providing a variety of services ranging from blitzing to roving to playing man coverage. The most compelling story and battle of camp to me is the position of the number 2 corner, or truly, what I consider the number 1 corner spot on our roster. Ronde has never been a man corner in the true sense of the word. First round pick Aqib Talib has been called the “future face of this franchise” this offseason by HC Jon Gruden, so I would have to imagine that he has been impressive thus far. Buchanon has done a great job since coming over from the Texans. Everyone said he couldn’t tackle a schoolgirl when he got here, but I think the return of Raheem Morris last year has really helped him blossom. Wilson is a guy who played CB in college, and played a little CB and FS in New England. He was always a guy I enjoyed watching on the field. All three of these guys have the chance to start opposite of Ronde. When we move to nickel, which is often, 2 of these 3 guys will see the field as the primary corners, with Ronde covering the slot receiver.
Battling for Spots – Torrie Cox, Sammie Davis, Marcus Hamilton
I would expect Marcus Hamilton to be placed on the Practice Squad. We most likely will carry 5 corners, so TCox and Sammie Davis have a camp battle on their hands. Cox is a great special teams player immediately giving him an edge in that regard. I liked that promise shown last year though out of former first round pick Sammie Davis. He appears to have the higher ceiling and better coverage skills, so my guess would be Davis is the last CB on the roster.