Before last season, Jermaine Phillips was on thin ice with the Buccaneers. There was a lot of criticism in the Bay Area of him and safety Will Allen. I personally believed that the Will Allen’s miscues in ’06 directly resulted in Phillips poor year. Jermaine responded in a huge way in 2007. The return of future NFL head coach Raheem Morris and the addition of Tanard Jackson had a lot to do with his improvement.
Currently on the Roster – Jonathan Hefney, Donte Nicholson, Jermaine Phillips, Sabby Piscatelli
Guaranteed Spots - Jermaine Phillips, Sabby Piscatelli
Jermaine Phillips will continue to hold down the starting SS job in 2008. He had 83 tackles and 4 picks and combined with starting FS Tanard Jackson in a very imposing tandem in the Tampa 2. Both guys love to knock heads with receivers over the middle. Phillips provides great support in the run game, and is more than capable of handling his coverage duties. Before last season, Piscatelli would have had a chance to unseat Phillips at SS, but he got injured and spent most of the year on the IR. He should be a stalwart on special teams and could play a few plays a game on the defensive side of the ball.
No Chance – Jonathan Hefney
Battling for Spots – Donte Nicholson
Nicholson has proven to be a solid special teams player, but with the return of Piscatelli, and the addition of Eugene Wilson (who we plan to play at CB, but who has been a very effective S in the NFL) should prove to be the end of Donte’s time as a Buccaneer.