The Morning After Hill: Bucs Secondary Rears It’s Ugly Head

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The Ugly

Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

I want really bad to be an Aqib Talib fan, I honestly do. He’s got the skills to be an elite, shutdown corner and the Bucs spent a first rounder on him a few years back. But my patience with the man ran out a while ago and now he’s just a nuisance. It’s not like Talib missed one play defending Hakeem Nicks, he allowed over 100 yards for the second straight week this year and this trend of not being able to defend his assignments dates back to last year.

Talib has been burned by Calvin Johnson, Pierre Garcon, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and just about every other receiver he’s lined up against. It’s cute when he gets an interception or two and he usually leads the team, and I get that he’s the best option on the team at the moment: but honestly that’s no different than saying hey I’m fatter than holy hell but at least I’m not dead, eh?

Talib is a problem child and I’m not at all referring to his off the field antics. Even if he was all the Gods rolled into one and donated his paychecks to charity and somehow managed to find the cure to cancer, AIDS and solved world peace, I’d still think the same as I do now. Only when he actually does his job and defends his assignments will i say he’s a good cornerback. Until then, how is he any different than E.J. Biggers?

At least Biggers didn’t get torched consistently on Sunday. Would he have if he’d been out there, perhaps, but that’s expected of a sub-par cornerback who’s low on the depth chart — it’s not expected or acceptable from the guy who’s supposed to be your No. 1.

And again, the entire secondary failed on Sunday as Victor Cruz also went over 100 yards marking the first time in NFL history that two receivers on the same team went over 100 yards each and had at ten receptions a piece in the same game. Everyone was a part of that but when your No.1 was the biggest offender on the day, that’s no bueno.

It’s not just that Talib was torched, he was thrown at all day and never adjusted. He so failed to adjust that his assignment was the one responsible for the huge catch and run that set up the Giants game winning score. The secondary as a whole is a problem that needs to be fixed. Be mad at Freeman (for some reason), call McCoy and Bennett disappointing (for failing to sack an elusive quarterback who gets rid of the ball under pressure), but don’t use them as excuses to deflect blame off Talib.

The secondary lost this game, three interceptions and all, they blew this one in the worst, most ugly way. That needs to change or losses like this will happen again, even if the offense is explosive.

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