Even with the departure of Darrelle Revis, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem poised to have a competitive unit of cornerbacks in 2014.
According to Tampa Bay Times writer Greg Auman, Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier spoke to the media after an OTA practice and made a few interesting comments about his defensive backs.
First, he let it be known that D.J. Moore, who played in Lovie Smith’s style of defense in Chicago, has the early lead to become the Bucs’ nickel corner for the upcoming season.
Last year’s starter at nickel, Leonard Johnson, is learning the new defense and in the competition to keep his spot.
The underdog for the nickel slot is Danny Gorrer, who has also been getting reps at that position in practice, according to Auman.
As for the cornerback spot out wide, opposite from Pro Bowler Alterraun Verner, things are apparently heating up between 2nd-year man Johnthan Banks and newcomer Mike Jenkins, who is very familiar with Raymond James Stadium, having played his college ball at USF.
All of this news coming out of OTAs is a very encouraging sign for the Buccaneers’ secondary.
For years, the Bucs were just trotting out young cornerbacks with Ronde Barber and not really breeding an environment for competition. In recent years, they felt content with the likes of Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis manning one side of the field, and neglecting to coach up the other members of the secondary because of the reputation of those “shutdown” corners.
Now, it seems like things are changing. Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier didn’t just hand Johnthan Banks the job because he was drafted by Tampa Bay last season. He will have to earn his spot from a league veteran in Jenkins.
With the nickel corner slot, there are at least three cornerbacks that we know of that have a shot to prove that they are the better man for the position.
With the environment looking like a breeding ground for success, and the expectation of an increased pass rush in 2014, expect the Buccaneers to look formidable against the league’s passing attacks this season.
Tags: Tampa Bay Buccaneers