Starting Cornerback Spots
The Bucs’ secondary was a mess last season and the front office knew it. They went out and signed former Pro-Bowler Brent Grimes and used their first round pick on Vernon Hargreaves out of Florida. The Bucs allowed quarterbacks to a staggering 70% completion percentage last season and changes had to come. The atrocity of the secondary lead to the dismissal of Lovie Smith and his coaching staff and the hire of Mike Smith as defensive coordinator has Bucs fans expecting improvement.
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There is high probability of improvement, because they can’t get much worse, but who’s going to be lining up against the tough competition that is the NFC South wide receivers?
Grimes and Verner have been Pro Bowlers in the past and Hargreaves was a top-two corner prospect coming out of college but all three of them are under six feet. Banks is the only corner over six feet but he took a step back last season. Personally I like Banks to take a huge step forward this season and take on the taller receivers in the NFL while Grimes plays on the other side. Hargreaves seems as a lock to play nickel early but maybe he can overthrow Grimes.
Verner seems like the odd man out but the Bucs hired Brett Maxie to be the defensive backs coach. Maxie was the defensive back coach at Tennessee when Verner had his Pro Bowl season so maybe he can bounce back. The secondary, no matter which of the four you put out there, looks better than last season, I’m just glad I don’t have to make the final decision.
Next: Tight End