When the Buccaneers get back to work on Wednesday, a new face will be working with the first team defense.
When the Buccaneers arrived at training camp, they arrived with a cornerback that brought big expectations. Vernon Hargreaves was the 11th pick of the first round and expected to be part of a Renaissance in the Bucs’ secondary. This is a group looking to rebound from allowing a 70% completion percentage in 2015, and Hargreaves, along with Brent Grimes, are here to lead the way.
It seems that he is going to get the chance to exactly that when the team gets back to work.
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As Scott Smith wrote on the team website, the team gets back to work on Wednesday after a day off. When they do, guess who will be running with the first team? Vernon Hargreaves.
"He’ll start rotating in there with the first group,” confirmed Head Coach Dirk Koetter after practice on Monday. “As I said in the spring, the guy is a good football player, he’s going to play. He’s doing a nice job, his athleticism shows up every day. That doesn’t mean at all that we’re disappointed in Jude because Jude is doing a good job, too. We’re building our depth at corner especially. I like what we’re seeing out of those guys.”"
He likely will start off in the role of nickel back, as they don’t want to rush too much information into the young player’s head. Will he see time on the outside as well? He could, if you ask Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith:
"“Once we feel like he’s got a comfort level inside, we’ll give him some snaps on the outside,” said Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith. “We know that he has played at the corner position, and at the inside corner there are a lot of nuances and we’re trying to get him up to speed on that.”"
It’s a smart plan to not move too fast. A rookie can get bogged down and overwhelmed with all of the new information, plus adapting to the speed of the game. It’s clear, however, that the coaching staff likes what they see in Hargreaves, and that is huge.