Tampa Bay’s secondary didn’t receive a rave review from Pro Football Focus. The Bucs group came in at the 31st spot.
It’s no secret, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary has been among the worst in the league over the past two seasons. The team has been picked apart through the air and defensive coordinator Mike Smith needs to find answers in 2018.
Last season, the Bucs ranked dead last in pass defense, allowing over 260 yards per game. Tampa Bay’s inability to stop the pass was the Achilles heel of the entire defensive unit in 2017.
As Pro Football Focus continues to rank units across the NFL, the Buccaneers secondary was slotted in the 31st spot.
"This ranking reflects not only the uncertainty at corner in Tampa Bay, but also the ineptitude at safety. Conte will once again be starting despite never having earned a grade of 75.0 or higher for his entire career. Last year’s second-round pick Evans will likely start as well, but his missed-tackle problem from college carried over to the pros where he was 61st out of 72 starting safeties last year in tackling efficiency."
Tampa’s corners were subpar last season. Brent Grimes battled injury and former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves was torn apart far too often. Adding a pair of talented rookies in the mix could be the remedy for a struggling group.
The Texas A&M product was able to lock down a starting job for most of last season and could be a budding star in the back end of the defense.
It may cause some stir, but ranking the Buccaneers so poorly is probably deserved. There’s not much reason to put a ton of faith in rookies and second-year players. And with Grimes’ age, a lot can go wrong for the Bucs secondary.
Even though the secondary may not be in the best shape, Tampa Bay’s front seven can take the pressure off the back end. The Bucs have the talent up front to cause teams to abandon the run and allow an extra defensive back to take the field.