The Buccaneers may not want to use Richard Sherman versus the Patriots, but do they have another choice?
It looks like the Buccaneers are playing the media game this week. After getting knocked off the top spot in the league by the Rams in Week 3, it makes sense that Tampa will try to keep Bill Belichick off his edge in Week 4, but it is time to see through the smokescreen.
The Bucs had no choice but to sign Richard Sherman. The secondary has looked terrible to start the season, as has the defense as a whole, and signing a veteran corner that can succeed in zone or man was the right move by the front office.
Sherman has only been with the Buccaneers for a few days now, and the word coming from the staff is that they don’t want their newest corner to play this Sunday, but believing that for one second is exactly what the Bucs want everyone to think.
Does anyone truly believe that Sherman won’t see the field this weekend? All of the signs point to otherwise.
The Bucs couldn’t come out and blatantly say that Sherman was going to be playing. That destroys any element of surprise for a game where that will come in handy. However, watching the Buccaneers and their moves this season paints a clear picture of need and availability.
Tampa will be without two of their top three corners this weekend. No Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting is a massive loss for a secondary that has already struggled on the season, not to mention in a game against a rookie quarterback, an area the Buccaneers notoriously struggle.
The Patriots are smart enough to lean on the pass until Tampa can stop them. Unfortunately, the Bucs haven’t stopped anyone in that regard all season.
The Buccaneers are also showing their hand with their basic roster formation this weekend. Sherman is already confirmed to dress, according to Greg Auman.
Suppose Todd Bowles or Bruce Arians were truly worried about Sherman’s ability to function in this defense. Wouldn’t they hold him out and promote other players like Pierre Desir or Rashard Robinson, who have spent more time learning the defense?
Desir or Robinson could still join the active roster in addition to Sherman, but the Bucs’ inaction on promoting either before Sherman says a lot.
Dee Delaney has played decently so far on the season, but it is hard to imagine Todd Bowles would rather have him on the field rather than Sherman, especially if the defense is making Mac Jones look like a decent quarterback.
Richard Sherman certainly won’t start, but to think that he will sit on the bench for the whole game when the defense has looked terrible all season is just feeding into what the Bucs want the masses to believe.
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