The secondary of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to be a versatile bunch, and are flashing that in training camp. In today’s pass-happy NFL, that is great news for the Buccaneers.
If forced to choose a “weak spot“ in the roster of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, secondary would probably be the go-to answer. That’s not throwing any shade, they are just proving to be the least-dominant position group in recent seasons. That being in the case, Jason Licht and new head honcho Todd Bowles, a former NFL safety in his own right, went out and brought in free agent safeties Keanu Neal and Logan Ryan, to go along with Antoine Winfield Jr. and Mike Edwards. Even with the departure of Jordan Whitehead, the Buccaneers secondary it’s still a deep group, particularly at the safety position.
As for the Bucs’ corners, that’s a bit of a different story. A healthy Sean Murphy-Bunting to go along with a healthy Carlton Davis should improve the secondary by leaps and bounds from a season ago, and Jamel Dean has shown that he is more than capable of being third cornerback on an NFL death chart. That said, there is still room for improvement. Thankfully, a couple safeties are proving their worth by showing just how versatile they really are in training camp.
While listed as a safety, Ryan was brought into Tampa Bay with the expectation that he would work more as a slot cornerback, so his versatility was expected. Perhaps some of those expectations were even exceeded by his performance early on in camp.
Perhaps that was not expected, is that Winfield would be showing the same versatility and knack for exceeding expectations. Clearly motivated by the way the Buccaneers season ended against the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, even if it wasn’t all his fault, Winfield is also working and taking reps at slot corner, and shown to be pretty good at it as a matter of fact. The man famous for the highs of chucking up the deuces in Tyreek Hill‘s face and the lows of the aforementioned Rams ending, now has a chance to be famous in the eyes of Bucs fans for being one of the more valuable players on the roster thanks to his wide array of skills.
With the passing attack becoming more and more explosive in the NFL with each passing year, defense is just as important as ever, if not more so, even if the unit may not be seen to be as vital in recent years to the NFL community at-large. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their secondary, and safeties in particular, showing the kind of versatility they have so far should be music to fans’ ears, and a great sign for what’s to come in 2022.