Secondary A Critical NeedFebruary 9th, 2012
Amid all the rumors and guesses people have about who will join Greg Schiano on his first coaching staff with the Bucs, one thing remains certain for Joe: the Bucs secondary needs a great deal of help.
This is not lost on the ProFootballWeekly.com crowd, which has the Bucs secondary as a unit of top concern for the Pewter Pirates.
It’s not clear if Ronde Barber will return, and Aqib Talib’s future is uncertain, too, so there could be major changes on the way at this spot. Those two have been the Bucs’ top corners, and the Bucs don’t have any other players at the position who they think are ready to be full-time starters. Corner will be a priority early in the draft. … Sean Jones, who has started every game at strong safety since the Bucs signed him before the 2010 season, is due to become an unrestricted free agent and he may not fit into the team’s plans. The Bucs are looking for an upgrade here – both vs. the run and in coverage. Jones simply didn’t make many plays, and his performance declined over the course of last season.
Let’s be honest here: It’s quite possible the Bucs will have an completely new secondary come August. Joe doubts Ronde Barber will be back — nothing more than a hunch. Even if — a key if — Aqib Talib escapes both jail time and the court of NFL
warden commissioner Roger Goodell, is he really worth all the drama? Schiano may not want any part of him.
Then there are the safeties: Tanard Jackson, after a fine first game, sure looked like he had been out of the league for a year and with one more slip up and he is gone for good. Jackson sure didn’t look like a capable NFL starter the final two months of the season. And yes, Jones may very well be gone too.
So it’s possible that the starting lineup, without any additions, come August will be E.J. Biggers, Myron Lewis, Cody Grimm and Corey Lynch.
This just reinforces Joe’s point that the Bucs need to get their mitts on Mo Claiborne, the studly talented corner out of LSU.