Cornerback Depth Now Not So DeepAugust 18th, 2014
One position, on paper, that was deep before training camp was cornerback. With the addition of guys like Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins, it seemed the Bucs were set when they joined promising returning starter Johnthan Banks and talented Rashaan Melvin.
Not quite three weeks from the regular season, that may not be. Consider: Verner is still not 100 percent coming off a July hamstring injury, which is always dicey. Jenkins, who Joe thinks has a helluva lot to prove, also is hampered by what the Bucs mysteriously refer to as a lower leg injury. Melvin, who has a reputation of being injury prone, has a bum ankle of some sort suffered in Saturday night’s game against Miami, and per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, is wearing a boot.
It’s starting to look toilet tissue-thin with all the injuries.
So when NPR-listening, filthy-hotel-staying, fight-instigating, barista-training, pedestrian-bumping, olive oil-lapping, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging, cricket-watching, scone-loathing, college football-naïve, baseball box score-reading Peter King, of theMMQB.com and NBC Sports fame included the Bucs when he rattled off teams who will be mining the free agent wire for corners in the coming days, upon further thought, it adds up.
I think in the next week you’re going to see and hear of so many teams desperate for cornerbacks. “We’re going to get one,” a personnel man for one team told me Saturday, “but we may have to pay a higher price than we want, or a higher price than the player deserves.” The Jets, the Ravens, the Lions, the Colts, the Vikings and the Bucs, among others, could be sniffing around for a dwindling supply of cover guys near the final cutdown.
Joe isn’t ready to label the Bucs as “desperate” for a corner, but it seems the need for one has risen to just about the same level as acquiring offensive line help. Maybe more so.
When Joe saw Melvin limping Saturday, right away he thought to himself, “This is not good.” Joe was thinking more for Melvin’s job security than anything else. Joe knows both the past and current administration of the Bucs likes Melvin, but he has spent more time getting worked on by trainers than taking snaps.
Given the fact Melvin was an undrafted rookie free agent signing last year, it’s much easier for a team to wave goodbye after growing impatient with the constant injuries, than it would be for a player in which the team has more invested.
No matter how talented, a player can’t help a team watching games just like any fan. So while Joe reacted with a frown reading King’s throwaway line this morning about the Bucs and cornerbacks, upon further reflection (and another cup of coffee), it adds up.