“To Me, He Looks Like A Starter”August 29th, 2014
Lovie Smith signed inconsistent veteran cornerback Mike Jenkins this offseason and has never once wavered on the importance of Jenkins, who was atop Lovie’s cornerbacks depth chart all summer.
But the problem is Jenkins hasn’t been on a field since July because of an undisclosed leg injury.
Joe chatted with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier roughly three weeks ago about the cornerbacks and Frazier referenced how it’s been more challenging with “our top guys out,” referring to Jenkins and Alterraun Verner.
Returning starter Johnthan Banks, however, has played and practiced and looked pretty good. He’s never gotten a “starter” label from Lovie, but he got one from a Bucs icon last night.
During the WFLA-TV broadcast of the Bucs-Skins preseason game, Ronde Barber seemed to dismiss colleague Chris Myers’ chatter about Jenkins and wanted to talk about Banks. “To me, he looks like a starter,” Barber said.
And Joe must agree. Banks is the second best cornerback on the roster. Jenkins can’t be in any kind of football shape, and his career has been suspect at best since 2009. In his last 45 starts, Jenkins has four interceptions, and it’s not because teams haven’t thrown in his direction.
Joe can’t imagine a scenario that ousts Banks from the starting lineup in nine days.