Dangerous Trust

May 15th, 2018

Pressure to develop.

Either the braintrust of the Bucs has a set of stones, is foolhardy or has a secret plan between now and September.

Last year the Bucs were just hideous on defense. Last in the league in case you didn’t know. Oh, and the Bucs coughed up 4,169 yards through the air, one many categories in which the Bucs ranked last in the NFL.

Yeah, the Bucs loaded up on corners in the draft. That may be great for the long-term but what about 2018?

Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report suggests, no, the Bucs better find a veteran corner to go along with Brent Grimes.

To their credit, general manager Jason Licht and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t ignore the elephant in the room that was their league-worst pass defense in 2017. The Bucs spent a pair of second-round picks on Auburn’s Carlton Davis and North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart. However, those additions don’t necessarily solve Tampa Bay’s most pressing need.

Sure, Stewart’s a physical youngster whose toughness will come in handy in a Buccaneers secondary that surrendered 260.6 passing yards per game in 2017. Davis has the size, length and wheels that NFL teams covet on the back end. But neither young corner is a “sure thing” by any stretch. It’s a position with one of the steeper learning curves in the pros.

Veteran Brent Grimes is 34 and not the player he once was. Vernon Hargreaves hasn’t been the defender the Buccaneers hoped he’d become when they selected him 11th overall back in 2016.

If Tampa Bay’s going to make any hay in a loaded NFC South this season, the young secondary is going to have to grow up in a hurry—and hope Grimes turns back the clock.

Grimes is still a fine corner but everyone better be buying rabbits’ feet to play it safe.

Joe believes Hargreaves will be given every opportunity to win the other corner position. And if he can’t, then it is up to the rookies.

Feel free to document any rookie corner the current defensive staff has developed with the Bucs. In fact, the three rookies the current coaches had a chance to mold, they’ve all but been ruined. At best, they have regressed.

So Joe is to trust the same gang that has yet to demonstrate it can develop a rookie corner by developing two (or three) this offseason? Really?

Robert McClain, who did a decent job last season, is still unemployed. And so too is Pacman Jones.

41 Responses to “Dangerous Trust”

  1. Realbucfan941 Says:

    Just purchased my rabbits foot for. 7.99 . Common bucs, don’t let me down this year!

  2. gilhealy Says:

    Hey Joe’s, what does Brent Maxie say when you tell him he sucks at coaching? Was he open to suggestions, or haven’t you asked him? Why don’t you give the man some advice. Or, let’s see if the talent level improving, helps the secondary. Either way, you should probably scratch that itch. I’ll look for the Q and A during the pressers to start the season. He may not know he sucks, and you can enlighten him.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Great news with the Supreme Court ruling, maybe before Sept. we’ll be able to head on over to the Hard Rock and bet the “under” for wins this year.

  4. Pepsi Says:

    Always funny when outsiders write that Grimes isn’t the player he once was. Unless they’ve been studying Grimes personal workouts this offseason, they definitley just write that line From their ass. Grimes reaction, speed, and explosive ability was the same as it always was last year.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Once again, Joe advocates free agent has beens… SMH

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Obviously, with jobs on the line…..Licht, Koetter & Smith don’t agree…or not just yet. I still believe we have time to bring in a FA CB……cutting Swezzy on June 1 will free up $5,250,000…..that should be enough to bring in a CB if they wish.
    And, there will be several available.

  7. passthebuc Says:

    Why would you bring someone in that has a checkered past. We tried that before and it did not work. You need to rely on the D line to make it easier on the new corner’s

  8. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I think the bucs need one of the FA safeties that are available but as I have read on this site many times it seems that Mike Smith defense and the ability to learn it takes time, which is bullspit, go get a safety a corner and a RT for this season…get rid of every excuse and GMC’s new slogan for the first 4 games and just play

  9. blind melon Says:

    Just like every other year, there will be a legit veteran on the market that doesn’t make a team or is up for trade.

    The sky isn’t falling.

  10. LutzBuczFan Says:

    How can you responsibly talk about the league-worst pass defense without mentioning the d-line? Last year we were painfully reminded that it all starts up front. Do you think Gary watched our games, or just looked at the stats?

  11. BringBucsBack Says:

    Foolhardy gets my vote!

    Licht only addresses issues once we waste an entire season, do in large part to the glaring weakness that he doesn’t perceive as such. It was offensive lineman 3-4 years ago; wide receivers two years ago; running backs last year and defensive linemen since people began walking around with pagers on their hips.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Gary Davenport says in your article Joe that CB is “a position with one of the steeper learning curves in the pros.” Ronde Barber & a few other notables would probably agree. Hmmm, whodathunkit?

    Aah, but then Joe sets us straight when he pens “the three rookies the current coaches had a chance to mold, they’ve all but been ruined. At best, they have regressed.” Regressed? Ruined? All in a scant 1 year. Wow. Or as Realist would say, Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So the current coaches ruined (1) VHIII, a 1st Rnd pick who does a commendable job playing nickel but who seems to lack the skills & confidence to excel outside; (2) Ryan Smith, a 4th Rnd pick who was drafted as a Safety, spent his Rookie year there, and then the Bucs transitioned him quickly to outside corner; and (3) Javien Elliott, a 176 lb undrafted college CB grabbed by the Bucs 2 yrs ago (after being a walk-on at FL State 2 yrs before that) & who spent most of his rookie yr on the PS.

    You’d think that with having soooo much to work with last year, that our defensive back coaches would’ve been giddy with excitement. I mean we did have all the spots on the DLine filled (I think, but not 100% positive). In reality all our CBs had to do was just hold opposing receivers at bay for a second or two while our DLine ransacked the opposing QBs. And if our DBs misjudged, no problem … they had a pair of highly-experienced Safeties behind them to cover their backs. What could possibly go wrong? (That sarcasm font really develops a life of its’ own, doesn’t it).

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ryan Smith
    It was really unfair what they did to that young man last year. They thru him in as a Rookie. No gradually working in to the line up. No adjusting to the daster game speed. Nothing.
    Hi Ryan- you are starting opposite Brett Grimes. Good luck.

    I suppose they had to, with the continuing decline of Hargreaves.

    And yeah, Smith Got abused. Then again, even Grimes took some hits.
    Due to our entirely worthless Defensive ends, more than our Cornerbacks.

    Despite being thrown into an un-winable situation, Ryan Smith still flashed the skills he needs to play at this level.
    And most players make huge jumps between year one and year two( I dont count his first year- he never touched the field), so Smith may be much improved this year.

    In my opinion, Ryan Smith should be able to play, and play well, opposite Grimes. Especially now that we have a pass rush.

    That would allow Davis to groom behind Grimes, and MJ to groom behind Hargreaves.
    Despite the mouth service, Hargreaves was Terrible in the Slot, also.
    Team still trying to deny they drafted a bust that high.

    Otherwise- We can see if Hey Jude’s knee has healed

  14. Horse Liver Says:

    @gilhealy — LOL !

    Well played.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Its funny how someone could come up with this article when every move points to CB development not being the issue!!!!! If it was, the Bucs had every opportunity to replace those that are developing the secondary!!!!!!! Its also funny that other positions get years to improve and develop, but when you are not “favored” you only get a few months before the campaign from joe and the so called fans to fire coaches!!!!!!!! And believe me, if the points favored the offense and not the defense, we would have heard about that all offseason and not the yards!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Favoritism indeed!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Great post!!! I agree. We could have had Richard Sherman at one corner and Peterson at the other and we’d still would have sucked at pass defense!!!

    When you have ZERO pressure on an NFL QB not only do his receivers have forever to work over our DB’s…their QB’s have time to survey the field of ALL the targets so if your LB’s and safeties are not doing their jobs…or I should say get exposed by the DL not doing THEIR jobs…you still get gouged in the passing game.

    ANY NFL QB who gets enough time can do a number on ANY NFL D. Brady never really had a lot of time to get comfortable in the pocket in the SB. That was Philly’s success.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Better start lighting candles and praying for the souls of the 3 – yes THREE DBs that the Bucs drafted Joe.

    Why is it that neither Joe nor Ira seem to acknowledge that the Bucs have NO more $ to spend – over the cap in fact.

    Still multiple articles each week saying we need to sign this has-been at RB or that re-tread at CB.

    Just stop.

  18. M0J0 Says:

    While Hargreaves might be given an opportunity to win a starting spot, he will have a short leash, and that could make it very difficult for him to succeed. Likely, the rookies will be getting a good amount of playing time right from the start.

  19. Not there yet Says:

    Seriously Joe you’ve got to be kidding? Do you have any idea how many rookie corners start in the NFL each year.

    We’ve seen it too many times vh3 was a decent starter his rookie year, decent but people forget that because of his second year so your stupid logic says he was good enough to start but then the team tried to develop him his second year they made him worst. Wow that’s so dumb but don’t know what to expect if you know football people and don’t know football yourself

    Yes the staff is always to blame when they can’t turn the myron Lewis’s of the world into NFL starters. Basically it’s ok if your drafted in the first round but second round picks can’t be starters STFU dude

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I tend to think at this point in the season that Brent Grimes & Ryan Smith will be our 2 starting outside CBs, with VHIII at nickel. Ryan Smith, with good DLine pressure, has a decent chance IMO of winning the starters’ job. I appreciate the rookies in the Secondary, but unless they REALLY show something in training camp, my bet would be that Smitty will stick (at least initially) with the ‘tried and true’. Folks shouldn’t sell Smith & VHIII short too early.

  21. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    Either one of our rookies will beat out Hargreaves, guaranteed.

    Our starting corners will be Grimes & Davis on the outside and MJ Stewart in the slot.

    Hargreaves will be our backup slot corner, nothing more. (Barring injuries)

  22. __TGH__ Says:

    Sign Breeland please.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    The DB looked horrid last season because the DL completely failed in every way possible.

    There is nothing like a solid pass rush to fix DB play.

  24. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    You may very well be right. Coaches are notorious for their “comfort” level with vets..and especially vets they’ve coached.

    I have only one hope…that it’s a real competition for playing time in the defensive backfield. I do not care where they were drafted, how much they make, their level of experience, their age, I just want the BEST players out there after they’ve earned it in training camp and the pre season schedule.

    I just hope we don’t have a bunch of debates and posts where it’s obvious Smitty is favoring one player over another with more ability simply because of “experience”. The key word is “simply”…if a player’s inexperience costs him too frequently then he sits the bench until he learns…but I hate assuming the young guy is going to choke when the lights come on especially if he’s looked good in the pre season.

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Look Joe I agree about how bad the play has been from our young DBs, but the constant narrative about not being able to develop corners is somewhat of a falsehood.

    The fact is Ryan Smith has played exactly 1 season at cornerback. Was he bad? Yes. But that’s 1 season. And he’s a 4th round pick. Hardly fair to day he can’t be developed- yet.

    VH3 has certainly regressed, but all of us who are objective saw all these issues with him pre draft. It’s why many of us didn’t want him. Too short, too small, too slow and not a good tackler. It’s exactly the same issues in the pros, so I’m not sure if that is an indictment on the coaches.

    Last but certainly not least- we’ve had the worst pass rush in the league.

    You could put darelle Revis, Richard Sherman, deon sanders and John lynch in their prime in our backfield and they’d all look like scrubs with our pathetic pass rush (though they would probably at least be better at tackling) .

    Just saying, there’s a lot of reasons why our DBs played bad. Coaching is only part of it. Kind of like the running game. It’s lazy and convenient to place all the blame on a single person when it’s a combination of factors that result in poor play.

  26. __TGH__ Says:

    I have a question.

    Am I correct in understanding the defense is designed to play off coverage since it is tailored around the strengths of the best corner Grimes? If so, why is it necessary for both corners to play that way? No matter who wins the job on the other side, if they are better playing press, why not let them do it?

    It seems like they are swimming against the current trying to teach physical corners off coverage rather than putting them in a position where they feel most comfortable and can be the most effective on day 1.

  27. Trench War Says:

    I agree Joe. It’s time for Hargreaves to step up and play like his first round pick suggest.

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    its scheme and coaches!!!!!!

    these coaches are unable to draft a man press CB and develop them into a off coverage CB….

    instead of drafting a off coverage CB they take a man press cb and ruin him….

    funny thing is, this staff makes excuse after excuse and gets years to get a team headed in the right direction when others have done it quick fast and in a hurry…..lol….

    cant wait til TC!!!!!!…..


  29. bucsnole Says:

    I think its fair to assume these coaches dont know how to coach up their players just like its fair to say these players were not scouted properly and were probably drafted too high for what their actual skillset is. . . the fact that we would draft smith – then say “hey kid youre a safety now” is total horsespit.. . . .only to move him over to CB the next year. . . just like the Marpet experiment. .. Our rockstar GM cant seem to think in advance about the needs of this team until we are boxed into a corner. . . he likes to poke around in small schools so IF he hits on a prospect he looks like a genius – that is straight up ego and NOT the way most NFL teams are built. . . and for the love of all that is holy – can this coaching staff please learn how to gameplan and adjust during games. . .

    obviously not all of that was directed at you UnBelievable. . . .. .just venting
    rant concluded

  30. SOEbuc Says:

    Bring back McClain and a OG/OT (depending where Cappa is).

  31. Trench War Says:


    Actually that was a logical and precise rant. *golf clap*

  32. unbelievable Says:

    @bucsnole, no worries I didn’t take it like that.

    Licht has certainly had some questionable moves, but I think he’s a pretty good GM overall to be honest. Outside of 2016, he’s been pretty damn good in the draft as well as finding UDFAs. Free agency has not been his strong suit, but he seems to be getting better at that too.

    Now of course we can make the argument that he ignored critical areas of need in the trenches for too long, but there’s also only so many holes you can fill in 1 season.

    I have more concerns about the coaching staff right now than I do about the GM and scouting staff (though I will say 2016 draft class is not looking good).

    In-game adjustments?? We haven’t seen those since Raheem was here…

  33. Gambelero Says:

    The cap-broke issue is becoming like Charlie’s nose in Steve Martin’s version of Cyrano de Bergerac. The more you ignore it, the bigger the issue gets. Re-sign Shep, get another veteran corner or sign Reid at safety are all futile if we don’t have the space.

  34. MadMax Says:

    The D line should be playing a lot more aggressive now, so that will help our DBs, as long as Smith isnt giving 10 yard cushions agaiin.

  35. since1976GoBucs Says:

    Dominique Rodgers Cromartie is available and is a great cover corner with elite speed and great ball skills. Get this guy in here AC/DC loving Licht!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Joe Says:

    Better start lighting candles and praying for the souls of the 3 – yes THREE DBs that the Bucs drafted Joe.

    Nah. They weren’t drafted in the first round.

  37. The Buc Realist Says:


    Wow!!!!! Keep back peddling like that, and you might get a tryout at CB!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Joe Says:

    Hey Joe’s, what does Brent Maxie say when you tell him he sucks at coaching?

    If Maxie is so worried about what Joe writes, then he really does have issues. Maxie has much bigger fish to fry than Joe. If he doesn’t start coaching up those young corners, he’s going to be begging for work come January and no, Joe is not hiring.

  39. Joe Says:

    Once again, Joe advocates free agent has beens

    “has beens” which means they actually did something at one time as opposed to the never-beens coached up by someone who hasn’t proven he can coach young corners — veterans, the Bucs do well with.

  40. Joe Says:

    Just saying, there’s a lot of reasons why our DBs played bad. Coaching is only part of it.

    Joe is a big coaches guy. That’s both good and bad.

    The Bucs the past two years had three rookie corners to develop. All got worse. That is ugly.

    One is a mistake. Two is a pattern. Three is downright damning.

    If just one of those guys remained status quo, OK. None did. All three regressed The fact these same coaches thought Ryan Smith could play safety, only to figure out five months later he couldn’t reinforces Joe’s belief these guys cannot develop corners — veterans they do well with.

  41. Joe Says:

    Gary Davenport says in your article Joe that CB is “a position with one of the steeper learning curves in the pros.” Ronde Barber & a few other notables would probably agree. Hmmm, whodathunkit?

    Well that’s just making Joe’s point the Bucs need to get veteran corners until the rookies are ready, doesn’t it?

    But NNNOOO!!! People b!tch at Joe for wanting veteran corners and it seems they prefer to see rookie corners ruined while opposing teams rack up 35+ points a game and the Bucs have yet another losing season and go through yet another coaching change.