“Too Early To Tell” On Johnthan BanksJune 6th, 2014
The deprogramming of the Buccaneers cornerbacks is in full swing.
The radical change from the New Schiano Order approach is very evident in the secondary, not just on the defensive line, where the endless dancing is over.
Joe chatted 1-on-1 with Bucs cornerbacks coach Gil Byrd and the change in approach with teaching corners within Lovie Smith’s scheme.
One thing Joe asked was whether Byrd would label Johnthan Banks more of a cover corner or a press corner. Byrd said there are so many new techniques being learned that he has no good read yet.
“It’s really to early to tell because a lot of these guys have only played a certain way all their careers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play the way we’re asking them to play,” Byrd said. “Banks and all of them have shown glimpses that they can play and do the things we’re asking them to do. The key now is who can do it consistently and not revert back to the, and I’m not going to say ‘bad habits.’ Like I told the players earlier, what they were taught in the past wasn’t wrong, it’s just not what we do.”
“So it’s just a preference. We prefer to do things differently than the old regime did, or when they were in high school or college. But it doesn’t mean it was wrong, it just doesn’t fit us and our scheme.”
Now Byrd is a classy guy and a very straight-shooter, but it sure seemed that if he didn’t want to say, ‘bad habits,’ then he at least wanted to say something that conveyed habits that weren’t professional enough for the Lovie Smith regime.
Byrd talked about how coaches have been studying cornerbacks’ strengths and providing customized techniques, where every player has his own “menu.”
Bryd said techniques that “fit your stature best” are being conveyed to players. “One way doesn’t fit everybody,” Byrd said, “especially at this position.”
The broader question, one of the biggest of the 2014 season, is just how much Lovie’s coaching staff can draw out of a talented defensive roster.
Last year, Greg Schiano found a way to be average on defense. Joe suspects Lovie will take it up a notch or two. And moving the chains in the second half once in a while should help, too.