Verner Banged Up; Dealing With Learning CurveJuly 28th, 2014
A day off today for All-Pro cornerback Alterraun Verner is no big deal on the surface, but on a deeper level it’s not a good thing, given Verner’s learning curve.
Lovie Smith’s defense was foreign to Verner when he was signed as a big-money free agent in March.
It was little like what he played in Tennessee. For one, Verner is required to play a lot closer to the line of scrimmage and, likely, more zone defense.
Bucs coaches have been drilling the intelligent Verner hard since Day 1 when spring ball kicked off in April. But it will take a while for him to be able play instinctively, which is critical against the elite receivers he’ll be matched up against. Joe talked to Verner about that progression today.
“I don’t have a big timetable. I’m taking it one step at a time, but it will take time to get adjusted because it is something new. I don’t think it will take too long because our coaching is very, very good. I think definitely preseason games is where I’m going to really get that edge, because you can do so much in practice, but in the games that’s where you get the tackling. You can be more physical and do things of that nature in actual game setting. I know definitely mid-preseason, you know, heading into the season I’m definitely going to be close to being on top of the game. And I think all of us are.”
Man, Joe’s got his fingers crossed for Verner to be a quick study.
As for his injury, Verner said he’s day-to-day and just has “nicks on the body” that are nothing serious.