Rashaan Melvin: Good As AdvertisedAugust 5th, 2013
Joe remembers after rookie minicamp this spring Joe got a text from a trusted Bucs source to look out for a rookie from Northern Illinois, a cornerback by the name of Rashaan Melvin.
What? Joe texted back “thanks,” but wondered why he was being told to keep an eye on Melvin. Melvin was an undrafted free agent, much like Leonard Johnson the previous season. Then, no one told Joe to monitor Johnson, perhaps because he was a well-known player who grew up in Largo.
During OTAs and minicamp, Melvin didn’t do much if anything that jumped out. No, no, the same source told Joe in July. You will want to watch him, Joe was told again.
Now Joe knows why. Melvin has completely blown up in training camp. Will he unseat Darrelle Revis? No. Will he usurp Johnthan Banks for a starting gig? Maybe not. But if the Bucs need to call on Melvin, there will not be a steep drop off.
Last week, Melvin, who has seen considerable snaps with the first team defense with Revis being limited and Johnthan Banks slowed by a mild hamstring, talked about defending Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.
“Going against V-Jack and Mike, they’re both different,” Melvin said. “Mike has very good hands, and V-Jack runs great routes and they’re able to get over. They’re known around the league and I’m just trying to focus on what I can control, and being disciplined in my routes and coming out of my breaks. So going against those guys has really helped me improve my talent and my technique.”
This is what Bucs coach Greg Schiano talks about when he mentions competition. Good players bring out the best in good players. This creates good team depth.
In retrospect, Joe can see why Melvin may have slipped through the cracks. He played in the MAC. Then again, the Huskies made it to the Orange Bowl last year. They had to have some decent players to accomplish that feat.