Maybe The Bucs Like Their Safeties

April 11th, 2012

Greg Schiano prides himself on being a teacher and having a staff of teachers, and he speaks lovingly of developing players and building through the draft. So Joe’s wondering whether Schiano, rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and secondary coach Ron Cooper are relatively content with the safeties on the roster right now.

Perhaps cutting Tanard Jackson, a guy that was hurt and couldn’t be counted on anyway, feels like a huge relief and a huge opportunity to Schiano and friends.

The current safties are:

Larry Asante: a Dominik practice squad pickup entering his third season who at least flashed some good things with the Bucs
Ahmad Black: a Dominik draftee who was hurt through his 2011 rookie preseason and landed on the practice squad
Devin Holland: undrafted free agent coming off injured reserve after making the Bucs roster as a special teams ace last year
Cody Grimm: The man’s a wolf — and talented. Who wouldn’t be excited to have him, even if he can’t stay healthy?

Of course, Joe knows the Bucs will add bodies at safety, but Joe’s not expecting anyone too exciting in 2012. At some point, the Bucs are going to have to prove they can develop defensive players, and as an organization they’re probably damn eager to do it.

The safety position is scary, but at least Ronde Barber’s around and potentially could move into that role. At linebacker, things are just as scary, if not more, and there is no such potential savior on the roster.

42 Responses to “Maybe The Bucs Like Their Safeties”

  1. Capt. Tim Says:

    Great article Joe, and I believe you are right.
    Asante and Grimm could be very Goid together. They will certainly be better than Jones/Tanard

  2. Vince Says:

    Definitely time to pray with this back 7

  3. BigBear Says:

    Certainly there is a lot of young potential at that position. Black was a star in college, Holland has tremendous speed, Grimm is a player for sure, and Asante has shown he can play on both D and special teams in nice flashes. Though I do like the safeties in this years class, at least at the front end, I would like to see these guys work it out with maybe some late round/UFA brought in to push them.

    With four players working for 2 spots (though size will limit some to play SS, Black did it in college and Holland is a fearsome hitter so im not concerned about that) there will be competition that will bring out the best in all of them.

  4. Brad Says:

    I guess the Rock Star wants this to be his last year. The way he’s not helping this team out by not adding FA’s in needed positions makes no sense at all. The safety’s and linebackers are the worst in the NFL and it seems everyone knows that but Mark. The draft can’t fix every position. I guess it’s up to the coaches to excel at their jobs cause Dominik sure isn’t .

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Brad, not adding FA in needed positions..?? WTF VJax, Wright, Nicks, DT (name escapes me)…? all needed.

    That said, we are thin on defense and Cody Grimm is injury prone…just like McCoy.

  6. Shmuckaneer Says:

    I believe Black can be coached into a pretty good safety at this level. He was VERY successful in the strongest conference while at UF. I believe he can deliver the goods.

  7. the buc realist Says:

    are the back 7 the worst in the nfl? Or was our Defensive line in such shambles and inexperience that made the back 7 look like the very worst ever to be on a football field?

  8. BigBear Says:

    I forgot to mention this- Remember how we couldn’t tackle really anyone? Asante’s biggest strength coming out of Nebraska was that he was super reliable hard driving tackler who would bring the lumber but rarely misses. With him and Grimm there it would be nice to see our safeties stopping those big plays with solid tackles.

  9. Joe Says:


    are the back 7 the worst in the nfl?

    Joe’s tried to make this point several times.

  10. Jktampa Says:

    LOL! Didn’t Ronde also play LB a few snaps last year?

  11. SensibleBuc Says:

    MyLew to safety in place of Holland while our drafted corner fills in his spot on the depth chart…

    But we’re still going to need to spend a top 3 round pick on a safety at some point. Damnit Tanard.

  12. ATLBuc Says:

    I wonder if the Tanard release is a sign that Ronde is moving to Safety. Draft Claiborne, pray that Talib stays out of prison, move Ronde to Safety, and suddenly it’s a pretty respectable secondary.

  13. tj Says:

    Ronde will play safety in my opinion

  14. jd Says:

    Would rather see Larry Asante start. he makes plays. Came in last year made Falcons fumble on there goal line puts his helmet on the ball. Also can lay the wood smoked that Chiefs player to make him drop the pass last pre season. He has good ball skills and can wrap when tackling which we lack

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    We still need to figure out if it was a poor system the players were stuck in or overall lack of talent. Raheem never produced even a half way decent D! In 2010 it was all Freeman & company bailing out the defense. Something tells me that there is a little more talent on this defense then fans realize. With a solid system and disciplined players; we may see an entirely different team on Sunday’s.

  16. Capt. Tim Says:

    Yes- our back 7 are the worst in the league. Our Chs and Safeties last year were horrible
    Several Mags, and myself, agree that our LBers were the worst in the history of the NFL. Including the old AFL, and all teams prior to the merger.
    And USFL teams.

    “Pro Football Focus” listed all starting LBers numbers for tackles made/ tackles missed.
    Out of 31 ILBs, Foster was 27
    Out of 29 OLBers, Hayes was 26, Black was 29.
    That’s just as Gut wrenchingly bad as it can get

  17. the buc realist Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    its easier to tackle if the front four make the ball carrier hesitate, or change direction. If the ball carrier is making his first move on your Linebacker, Safety or Cornerback then those stats are scued. That is why Coach Schiano had to watch tape and not just read stats to see who is productive.

  18. Bucnjim Says:

    I’d still like to see Foster in a solid system and not some fictional hybrid system that left the players out of position most of the time. Raheem was being out coached so badly; that the opposing team knew what the Bucs D was doing during every play. For QB’s like Bree’s; it was like shoting fish in a barrel.

  19. Meh Says:

    Other than Grimm, that list is pathetic. And Grimm can’t stay healthy, and isn’t really much more than average when he is healthy.

    If they like their safeties, then I’m very concerned about our new coaching staff. I’m guessing they don’t like them, but realize you can’t fix everything wrong with the team in a single offseason.

  20. Meh Says:

    The linebacking stats were not ‘skewed’ (or scued lol). The linebacking play was atrocious, and it was atrocious completely independently from the front fours’ problems. They were never in position, they tackled like infants, they and they forgot they had arms. The play was just flat out bad. Anyone who watched the games knows it.

  21. SensibleBuc Says:

    Ronde is a 5’10” 184 pound 37 years old. He’s too small and too slow to hold up back there for the entire season.

  22. Meh Says:

    I agree with SenibleBuc, very, very unlikely Ronde can perform well at safety. He needs to be the nickel corner. It is the only position left he can play, and even at that spot father time is catching up to him quickly.

  23. Mr. Patrick Says:

    I think the real wild card here is Holland. He has good size, very quick, very aggressive and hits and tackles hard.
    It’s no wonder Bucs had the worst defense in the league last year as they had the worst coordinator.

  24. deminion Says:

    FS= Myron Lewis(gotta give him a look some where or release him too)
    SS= Devin Holland ( why not)
    CB= Talib(if no jail time)
    CB=Eric Wright
    CB=Claiborne!!!( no time to get on my soap box and rant today im at wrk lol)
    CB=Ronde(???) dont know how they will use him

  25. Posey99 Says:

    1st. Morris CB
    2nd. Kendricks MLB
    3rd. Brandon Taylor S

    Grimm Returns healthy…and we are fine.

    LB: Hayward, Kendricks, Foster
    CB: Barber, Talib, Wright, Claiborne
    S: Grimm, Taylor

  26. bucbelevr Says:

    Ronde is not a Safety, no matter the “coaching”. Too small, lost a step, prolly will get thrown over the top. Not a Safety. Hopefully Grimm does come back fully healthy, who knows. Rest would have done something, shown something, and too small.

    On to what we do know…if Bucs do stay at #5, then pick 5th round Safety, Markelle Martin, Antonio Allen, DeQuan Menzie (projects S) in that order. (other Safeties will be gone prolly by 5th rd).

    Sign any released Safety after draft from another team, or Crocker/Atogwe at league minimum at absolute worst, hopefully doesn’t come to that.

  27. deminion Says:

    at 5 Caliborne!!!
    2nd rd Bobby Wagner(great player)
    3rd Pead( Martin and others last til the 3rd)

  28. bucbelevr Says:

    And Running Back, decent one…??….@Posey99….

  29. Have A Nice Day Says:

    It is hard to speculate about any talent acquired last season. They had been put through the worst possible coaching scenario.

    Holland played in 4 games and racked up 2 tackles. How does that make him a “special teams ace”?

  30. knucknbuc Says:

    Holland is gonna be nice mark it down now.

  31. Bobby Says:

    You know….I think you are all correct. Everyone knows the teams needs except Dom and Schiano. They are totally unaware that they may need help in the DB dept and they just let Jackson go because they drew his name out of a hat to free up cap space. They probably didn’t even know what LB meant until they got on here and read some of these ‘informed’ posts and now they are in a panic just like you!!! Thank you all so much for staying on top of our ‘team needs’. What would the front office ever do without the wisdom that shines so bright here daily???

  32. TheTaylorPrice Says:

    The first 3 rounds will be telling for us. Not many people agree with me and continue to say that a #2 back is more important than addressing our safety needs. No returning starters and Grimm is coming back from b2b leg injuries. I love Cody back there but it is not a certainty. We could take care of our top 3 needs with our first 3 picks… Obviously we go Claiborne at 1 and let him get to work with his previous DB’s coach. Here’s where i loose some. Harrison Smith with our 2nd pick over one of the 2nd teir/backups to Blount. Harrison Smith can play either SS or FS. Hes 6’2 215, ultra-athletic, 4 year starter at ND, team captain and SMART. That leaves Mychal Kendricks with our 3rd pick and he immediately takes over the Mike and allows Foster to move to his natural WILL. Being 5’11 240, hes a Steven Tulloch mold, playing a very physical middle backer. Oh, and he runs extremely well clocking in at 4.47 in the 40.


  33. bucbelevr Says:


    Like the homework. Harrison Smith is a great pick, and to a slightly lesser degree, so is Hendrycks at LB.

    Just really feel, IMHO, that the Schiano regime, will absolutely insist in light of the money spent on the OLine too, that Martin, Miller need to be in a Buc uniform no later than Round 2….all assuming TRich is not pick at #5, maybe Claiborne there.

    Like your choices. And moving Foster back out to WILL.

  34. 941Buc Says:

    So many holes, not enough picks. We just better hope there are some inexpensive free agents after the draft. We are moving kn the right direction but to think we are a playoff team next year is a stretch. Being a Gator, I hope Black gets a shot and stays healthy.

  35. TheTaylorPrice Says:

    I see exactly where you are coming from @bucbelevr. Im not 100% opposed to taking one of the rb’s in the 2nd but its just hard to look at our back 7 and think we arent going to address it in an aggresive manner. I understand that “Rome wasnt built in a day” but when you could possibly land 3 long-term solutions in the first 3 rounds, its hard to see past that. I believe we can find a good talent to spell Blount, and hopefully our revamped Oline will allow anyone to look like a probowler running behind them.

    All things aside, I am a true Buccaneers fan and will support them no matter what.

  36. Patrick Says:

    Cody Grimm is now the only decent safety we have. And he’s injury prone. Sorry, but our defense has gotten worse. Wright is mediocre at best and we haven’t done anything to upgrade the linebackers. NOW we have to add safties to the list!

  37. 941-Bucs Says:

    Grimm, Asante, and Holland can all bring the wood. Black is a ball hawk. I know they are a bunch of no names…. But with a golden opportunity to carve out a role. I’m hoping at least 2 of them arise to the occasion.

    If Grimm can stay healthy, as well as the D Line. I can feel comfortable with

    SS- Cody Grimm, Devin Holland
    FS – Larry Asanate, Amhad Black

    I Feel Asante can be a good starter if given the time to show it.

  38. 941-Bucs Says:

    I like Foster at Sam and would prefer Watson at Will.

  39. teacherman777 Says:

    Devin Holland can flat oit fly. He blew my mind last preseason until he hurt his neck DRILLING somebody.

    Hopefully he has been taking care of himself and rehabbing well. He could be a decent FS. He has the speed and he likea to hit. Even SS because of his hitting ability.

    Ahmad Black is a SOLID football player. I am Auburn Alumni. I saw Ahmad play many times. He was an SEC stud for years. I am very curious to see if he has put on some muscle and if hes ready to prove himself this year. I think he and Grimm are both the type of ‘New Buc’ who loves football. Hopefully, he has a chip on his shoulder for dropping to the 5th round.

    So much of a players “growth” as Dominik refers to, is how ‘motivated’ a player is. We will see with Ahmad Black, Gaitor, Asante, and Holland if they workd hard this offseason. If they are ‘growing.’

  40. patrickbucs Says:

    good points teacherman.. some times you have to give the players you have a chance. There are a bunch of no-name guys in this league that have become very good to stars when given a legit chance. I’m sure we may draft a safety or 2 along with 1 or 2 cb’s. I think there is a legit possibility we only draft 1 offensive player this year, and that will be at rb.

  41. BigMacAttack Says:

    I am somewhat excited to see Devin Holland return from injury. That young man is aggressive and put the smack down on a few players. He was also a little too aggressive at times but I loved when he laid out Woodhead with a crackback on the return in the Pat’s game. That kid has some potential and speed.

  42. bucfat Says:

    I learned to like our safeties but starters…i dont know. The Bucs need to hop on the Mo train.