The Lessons Of Cornerback Depth

November 27th, 2012

Joe saw Roddy White beat little-known Bucs cornerback Danny Gorrer on a slant pass for the Falcons’ critical third-down conversion inside of two minutes remaining Sunday, and Joe knew he had seen that dagger before.

It was three years ago, also in late November, when Falcons QB Chris Redman had a 4th-and-goal with 26 seconds left at the Bucs’ 5 yard line and threw a nearly identical slant to White to beat another little-known Bucs cornerback, Derrick Roberson. Here’s the video. It was the game-winning touchdown.

Now rockstar general manager Mark Dominik has said multiple times that a team can never have too many cornerbacks. It’s a pretty common take around the NFL. And this Bucs season is exhibit A as to why teams need legitimate cornerback depth.

You just can’t have C-list corners covering A-list receivers and expect success, especially when a game is on the line.

Eric Wright and Aqib Talib screwed the Bucs this season with their pill-popping ways. One could say that was neither expected nor predictable. But given their personal histories, one also could make the argument it was totally predictable.

Regardless, the Bucs didn’t have what they needed at cornerback this season. Blame whatever/whoever you want, but the Bucs are paying a huge price for their lack of quality at the position. Yesterday afternoon, Greg Schiano reffered to “E.J., Leonard, Danny and LeQuan;” That really drove it home for Joe.

At this point, Joe easily could see Leonard Johnson as the only cornerback returning in 2013. The Bucs could ditch Eric Wright without financial consequences and use that cash for a premier free agent corner, plus grab a veteran second-tier, free-agent CB, and draft a first-rounder at the position.

31 Responses to “The Lessons Of Cornerback Depth”

  1. OB Says:


    I am sure that Mark is trying to trade Wright now or if they still want him, redo his contract.

    I don’t believe they want him nor do I think that they should. He is a high paid veteran conpaired to all the CBs and he did what he did. This is not the example you want for leadership. I say void the contract and cut him at the end of the year if we can’t trade him.

  2. Brad Says:

    This is all on Dominik. He knew Talib and his history and made another mistake by signing Wright. What has been doing since we traded Talib. Nothing but going on radio shows and taking credit for Schiano’s great coaching. Time to get a real GM.

  3. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Is it possible Wright restructures? He isn’t terrible, and as you Dominic says, you can never have too many CBs. Seems far out considering we just signed him, but I don’t see how he stays at the same rate and am fearful of letting him walk without any suitable candidates to take his place.

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    The issue isn’t the that the Bucs ignored the need; it’s the simple fact that there was no one available or interested in coming here to Tampa. You can’t address every single need in one year. The Bucs have done a nice job building a solid foundation for the future.

  5. Have A Nice Day Says:

    That said, I’d like to take a serious look at Jason McCourty from TN. In the prime of his career and has been consistently above average for 3 straight years. He is a wonderful tackler and plays the run as well as any CB out there.

    I don’t really see anyone else worth big money in the free agency class of CBs.

  6. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @BucnJim – That is a good point. I’m pretty sure after this season the Bucs will seem far more alluring than last.

  7. Bucworld Says:

    Pass rush is a bigger problem than our corners.

  8. ctord Says:

    pass rush is not a bigger problem than our corners. 300 to 400 yards passing yards allowed per game is a problem. First, Clayborn out for the year is huge and second the defense is playing to protect the corners. The bucs are dropping the linebackers into coverage and not allowing barber to blitz as often because the bucs are afraid the corners will get beat. A two man rush on Sunday. Come on! Deacon jones and reggie white could not even muddy that pocket.

  9. Macabee Says:

    Following is my prescription for the secondary next year: (draft position assumed to be between #10 & #15)

    LCB – Free Agency (replaces E.J. Biggers)
    Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, Sean Smith, Mike Jenkins
    RCB – Free Agency (replaces Eric Wright)
    Namdhi Asomugha, Derek Cox
    CB – Draft 1st round (replaces Myron Lewis)
    Dee Milliner, Jonathan Banks, Xavier Rhodes
    FS – Draft 2nd round (replaces Ronde Barber)
    Eric Reid, Kenny Vacarro, T.J. McDonald
    SS – Mark Barron
    FS – Ahmad Black
    CB – Anthony Gaitor (replaces Danny Gorrer)
    CB – Leonard Johnson
    CB – LeQuan Lewis
    SS – Draft 5th round (replaces Cody Grimm)
    Ray-Ray Armstrong, Blidi Wreh-Wilson
    FS – Keith Tandy

  10. ctord Says:

    @bucworld. I did not want to seem argumentative with my post. After watching the game sunday, I did not see to much pressure being dialed up. With the corners we have, maybe the bucs should just throw caution to the wolves and attack. Leaving the cormers on an island until the bucs can fix the issue.

  11. voice of reason Says:

    i agree with bucnjim
    also, lets remember that this team has committed to stopping the run. when you do that, the pass defense is going to give up yards. lets hope one of these youngs guys turns into something.

  12. TONY850 Says:

    Bucs just have been knocked down when it comes to the secondary. I remember at the beginning of the season when everyone was suspect of our linebacker group, and run stop D, but now they are our strength on D.

    Talib and Wright really screwed this team over this year in the pass defense. Veterans were suppose to help Barron get on his wheels and now we are playing 3 first year players in the secondary.

    I like what we have in the future, but dammit we have the chance to win now but getting scorched in the pass game.

  13. Fatmosh Says:

    The problem is that there aren’t really any good CBs in FA this year. They really needed to get one last year.

  14. k1ngAdroc Says:

    Finally someone (thanks Joe) points out that at critical moments over the past 3 years the bucs had a CB with little or zero experience expected to defend the other teams #1 receiver. combine that with getting stuffed trying to 1 yd on offense and multiple ridiculous calls and you have why we aren’t more consistently winning games and in the playoffs.

    That being said, I love the path this team is on. The ground game offensive line / line AND the CB’s coach is doing an exceptional job given the injuries and personnel.

    Can’t completely rebuild in one yr. This guys are getting serious PT and with another round of free agency and draft picks we will be getting after the opposing QB with a furious consistently.

    Come back for another year RONDE ~ GO BUCS

  15. Robbie_G Says:

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. With V jax and Carl Nicks this year, and a great draft of Barron, Martin, and David, the talent is much better. Give them another year to fix the issues at CB. And with another year with coach Schiano.

  16. bucfanjeff Says:

    DB will be a big focus next year in the draft and\or FA. I wouldn’t expect Wright to be here now that the Bucs have a get out of jail free card (void contract).

    I still like Gaitor a lot but want to see him healthy and in games.

  17. BigBear Says:


    Hasn’t EJ been playing pretty well this year? He’s no world beater, but as a nickelback being the number one on the team and playing at a higher level than we have seen in the past 2 seasons would it not stand to reason that they would bring back their best corner as it stands right now?

  18. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    I’m the 1st Person to bash the CHEAP Glazer kids….but cut Eric Wright. He’s always hurt too

  19. 76buc76 Says:

    The Falcon’s badly out schemed us in the first half.Our defence that all year has played the run first,decided to drop and play the pass.The falcon’s ran the ball down our throat (reminded me a lot of last year).Keying the run is the way to go.If you can’t stop the run your DEAD.We will give up 300-400 passing yards every game.But if we can force a couple turnover’s and tighten up in the red zone we’ll be fine.The offence must continue to role and not comit turnover’s for this to work.Every time we get back into dink and dunk bad thing’s seem to happen.As far as Wright cut him and offer him 3 mil 2 year’s.Since he hasn’t played for 4 week’s he shouldn’t have appealed

  20. Warrenfb12 Says:

    I think these guys would all be solid depth. Dump Eric Wright, draft a guy, sign and guy-call it a day.

  21. J-villeBucs Says:

    We need to sit and take DeMarcus Milliner in the 1st round if he’s there if not move up and get him. If were going to keep playing Man Coverage we need a good Man CB. Jonathan Banks I feel gets beat too much for big plays like Talib did. I don’t mind getting short passes and your every now and again 20 yards, but NO MORE 30-80 yard wide open plays. Wouldn’t mind taking Xavier Rhodes in the 1st if we have to. If he’s there in the 2nd round I’d pick up the guy from Oregon Jordan Poyer. If anything he gives us depth at the CB position and can return kicks and punts.

  22. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Don’t just dump Wright and lose an above-average (although not great) CB with zero compensation. Either trade him for a pick or at worst make him renegotiate his contract. No other team in the league will give him $7 mil per year after what he’s done this season. Get him down to about $4 mil per and use the cash savings to bring in more free agent help.

    That would be the smarter business move. I’m glad Dominik doesn’t react emotionally like some fans and just dump players who still have some value. Some folks were screaming to just cut Talib…now that we have another 4th round pick I’m glad Dominik ignored those idiots. He should do the same with all the emotional screaming taking place right now. Business is business and emotion has no part in it.

  23. wideout1882 Says:

    why don’t we move barber back to corner and ahmad black take his place at FS? I know barber is old but he is better than our corners.

  24. Macabee Says:

    Flyboy, I agree with you with a few caveats. Some due diligence is required first. What effect has this had on the locker room? Is Wrights situation in any way related to Talib’s suspension? Was this a personal offense or was he involved in any distribution?

    I don’t know those answers, but they have to answered in the clear before he is reconsidered. My opinion!

  25. Phenom4 Says:

    Would LOVE to see Xavier Rhodes in the secondary with Barron….Opposing WRs will definately be not wanting to cross the middle and will be keeping their head up fo sho!!

  26. SacBucs Says:

    I see our corners are not the only one popping
    If we dont get big long fast corners we are toast like i said before..Haters.
    .Joe you have got some know it all cocky fans on your site. I wonder if they have ever played sports at all. Its basketball in the league know..I dont have to say Gates/Graham/Gronk do I?….. 5’9 can’t cover 6’5…

    Don’t argue with my comments because i doubt if i respond..

  27. SteveK Says:

    What did everyone think the Falcons recieving corps was going to do to our CB’s and secondary?

    Roddy White- Pro bowler
    Julio Jones- Freak talent, cost several picks to go up and get
    Tony Gonzalez- Best recieving TE ever….

    Our CB’s:

    Gorrrer- who the hell is that?
    Leonard Johnson- warrior, 4.7/40 yd speed
    Biggers- 7nh round pick, ,meh
    Myron Lewis- 3rd round pick and plays like the WORST player on D, just as Reejus is the worst WR, yet one of the highest drafted.

    We had a decent draft last year, and it is because we made our early selections count. I believe we can do the same.

    It says something that we suck terribly at CB. We signed a Free Agent, Eric “never learns knuckle headed fool” Wright, and drafted Talib 20th overall.

    Talib’s talent is a mirage, as he lacks the utmost accountability.

    With all of this being said, I am happy with our current CB’s. They are playing to their draft status. I wish everyone could perform to their draft status….

  28. 76buc76 Says:

    Move Barron to corner he’s probably our fastest DB.Barber and Black safety’s.QB’s would have a hard time seeing papa smurf and dopey smurf out there.

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