Alterraun Verner: Suitable Replacement

April 12th, 2014
Stat geeks compare Darrelle Revis with his replacement, Alterraun Verner.

Pro Football Focus compares Alterraun Verner (above) with Darrelle Revis, and D.J. Moore offers reality on Lovie’s defense.

Though Joe has gotten over it, Joe still finds it a negative when a team willing waves goodbye to a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career. Yes, yes, yes, Joe knows all about Darrelle Revis’ salary and how the Bucs spread the wealth around.

While the thought of losing Revis still irks Joe, the stat nerds over at Pro Football Focus believe the Bucs couldn’t have done much better in who they replaced Revis with, Alterraun Verner.

Verner isn’t Revis in that he isn’t the kind of shutdown corner Revis can be in a scheme that employs a lot of man coverage. However, in a zone-heavy scheme he is a pretty close approximation. With both players playing a mix of man and zone in 2013 Verner actually allowed a lower percentage of targets into his coverage to be caught, allowed half as many touchdowns and broke up more than twice as many passes.

When you look at how often each was in coverage and thrown at, only Revis, Richard Sherman and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were in coverage for more snaps than Verner between each catch surrendered.

Verner excels in the kind of scheme that Lovie Smith will be employing in Tampa Bay and costs a fraction of the money that Revis was due. The difference between the two players within that scheme is negligible. Though he might not hold up if asked to lock down a receiver all day in man coverage, Verner is comfortable, aggressive and very capable.

Before we proclaim that Lovie Smith runs a zone defense because of his background with the Tampa-2, let’s take a step back and consider how new Bucs cornerback D.J. Moore, who played for Lovie in Chicago, broke down Lovie’s defense on SiriusXM NFL Radio last month.

“It is simple. it is real simple,” Moore said. “The Cover-2 thing [under Lovie] is normally [used] when you are in third-and-long. So, if you are in third-and-seven or longer, 90- to 95-percent you will be in Cover-2. Now if it is third-and-six or less, just about 100 percent of the time you will be in man. It just depends on the down and distance.”

So aside from obvious passing downs, and not even all the time in obvious passing downs, the Bucs will be running man-coverage, not zone which people have the habit of thinking.

Will Verner be able to replace Revis? Probably not. What cornerback short of possibly Richard Sherman can? But can he fill the void enough to get the job done? That depends on whether Lovie can ressurect a non-existent pass rush.

20 Responses to “Alterraun Verner: Suitable Replacement”

  1. biff barker Says:

    Revis was an island but this secondary will operate as a unit. I’m actually excited about our secondary for once.

  2. Orlandobucsfan Says:

    U said it joe….. If the quartback has all day it doesn’t matter who is in the secondary. If revis was negotiable at all with his money it would’ve been incredible to have both.

  3. JGM 2.0 Says:

    The stat nerds at Pro Football Focus also computed that Mike Glennon had the highest percentage of his yards come on deep throws in the air. Meaning he didn’t have a lot of his yards come from dump offs and screens. Over 67% of his yards came in the air. Enjoy MGMers.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Great defense developing for Bucs.

    GMC, LVD, ATV & perhaps KLM (Khalil Mack) add the Hawk & Red Baron & we have some real thumpers……

  5. Eric Says:

    Plus Verner is younger without a reconstructed knee.

  6. BucsQcCity Says:

    AV 3 years younger, no injury history, team player, scheme fit, 1/3 price. They are not talent collectors, it’s all about value in the scheme and they seems to have robbed the titans on that one.

    I like it.

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    Revis literally grades out almost twice as good as Verner on PFF. There is no replacing Revis, he will be on the All-Pro team next year. We got his rehab year…

  8. Danati74 Says:

    Also the 1st last year and the 4th this year. Here let’s give some draft picks away. Who want them? Here lets help your team get better, and while your knee gets better, lets pay you to be avg. I like A.V. and I like the new regime. Hopefully there is only one way to go. At least they are trying to fix things and recover some of the picks in this draft.

  9. Architek Says:

    I love Revis but the money wasn’t right, period. (Not on this roster)

    The Bucs are and were fortunate that Verner was available. As stated by another great CB, (Ronde) it takes more intelligence to play zone than just man coverage – follow that man everywhere.” It was obvious that Revis was out of his element when in zone, last year. Could he have improved, I’m sure but not for $16M.

    Good post Joe, now this is the standard we come to expect, not the end of the world that can only be saved by the Demi-God, Manziel.

  10. Cody Says:

    Moving Revis was a hard pill to swallow but the return makes it a no-brainer…

    This is a SuperBowl Caliber defense Imo…

    Gholston McCoy McDonald Johnson
    Varner Banks
    David Foster Casillias

    Barron Goldson

  11. Rob Says:

    Revis chose the wrong team, he should have went to a warm weather team do to his knee!

  12. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Revis was a huge mistake for the Bucs. The team would have been much better using the picks themselves. We would now have another impact player with a season on experience under his belt as well as another 3 or 4 more years to contribute to the team. We’d have another hole filled with the pick in the 4th and the 16 million Revis was paid to rehab could have been used on several players to upgrade the OL and receiving corps. The Jets made out like bandits. They got rid of a problem and were well compensated. The Bucs weren’t, but at least now they will get a return on the investment. You can plug a lot of holes with 16 million. The team is absolutely better off now.

  13. NorthernBuc Says:

    If Verner is better at zone (and by losing Revis the secondary is weaker playing man than we were last year) – and if Lovie typically plays zone (at least cover 2) on third and long — then our front better be good at stopping the run on 1st and 2nd as well as generating pass rush on 3rd. A lot riding on the DL ( more than just find me a good edge rusher)

  14. dylan Says:

    Joe, have you actually looked at film of Revis in non-man situations. How many times was be beat? The folks at NFL films did a very good break down on this. I also think it’s funny that you are so irked by this. Getting rid of a very good player is always a tricky thing, no one says otherwise. But sometimes a player just doesn’t fit. Other times, you don’t need the best position player to succeed, just the best group of players who can play as a team. How about you get over it already and focus on other areas.

  15. BoJim Says:

    JGM 2.0 Said:

    “The stat nerds at Pro Football Focus also computed that Mike Glennon had the highest percentage of his yards come on deep throws in the air. Meaning he didn’t have a lot of his yards come from dump offs and screens. Over 67% of his yards came in the air. Enjoy MGMers.”

    Thanks buddy!

    I really like the AV signing.

  16. Thomas Says:

    He will replace Revis just fine. Everyone forgets that regardless of whether or not Revis was in the pro Bowel (Yeah I spelled it that way on purpose) last year, he wasn’t himself.

    For much of the year he didn’t have the same skills AND he was terrible as Zone. The only thing he does well is Man to Man and he managed to get beat a few times doing that last year as well.

    Can Verner do better than Revis actually did last year for us? Yes he can! We didn’t have Revis Island last year, we had Revis lite. And we payed him tons of money FOR Revis lite, knowing he wasn’t back to normal or even close at the time.

    People keep talking like he was something special here. He wasn’t anything special for us. Could he have been special this year or beyond? yeah. But I’d rather we get 3-4 good players instead.

    This year- Revis’ contract. Next year, Goldson and Nicks’ contracts. Neither one of them were worth what we were paying them.

    Heck, don’t be surprised if we get rid of Nicks this year if he is told he is well enough to play. From what I understand if he is still sick we have to pay him, but if he is healthy we can cut him without paying him.

    They can cut him, roll that money over to next year, and plug more gaps. or of course guys from the second wave of cuts in June…

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    Revis sucked last season, whatever the excuse may be. He couldn’t shut down anybody. He only made a handful of plays all year. It was a solid move to say goodbye to him. Revis’s shutdown days are over. It’s all about the paycheck with Darrell. I think BB will cut him before Week 1.

  18. delson Says:

    I agree we paid for revis island n got the name. Too bad we didn’t get the player. Verner to me is a HUGE UPGRADE!! Revis didn’t have to play hard he just had to finish the season to get in the pro bowl. If the pro bowl was about the true players who put it on the line every game tell me how david was excluded.

  19. ben harvey Says:

    Great pick up in Verner. Funny how someone mention that PFF graded Revis almost twice as good as Verner when I recently read PFF literally making the case that Revis allowed 1 completion per 16 snaps where Verner allowed 1 per 15 snaps. Verner had 3 more picks and more “impact plays than Revis last year as well.
    I do not believe any corner should get 16 million per year. Too much can influence how a secondary performs. Not even Revis can cover all day if no pass rush exists. Verner is more than capable of being great and fits well in this scheme as long as there is a pass rush.
    Revis is an amazing player and I respect the heck out of him, but I wasn’t loving the 16 milly the Bucs paid him last year. Just think Bucs could very well of have Sheldon Richardson ROTY on their roster instead. Bummer

  20. Tom S. Says:

    The mistake was paying Revis an incredible salary that not even the Browns or Raiders were willing to give up a 7th rounder for, it wasn’t cutting him and replacing him with 3 players for the price of 1. One of Dumbinik’s greatest ‘hits.’