Melvin Likes The “Menu”

June 12th, 2014

Bucs corners have plenty to chew on

It’s lunchtime and Day 3 of Bucs minicamp practice is about to kick off. So Joe thought this would be a great time to talk about today’s menu.

Sadly, Joe’s not referring to Hooters wings and beers; Joe’s talking about the new menu for Bucs cornerbacks.

The star of the secondary yesterday was Rashaan Melvin with two interceptions, one of the spectacular variety, ripping the ball out of the air and hands of Chris Owusu. Both picks came from Josh McCown throws.

Don’t remember Melvin? He the long (6-2, 194 pounds) undrafted Schiano-Dominik cornerback who landed on injured reserve after a preseason injury. The Lovie Smith regime is high on the kid, too, and he’s been working with the second-team corners and got first team work yesterday.

Joe actually talked to Melvin two days ago, before his breakout practice. Melvin already was showing signs, per Joe’s eyes, of playing at a solid NFL level.

Coach is making a huge difference, Melvin said.

“The big difference from this year and last year is learning the techniques and the techniques themselves,” Melvin said. “The defense is new but pretty easy to pick up. It’s just being consistent on your techniques and being in position to make a play on the ball.

“When Coach Byrd talks about the menu, it’s a menu of the technique options tailored to each player to use on specific down and distance, depending on the receiver, as well. So we try to understand the situation in the game and pick off the menu that way. When you look at film, I mean you learn receivers, the plays, and the concepts we use on certain down and distances. So when you see that stuff, you want to try to try and apply it in your head first and then on the field.”

Joe previously talked to cornerbacks coach Byrd about “the menu.” You can read about it here.

It sure seems like the secondary coaching has improved dramatically. Byrd was a Pro Bowler. Leslie Frazier has a Super Bowl ring as a cornerback, and he coached the position. Lovie Smith was a defensive backs coach. Father Dungy, a defensive back with the Steelers dynasty, is lending his expertise now at One Buc Palace. Plus, Pro Bowl addition Alterraun Verner is one of the more cerebral players in the NFL and is eager to share knowledge.

Joe has very high hopes for the Bucs defense. But will it jell fast enough to cover for a brand new offense with a lot of new parts some glaring holes?

13 Responses to “Melvin Likes The “Menu””

  1. Louis Friend Says:

    Our corners look very solid. But so much of this is going to depend on our safety play and whether they excel in cover 2. I’d like think Barron will, but Goldson still concerns me. He’s known more for his tenacity than his pass cover skills, but I’m hoping he can excel with this.

  2. biff barker Says:

    I remember DJ Moore speaking about how down and distance kept the coverage scheme simple. That and a pass rush should help this D get off to a fast start.

    Things may be different for the offense. Tedford’s playbook may rival Gruden’s.

  3. Louis Friend Says:

    That’s what I’m thinking Biff. 3 of their first 5 games are against likely top 5 defenses. That’s about the worst way to bring a new offensive playbook into the NFL.

  4. MR.T Says:

    Actually playing top defenses early might be an advantage for us since they will have not seen Tedford’s offense before which should somewhat limit their ability to prepare for us. However that will change after we’ve played several games and our offensive scheme becomes known.

  5. Harry Says:

    Exactly Biff. I think we have a good chance to have a great D this year, and that is exciting in itself. As for Tedford, I am both excited and anxious as to what he brings to the table. On the positive, he is a QB guru (supposedly) and an innovator on offense. That is exciting when you consider what Kelly did in Philly last year.

    The concern to me about Tedford is two-fold: he is an NFL newbie and (funny you referenced Gruden…) I hope he is not one of those coaches who over complicates things and also outsmarts himself. He’s been around and after his humbling end at USC maybe that will keep him grounded.

  6. theDON Says:

    make plays, and win. Derrick brooks used to say

  7. flrocker1 Says:

    @Harry – Tedford was never at USC. You must have him confused with someone else.

  8. Westsidebucsfan Says:

    REVIS WHO???

  9. Barry Says:

    I don’t want to hear our corners are good, I want to see that our corners are good. #WhenTheBulletsAreFlying

  10. Orca Says:

    ^^ Sorry, no bullets for a few months. Maybe there should be no positive reporting on what’s going on in camp (???)…

    By the way, hashtags are meaningless on websites that do not have aggregation functionality. Take the hashtags to the facebooks or the twitterverse.

  11. Kevin Says:

    Actually Louise Fried, I have to believe that facing all of those top five defenses in the VERY beginning of the season is a big benefit, given those defenses have NO CLUE what we are going to do. I would much rather face better defenses in the beginning rather than the end of the season after they have had plenty of time to study tape on our offense. Just my opinion

  12. Jim Walker Says:

    Not sure how you prepare for height.

  13. owlykat Says:

    I sure hope Melvin has a breakout season this year!