Verner Banged Up; Dealing With Learning Curve

July 28th, 2014
No helmet and pads for Pro Bowl corner Alterraun Verner today, just a floppy hat.

No helmet and pads for Pro Bowl corner Alterraun Verner today, just a floppy hat.

A day off today for All-Pro cornerback Alterraun Verner is no big deal on the surface, but on a deeper level it’s not a good thing, given Verner’s learning curve.

Lovie Smith’s defense was foreign to Verner when he was signed as a big-money free agent in March. 

It was little like what he played in Tennessee. For one, Verner is required to play a lot closer to the line of scrimmage and, likely, more zone defense.

Bucs coaches have been drilling the intelligent Verner hard since Day 1 when spring ball kicked off in April. But it will take a while for him to be able play instinctively, which is critical against the elite receivers he’ll be matched up against. Joe talked to Verner about that progression today.

“I don’t have a big timetable. I’m taking it one step at a time, but it will take time to get adjusted because it is something new. I don’t think it will take too long because our coaching is very, very good. I think definitely preseason games is where I’m going to really get that edge, because you can do so much in practice, but in the games that’s where you get the tackling. You can be more physical and do things of that nature in actual game setting. I know definitely mid-preseason, you know, heading into the season I’m definitely going to be close to being on top of the game. And I think all of us are.”

Man, Joe’s got his fingers crossed for Verner to be a quick study.

As for his injury, Verner said he’s day-to-day and just has “nicks on the body” that are nothing serious.

8 Responses to “Verner Banged Up; Dealing With Learning Curve”

  1. Buddhaboy Says:


  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Not concerned about ATV… guy….great player…..he’ll be ready……don’t want him aggrevating “nicks”……

  3. Hawk Says:

    Verner is right. He should get better ‘during’ the preseason games. The tempo is faster than TC, so he’ll have to learn through immersion. Like learning a new language. You’ll learn faster if you live among those who only speak the language you are trying to learn.

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    OMG….did he say “nicks”???

  5. Tom Edrington Says:

    OMG Part II: Verner’s also wearing the dreaded “Nicks Fishing Hat”

  6. Broy Says:

    Difference number one : have a head coach this year;slack off for one year and you’re gone. Lovie wldnt have signed nicks and wldve cut him one year later. Difference two: ATV has a conscience

  7. Jim Walker Says:

    Sounds like honesty to me. #55 has said many times that new defenses don’t hit their stride til week 5.

  8. biff barker Says:

    Broy, Nicks’ career is over at 28. The MRSA he contacted at OBP may be a factor. Nothing to do with conscience, he just couldn’t go.

    BTW, Schiano put his share of slackers on the curb too. Talib, Tanard, Winslow, Blount etc.