Cornerback Depth Now Not So Deep

August 18th, 2014
With Bucs CB Rashaan Melvin ding up (again), the recent rash of injuries to corners may force the Bucs to begin shopping.

With Rashaan Melvin dinged up (again), the recent rash of cornerbacks injuries may force the Bucs to begin shopping.

One position, on paper, that was deep before training camp was cornerback. With the addition of guys like Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins, it seemed the Bucs were set when they joined promising returning starter Johnthan Banks and talented Rashaan Melvin.

Not quite three weeks from the regular season, that may not be. Consider: Verner is still not 100 percent coming off a July hamstring injury, which is always dicey. Jenkins, who Joe thinks has a helluva lot to prove, also is hampered by what the Bucs mysteriously refer to as a lower leg injury. Melvin, who has a reputation of being injury prone, has a bum ankle of some sort suffered in Saturday night’s game against Miami, and per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, is wearing a boot.

It’s starting to look toilet tissue-thin with all the injuries.

So when NPR-listening, filthy-hotel-staying, fight-instigatingbarista-training, pedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerkingbeer-chuggingcricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïve, baseball box score-reading Peter King, of and NBC Sports fame included the Bucs when he rattled off teams who will be mining the free agent wire for corners in the coming days, upon further thought, it adds up.

I think in the next week you’re going to see and hear of so many teams desperate for cornerbacks. “We’re going to get one,” a personnel man for one team told me Saturday, “but we may have to pay a higher price than we want, or a higher price than the player deserves.” The Jets, the Ravens, the Lions, the Colts, the Vikings and the Bucs, among others, could be sniffing around for a dwindling supply of cover guys near the final cutdown.

Joe isn’t ready to label the Bucs as “desperate” for a corner, but it seems the need for one has risen to just about the same level as acquiring offensive line help. Maybe more so.

When Joe saw Melvin limping Saturday, right away he thought to himself, “This is not good.” Joe was thinking more for Melvin’s job security than anything else. Joe knows both the past and current administration of the Bucs likes Melvin, but he has spent more time getting worked on by trainers than taking snaps.

Given the fact Melvin was an undrafted rookie free agent signing last year, it’s much easier for a team to wave goodbye after growing impatient with the constant injuries, than it would be for a player in which the team has more invested.

No matter how talented, a player can’t help a team watching games just like any fan. So while Joe reacted with a frown reading King’s throwaway line this morning about the Bucs and cornerbacks, upon further reflection (and another cup of coffee), it adds up.

5 Responses to “Cornerback Depth Now Not So Deep”

  1. teacherman777 Says:

    its the same ankle he has been dealing with for over a month

    he keeps rushing back

    he needs to take his ssweet time getting better like verner and jenkins

  2. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    The D gave up way too many passing yards against the Dolphins. It seemed the run got stuffed on 1st and 2nd down, then they would give up a 12+ yard pass for the 1st down again and again. My Koolaid is wearing off.

  3. phil Says:

    Well we had the best cornerback in the league and one of the best defensive players in the league but we let him walk and got nothing for him. And somehow we were supposed to get better.

  4. JT Says:

    I hope Verner is ready for week one. Because we definitely need his talent. After him we got Jonathan Banks who is a pretty good second year player albeit not that fast for a corner. Then after that we have a drastic drop off in talent. Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Anthony Gaitor are all below average. After our o-line our cornerbacks have to be our biggest issue. Little talent. Little depth. Upper tier quarterbacks are going to shred them and our zone defense.

  5. Anthony Says:

    Asante Samuel is still out there. He would be a great addition next to Verner.