Nickel Change?

October 17th, 2014
Changes coming to the nickel corner position?

Changes coming to the nickel corner position?

You wanted change. Joe wanted change. Lovie Smith wanted change.

And change you may have. It appears the Bucs head coach and overlord of football operations is coming through with his previous promise.

With the Bucs 1-5 and Lovie’s defense getting boatraced like no other NFL team in the league’s 95-year history, it appears, per Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune, Bucs fans may see a new nickel corner: Isiah Frey.

On Sunday, Leonard Johnson, who had taken every nickel corner snap prior to facing the Ravens, yielded the last 10 snaps at the position to converted safety Keith Tandy.

On Wednesday, the Bucs signed former Chicago Bears nickel cornerback Isaiah Frey, who was one of the last players Smith drafted during his nine-year tenure with the Bears.

“Leonard will tell you that he needs to improve his play,’’ Smith said. “And if you’re not playing at a certain level, you look for options. That’s what we did.’’

So there you go, Bucs fans. Change may be on the way. Does that get the job done for you?

38 Responses to “Nickel Change?”

  1. Scott Says:

    The sad truth is that there is not much you can do personal wise, mid season in the NFL to fix a train wreck like this. You can either admit you’re licked and try out the bottom of the roster guys, or stick with your starters and make minor adjustments. But there is no “change” they can make at this point to turn things around for this year.

    The roster will have to be fixed in the off season, what worries me is that Lovie picked this roster, so how much hope should we have for next year’s?

  2. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    So rather than getting ex-Rutger players… now we are signing ex-Bear cast offs.

    Improvement? Meh, not showing up on the field.

  3. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    When Leonard was asked about the Bucs coaching performance, he responded with the following comment: “Lovie Smith will tell you that he needs to improve his coaching,’’ Leonard said. “And if you’re not coaching at a certain level, you look for options. That’s what the Glazers need to do.’’

  4. PhillyBuc Says:

    Well that should do it, playoffs here we come!

  5. buc4lyfe Says:

    No the sad truth is someone looked at tape from last year and decided this garbage corner was good enough to be the starting nickle. Now I’m no expert at breaking down tape but it was clear every since the day he took the field he isn’t even a good back up. Cheers lovie for finally catching up to the fans knowledge of this team. Can’t tell me you reviewed and take decided he was your best option at nickle. We need another corner so verner can play that spot and someone play outside like ronde did

  6. buc4lyfe Says:

    If the nickle is so important then you’d think he would have created more competition at the position besides dj moore. Lovie must have put to much into the endorsement of ronde barber like the Tampa tribune did. I think lovie is a great teacher but now I see why he’s average, he had no clue what talent looks like, Brian urlacher was an obvious talent, he got lucky with tillman but he has an awful draft and free agent history

  7. flmike Says:

    Oh I see, they’re both black…

  8. Jason Says:

    It’s a start, but you can’t make all the needed changes in one off-season. It will continue to be a work in progress; the offense got a boost of talent in the draft with Evans playing well, ASJ playing (tight ends have much more to learn than most other positions), and Sims playing soon… the defense will get a talent boost next offseason, I would think.

  9. lightningbuc Says:

    Any idea where I can get an Isaiah Frey jersey?

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Did ANYONE really think Leonard Johnson would work out???

  11. jb Says:

    Leonard’s a great kid, and has some talent, but he lacks the speed to play corner in the NFL.

  12. willie d Says:

    take rookie receivers who drop balls and replace with Page. Raid other teams Practice squads and replace a O lineman and defensive backs and any other players who can contribute. Fire Frazier and take football operations away from Lovie(he can’t evaluate talent and tries to hook up all his friends except that punt returner dude who burned us a couple weeks ago). Send a message replace Mckown with another backup, Pryor or Ponder. Tradesome picks for players this year. Hire me I will turn this ship around, my kids 7 and under soccer team that I coach went 5-1 and my over all record is 18-3 and I never have played soccer. I am a motivator.

  13. Another J Says:

    They should of cut Leonard Johnson when we got rid of EJ Biggers a few seasons ago…

  14. Skyline Crew Says:

    I guess we will see if it works when we play a back up QB from Minnesota.

  15. BucTrooper Says:

    Leonard Johnson is Defensive Cancer.

  16. Brainiac 5 Says:

    You cant fix everything in one offseason. Lovey knows talent and had alot of talent in chicago. However, his GM at the time (A former Buc Front Office person) was terrible. The Gm we have here is pretty good.

    @Buc Fan #237: It IS better because the exBears players have been through the NFL rather than just being random exRutgers players in their first year. I’d take Major Wright over ANY of our secondary guys except Verner. If you don’t see that he is an improvement over the rest then you aren’t looking. Frey? Well at this point anyone you pick up is NOT as good because they would already be playing, right? However he DOES know the system, which is the main problem we are having.

    Believe me, there will be many other guys gone after this season. Guys that wont buy in or refuse to get better will be gone. This is what happened in St Louis, Chicago and now here. You have to start somewhere though and if it means bringing in guys who have some sort of a clue then so be it, eh?

  17. Skyline Crew Says:

    Here you go. Some stats on Frey:

    PRO CAREER: Has appeared in 16 games with 6 starts during NFL career (2012-13), registering 62 tackles (38 solo), 2 pass break-ups and 5 quarterback pressures… 6 starts came as a nickelback… Spent entire 2012 regular season on Bears practice squad as a rookie.

    Bears waived CB Isaiah Frey and OG James Brown.
    Frey played 515 snaps as the Bears’ slot corner last season. He was pushed down the depth chart with Kyle Fuller being selected in the first round of May’s draft and Charles Tillman and Kelvin Hayden returning to full health.

  18. Skyline Crew Says:

    So we pick up a guy that has played 6 starts as a nickelback. Makes sense. At least he is young though.

  19. andres Says:

    Man sux I was an LJ fan, but he wasn’t getting the job done in pass coverage. They Frey guy will know the scheme at least. Good pick up.

  20. Mike J Says:

    Another J , is Biggers starting?? I have heard his name called on radio broadcasts.

  21. calibuc Says:

    Guys u hv to remember we went in thinking that Mike Jenkins ,Johnathan banks & verner was going to be are starting cb..that blew up in r face

  22. calibuc Says:

    R defense looked like

  23. Skyline Crew Says:

    Saw this on NFL…

    The scoop: The suspension of Georgia RB Todd Gurley is privately viewed as a positive development in NFL circles. An NFC South scout this week said he has seen enough from the junior running back to tab him as the top prospect at his position and that the suspension should prevent unnecessary mileage on his legs.

    Wonder which team is looking at him?

  24. billy buckaroo Says:

    At least a band-aid is better than an open wound

  25. buc4lyfe Says:

    Lol someone said lj has talent that’s funny. Frey will be better than LJ hopefully and atleast he’s tall in not sure how fast but I’m sure he’s got more speed than LJ. If he’s cut it’ll be one more player from our team not good enough to play for another NFL team

  26. Zam Says:

    I’d be really curious the stats of when he’s in the game vs. not. I didn’t think we were even in nickel on most of the lousy plays.

    Hate to think of this guy being made a scapegoat. Lovie likes to focus on one problem and ignore the dozen problems everywhere else as if they don’t exist.

  27. nate Says:

    Bring ronde barber back!

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    If the defense is so hard to learn and they keep picking up new players, won’t that continue to set back the defense as the new guys have to start fresh and learn?

  29. j moné Says:

    Thank you Lovie ! I hate leonard Johnson game he is always messing up rarely do i see him do anything positve. Worst player in the secondary easy! Idk about this new guy hopefully a bit better than Johnson and i hope he is fast.

  30. Ray Rice Says:

    Leonard ” I got burnt for a TD again coach” Johnson! About dam time.

  31. Bucamania Says:

    Where is Keith Tandy?

  32. buctebow Says:

    If you can’t teach them the scheme then hire your old players that know the scheme. This probably was what he should have emphasized in FA more than he did.

  33. BoJiim Says:

    billy buckaroo Said:

    At least a band-aid is better than an open wound

    Band-aids usually aren’t enough to stop and open wound from bleeding for very long. 😉

  34. Another J Says:

    Mike J,
    EJ took his talents to DC!

  35. Bucsfanman Says:

    Funny! Pile it on fellas! This guy is PART of the problem. How many receivers have been blowing by Verner and Banks? A lot, so lets not blame it all on Johnson. He’s a dime corner at best playing nickel because of the injury to Jenkins (in case you’ve forgotten).
    Are we going to be better by only changing nickel corner? I highly doubt it!

  36. william Says:

    Go get Cham Baily

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    @william- That’s not the worst idea I’ve heard.

  38. Stanglassman Says:

    #237 You scooped everyone in the media on this story, congratulations.

    LJ calls for Lovie’s job! Huge news & story.

    Where can I see or read this interview?