Pay Attention, Mark Barron

October 3rd, 2014

The Bucs’ disappointing safety has a long checklist

So how can the Bucs stop Drew Brees?

A lot will come down to the play of Mark Barron. Forget for a minute that Barron was drafted, in large part, to shut down elite tight ends like Jimmy Graham, There’s a lot more responsibility for Barron.

This week, Lovie Smith touched on how Barron has much to learn in Lovie’s brand of Tampa-2 defense. It’s not necessarily a plug-and-play — and succeed — situation.

Super scout Chris Landry, now the guru at, did an amazing job of detailing Xs and Os of Cover-2 defense for Here’s a snippet of what is a long read that Xs and Os junkies will adore.

Cover 2 checklist

A guide that every safety should follow in the deep half when identifying run/pass keys and receiver stems.

1. With the receiver in a “plus-two” split (two to three yards on top of the numbers), an outside release equals one of two routes: fade or comeback. That’s it. Because of the restrictions the sideline puts on the receiver, there isn’t enough room to run outside breaking concepts such as the deep out or corner route.

2.  An inside release to a vertical stem (top of the numbers) tells the safety to play for the dig, corner and a possible post.

3. A flat, inside release is the three-step game (slant) or the shallow drive route.

4. If the wide receiver blocks, the safety gets his eyes back inside to fill the alley as a secondary run-support player.

 This is just a quick guide to use when watching the Saints game Sunday. Keep in mind that the No. 1 receiver reads like an open book if the safety plays with eye discipline when identifying the initial stem and run/pass keys.

Yes, Barron will need to be on his game, especially with Dashon Goldson doubtful with a bad ankle. Major Wright, Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy can’t be relied upon to be difference-makers.

Can Barron?

34 Responses to “Pay Attention, Mark Barron”

  1. BucsQcCity Says:

    It’s always fall on Barron and he always fail at it. I’m almost donr with him..

    I’m done with Goldson.

    These type of safeties are not what we need in the new NFL era where you can’t hit

  2. Espo Says:

    Good stuff right there

  3. lightningbuc Says:

    He’s just not very good…whiff by the “rock star”

  4. stevek Says:


    Keith Tandy is a better player than Barron.

    Sad, but the truth.

    Hopefully Major Wright and Tandy can hold down the fort.

    We need to spend the $$ that Goldson and Barron are making on pass rush.

  5. Patrickbucs Says:

    Major Wright was our best player in the secondary against Pittsburg. He’s played in this defense in Chicago for a number of years, he should be fine.

  6. biff barker Says:

    Thought I read that Barron was mostly up in the box playing the run thus far.

    Yes, No?


    I would like to we get a late one more time… I’ve been calling Barron a bust since the hour he was drafted. That number seven pick was a gigantic waste.

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    With so many ticky tacky calls on pass defense in the NFL these days, teams should put all their money on pass rush. That’s what I would do if I were a GM in the NFL today.

  9. stevek Says:


    I would put it all the money in pass rush too. Nonsense to draft a safety in the top 10, especially with Keuchly sitting there.

    Ticks me off that Barron hasn’t risen to his draft status, maybe he can turn it around?

  10. RastaMon Says:

    Just a reminder grasshoppers…both Lynch and Rhonde….did not look good in the beginning either….

  11. Andrew 1 Says:

    Wow Joe, excellent stuff. I would like to know what he means when he says “top of the numbers” though, so if someone knows please enlighten me. But it’s like I’ve been saying, it’s going to take time for these players to learn Lovie’s defense and play at it’s best.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    RastaMon…yep yep yep…no one hardly knew who they were.

  13. DB55 Says:

    He may not have any int but you know you’ve never seen Barron do? Get run over like lacy did to that safety last night.

  14. RastaMon Says:

    seems like it should inside/outside the numbers

  15. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ RastaMon

    Might be. That makes more sense to me.

  16. Thunder Sack Says:

    @biff barker

    He has not been on the line that much. On obvious running plays there is a noticeable difference. He hits like a monster linebacker and is really effective.

    It is the pass that he seems to kind of be disappearing on.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    @Rasta I totally agree. As #55 said, it takes time to learn this defense. Barron was probably drafter too high, but I’m still not sure if he’s a bust. He seems to be playing back, making the tackle after the catch and not letting plays get behind him. Hopefully as he learns the cover 2 better, he will start to instinctively make plays on the ball. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isnt a LB usually matched up on the opposing TE, with the safety in back to provide help?

    I think Goldson has been much more of a dissapointment.

  18. pick6 Says:

    takes time and reps. safety discipline (lack thereof) has been exploited weekly thus far and is making lovie & frazier look incompetent. kudos to them for taking the heat on behalf of their players. barron is young and learning concepts that may never have been relevant at alabama or under schiano. i won’t judge barron’s potential in this system too harshly until i see if he has progressed or stagnated come december. on the other hand, unless goldson suddenly plays like ed reed, we can make better use of his cap hit and he will be playing in another city for alot less money next season

  19. 1gr8buc Says:

    looks like Jarius Byrd is out for the rest of the season.

  20. passthebuc Says:

    To the famous Chance Brothers

    Slim and Fat

  21. RastaMon Says:

    with the cover 2 everyone ,back 7, need to see,read and react to the same conclusion of what the offense is doing. If 1 or 2 concluded and react to what “they” think and the other 4 or 5 react to something different …well….that is what we have been watching….The Bucs didn’t shut down “The Greatest Show on Turf” by individual effort….when the ball was channeled to a particular spot on the field “by the cover 2″…well then it was an easy play for “an individual”

  22. flmike Says:

    One of the few things I like about the T2 is the onus it puts in the Safeties and DBs, they are the skill positions of the defense and you’d better be able to read the visual cues the WRs and TE are giving you at the line. But that skill takes time to learn, Major Wright was one of Lovie’s smartest signings, playing like an all pro or not, he knows the system and can communicate what he knows to Barron, Goldson is a lost cause in this scheme, we would have been better off keeping Revis and trading Goldson, he’s lost, at least Revis could fake it in zone coverage.

  23. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I think Barron is a good player. He is just neutralized playing the NFL. He can’t be the enforcer he was originally drafted to be. He wants to make a paycheck so that means he has to play safe, which is against his nature. He wasn’t ever going to be a free safety type He’s not a ball hawk. If he played in The nfl 20 years ago he could be the all pro he was projected to be. But in today’s nfl his type of build and talents are neutralized.

    In that sense yes it could be considered a wasted pick. But you can’t blame baron for being who he is, and not excelling at something he isn’t capable of doing.

  24. billy buckaroo Says:

    Major Wright had a very nice game last week and is getting back into form.
    He knows how the D is supposed to work and he should help Barron have a better game.
    I am looking for some nice improvement from Barron this week.

  25. AnotherJ Says:

    Remember back when it was 2012 and all the people at ESPN, and NFL had us drafting Morris Claiborne? I’m glad we Have Mark Barron, He’s no better, or worse than the rest of our secondary.
    He’ll get better with time.

  26. BoJim Says:

    LB maybe? Few more pounds?

  27. pick6 Says:

    right now the team is better off with the guys who know the concepts best playing safety, not the guys with the most physical ability. hopefully before this season is over those 2 traits describe the same guy(s).

  28. ddneast Says:

    Barron is hardly a newbie, this is his third year. Also, everyone wanted the Bucs to take the CB clairborner that Dallas traded up and ahead of us for. Not only is he out for the season with an injury, he was about to be moved downi to the second team.
    Lynch was drafter with I think somewhere between a 3-5 pick whereas Baron was a first round selection so more is naturally expected of him.
    Baron, I think, does not eat up that much money since he may have been drafted under the new rookie cap. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. When the Bucs drafted him they knew he was better in run support than coverage.
    Finally everyone quit whining about the contact rules in football. For one thing, the game is called tackle football, not hitting football.
    Taking someone’s head off and causing severe brain damage isn’t the kind of sport I want to watch. If that is something you prefer, perhaps you should change your viewing habits to include bull fighting, cock fighting or even dog fighting.
    The rules are fair and sound and they haven’t hurt Baron so much as they have Goldson.
    The defense is learning a new system and that takes time. Besides, thier heads ere probably so scrambled from running so many hodgepodge defenses last year they might just be starting to clear.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    ddneast…you mention Lynch. Then you tell everyone to stop complaining about all the contact rules in football.

    Do you realize that John Lynch would never be allowed to play in today’s game?

    I’ll take it even further.

    Do you realize that the Bucs would have never won that SB in today’s game with today’s rules?

    So YES I’ll complain and then complain some more about it. I’ve written to the NFL over it even. The new defensive holding rules ARE ticky tacky. It’s just another way to possibly RIG the NFL.

    Do you realize defenders have to pretty much allow the WR to catch the ball nowadays before they can even put a hand on them at all or flag comes out?

  30. lion Says:

    Yeah, but to think we could have Luke Kuechly right now instead of Barron makes me really think “what if”. That is who I absolutely figured we were going to draft once we moved back a couple spots, and I was a bit surprised when Barron’s name was called. Imagine having both Kuechly and Lavonte David right now, my goodness.

  31. ddnesst Says:

    Ahhhh yes Buc1987 I am well aware that Lynch was a head hunter but there wasn’t as much information about the results of continued concussions when Lynch played as their is today.
    That was then, this is now.
    To ignore the information and science not only makes you ignorant, but stupid as well. Worse than that, it puts a big dent in your pocket book when attorneys sue you for negligence because their client can’t remember how to drive home when he is 50 years old.
    Do I miss the head hunting, yes.
    But I also don’t want to see another Daryle Stingley being wheeled out of a stadium paralyzed or possibly dead from getting his brain bashed in and neither, I highly suspect, does the NFL.
    Do you like bull fights to, 1987. Lots of blood in hat sport but I always root for the bull. They have these guys called Picadors who do nothing but stick the ball with spears to make it bleed and weak from loss of blood.
    Then the oh so brave matador comes in and performs the coup de grac.
    Great fun. Super time. So sporting. Take the wife and kids to enjoy the show and buy some popcorn for them,
    Did you also fill out an application to hand out towels at Dachau,

  32. bob in valrico Says:

    I understand the need to clean up defensive holding, because I have watched
    defensive players grab jerseys and arms all the way down the field.,especially in playoffs.I don’t believe in separate rules for playoffs.That said the defenseless receiver rule is too subjective. there already is helmet to helmet to helmet protection.defensive player should not have to wait 2 seconds for receiver to catch,put away, and turn around before defender can tackle the ball or player.I don’t see how it is any different the hit on mike evans at the end of game 2 and that is legal. don’t like bullfighting,but I also don’t like watching secondary standing around till ref deems it legal to tackle receiver.

  33. ddneast Says:

    When all you fans want to put say around 5k each to handle the future lawsuits, I might give a listen to this.
    A federal judge gave 750 miliion dollars to ex NFL players to handle their medical costs for the future. Another judge stuck that down saying it was NOT ENOUGH for future players.
    Who do you think is going to eat those costs, the owners? LOL.
    They aren’t going too eat that money. If there is one thing you supply siders never realize is that the rich never change their lifestyles or tighten their belt.
    They make the serfs do that mundane middle class activity.
    They pass the costs down to you.

  34. k1ngadroc Says:

    Mark Barron is a part of the Pass d problem, not “the” problem. He and our D are getting better. They will set up in this game.