No Retraction From Alterraun Verner

December 29th, 2014

Alterraun Verner talked a very big game this afternoon

Former Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner was on the Bucs’ defensive bandwagon in the summer, talking about how the Tampa Bay defense could be a top-5-ranked unit.

Verner said today that he doesn’t believe he was off the mark.

“I talked about that a lot, that, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re going to be top-5, top-5,’ Verner said. “I still felt like we had that talent to do that. I would not take that statement back. I think we will be.

“I think people saw that elite status towards the end of the year. The scary thing is we’re just going to get better from that. We’re not going to be mediocre. We’re not going to stay there. I don’t think we’re going to get worse; we’re going to get better than we even showed this end of the season. So it’s exciting. And I think we will be talked about as one of those top defenses, where offenses really got to come and bring their A-game to compete with us.”

Man, Joe loves the confidence, but Verner sure is drinking the Kool-Aid.

Joe can’t believe anyone saw “that elite status,” as Verner called it, from the Bucs defense late this season.

Sure, there were some good red zone shutdowns and good plays, but the defense really didn’t escalate collectively beyond average after the bye week. They still couldn’t shut down Derek Anderson to Greg Olsen — Take 2 — a combination that is hardly elite.

Joe expects an improved Bucs defense next season, but top-5 is quite a stretch. It’s not like the Bucs are going to bring in a ferocious pass rusher with the No. 1 overall pick.

19 Responses to “No Retraction From Alterraun Verner”

  1. Dylan Says:

    @joe actually look up randy Gregory. Lots of scouts think he will be the next Aldon smith. He’s going top 4 aswell. He’s a freak its just the BUCS gotta go winston. As much as it sucks passing on Gregory

  2. Patrick in VA Says:

    I’m anxious to see what the carry over from an improved offense is to the defense next year. When the offense is able to score and the defense does what they did this year then it’ll be us with the lead and we’ll be able to tell our rushers to pin their ears back and get the QB. I don’t know if I’ll say we’ll be elite, especially not the first few weeks, but I’m encouraged quite a bit by what the defense was doing.

  3. biff barker Says:

    Maybe by the end of next season we can be a mid pack D again, but without a starting MLB or dominant edge rusher what will change?

    Most scary thing is the MLB situation. It takes a unique player to play the T2 and a rookie will have a steep learning curve with coverage.

  4. gt40bear Says:

    No pass rusher with the first pick??? Joe, you DO realize we’re talking about Lovie Smith, right? Nothing he does will surprise me now. Then he’ll try to coach double speark spin it as a DE will improve the offense!

  5. BoJim Says:

    Top 10.

  6. covertwo22 Says:

    the biggest issue that effected the defense later in the season was the horrible offense. I don’t care how great (or poor) a defense is, if the offense continuously goes three and out and continuously puts you in bad field position, you will break. Yesterday’s game was just another example. The offense was atrocious in the second half. It was amazing that NO was held to only 2 touchdowns in the second half. They had the ball in TB territory for the majority of an entire half.
    If this team does not improve the offense, the defense will be poor again next year.

  7. Patrick in VA Says:

    @covertwo22 – Agreed. Our defense this year barely got a chance to get all the way off the field before they were back on again. The offense was woeful this year. If we just had a decent offense that was middle of the road, I think the defense would look a lot better. You can’t keep giving the other team the ball on a short field and ask them to play lights out defense for 45 minutes per game.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think the defense will get much, much better. It took a while for players to start to get how it works. Under Schiano, they were told to make plays, so they were in the habit of leaving their assignments. But, just like Dungy, Lovie had to get them to stay in their gaps and trust one another.

    That trust is coming slowly, but its coming.

  9. biff barker Says:

    BoJim Says:

    Top 10.

    Two issues. We have Mike and don’t have a Mike.

  10. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Top 12 behind: seahawks, rams, cardinals, 49er’s, bengals, cowboys(maybe), panthers(maybe), lions, ravens, patriots(maybe), denver(maybe).

  11. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    This last game was a picture of what Lovie wants this team to look like. A running game and ball control, put up the points and don’t turn the ball over. The panthers won like that yesterday and so did the seattle seahawks. This team is built to be a bruising team to beat the hell out of opposing teams, almost like a cold weather team in a warm weather state.

    If your team can only put up 20pts. at the most (and that’s if tou’re denver or new england) but the Bucs can put up 21 or more points and win the time of possession the game is over.

  12. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Defense got worse next year. They did this year why not even more. For him to say he thinks they will get better means he doesn’t know Lovie.

  13. port richey george Says:

    alteron vernor is overpaid for the job he did most of this season.

  14. JayBucBoi Says:

    McDougald Joe, he’s going to be the answer to our TE woes.

  15. JayBucBoi Says:

    That is covering the TE.

  16. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    The defense clearly showed improvement as the season played out. But just like in years past….the offense can’t BUY a first down and the D get’s tired. They are human out there. When you know your going to be playing from behind every week and your D is on the field for 45 minutes every sunday than it’s time to fix the offense. If the O can sustain drives, then the defensive stats will improve by default.

    But I guess it takes a GM or a genius to figure that one out huh???

  17. Paul Says:

    The offense turning the ball over and going 3 and out hurt the defense.

  18. pick6 Says:

    considering the talent deficit and the improving quality of opponents (rodgers, brees, etc), i would say it bodes very well for the bucs’ future. they absolutely need to look at upgrades at multiple positions, but if the coaches can bring at least above average play out of the MLB & RDE positions and average safety play, this defense can be flirt with that top 5 status. you don’t need stars everywhere in this defense, just a bunch of guys who know their jobs and do them reliably.

  19. pick6 Says:

    a non-bottom-3 offense wouldn’t hurt the defense’s cause either. they were routinely getting worn down late in games