Stat Geeks Frown On Verner

June 9th, 2015

Football Outsiders has harsh data on Bucs CB Alterraun Verner.

Regular readers here are well aware Joe is no fan in any way of cornerback Mike Jenkins. Joe doesn’t give a damn where Jenkins is from or where he played college ball, the guy is a slug.

Run off by Rod Marinelli from the Cowboys after, among other sins, pulling up on tackles enabling ballcarriers to score, and getting roasted like a Thanksgiving turkey by the notorious Vince Young (of all people!), Jenkins couldn’t even keep a gig with the rotten Raiders.

The Bucs signed him last year and Lovie Smith, despite Jenkins being hurt virtually all of training camp and preseason, all but handed Jenkins a starting gig. It was as if Lovie was trying to find a way to bench promising cornerback Johnthan Banks.

Now, with Jenkins missing 15 games last year with an injury, and Banks putting together a solid season, Joe was floored when stories began percolating that Jenkins is in the running to start over Banks.

What the hell is going on?

But maybe, just maybe, it isn’t Banks who needs to concern himself with Lovie knighting Jenkins with a starting gig. It may be Alterraun Verner who should be looking over his shoulder.

In a breakdown of cornerbacks last year, Andrew Healy from the thinktank Football Outsiders, is not just down on Verner, but considered Verner’s 2014 season with the Bucs as one of the worst performances by an NFL corner.

Alterraun Verner was Tampa’s prize of free agency in 2014, signed as the ideal young match for Lovie Smith’s defensive scheme. Verner’s contract (four years, $25.8 million, $14 million guaranteed) no longer looks like a bargain, as he ranked close to the bottom both in adjusted success rate (42 percent) and adjusted yards per pass (10.2).

This is what Joe doesn’t get about the Jenkins-may-start-over-Banks rumors: How many times have we heard from folks that it takes two years for players to get used to Lovie’s defense? Verner struggled yet Banks seemed to have picked it up rather well.

So if this defense is such a task to master, why on earth would you bench the guy who seems to be ahead of the curve — for a guy who missed virtually an entire year to injury and was run out of Dallass?

It just doesn’t add up to Joe. But then again, maybe we have identified the wrong starting (for now) corner on thin ice?

19 Responses to “Stat Geeks Frown On Verner”

  1. Buccfan37 Says:

    The cup of joe hasn’t kicked in yet, are you saying Jenkins be stinkins?

  2. Buc-A-New Says:

    No worries Joe. Banks is gonna be a stud. Tebow only threw 16 Picks in four yrs and Banks caught two of em.

  3. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Verner will be just fine this season. These guys will be reading and reacting playing more instinctively and doing less thinking on the field. The cowboys gave up more yards than any team in NFL history year one of the two scheme. They were greatly improved last season. I expect the same from our troops.

  4. Buc-A-New Says:

    Good Morning Nos Bos!

  5. Joe Says:


    Verner is a really good dude and he has talent and he is a really smart guy. Fully expect him to improve this year. Sure Verner struggled last year. So did most of the team.

  6. Buc-A-New Says:

    Yeah Joe I believe you. You Always rave about how good a dude Verner is. I root for him because of you. I never knew much about him. Im not sure what “adjusted yards” and the likes mean. I just want to see him succeed

  7. Rrsrq Says:

    I get the Bucs Defense has to get out there and prove it, how long are we going to beat up on these players, when have we ever seen this much young competition on this defense (not calling Jenkins young), but he has reason to salvage his career here near home. This appears to be one of the more competitive camps in team history since the Dungy days, who always brought in the next replacement especially on defense unless your name was Lynch or Brooks. I remember when Booger was drafted and we already had Sapp and Culpepper, Culpepper says to Sapp, I didn’t know coach was looking to replace you. Keep the young competition coming, right now it’s thru free agency, the draft competition will start 2016, drafting the best player available over need.

  8. rayjay1122 Says:

    I realize that he was just a high priced mercenary, but a really good CB at that, I was totally against not retaining Revis. Yeah, that money that was used on other free agents really worked out good for us. Revis was a pro bowler at the end of his Bucs season but we chose to go with the devil we didn’t know rather than keep the devil we knew. Still SMH at that chain of events.

  9. Bama Rich Says:

    Deion Sanders would’ve struggled with the pass rush, or lack there of, we had last year.

  10. Dick2111 Says:

    Like Nole, I also think Verner will be just fine this year. Have a hunch that he didn’t get much help from our safeties behind him last year, probably causing him to overthink some coverages and play off more than he’d do otherwise. Lack of pressure on the QB from the DE’s probably didn’t help either. I fully expect him and Banks to be our two starting corners this year.

  11. Jerseybuc Says:

    Verner was not as successful as he was in Tennessee, and part of that is the passive scheme Lovie employs. WRs were not very often challenged off the line and the middle of the field was a slant party all year. Add in two slower than average safeties, Mason Foster, no pass rush, lack of blitiz pressure, and it was not a great recipe for success.
    I get that the Tampa Two is the base defense that Lovie runs, but you have to be able to adjust once the game is on and you are consistently getting beat by the same thing over and over. Get up on a receiver once in a while, let David get into the backfield, blitz off the corner, show some variation instead of playing the same way game after game. We are an open book.

  12. Owlykat Says:

    Back when Dungy ran the Tampa Two we still had all kinds of blitzes to run when the Offense least expected it. However, our big problem last year is we did not have a Tampa Two MLB. At 4.7 in the 40 there was no possible way Foster could do it and I said so from the git go last year. If Licht had pulled Max Bullough off the Houston Practice Squad like I said here, we would have not had such a miserable season. (You watch he will be a great inside LB for Houston soon!). Anyway, Carter already knows the Tampa Two and will be a great upgrade for us this year at MLB. Our defense will be greatly improved; it’s the OL that is the only worry as long as Warflop is retained! Hopefully Koetter will figure that out too. Licht can still fix it with his cap money he saved. Go Bucs!

  13. cmurda Says:

    It was absurd to think that Lovie actually was that high on Jenkins. The guy is from my Alma Mater and I would love to see him resurrect but the chances are slim to none. How Lovie thought that Jenkins should even be considered to start above Banks is a bigger concern than Verner’s play last year. It is understandable for a guy adjusting to a new system to struggle but it’s inexcusable for a coach to place a guy that has been repeatedly burned, displays poor tackling techniques, and is as injury prone as they come, above an up and coming corner who has shown a willingness to work hard and improve every day. I have more concerns with Lovie and his talent evaluation than any of our corners.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Verner will be fine. He and Banks will dominate this year.

    That’s one position I have no worries over.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    cmurda Says
    “How Lovie thought that Jenkins should even be considered to start above Banks is a bigger concern…”

    Actually, I am completely in favor of making Banks (or any player) learn a position and earn it through hard work.

    By starting Jenkins (who I agree sucks) at least created the impression for Banks, and that probably led to him working harder.

    Remember, Barber didn’t produce for 5 years. Banks is progressing quicker I think. Hopefully he’ll be as good in the long run.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Wee still don’t have a MLB. Carter is an injury waiting to happen.

  17. bucsbedabest Says:

    Pro Football Outsiders blasted Verner however Pro Football Focus has Verner ranked 7th overall for all CB. Verner was ranked number one in run stop % but struggled in coverage. In 2013, Verner was ranked 4th overall in coverage behind Rivas and Sherman. He is going to be fine this year. With Banks on the other side and Moor in the slot the Bucs defense is going to surprise all this year. Carter should be fine at MLB and if he gets hurt Alexander or Greene will step it up. Jenkins will be the on with splinters.

  18. VCE Says:

    If you need a backup quarterback that will push the starter to be his best….
    Take a small risk and kick the tires on Vince Young.. See if he would be willing to help… He wouldn’t cost a lot…. His career won/loss record is 31-19… He’s a 2 time Pro-Bowler with playoff experience and was voted 2006 NFL Rookie of the Year….. The NFL is all about “WINS and LOSSES”…. and this guy WINS…. There is a big difference between Perception and Reality.

  19. Gwiz Says:

    Funniest thing blaming verner for not having help form the rest of the DB’s