Alterraun Verner Pushing Kenny Bell

August 5th, 2015

A healthy CB Alterraun Verner already making a difference with both the defense and offense.

Joe is peppered with questions all the time about what player is standing out in the early days of training camp. Joe usually hesitates to answer because it is so early, some guys that are getting noticed will be assistant produce managers at Publix in a few weeks.

One guy who has jumped out at Joe — probably because he didn’t last year — is cornerback Alterraun Verner. Last year Verner suffered a significant hamstring injury early in camp and it nagged him for several weeks. By any standards, Verner’s play suffered.

That’s not the case this year. Verner is flying around and making himself a pest to rookie wide receiver Kenny Bell. The two get along fine, but in sort of the same way defenders are in full-blown “Operation Rattle Jameis” mode, Verner is taking the same approach to Bell.

That is not because there is animosity between the two. No sir. It is because Verner respects Bell and figures the tougher he plays Bell, the better player Bell will be for it.

“I have a lot of respect for Kenny,” Verner said. “He’s been working hard, catching the ball. He has been mvoving really well. I was going to tell him on one-on-ones, because it is usually me and Mike [Evans] or me and Vincent [Jackson], that I wanted to go against him because I want to get him better. We might need him during the season. I want to get him better.”

Verner had two picks — one where he adroitly tip-toed just inside the left sideline — Tuesday while covering Bell, and a break-up.

“I like his humility,” Verner said. “He wants to be better. So, yeah, it is a nice little battle. So hopefully, I can get him up to speed. But he is soaking it in. He is always asking what he is doing wrong. He’s definetly a sponge. So I have a lot of respect for him. He will come back at me to and I will be ready.”

Thus far in training camp, Verner appears to be the cornerback the Bucs brought in last year to replace Darrelle Revis. That guy was MIA last season. Lovie Smith sees a difference.

“Last year he got behind a little bit with the injury,” Lovie said of Verner. “He’s got his weight down. He’s in good shape. The injuries aren’t an issue. Now we are just able to see the good football player that he is. He has good hands, great quickness, and again another year in the system of him knowing exactly what we want him to do, so it was good to see him finishing a play.”

If the Bucs defense is going to improve upon an awful 2014, then a healthy, flying Verner will be a key element.

To hear more from Verner, click the arrow below. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

5 Responses to “Alterraun Verner Pushing Kenny Bell”

  1. Dick2111 Says:

    Alterraun Verner reminds me a lot of Ronde Barber. Both seem to have this sixth sense in terms of awareness on the football field, being in the right place at the right time to make plays. Expecting him to have a great year if he can stay healthy.

  2. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    This is GREAT news for Verner and bell. I think Verner and Banks will be even better a year into this defense. I hope they can figure out the nickle corner, and PRAY Lovie gives up on the notion that his bro-mance with Jenkins does not translate into a starting gig.

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    All of these players putting injury problems behind them is good news indeed. Important storylines of why the Bucs will be improved this year.

  4. bucsbedabest Says:

    One of the most important positions in the Tampa2 and for this defense as well as the success of the team is the play of the Cornerbacks. Alterraun Verner is a monster vs the run and looks like his coverage skills are back to his potential. Verner and Banks are going to to blanket the competition this year.

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

    Exactly what you said Buccsbedabest.