Verner Losing (Lost?) Cornerback Battle

September 25th, 2015

alterraun verner 1001Lovie Smith is proving this season he doesn’t care about how much a player earns.

It appears that will be highlighted by cornerback Alterraun Verner riding the bench to start the game Sunday.

Cornerback Tim Jennings, the former two-time Bears Pro Bowler cut by Chicago in August and signed by Tampa Bay before opening day, got a load of action against the Saints, a little more than Verner.

On the TV broadcast, Ronde Barber noted Jennings had the speed the Bucs needed to cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. And Barber said Johnthan Banks didn’t have it. But it appears it is Verner who will step aside for Jennings.

Per Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune, Jennings ran as a first-team cornerback in practice this afternoon, and his Week 2 snap count was 17 more plays than Verner.

What’s darn interesting is that Jennings was owed more than $4 million by the Bears when they cut him. Head coach John Fox didn’t seem to care and considered Jennings unworthy of being a backup. The Bucs are paying Jennings less than $1 million, per various published reports.

Jennings is a free agent after this season. Verner is due $6.75 million next season, but most of that is not guaranteed.

The Bucs have stunning depth at cornerback this season, something the team lacked for years.

30 Responses to “Verner Losing (Lost?) Cornerback Battle”

  1. DB55 Says:

    I told you so. The cinnamon toast crunch got too soggy. Bye Felicia.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Depth is the final piece in fielding a really good team. We have it in the defensive backfield. We’re close at LB and our DL in the middle is deep.

    Even our woeful OL suddenly looks as if there could be depth there by mid season as well when Smth and Dotson come back.

    We have depth at QB…MG8 is not Fameis but with Koetter as OC he wouldn’t embarrass us.

    We have depth at RB…we used to have depth at WR/TE positions until ME and ASJ struggled to stay on the field. If they could EVER get healthy…

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    just put the best corners on the field..i still haven’t figured out why they treat the nickel as a separate position…slide verner in as the nickel with moore and let banks, Jennings and Jenkins play outside…I think banks is our over all top corner…keep the safety rotation the way it is..i would love to see w.golston get more reps..that guy is a beast at dt…GO BUCS!!!

  4. DB55 Says:

    Now start Tandy over Conte and you MIGHT have a decent secondary.

  5. bucsbedabest Says:

    Verner has not played all that bad, just that Jennings and Banks have played better. I hope Verner gets to play nickle. Verner is still an excellent run stopper. Always has been. I like the message Lovie is sending. If someone is playing better than you, they will get the snaps.

  6. MTM Says:

    A high priced free agent not panning out with the Bucs? News flash!

  7. I know why Says:

    Stunning depth at corner? Joe put the pipe down will you! Verner just entered the common zone of L&L free agent busts. Not to be shocked or anything, its not like they got McCown, Johnson, Collins, Carter, Verner, EDS, Myers, or anything right. Depth at corner, no Joe, just put this under Jason Licht learned so much under Bill B. in NE to be able to ONCE AGAIN move on from a bust. I am starting to figure out why Licht has been with so many teams prior to the Bucs.

  8. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Verner is not a bust. He is a very solid cb.

    Top 4 cbs:

    That is depth. 4 CBs that are above average. Add in jenkins as the 5th cb and that is a solid 5 man rotation. This is the deepest CB group the bucs have ever had. Sure it could be better. None of those players are shut down corners. But they are all solid. You cant really ask for more than that. There are only maybe 10 shutdown elite cbs in the league. Not wvery team is going to have one.

  9. ManzielMadness Says:

    I think we have real solid depth at CB… but letting Revis walk hurt… it would look a lot better if you replaced Revis with Verner..

  10. Supersam Says:

    Jennings is a way better comer than Verner, he moves well has speed and good ball skills. Starting him is a no brainier, John Fox obviously don’t know much considering how his bears are playing.

  11. DefenseRules Says:

    Seems like I remember 2-3 years ago when the Bucs had so many injuries that we were pulling CBs off of their living room couches to start.

    Winning NFL teams have depth at all positions which allows great competition for starting positions, for injury replacements, and to allow rotations to keep guys fresh . We’re a lot better off than last year, but we’re still not where we need to be.

    And as for Alterraun Verner, he’s been a great addition to the Bucs secondary. Which CBs start is probably more a function of who the other team is starting at WR than anything else, and how our CBs match up. Wish folks would stop trying to stir the pot and just appreciate that we’ve got some decent depth at CB.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We absolutely have great depth at corner & you don’t achieve that without sitting pretty good players…..the same goes for many other positions this year

    RB, QB, WR, DT,TE, LB…..OT, C…..

    Even our kicker can punt!!!

    Making progress…..despite what Realist thinks.

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

    Don’t worry about realist!!! we drafted his eventual silencer first over all. Just wait on it.

  14. vegabuc Says:

    Well put Nole. The band wagon is still open. Jump on it while you can.

  15. Pick6 Says:

    the situation should remain fluid all year. continuity is great but only if it reflects who is performing best. jennings was a big addition to the team on the field, on the depth chart, and in the meeting room. i think he is what lovie had in mind when he went after the chris contes of the world this offseason

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I don’t believe anything in regard to the cornerbacks. For a week or so, we’ve been told Banks was the odd man out. Now, suddenly, it is Verner?

    I still say it’s fiction. I don’t believe Verner has lost any battle. I think Lovie just feels the slowest CB is better suited to cover the slot.

    And Jennings doesn’t have much gas left in the tank beyond this year.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If anything, they might be preparing to draft a CB next year.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Oh, and toot toot.

    I said all along it wasn’t true about Banks.

  19. DB55 Says:

    Verner is a good run defender but he gets burnt regularly. Film don’t lie.

  20. Wausa Says:

    Verner looked like the worst player on the field in our opening game, obviously he played better against the Saints, but he gave up three touchdowns against the Titans.

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

    😉I remember Bonzai.

  22. Simpleasthat Says:

    Ive never been too impressed with Lovie but this is the kind of accountability we need.

  23. KevinM Says:

    Just part of the game plan , please don’t make something out of nothing.

  24. The Buc Realist Says:

    The best part is when they cut Verner in the offseason and then he will call Lovie’s defense passive and soft!!!

  25. Espo Says:

    There’s no shame in nickel. I remember a guy who played around here who was pretty good at it. Of course he still started in our 4-3 set too.

  26. Mo_Downs Says:

    Verner lost his spot because of the “pick play” TD in NO last Sunday. NO WR.Willie Sneed, ain’t Jerry Rice. As a high paid vet Verner, playing press coverage, should have put him on his ass at the LOS. Jennings OTOH……

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    It’s hard to not feel that some people are simply here to hate on Lovie, the Bucs, any player selected by Lovie…

    Verner just entered the common zone of L&L free agent busts.

    What a freaking absurd comment!!! Verner made his first All Pro team in 2013

    Jennings the guy who beat him out is a multiple all pro.

    You guys are embarrassing yourselves with such desperate attempts to score negative points when they’re not even there.

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Joe seems to be one of the guilty. And I agree with you. There seems to be a bit of a change here lately. Joe used to make sure of things before he believed them. Now it seems he’s making guesses along with some of the other guys. Or at least, one of the Joe’s seems to be.

    I may be getting the wrong impression but that’s how it seems to me lately.

  29. Matt Says:

    Curious how verner made the Pro bowl with the Titans ? He comes too the NFC and it’s like he forgot how too play . He gets burnt constantly . His skill set is just not working anymore for him. He should be cut this offseason or traded! Wish we just kept talib .talib and revis would of been sweet. 2 very good pro bowl cbs would make this defense untouchable .

  30. Matt Says:

    Him and carter haven’t contributed . George Johnson will produce just gonna take time he don’t have a ton of different moves so he needs too work for it too beat his guy regularly. Conte believe it or not has been are best coverage safety so far