New Life For Verner

February 15th, 2016
High-priced CB Alterraun Verner looks to return.

High-priced CB Alterraun Verner looks to return.

Last year the Bucs’ secondary was woeful. At times, it didn’t look like one cornerback could cover himself with a jacket in the rain.

Of course, Lovie Smith’s defense didn’t help. Constantly shuffling six cornerbacks in and out of the lineup was a recipe for disaster, which is a pretty apt word for Lovie’s defense.

And when players play poorly but are paid well, that often spells roster changes. Enter Alterraun Verner, who at one point was relegated to scout team duty last year. He is owed $6.75 million in 2016. The handwriting on the wall appeared so clear that Joe asked good guy Verner point blank after the final home game if, given his play and lofty contract, he thought he had worn the Bucs uniform for the final time.

(Verner understood.)

But with a new coaching staff comes new life. And per Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, Verner will be brought back and given a clean slate, typed Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune.

“And we think Alterraun will benefit from having a familiar face in the room in (defensive backs coach) Brett Maxie, who coached (Verner) at Tennessee when he was a Pro Bowler.”

It was difficult to believe Verner went from a Pro Bowler to a scout team scrub in such a hurry. No less shocking was a rising stud like Johnthan Banks getting benched after leading the team in one of Lovie’s fetishes, interceptions, in 2014.

When young, talented players suddenly fall off the map simultaneously, that’s not the Jimmies and Joes, but the X’s and O’s.

21 Responses to “New Life For Verner”

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    Add to that our superstar LB nearly earning your “milk carton” label for the first season and a half after coming in to Lovie’s system. If your system makes all the players on your team worse, you’re using the wrong system. It’s really not much more complicated than that. If you’re not going to change your system and the team isn’t bringing in a huge wave of new players to specifically fit your system then the system has to go.

  2. buc4life1979 Says:

    But they had a good week of practice and that’s Buc Lovieball right there lmao

  3. Waterboy Says:

    Part of that 6.75 mil need to be used to resign Sterling Moore. I’m all for a fresh start but the priority should be keeping the 1 guy in the secondary that showed that he belonged there.

  4. Waterboy Says:

    Lovie’s system didn’t seem to effect Sterling Moore while he shadowed opposing teams #1 WR and did a pretty good job.

  5. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Yeah, I defended Lovie and his system for far too long, mainly because I just couldn’t understand how he could have been so terrible after having a decent amount of success in Chicago. But when you look at how nearly every single player regressed under him, I don’t know what other conclusion you can draw but coaching being the problem. All Lovie was doing was getting rid of players that couldn’t play in his system, which created more holes in an already swiss cheese roster. If they play the way they have in the past, we have a really solid cornerback duo with Verner and Banks. That will allow us to load up on ends and really focus on getting to the QB.

  6. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I’m all for bringing back Moore, and I agree he played well. However, it wasn’t but for a few game stretch, and he got benched for the last game of the season. I also put that on Lovie for both not getting him on the field sooner as well as for benching him for the last game. I think it would be very smart to bring Moore back, but in my opinion, he’d be the slot corner, while Verner and Banks will be the #1 & 2 guys. He’d also provide excellent depth in case one of those guys got hurt.

  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    Keep the cb’s and Fix the DL!!! Then we can really tell what we have in the secondary!! Lovie’s no diguise, just line up and play and hardly blitz until his job was on the line! All it did was isolate and expose everyone!!!

    If the Bucs really want to be that “physical” team, then keep fixing both of the lines!!!!!

  8. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Hawaiian – I don’t put any stock in Moore getting benched by Lovie at any point last season. Someone had to take the fall so Jenkins could get on the field.

  9. Waterboy Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc
    I agree with most of what you said but I see Verner more as the nickel CB and Moore being better suited for the outside. I thought that I read somewhere awhile back that Moore was benched for part of the last game due to an injury (I’ll have to look that article up later today). Banks I think has decent hands and cover instincts but I read that he only clocked a 4.61 time in the 40 that’s super slow for a CB. I’d rather see him at safety where he’ll at least have a 10 yd cushion while covering guys and mainly help with over the top coverage for CB’s.

  10. Bear the Bucs Says:

    This draft is supposed to be filled with good “Big Uglies” on the defensive line. I’d like to see the Bucs trade back in the draft and acquire more picks to take advantage of this fact. Defense takes priority, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a good #2 wide receiver come in as well.

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Wait…according to some, we should spend out first pick on CB!

    I’m not even going to explain things again. Consider yourselves blessed.

  12. Waterboy Says:

    If Noah Spence is gone at #9 or his character investigation doesn’t go well I’m not opposed to drafting a CB (Mackensie Alexander) with the first rd pick. Outside of Spence there aren’t any other pure edge rushers in this draft. I’d rather fill that role with one of the available free agents (Vernon, Wilkerson or Williams).

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I guess I’m against Verner playing slot because he was largely unsuccessful doing that last year. Then again, we have to remember who was coaching them.

    As for Banks, his speed has never been much of a problem from what I remember. Some people run slow 40s. Some people run fast 40s. It doesn’t always translate that way on the field when they put the pads on. t don’t think he has the size to play safety anyway.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    Just keep adding talent, regardless of position, to this defense, and don’t hold performance under Lovie against the few talented players on that side of the ball. Verner and Banks didn’t just suddenly become bad players, the scheme didn’t fit the skill set, and having absolute hot garbage behind them at Safety didn’t help anything.
    We will be signing or drafting high an immediate starter at one or both of the Safety positions this offseason, you can pretty much count on that.
    I’m telling you, Deiondre’ Hall out of Northern Iowa in the 3rd round, if he’s still on the board by then.

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

    Waterboy OMG I pray we go get Wilkerson. Everyone talkin Williams but man that Kiwan Short and I’m not gone even try and spell Lotu. But those two make everything happen for the back end of that cat D. Give me Wilkerson and GMC and we do damage man.

  16. James Walker Says:

    I will say it again, Vernor and Banks are the two best CB on the team. Always were. If you can’t scheme to your strengths you get Lovied.

  17. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I’m very happy to hear this. Thats one more good move to check off this team had decided on this season. This guy, Sterling moore and Jonathan Banks are all solid starters. We do need depth at the position BADLY though. Please tell me they already wrote Mike Jenkins name on the NEVER to return list!!!

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Verner, Banks and Moore is a solid starting threesome IMO.

    Pass rush is what is needed. Bucs need to resign Sterling Moore and draft a CB and a Safety somewhere in the 1st 5 rounds. But 2 picks in rounds 1-4 need to be for DE and we need to also sign the best FA DE we can get to come here.

  19. Mort Says:

    The system didn’t play to the strengths of the players. Simple as that.

  20. godzilla13 Says:

    Verner, Banks and Moore is a solid starting threesome? Sterling Moore and Jonathan Banks are all solid starters? Read the rankings by PFF below. We need two new CB’s. Period. One in the draft (first round) one in FA. Look at how the FA numbers blow our guys away. Release Verner and use his $ to sign the top CB, then draft Mackensie Alexander. DE in round two. I should be GM.

    Player-Overall Ranking-Coverage-Run Defense
    Sterling Moore 64 66.8 64.2 79.1
    Jude Adjei-Barimah 81 48.1 44.8 78.1
    Alterraun Verner 91 45.6 45.3 46.6
    Johnthan Banks 102 42.9 39.9 79.9

    Sean Smith 12 83.8 82.1 79.0
    Adam Jones 15 83.3 83.1 77.7
    Patrick Robinson 30 79.4 78.1 78.9
    Prince Amukamara 32 78.9 81.2 42.4
    Terence Newman 39 76.3 73.9 81.8

  21. bucs4life86 Says:

    I like the corners we have and I’m hoping we grab a edge rusher with the 9th pick but if nah Spence isn’t there I think we’re reaching if we draft any other DE, u go with the BPA and I think that is VH3, let’s not forget that that were praying it was just lovies system and not the player. VH3 could come right in and start. While most DE’s take a couple of years to adjust to the game. N. Spence if he’s not there VH3. He will lock his side of the field DOWN.