Watch Your Step

June 8th, 2016

Under the microscope.

The four-letter is cranking out copy on lists. You know it’s summertime (unofficially) when everyone is pumping out lists.

So that brings Joe to everyone’s favorite source for Bucs information (coughahemcough), and that would be BSPN.

Naming one player on each team in danger of falling through the thin ice of NFL job security, Mike DiRocco claims his endangered species for the Bucs: cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Verner was a Pro Bowler with Tennessee but was benched last season for inconsistent play and was on the field mainly as a slot cornerback. He has three interceptions and 13 pass breakups in two seasons with the Bucs and is due to make $6.75 million in 2016. The Bucs also signed CB Brent Grimes in free agency and drafted Vernon Hargreaves III in the first round.

Joe can’t disagree with any of what DiRocco types. The thing is, the Bucs easily could have let Verner go because of his contract and slumping quality of play. They did not.

Yes, much has been made of Verner’s reunion with his old position coach who helped mold him into a Pro Bowler with Tennessee, Brett Maxie.

At some point, however, the player must perform no matter who is the coach. On paper, the Bucs went from a suspect secondary to having a deep stable of corners.

That is, if they all play to their potential.

38 Responses to “Watch Your Step”

  1. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    A return to pro bowl form for Verner, and a surprisingly successful rookie campaign from VH3 and we’ll suddenly have a top ten secondary. Who’da thunk?

  2. LargoBuc Says:

    Verner was at his best when asked to play bump n run, which we almost never saw the past two years.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    We will get to see how hard it will be to “coach the lovie” out of some of these players!!! Thank goodness that it was only 2 years of bufoonery!!!! Hopefully they can salvage some of these players!!

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “We will get to see how hard it will be to “coach the lovie” out of some of these players!!!” – The Buc Realist

    “At some point, however, the player must perform no matter who is the coach.” – Joe

    Point made.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Can I just say something?

    If Verner was forced to alter how he plays, it was because he didn’t fit into the system, right?

    So why didn’t Jason Licht replace him with someone who did fit the system? After all, Licht is in charge of the roster.

    I realize Lovie is the kind of coach who prefers to mold players to his system instead of molding his system to his players, and we could debate the rights and wrongs of that until we are blue in the face. But regardless, Jason Licht’s job was to get the best players for Lovie to succeed with. He knew what Lovie needed.

    He just did not provide it.


  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Buc Bonzai

    First we are proud of you for asking questions!!! From your usual post we all encourage you to ask as many questions as you can!!!!!

    After Lovie told NFL GM Licht that Revis could not play in his system, then coach my scheme hand picked Verner and there was an immediate disconnect from the start. Maybe he saw that the Incompetent one’s system would never work in todays NFL!!! I mean the hand OC faked a heart attack to get out of town (allegedly) after the first year lovie lost a lot of juice and power, He still picked some lesser free-agents secondary.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says
    “After Lovie told NFL GM Licht that Revis could not play in his system…”


    NFL GM Jason Licht told Love that he could not justify paying $16 million to a CB…because HE controlled the roster.

  8. Swaggy64 Says:

    If the Bucs were in cap trouble then Vernerr’s big salary would be a major factor, but since they arren’t I think they will give him every oppurtunity to prove he can still be an effective NFL corner. Hopefully, being reunted with Brett Maxie will help him return to pro bowl form.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Come on, Realist. Be serious.

    You mean to tell me that a head coach who KNEW they would not be drafting defense for a couple years would not want one of hte best CBs in the league on his team? Really?

    It was purely about the money. By cutting Revis, Licht freed up a ton of cash. By cutting the OL, he did it again (and OL is LICHT’s specialty).

    Lovie made his share of mistakes, but so did Licht. (though, I actually think those were not mistakes).

  10. The Buc Realist Says:


    The incompetent one saw what Coach Schiano did and he look at this roster and said give me 2 or three free agents and I am good!!!! before playing a game all the Tampa2 mafia was saying don’t worry about the defense, “it will be top 10”!!!

    Revis was complaining when He played some zone to protect his knee the year before!!! He would have slayed coach my scheme in the media with his passive, antiquated system!!!! And the paycut they offered Revis was to trade him. He said no so they had to cut him!!!!

  11. Scott B Says:

    If he does get cut it will be because the competition and depth have improved at the position. The price tag is one thing but adding two free agents and one draft pick at corner is going to make everyone really have to earn a spot. The cap number seems large but it’s not so crazy the Bucs would be forced to cut him. His versatility should help him stick around for at least this year.

  12. BigHogHaynes Says:

    The Revis cut and the O-line cuts were purely about freeing cash for the HOME-RUN HITTER to work with, the O-line has been fixed, after LOVIE gets fired, LICTH begins to fix the D, LOVIE brung him aboard but he came in wanting all power, 9 wins or its time for a new GM!!

  13. LordCornelius Says:

    Bonzai – Lovie had final say over the roster not Light. So there goes that theory.

    The thing is no CB could play well in that scheme. There were no FAs that would have fit. The problem was the zone concept had gaping holes that were exploited every week. We know from direct quotes the corners were told to keep everything in front, to play with big cushions in zone away from the WR. It’s not their fault that QBs were completing every slant pass they wanted. They were put in an alignment that made it impossible to defend those type of routes

  14. unbelievable Says:

    9 winds or it’s time for a new GM? With a first year head coach and a 2nd year QB?

    Man, some of you guys are really delusional. Licht will get a second year with Koetter for sure. If we’re not improved by then, I suspect he will be gone.

    Regarding Verner, after they kept him around for last season, it would not have made sense to get rid of him now, right when they bring in his former DB coach in which he was pro-bowler for.

    Obviously that also has to do with scheme and other personnel, but the prudent things it to at least keep him through camp and see if he performs better.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    “At some point, however, the player must perform no matter who is the coach.”

    Boy, this statement sounds vaguely familiar! Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ve been saying it for months.

    Good players make plays in ANY system.

    Everybody’s got their opinions on the matter. OPINIONS! No matter what anyone says, however, once a player crosses the chalk, it is on them. Players play, coaches coach.
    I’m sure coach Lovie told Verner to NOT make plays! Yeah, that’s it!

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist….loading up on the excuses for already huh….coach the lovie out of these players….what next?…dirk needs at least 5 years to get up to par because he’s a rookie hc…licht was wise enough to bring in talented smarter players like d.smith (no more d.lansanah)…b.grimes(no more Jenkins, and maybe banks)….and r.ayers(no more g.johnson)…..dirk and licht have no excuses…they have what they want now win….

    @bonsai…I agree with you…GO BUCS!!!

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    Bonsai, I understand you’re a big Movie guy, but as others have pointed out, Movie was 100% in charge of the roster until he got the hook and Licht was put in charge. I doubt the “insight” of any pundit who doesn’t understand the dysfunction of Lovie’s clusterPelosi defense. How anyone can judge players based on the last two seasons is beyond me…

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Sorry, Lovie, not Movie. Dang android…

  19. LordCornelius Says:

    “Good players make plays in ANY system”

    Not true at all. It’s why you see some guys dominate with certain teams / coaches that also suck later with different teams / coaching and vice versa. Numerous ex Bucs have been better on other teams / systems. See Michael Johnson / Mark Barron being utilized as incredibly effective players. Look at Lavonte David pre Lovie an with Lovie. Same with Verner.

    It’s actually rare to see a player do just as well in a lot of different systems / teams.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    The lovie defenders are hilarious. absolutely hilarious. Lovie embarrassed himself, the city and the league with the product he put on the field for two years the man is simply an incompetent and ignorant slug… He has horrible character and could not coach his way out of a wet paper back while juggling chain saws. It would be easier to justify Charles Manson’s strong points than Lovie Smith’s.

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    lovie / dungy folks stop living in the past… Dungy failed in Tampa and Lovie embarrassed Tampa. Stop acting like the past was so wonderful. I have been going to games and a fan since 78 in the 40 years the team has been in tampa it’s only had 7 good seasons so the past is not so great….

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “That is, if they all play to their potential.”

    The key word in the statement Joe is “IF”. In the NFL (as in all professional sports) all the starters (as a minimum) have tremendous potential it seems. Getting them to play up to that potential in any given game is most likely dependent upon many different factors (injuries, player proficiency, what they’re being asked to do, etc). I wouldn’t even be surprised if how good their opponent is had an impact on how successful any given player is at making plays.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Lord- “Good players”! Michael Johnson and Mark Barron are not the ideal comparisons. And, look how they fared, NOT WELL. Verner made NO plays, Banks No plays. One would have thought they would have accidentally made a play at some point.
    Verner could very well be victim to the scheme but I don’t consider him to be the caliber of say, a Grimes or Sherman or Revis for instance. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally rooting for the guy. I WANT it to be because of the scheme. Having him only makes us better, Banks the same way.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- I tell you what, this team had better start ripping off some wins at home. I am sick to my stomach from watching such a horrendous product and PAYING to see it. That’s going to be half the battle for them. If they can turn it around at home, that will go a long way towards getting back their fans. I’m a long time fan too and I am sick and tired of losing.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    “Good players make plays in ANY system.”

    Somebody never played or coached football, because that statement is categorically incorrect.

    Every “system” is different and require different skills and player types. An easily understood example is the difference between a 4-3 & 3-4 defense, and a man scheme vs. zone. Different skills needed for both.

    On the Buc roster recently AJ Francis was added which caused some knowledgeable observers speculate he portends some 3-4 looks on defense, along with LB Smith.

  26. LargoBuc Says:

    Players did not respond to Lovie. The end. Seriously, if the locker room is lost and you’re being tuned out by your players, then that’s it. It’s at that point a lost cause to keep the regime going. Don’t beleive me? The last four games last year speak volumes.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Largo- That’s a valid point but as a “professional” what does that say about your work ethic? There were players still digging in. Jameis didn’t mail it in, Evans either. Those that did, maybe we don’t need them anyway, especially as a fan.

    @Cobra- So, Revis who is primarily known as a man/man corner can’t play zone?! Sherman who is a zone guy can’t play man?! In a zone scheme with a healthy dose of slant plays a good corner doesn’t jump that route?! B. freaking S.!!! This is about cornerback. I am highly aware that there are vast differences in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses and man/zone.
    You don’t have to have coached or played football to know play-making.

  28. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @tmaxtrump: the team LOVIE inherited had no talent, it takes time to build a team from the bottom floor, it takes time to get the players you need, all you guys talk about is how bad the LOVIE FRIENDS&FAMILY DEFENSE got exposed, there were games lost last year by the offense, not counting the one where Jameis threw a pic six on the Bucs first possession of the first game! Our offense didn’t play lights out every week? But that was LOVIE’S fault…

  29. BigHogHaynes Says:

    The last four games last year: the offense did no one any favors either. But that’s LOVIE’S fault

  30. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    BigHog, why do you like Lovie so much? Why don’t you trust Licht? All I hear is hate.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ugh! Is it football season yet?! I desperately want to shift these discussions toward some semblance of relevance.
    Hopefully these “bubble” guys will still be on the team contributing to our victories.

  32. LordCornelius Says:

    @Lord- “Good players”! Michael Johnson and Mark Barron are not the ideal comparisons. And, look how they fared, NOT WELL. Verner made NO plays, Banks No plays. One would have thought they would have accidentally made a play at some point.”

    I’m not pointing them out cuz I think they’re awesome they are just recent relevant examples of how important coaching is.

    Johnson was one of the leading DEs in QB pressures when we signed him. Didn’t do sh1t under Lovie. Went back to Cincy and had a way better year.

    Barron was worthless under Lovie. Goes to the Rams and they realize he can ball as an OLB.

    Verner was a young probowler before Lovie signed him. Didn’t even play under Lovie because Lovie would rather start a diff CB and blame talent each week instead of his scheme

    Banks lead the team in interceptions as a rookie. Became worthless under Lovie.

    The fact is NO ONE on this team improved under Lovie. Most players regressed or were cast aside. Players that did well on other teams that we brought in did poorly under Lovie. This is pretty obvious

  33. ATrain Says:

    You think Verner was pissed at Lovie for playing Jennings in front of him….Good call there Haha

    I think you will see a different side of all the Bucs

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Alterraun Verner has displayed a lot patience & decorum.
    A change in technique – Plus familiarity w/ his new position coach – should bode well for him. Hopefully it means another Pro Bowl Birth

    Here’s to a new year & letting the past go.

    Hit The Chorus

    It’s only when it rains it pours
    And I can hear the pouring rain
    It feels just like a hurricane just came right outside my window
    One day when the rain is gone
    The thunder from the storm goes on
    I woke up and I seen the sun and it shine right inside my window
    And it feels like

  35. SB with Jameis Says:

    What is good LUV!? Hope you and yours are doing well and life is treating you good

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    SB with Jameis

    I’m good brotha – How about yourself?
    Hope U and Yours are doing well as well.

  37. SB with Jameis Says:

    It is summer in Mountain paradise! What is not to love right now except the Frickin’ tourists!

  38. Dave Says:

    Still worried about safety