Secondary Not Too Shabby

January 11th, 2017


If there was one Bucs element fans couldn’t stop ragging on (besides the offensive line), it was the secondary.

Fans continually dragged Chris Conte through the streets, even when he had a pick-six against Chicago and saved an upset win with a pick in the end zone late in Kansas City. And it seemed Bradley McDougald got little respect.

Brent Grimes? Fans groused him about until he shut them up with his stellar play and too many Bucs fans wanted Vernon Hargreaves benched, which was crazy talk.

It seems the numberscrunchers at Pro Football Focus are not as dismayed. Their spreadsheets tell them the secondary of the Bucs was middle of the pack.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25 [last season])
Top overall grade: CB Brent Grimes, 90.8 (No. 4)

Top coverage grade: CB Brent Grimes, 89.9 (No. 6)

Top run-defense grade: CB Brent Grimes, 83.5 (No. 3)

Most snaps: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, 1,038

Switching teams in the offseason apparently revitalized the elite Brent Grimes we last saw in 2013. Grimes led the league with 18 combined interceptions and pass breakups, helping him to the fifth-highest grade among cornerback in 2016. Unfortunately for Vernon Hargreaves III, Grimes’ exceptional coverage meant more passes thrown his way—to the tune of a league-high 113 targets and 80 receptions. With that sort of volume, Hargreaves unsurprisingly gave up more receiving yards than anyone, as the only player to top 1,000 yards allowed (1,069). Chris Conte looked more like the player we saw during his last season in Chicago before Keith Tandy took over at free safety. The swing in performance from Conte to Tandy was about as big as it could have been. Conte ranked 90th out of 91 safeties in overall grade, while Tandy was the highest-graded safety over the final five weeks of the season, allowing a passer rating of just 34.3 into his coverage.

Joe has a hunch Conte’s days are done in Tampa Bay. Keith Tandy will likely enter offseason workouts as a starter.

Joe is convinced Hargreaves will be just fine. Think about it: Why would teams throw on Grimes when they can throw on a rookie? That’s just Football 101.

23 Responses to “Secondary Not Too Shabby”

  1. feelthepewterpower Says:

    it’s not how many yards you allow…but how many touchdowns you give-up. Look at the Buccs offense last season that was 5th in offense (total yards) yet still 6-10.

  2. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:


  3. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    OK…this is the thread to ask this question.

    Is there ANY chance we could sign Eric Berry. Berry and Tandy with McDougald for depth would be more than just solid. I assume Conte is gone anyway after the way he stomped off after the final game. Watching Tandy…Conte has to see the writing on the Wall.

    I’m a huge Eric Berry fan…if we’re dreaming just imagine two FA’s…Terrelle Pryror…4.4 speed…Eric Berry to complete our D backfield…we head into the draft wide open for all kinds of BPA activity.

  4. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I think the Laughing Hyena will be just fine. He played off ALOT this year and that’s understandable. It will be a great site to witness him move closer to the line as he becomes more comfortable with the speed. He dropped a few int this year. So what. Watch the game slow down for him next year and BOOM!!! Now our D line will have time to get to the QB
    Think about it
    The Tandy Man just finished the season as the highest rated safety. Grimes is elite, now comes VH3 becoming elite

  5. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Stpete dont forget about latavius murray and kenny stills.

    Get 3 outta those 4, draft OJ Howard at 19, trade up for D’onta Foreman in the 2nd, and we’ll be in very good shape.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    VHG will play better…it was obvious smitty just wanted him to keep everything in front of him….he strong suite is playing bump and run/man press but was forced to play off all year….hopefully with a year under his belt and a full offseason to prepare, he’ll be given the chance to play closer to the LOS….

    grimes played great….exceed my expectations….

    mcdougal got better as the year went on….would still like to see him play a little more consistent in terms of coverage and wrapping up when he tackle but he was an UDFA…..the most important thing is that he’s getting better….

    tandy should definitely be a starter next year….his play in coverage was a lot better than conte and he played with a nasty attitude in the run game…tandy seemed to bring a certain type of energy or swag to the secondary….everyone played a little more confident….

    would love for conte to resign with the team as a back up but I know he wants to start….ryan smith has to step up this offseason….not once did we see him in on defense which is a little alarming….I know he came from a small school but damn….I always thought his film suggest he was better at cb…he’s not as big as VHG but he’s faster….maybe we draft a true safety and move ryan smith back to cb….

    the kid who really surprised me was javion Elliott….the kid can play…he’s fast, quick and can tackle….he looks like a nice addition to the nickel position….jude really f’ed up….he has some serious competition at his position his year….SECONDARY LOOKS STRONG!!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    Not too Sabby at all

  8. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I want Berry too. Slight problem though. Both he and The Tandy Man play the same position. Who switches. Do you bench Keith for Berry. Not the way he played when he started. Outplayed Berry statically
    So I pose that to you
    But yes I would love to purge KC of Poe n Berry.
    Yes yep yea to Pryor

  9. DB55 Says:


    I’m confused. I thought you said Conte wasn’t part of the problem? I thought you said Conte put together some great games last yr(15), what happened this year? 90 of 91 safeties? Thought you said he was a strength compared to the rest of the def?

    What happened? Are you listening to the experts again? How many times are you going to have to change your story (lovie, mariota, Conte)? Are there more? Impossible bc you certainly are no fool. You are an intelligent fan unlike all these other sad pathetic stupid ignorant fool posters around JBF.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe. Did you say “Not too Sabby”?

  11. Joe Says:

    The “Sabby” blasts are quality one-liners. 🙂

  12. Derekbucsfan Says:

    813bucboi they have announced Ryan smith is going back to corner full time so the competition this training camp for the nickel spot will be interesting with hey Jude javion Elliott and now Ryan smith. I do think they’ll address the safety position, not before we address more explosiveness on offense

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    @Derek….that’s great news, thanks for the info….In that case I can see them targeting a mid round safety or one in FA….but as I mentioned earlier, I would love for them to resign conte but I doubt that happens….he seemed pretty pissed off once tandy took over….he would be the perfect back up…he knows the system and played well in it….this is when licht has to become a salesman….sale he on the idea that he would be next in line if tandy or mcdougal goes down because we don’t have much depth behind the starters…..we’ll see how it goes….thanks for the ifo tho….GO BUCS!!!!

  14. Pa Privateer Says:

    @813 I thought Ryan Smith was injured early in the season? Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    I am looking forward to see what he can bring. Elliot was a pleasant surprise after he got a couple games under his belt. Hey Jude will be great competition in the off season and quality backup. The Secondary looks much better heading into the off season. If we an add a safety through FA or the draft the future will be bright for this group

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    @pa…I believe your correct…he was a little banged up toward the end of TC/ first week of the season…I like him….I think he’s versatile enough to play inside and out but he seemed out of place at safety in the nfl….your right tho…future is looking bright for the secondary….GO BUCS!!!

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    You may have me confused with your Hawaiian friend again. LOL

    I’ve never pimped Conte nor have I trashed him. I thought he was a transition player and so I didn’t really think that much about him at all because I’ve always felt he was just a plug in until we got a better player.

    Blake I’d sure sign off on your plan.

    If we got Berry as to who would move over…he or Tandy…I suspect a possible HOFer would get priority there but Tandy is a nice athlete and I believe he could handle the adjustment. But I concede that would be a concern.

    BTW again at least one service has us picking Michigan S Jabrill Peppers at 19.

    If that’s happening we certainly wouldn’t need Berry.

  17. Kobe Faker Says:

    VH3 strength is bump and run press coverage?


    VH3 didnt play man2man at the LOS because he wanted to give the recievers a break?

    VH3 is too slow and not quick enough to play tight man2man

    2017, where ever VH3 goes…the ball is coming 24/7

  18. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Wow Kobe okay first if u played the game or watch football you will see that VH3 did get beat but when he was good he was good I saw the player he can become so if u go back watch the tape also u got to factor that the boy studies remember San Diego he told Tandy what was going to happen this kid going to get better

  19. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Also Kobe weren’t u the one crying get rid of grimes

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    SPBF – Getting Eric Berry is a pipe dream. No way KC lets him get to free agency.

    Dontari Poe has a much more likely chance of becoming available. Would love to see that big dude in a Burger King uniform clogging up the middle.

    I like our corners now with Grimes and VH3 locked in for outside starters next year – along with hey Jude, Ryan Smith and Elliot in development and competing for the nickle spot.

    Safety play improved towards the end of last season – especially when Tandy got to show his stuff and that he has advanced to the level of legit starter in this league. But unless McDougald takes a major step forward (which has seemingly been hoped for but never achieved each of the last 3 years), we need a more talented player to start opposite Tandy in 2017.

  21. ME13 Says:

    Poe & JPP will fix what ever problems we have in the secondary

  22. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Getting Eric Berry is a pipe dream.

    I hear ya and suspect you’re correct. But as for a pipe dream?

    Wouldn’t be my first if ya get my meaning. 🙂

  23. Lawrence Ashe Says:

    S Brad McDougald had one of the lowest burnt percentage in the nfl