New Corner … To The Rescue

May 9th, 2017

New blood

UPDATED 4:12 p.m. Whew!

Tampa BAY cornerback depth was downright scary until a matter of hours ago.

This was even a subject this morning on the award-winning Ira Kaufman Podcast,

After Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes, who literally played about 99 percent of all Bucs snaps last season, the Bucs don’t have much.

Josh Robinson is nice and has experience, but the dude couldn’t get snaps ahead of Alterraun Verner last season, and Verner can’t find a job now. What does that tell you? Second-year man Ryan Smith was a guy the Bucs thought was a safety last year, but now he’ll play corner. That crew, throwing in Hey Jude Adjei-Barimah and Javien Elliott at nickel corner, wasn’t inspiring.

Now there’s a new body in the mix, veteran Robert McClain, who played three seasons (2012-2014) for Mike Smith in Atlanta, mostly nickel corner. McClain didn’t miss a game and made 15 starts in those three seasons.

He was with the Super Bowl Panthers in 2015 and 2016, before getting cut in December. He finished last season with the Chargers.

McClain, who turns 29 in July, was a 2010, seventh-round pick of Carolina. He’s no superstar, but Joe will sleep much better with this depth addition/competition. Hey, the guy picked off America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, 15 months ago. (Video here)

McClain shared his excitement on Twitter, “I’ll give everything I got.”

88 Responses to “New Corner … To The Rescue”

  1. uckinator Says:

    Looks like the rookie mini camp didn’t inspire Coach Smith much. This dude has been out of work since December. Definitely not an all pro.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    Doesn’t he return punts too?

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    McClain says he’s givin it everythings he’s got huh? Yet he was cut in Dec. Go figure.

  4. Supersam Says:

    I like it, he terrorized us for years. In fact his falcon highlight video every other play is him picking off Josh Freeman or smacking Vincent Jackson. Not to mention he sacked and intercepted Winston.

  5. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Wait, we couldn’t trade a 1st and a 3rd rounder for Darrelle Revis??

  6. tnew Says:

    Good depth move.

  7. Kobe Faker Says:

    Good sign boys

    Our DC aint messing around if he thinks the 2017 def is going to be the weak link

    He knows our weakness and where the OCs is going to attack

    Smith knows we cant handle Atl set of wrs with our cornerback crew

  8. Owlykat Says:

    If he can also return kicks this is a good pickup. However, once Ryan goes through the Preseason and gets used to our defensive scheme at CB, I expect him to be even better and able to sub for our starting duo to give them breathers.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Think I’m starting to see a trend here, as in players being signed who used to play, at one point in their careers, for Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith (Brent Grimes, Jaquizz Rodgers, Joe Hawley, Gosder Cherilus, Daryll Smith, Robert McClain). Familiarity with the coaches’ systems is obviously a plus.

  10. webster Says:

    Dont kid yourselves. This guy us not better than jude. He has all of 4 ints in his 8 year career. I love when the bucs sign any name that is recognizable then many fans/writers expect some major upgrade over what the team already have. He has played on 5 teams in 8 years. Think ej biggers. Nothing more.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Didn’t he write and sing American Pie

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Lovie did the same thing, he brought HIS players in. Difference is…

  13. Kobe Faker Says:

    If any of you think ryan smith is a legitimate nfl cornerback oe safety,…you are sadly mistaken

    Only reason ankle biter ball girl is still here because he was drafted in the 4th round

    Because licht had a slam dunk draft this year and think it will be acceptable to take the publicity hit for picking him

    DC smith knows he cant play in this level. Smith bringing in released vets in before the season

    I think glazers will give the green light to licht ….to go all in

  14. martinii Says:

    Needed depth.

  15. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeee-it!!! EJ Biggers, that’s cold!😱

  16. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Looks more like camp meat than the savior of the secondary.

    lol joe gets so worked up over some players and doesn’t even mentions others.

    He was cut mid season after getting smoked Over and over again. The panthers turned to 2 rookies to start at CB while kicking this bum to the curb.

    I doubt he makes the roster.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    @dewey…great point…..GO BUCS!!!!

  18. DB55 Says:

    I thought Elliot played rather well last yr.

  19. Kobe Faker Says:

    “My Defense played great and there is interest for a HC gig”

    Mike Smith

    “Come on Mike. Stay for 2 years and ill give you what you need for you defense”

    Jason Licht

    “Ok but i need to get my players. If my defense goes backwards, i wont get a HC job”

    Mike Smith

    “Ok, i promise”

    Jason licht

    “By the way, who the hell is that kid holding the lamp pretending we dont notice”

    Mike smith

    “Oh, dont mind him . Thats Kobe Faker aka 1Buc mole”

    Jason Licht

    “OK, atleast its not The Buc Realist!Lol!”

    Mike smith

  20. SB Says:

    Elliot played good when called upon last yr. This signing is depth. I am feeling slightly better about CB. Another signing after cuts will make me feel better though.

  21. PRBucFan Says:

    McClain can still ball, he is a GREAT option at nickel

  22. PRBucFan Says:

    And people that can still ball get released all the time, so that’s a lame reason to be down on him.

  23. webster Says:


    If you can “ball”, you do not play on 5 teams in eight years. Thats the definition of not a baller ie journeyman. When has a journeyman ever been labled a baller? Dont fool yourself.

  24. 941BUC Says:

    Joe but that interception wouldn’t of happened if Brate hadn’t fallen.any better highlight(s) of him than a lucky pick?

  25. R.O. Says:

    Isn’t it you guys who say Players are on the Steet for a reason? You started the column off with “Whew”? Who cares…

  26. webster Says:

    @ prbucfan

    When grimes was released by miami, he could still ball. Only 2 teams in 10 years with 26 ints coming into tampa. See the difference between “ball” and journeyman?

  27. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Well I like it ! And so do the bucs everyone on a team is not a super star you need depth and a nickel cb and that’s what he is stop the bitchin ….

  28. webster Says:

    Anyone who thinks he is better than jude or elliot are fooling themselves. But i know, buc fans loved to be fooled. Camp meat/insurance.

  29. Dom is gone Says:

    Hey Mike aren’t these the same guys that got your arse fired in Atlanta….. didn’t work for Lovie defense got worse with “his” guys.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    lol. Do people really expect “all-pros” to be roaming the streets right now?

    He’s a vet w/ plenty of experience and familiarity w/ our DC, who will at the very least, push other guys for battling for depth and maybe even impart some knowledge.

  31. LargoBuc Says:

    Three way battle at nickle. May the best man start.

  32. Lord Cornelius Says:

    cool. Let’s see if he’s a Tim Jennings or an actual useful player lol.

    lol @ kobe hating Ryan Smith. Whatd he do to you man? Dude hasn’t even played an NFL snap at CB that any of us have seen yet

  33. Destinjohnny Says:

    Was the deepest db draft in 10 years…..
    There were some bangers we could have had with the 2 pick

  34. SB Says:

    It is not unreal to believe Unbelievable!

  35. Pick6 Says:

    Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:
    Didn’t he write and sing American Pie


    nope, he is the main character from the “Die Hard” movie franchise. getting on in years, but off-the-charts toughness based on my film study

  36. bucNation Says:

    thank goodness i was getting worried too while i like elliot and jude is serviceable they are both slot corners and shouldn’t touch the outside , now we have at least 1 quality boundary cb backup and we will see if ryan smith is worth all the buzz

  37. bucNation Says:

    and for those not happy because of how deep the corner class was last year do some research next years might turn up just as good a lot of pass rushers also

  38. Cobraboy Says:

    A better DL push will make the DB’s shine. If y’all recall, the DL got whacked with injuries early on and that caused problems in the pass D.

    About mid-season the DL got healthier and the DB’s looked much, much better.

  39. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Camp help. He will not make the 53 man roster.


  40. Buccfan37 Says:

    Winston threw the ball right to him. Anybody could have caught that. A one armed player.

  41. Kobe Faker Says:

    Very good DCs vs avg DCs

    Mike Smith is a top very good DC

    avg DCs need talent on all 3 levels and a rush for the corners to play good

    Mike smith doesnt need all pro defensive ends that has double diget sacks…though we had decent amout of sacks we had 3rd worst amount of QB hurries

    Mike smith and the top DCs need only to stop the run. If we can stop the run, Mike Smith will scheme and make enough adjustments for the team to win

    Mike smith cant create a defense that can win or compete if a offense can run and pass at will. If mike smith can make our opponent 1 dimentional, we have a opportunity to win any game vs anybody

    Mike Smith is that good as DC

    I think with our front 7 new players and depth we can clog and stop the run

    Mike Smith, king of 3 and outs…

    And our punter is badass

  42. Cobraboy Says:

    I am stunned to be in agreement with Kobe Faker.

    I need help.

  43. K2 Says:

    He is probably better than our rookies with less upside…don’t count out the young guys yet.

  44. bucs_365 Says:

    Maybe he’s better than Javien Elliot.

  45. Kobe Faker Says:


    I forgot how mike smith defence looked and played like

    The mike smith defensive identity last year in tampa was the same in jacsonville when he was DC

    No blown coverages and just kickass grinders

    He didnt have the best talent in jacsonville and last year was a patchwork of talent to say the least

    Everything in front of you and the offense has to make plays to score. Mike smith def wont give anything cheap and the offense hase to go 80 yards to score vs Mike smith

    I believe we lead in 3rd down effiency? I wouldnt doubt he was always top5 3rd efficiency also in jacksonville

    He wanted 2 big dts like he had in jacsonville…welcome chris baker

    How many times did jameis with his turnovers or koetters too conservative 3 and outs put Mike Smith and the defense at the opponents scoring position?…

    And they didnt score

  46. SB Says:

    I guess worse things could happen Cobraboy.

  47. Cobraboy Says:

    Kobe, No argument from me.

    IMO, you can have Jackson, Baker and Howard. Them single most important Buccaneer off-season acquisition is Mike Smith for two more years.

  48. Cobraboy Says:

    @ SB:

    HA! 😀

    (And I never gave permission to post my picture…)

  49. SB Says:


  50. Rrsrq Says:

    Did he play with Grimes

  51. Rrsrq Says:

    Is this guy better than Verner, because if he is not…

  52. unbelievable Says:

    What up SB?!

  53. Pa Privateer Says:

    It’s a depth and veteran signing, nothing more. I am not as impressed as others may be with this signing, but will not criticize the move. Our DBs will look much better with more of a pass rush. I think Ryan Smith will be just as good if not better than McClain. I think Elliot did rather well last season and will only get better this year. I know injuries will happen to every level of the team, and depth is always a concern, but that goes for every team in the NFL.

    I am looking forward to seeing Ryan Smith, Devonte Bond, Benenoch, Elliot, Hargraves, Spence, and Aguayo this year. Bring on TC and may the best man win.

    Go bucs

  54. SB Says:

    All is good UB! Just living the dream up here in the Mountains. A big part of me wishing I could go to a Bucs game. I have already committed money to a separate account to fly down there for a Playoff game WHEN we get there.

  55. Buddy Says:

    Competition? What you mean competition? I thought everyone just loved our small little corners in grimes & Hargreaves?? Those 2 a joke, now at least someone at 1 Buc is realizing they can’t play with bigger receivers. Cause they are midgets. 8-8 at best this year

  56. SB Says:

    Hey Buddy……..have a Snickers.

  57. SB Says:

    Or go be a Dolphins fan.

  58. Dom is gone Says:

    Mike smith last year in Atlanta had control of defense and say in personal … was like 27 th points allowed and 30th yards allowed…. pink slip

  59. Dom is gone Says:

    Crap defense is why he was fired

  60. SB Says:

    Hey Dom……..Have you practiced “Would you like fries with that order?” in several languages?
    You prolly should. It would mean a big pay raise for you.

  61. Eric Says:


  62. Dom is gone Says:

    Would you like fries with that order ?? Sure that’s a question you ask your patrons daily. Amazing that’s the first thing that came to your mind… you still at work?

  63. SB Says:

    I can see that sardonism escapes you Dam. That’s ok because I am sure you are use to this with women too.

  64. Dom is gone Says:

    Get this from your women too … come on bro be more original than that. Maybe I should come back with… I get from your mother all the time… really are we talking about football or not? I stated a fact feel free to look it up

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

    I like Unbelievable at 6:04. Kobe is correct the key is making the opponent one dimensional. Accomplishing that makes the Sunday afternoon easy. Swaggy and Tui should help with making that possible.

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

    Its like Tmax tell’s y’all everyday. No more excuses. I’ll add we have all the pieces now.

  67. Pit Says:

    Dom is gone why don’t you leave like your name suggests but since you are here go make me some fries

  68. SB Says:

    ^^^^^^^ 🙂

  69. Issic Haggins Says:

    Nothing worse than when GM s and coaches are signing people they have ties with. This is always a sign of weakness within the organization following their scouting dept.

    Everyone knows that the Bucs d has some great players but they are one corner short and an injury away from sinking the hole season due to organizational stubborness ( bad trait of Licht) .

    Being an NFL GM sn’t about challenging yourself, proving yourself to yourself and getting cute and this clearly is a very bad trait that Licht repeats every year. There is numerous quality experienced FA corners that I am confident the scouting dept has ranked much higher than McClain. Not sure this is the case at safety or o line but it surely is at LB and Corner and the cap isn’t an issue what so ever. Why do these guys have quality ( bridge) players available and they let down the hole team, fan base , owners and the NFL by being self consumed.I Like allot of what Licht does but he does this every year with a position or two. He has probably taken a year or two off the franchise qb’s career ( totally unacceptable, see Cam Newton )with his OLine bull headedness which is enough to get some people fired !! Now that being said the O Line in its third year together should be better ( if 3 leads the league in hits again you will be fired) but he killed his qb in the process ,some other good moves have helped to cover up his bone headed blunders and the kicker is way lesser of an evil than what I am referring to. There is plenty of serviceable NFL kickers you can win with and the same can be said your third LB but it can’t be said for CB and OL.

    Quit being cute Jason and build a winner now !!! Your not going to have this bridge / cap luxury in two or three years unlike many other GMs, Coaches, Teams , Owners and Fan Bases that have dead money and little cap room !!!

  70. SB Says:

    I know I said this the other day to you NOS but this it the most stoked I have been about Bucs football in the last 15 years!

  71. SB Says:

    Koetter’s Draft has one thing in common. OJ Howard, great Blocker, Chris Godwin, willing blocker as a WR. Jeremy McNichols second best blocking RB in the draft.
    Weapons for Winston in different ways.

  72. Dom is gone Says:

    Pit you and SB stick with comedy… your fry jokes are a lot more entertaining than any football take all have posted

  73. SB Says:

    Dom….no offense but you were coming off as a troll with your comment.

  74. Kevinthepainterimagine Says:

    Joe….the falcons had the worst secondary imaginable under the watchful eye of Mike Smith and his defensive coaches. What in the royal hell would make anyone get even slightly encouraged by this???

    God this sucks, at least I wont be as let down as most Bucs fans when.our secondary sucks ARSE and yet again has another season og.embarrasing completion percentages allowed. Mike Smith deploys soft coverage for four quarters and now hes bringing in someone probably worse than verner. At least hes cheaper I guess whoohoo

  75. SB Says:

    Well, anyways, the wife has burgers on the Grill.
    And Yes I am having fries with them.
    Peace out Bucs fans.
    My bad Dom if I was wrong.

  76. Scbucsfan Says:

    I am neither excited nor disappointed with this signing

  77. Pick6 Says:

    Almost every coach in football will bring in some of their former players in the first 2-3 years of getting a new gig. It is not just a safety net and competition, it is also another guy on the field or sideline who can explain to others how the scheme works from snap to snap. In this case and many others (Lovie Smith excluded), the typical aim is not to find starters but rather guys who will make practices more competitive and film sessions more productive. The only coaches who are not doing this are the ones who have been coaching for their current team so long that their former players are either not around or have been made irrelevant by continuity on the coach’s current roster

  78. Kstoges Says:

    @SB dude I haven’t been this hyped for football in so long are bucs are back baby and they are being built to be scary good Im so damn ready

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

    What 6 said at 10:49..

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

    And I feel you SB. All I can think about is payback and what Fameis will look like hoisting that Lombardi 🏆..

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

    The last time Fameis was surrounded by this much fire power on both sides of the ball he demolished everything in his path en route to a National Championship. I expect the same next season. Y’all ain’t really even seen Fameis yet. No worries tho, in a few short months you will no longer have to “Just wait it”.

  82. Fsuking Says:

    Who didn’t pick off Jameis in that game?

  83. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Good pickup

  84. Buc1987 Says:

    We’re making moves fellas.

  85. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    This is NOT a good depth move at all. It;s a horrible move and he won’t be on the team come training camp, much less make the final roster. He’s worse than even the rookie CBs on the team.

  86. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Know why Joe mentioned he was a healthy during those years? Because it is the only positive stat that man has.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but he’ll be gone in a short while.

  87. Capt.Tim Says:

    Something we often dont consider.
    Our new CB is not an all pro.
    But he is very familiar with the System.
    That makes him more valuable, because he can help our young guys

    Sometimes- getting the kids in the right place,To make a play, is almost as valuable as making the play yourself.

  88. unbelievable Says:


    Nice! I was lucky they played out in SD last year. Don’t think there is any on the schedule this year I can make it…. But if we make the playoffs, hell all bets are off!