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June 8th, 2017

Early this spring, Joe talked to a Bucs type who said perhaps no other corner on the team played Mike Evans tighter in practice than Ryan Smith.

Yes, this person said, echoing Allen Iverson, it was practice. But it was very encouraging to see, Joe was told, after the experiment to move Smith to safety blew up.

This may not be an isolated incident. As Joe wrote previously, it seems Smith is much more fluid back at corner, his natural position.

As the final OTA practice of underwear football season starts later this morning, Joe offers this tidbit from Smith last week. Joe spoke with Smith about going back home, in so many words, playing corner again.

“I was pretty happy,” Smith said of the Bucs throwing in the towel of moving Smith to safety and returning him to his former position at corner. Playing cornerback “was my natural position. I wasn’t mad I was at safety, but corner, I was just more comfortable.”

And comfort seems to be the word of the offseason for Smith entering his second season.

“It is not as difficult as it was last year for me,” Smith said of his second offseason with the Bucs. “I am getting better at it. There are a lot of places I’ve made progress at.”

This is all, of course, good news. Joe vividly remembers talking to defensive coordinator Mike Smith about Ryan Smith in training camp last year. To set the scene, Mike Smith is about as positive of a person as you will ever meet. Always smiling, always saying good things about his players.

When Joe asked about Ryan Smith’s transition to safety, Mike Smith uncharacteristically grimaced, looked at his feet as if pausing to search for the right words, then looked at Joe saying Ryan Smith had more work to do.

Often, body language says more than words.

So it was refreshing to learn Ryan Smith practiced so well late in the season against perhaps the best receiver in the game. It may also explain why, to many folks’ frustration, the Bucs didn’t draft a cornerback this year.

Perhaps the next starting corner is already on the roster?

14 Responses to “Back Home”

  1. Bill Byrne Says:

    Well written post Joe and I thank you for the update on Ryan. I have had the opportunity to meet Ryan and he is a great example of the program the Bucs have been building with new players….talent and commitment! Getting one year behind you is important for any new player and I think and hope Ryan has a productive year in 2017. If he does, then the Bucs are playoff bound. Thanks again Joe.

  2. Frank n Furter Says:

    I’ve seen this article 3 times. How is it news now, what he said weeks ago? Begging for clicks.

  3. Locked In Says:

    ^^^ lighten up

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Its unfortunate that the Bucs decision to try R. Smith at safety did not work out because he lost important developmental time and reps at his natural position of CB. He would be farther along in his readiness to make a significant contribution this year if not for the failed experiment. Hope Ryan can make up the difference quickly and earn significant snaps this year. Playing is really the only way to truly get better in this league when you are young. All those snaps Elliot got at the end of last year could have gone to Smith and given him some tape of himself in real games to study in the offseason.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I just love that we have a coaching staff that is willing to acknowledge when it looks like they’ve tried to put square pegs into round holes.

    Some staffs may have just given up on the guy entirely; but many draft analysts were high on Smith as a CB last year.

    It sounds like we’re only training him at the outside CB position though and not trying him at the slot which I’d like to see. A lot of the draft analysis on him was that he could be an effective nickle but were unsure of his abilities outside

  6. Maze Says:

    Loser Lovie would have cut him by now

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    Ryan Smith will have a more productive career than VH3. no knock on vh3 but Smith will be more productive long term.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Love this kid & I’m confident he’ll get lots of playing time this year. Gut feel is that he’ll start off sharing time at nickel with Jude, but wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Mike Smith get him on the field as a 4th CB (in place of one of our safeties) in certain packages. And yes Joe he could well be why Bucs didn’t draft a CB this year.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Odd that one of the people here who hates on a lot of players who’ve actually produced in the NFL; is the same person proclaiming the greatness of a guy who’s never even played a regular season snap at CB.

    Just odd stuff to me. Optimism founded without evidence vs negativity founded against contrary evidence lol… confusing as hell

  10. Broy34 Says:

    The ignorance is maxi pad is worse than anyoneeI’ve encountered in 26 years. McCoy sucks and smith is better than Hargreaves. #troll

  11. tmaxcon Says:


    your boy had a mediocre season at best with a few flashes and a few disappearing acts by no means was he dominant. Smith did a great job of protecting him so until your boy starts playing at an all pro level ‘ll stand by my statement. look at the facts and stop by an ignorant homer fanboy. vh3 is not guaranteed to be great actually its more likely he will be nothing more than a serviceable number 3 cb for 7 years or so years which is not bad gig if you can get it. hell gmc has fooled you idiots for 7 years with mediocrity, injuries and excuses all while embracing losing/ i am the one with standards. I only accept results. if you don’t win you are a loser. you are simply a nuthugging excuse maker who rather cheer for mediocrity than push for greatness.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    lol…VHG was a rookie last year….lol….he played well…he held his own…i’ll take a mediocre season for a rookie…..he aint play bad…he never got benched…he played the most snaps on defense last year, apparently smith must know something that you don’t…HE’S A BALLER…..GO BUCS!!!!

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Smith did a great job of protecting him so until your boy starts playing at an all pro level ‘ll stand by my statement. look at the facts and stop by an ignorant homer fanboy”

    lol wtf… for calling others “fanboys” for being “ignorant” you’re sure as h3ll extremely ignorant about what you’re talking about. Your negative opinions are consistently founded in flawed inaccurate perspectives.

    VHIII was the most targeted CB in the NFL last year and lined up outside the majority of snaps while covering a teams #1 or #2 WR consistently. How the f*ck is that him being protected? He played 1037 of 1062 defensive snaps lol.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    LC just dropped the hammer.