Developing An Edge

June 20th, 2017


One cool thing underwear football observers saw was Vernon Hargreaves seemingly taking that next step.

As a rookie, Hargreaves started every game and with Brent Grimes playing on the opposite side of the field (and having one of his best seasons) opposing quarterbacks faced an easy question: throw at the savvy veteran Grimes or throw at the raw rookie?

As a result, Hargreaves was baptized in the NFL under fire. And far more often than not, he performed well.

It seems Hargreaves has taken that second-year step like most players. Last week, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network hung out at One Buc Palace and after speaking to various Bucs types had the following report.

“The reviews are very good,” Garafolo said of Hargreaves. “For the entire spring, not just minicamp [but] the OTAs and everything he has done this spring, everything has been really good as far as [Bucs general manager] Jason Licht is concerned.

“Going up against DeSean Jackson every day, [Hargreaves] has never seen that kind of speed. That is only helping him improve. And the Bucs are seeing him develop more of an edge.”

It’s cool that Hargreaves is developing some swag. Corners need that. They need to be able to forget whenever they get beat. Hell, even Deion Sanders gave up a pass from time to time (not many).

Joe understands Bucs fans are hung up on Hargreaves’ size. But damnit, as Hargreaves told Joe before he was drafted by the Bucs about height at corner, “If you can ball you can ball.”

That’s all there is to it.

26 Responses to “Developing An Edge”

  1. OneBuc55 Says:

    No one’s talking about our Defense…With the exception of the Ravens of the early 2000’s…this is the most talent Mike Smith has ever had Defensively…I expect this defense to tear Sh!t up this season…

  2. JA Says:

    Still not sold on Hargreaves. Last year, it seemed like every time an opposing receiver made a huge gain, Hargreaves was standing over him after the catch. He was torched so much last year that Smokey The Bear had to dose him with water after the game. The memory of his college bowl game lingers, as well. The excuse for getting torched in that game was that he was trying to avoid injury by “saving himself” for the pros. Yet the accolades on this guy keep pouring in. I sure hope I’m wrong about him. I think this team is on to something this year and good corners can make or break a defense.
    Prove me wrong Vernon!!!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally more interested in how our secondary plays as a unit than how one particular player performs. And right now, it seems like the entire secondary is performing much better than it was one year ago.

  4. Fsuking Says:

    Heck, Hargreaves is our biggest corner!

  5. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Constantly pressuring the QB will help a whole hell of a lot!!

  6. Tampa Tony Says:

    So VHIII has a good camp and he’s making a jump but if there are positive Martin reviews it’s just underwear football? Ha ha way to be consistent Joes

  7. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    When he winds up taking Grimes’ spot, hopefully the other side is manned by a taller CB. Just want a little bit of height back there to go against Julio, Benjamin etc.

  8. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Waaay tooo much is made about height. A really good big WR like ME13 has a distinct advantage over the DB if ME13 can get his body on the defender and it becomes a basketball like rebounding effort. If the DB is free to use his athleticism in the open field he can frequently negate the size disadvantage.

    If a 6-5 WR has a vertical leap of 37″ and the DB is 5-10 with a 43″ the seven inch advantage is lessened.

    Someone like Grimes who has serious “hops” can generally get up to the ball as high as any WR…if the WR is not bodying him.

    My point is not that bigger receivers aren’t tough to cover for DB’s who are generally smaller. My point is it’s not quite as tough as it appears.

    First…how many 6-5 WR’s are there? A 6-2 WR is generally considered to have good size like Godwin…and then of course there are the Humps of the world.
    The difference between a 5-10 DB and a 6 DB is not earth shattering…especially if the DB compensates with “hops” and quickness and the ability to anticipate.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    @BigHog- 1,000,000% agreed! Getting pressure will help cloak some of the deficiencies in our secondary. I love that we are seeing development from VHIII. In the end, it’s a team game.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    @JA…..what a hater…..I guess you forgot the fact that he was a rookie getting thrown into the fire….jameis got baptized the same way….if I remember correctly, his first pass was a pick 6….guess you weren’t sold on jameis after his first year either….

    it was obvious the game plan for VHG was to keep everything in front of him…he play was solid the entire year….the wrs that beat him were elite wrs….cooper, Julio, KB….those wrs would give sherman and pat p a problem….your acting like he was getting beat by the Rueben randle’s and josh huff’s of the world…..

    to say your not sold on a player that started 16games as a rookie is foolish….don’t worry, he’ll make you eat crow this year and for many years to come….GO BUCS!!!

  11. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    @BigHogHaynes YEP… as soon as Ayers came back that secondary got good all of a sudden.

  12. Joe Says:

    No one’s talking about our Defense


  13. Joe Says:

    Waaay tooo much is made about height.

    Yup. Myron Lewis was a tall corner.

  14. Joe Says:

    Martin reviews it’s just underwear football? Ha ha way to be consistent Joes

    So glad you listen to Koetter who explain running backs and underwear football a few times this spring. There is zero hitting in underwear football (guess that hasn’t sunk in on you). So running backs are running at/through air.

    At least in underwear football, corners can cover receivers and defend passes.

    Sometimes, pretty sure you play this dumb because otherwise, someone this dumb wouldn’t be able to type.

  15. Joe Says:

    Constantly pressuring the QB will help a whole hell of a lot!!


  16. tnew Says:

    VHIII needs to cause turnovers. I can understand him getting beat from time to time, but he needs to cause turnovers. His ball skills and agility where what separated him in the draft. He has manageable speed and that is offset with those ball skills and an awesome vertical. He had one INT and only 9 passes defended which are really poor numbers given his ball skills and how many times he was targeted. Just two more than Verner.

    He has to play more aggressively, hopefully with the swagger that will come.

  17. tnew Says:

    And as far as a comparison, Grimes, who wasn’t targeted as much, led the league in Passes Defended at 24.

  18. JA Says:

    @81–not a hater, just an observer…if you read the whole post, I said that I hope I’m proven wrong!

  19. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “Joe Says:
    June 20th, 2017 at 9:54 am
    Waaay tooo much is made about height.

    Yup. Myron Lewis was a tall corner.”

    LOL. Yes, Joe a bad corner is a bad corner, regardless of height. Way to cherry pick an argument, However,

    Julio Jones is 6’3″ with a 38.5″ vertical
    Vernon H. is 5’10” with a 39″ vertical

    Xavier Rhodes was the top rated CB last year.

    He’s 6’1″ with a 40.5 vertical. Let’s not act like size makes no difference at all. My only point was I’d like to see one of the starting CBs with some size to put on guys like Jones that we play twice a year.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    JA Says:
    June 20th, 2017 at 5:54 am
    “He was torched so much last year that Smokey The Bear had to dose him with water after the game”

    LOL. He was not that bad last year, but certainly a funny comment!

    @Love and WD, you’re making some good points there my friend!

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The reason I’m optimistic about VHIII is that even though he struggled in general a bit; you could see the play making ability he brings to the table in ways that don’t show up on a stat sheet; but were key to some of our wins:

    @ Carolina week 5 – tipped a pass targeted at KB on a slant to get an interception for someone else at mid field
    @ Chiefs – had key read and tip pass on another slant that gave us a pick 6 for Lavonte David
    vs Seahawks – stripped a flying Jimmy Graham for a fumble that Lavonte David ran back to Seahawk territory and pretty much iced the game
    @ Chargers – VHIII was the one who key’d Keith Tandy on the play in which he made the game sealing interception. He told him to watch for the route that ended up being ran

    That’s 4 huge plays that don’t really show up in the stats. I think with time he will make more splash plays / more interceptions / etc like we’ve been seeing in OTAs.

  22. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:


    8 out of 10 of the highest rated CBs in the NFL last year were 6′ or taller.

  23. tnew Says:

    Both of the tipped balls count as passes defensed, that represented 25% of his defensed passes. I think he does significantly more this season. If he doesn’t want to get picked on, he has to start defending more passes.

  24. Joe Says:

    Grimes, who wasn’t targeted as much, led the league in Passes Defended at 24.

    Says a lot. That’s a nice average. 🙂

  25. Jimmy Says:

    >>> 8 out of 10 of the highest rated CBs in the NFL last year were 6′ or taller. <<<

    When you start putting measurables over production, that's when you get in trouble.

    Mark Dominik was a big measurables guy. Uuummm.

  26. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:


    First off, putting me and Mark Dominik in the same sentence is downright hurtful.

    Second, something tells me that you didn’t click through to the article. That’s exactly what it’s about: Production via passer rating % allowed. It’s just so happens, 80% of those guys rated highly are tall. Is that simply a coincidence? I doubt it.

    Still smarting about that Dominik shot….