Interesting Insight From Alterraun Verner

July 27th, 2017

Pass rush and Alterraun Verner.

Are some Bucs players privately as fed up as some fans are publicly that the team cannot seem to develop an edge rush?

Granted, that’s a big leap, but this thought crossed Joe’s mind when he read the words of former Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Yes, Verner was among the many in the free agent class of Lovie Smith’s first season that were horrendous swings and misses. That group cost Team Glazer serious coin and was likely one significant reason why Lovie was told to clean out his desk in the dark of the night.

Verner was looking for work after the Bucs released him in February. He signed with Miami this week Tuesday and spoke to Ross Tucker and Erik Coleman, who co-hosted “The Opening Drive” yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Verner offered an enlightening reason why he chose to sign with the Dolphins (of course, a cynic might say he had few choices).

Verner, who spent the past three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after four years with the Tennessee Titans, was especially attracted to the idea of playing behind the Dolphins’ strong pass rush.

“That’s one thing that definitely made me like this situation, because I’ve been following a lot of those guys for a while and I know that they do get after the quarterback,” said Verner, who has 15 career interceptions. “So it’s exciting for a DB when you have somebody that’s able to do that, and they’re capable of doing that.”

Joe isn’t going to make excuses for Verner in Tampa Bay. Verner may have been Joe’s favorite player to work with from a professional point of view. He is unfailingly polite and always gave an honest, thoughtful answer, even when pressed with tough, uncomfortable questions, loss after loss after loss. Joe has the utmost respect for Verner as a result.

So while not making excuses, perhaps Verner grew weary of constantly being hung out to dry with the Bucs because the defense rarely could push pressure on a quarterback? It just seems strange to Joe that Verner said a reason he signed with the Dolphins was because their front seven could rush the passer.

21 Responses to “Interesting Insight From Alterraun Verner”

  1. CautiousOptimism Says:

    Hard to argue with that point. Pass rush continues to be nonexistent. I wish there was someone whose job it is to improve the pass rush…

  2. Mort Says:

    I think it’s because nobody else wanted him. But, whatever.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Not that sacks tell the whole story of a strong pass rush. But……..

    Tampa 38 sacks ( in 9th place )
    Miami 33 sacks ( in 19th place )

  4. tnew Says:

    OK, I dove head first into this one to see what was really going on. Everyone has Miami’s front seven on a pedestal, but when you look at the two team’s key defensive stats, they are both middle of the road, much like their win/loss records.

    Tampa actually had more sacks in 2016 with 38 versus 33 versus the Dolphins…

    But that only tells part of it,

    Miami led the league with QB pressures at at staggering 129 compared to 73 (ranked 29th) for the Bucs. Big difference here, but what is that saying, dig a little deeper.

    However, when you rank the play effectiveness (according to Football Outsiders) with pressure Miami is ranked 27th vs the Bucs ranked 2nd. Without pressure Miami is ranked even worse at 29th while the Bucs only slip to 5th. This is all against the pass BTW.

    So what is going on.. My thoughts are that Miami must be blitzing a ton more to generate pressure. I can’t find percentage blitzing for 2016 and would love some help there. In 2015 they blitzed 34% to our 20% and that might account for what is going on here.

    I’ve watched a ton of 2016 buc games lately. One thing that jumps off the film is the importance of GMC in the center of the defence to generate a internal and controlled push. I think it has to do more with the tackle next to him than the ends but I’m still formulating my thoughts as I want to communicate that properly. I think that our pass rush might be better than we think. It does need to come together. When all of the parts work together, it works. Problems occur when the middle of the d line (most of the time not GMC, I’ve seen some curious things around him when he gets doubled) breaks down and allow the QB a place to step into.

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Sounds like good ol PR (public relations) talk to me; seeing that he is in a new area/home……’s always good stuff to the local media and players to talk up the team you just signed.

    Fans shouldn’t be so naïve to think that players say what they want to say all the time…….there is the political/business side to the NFL and professional sports in general.

    If Verner doesn’t do well in Miami, he’ll always have his PR from the media to help him out in whatever job interview he has next whether it’s professional or not.

    I think what most Buc Fans has forgotten many years ago, Verner was supposed to be our rock in the Secondary like Barber was for DBs…….but he never caught on and fit that role.

    I’ve always liked Verner and I hope he does well in Miami too…….just not against us on game day!!!! 😉

  6. Joe Says:

    If Verner doesn’t do well in Miami, he’ll always have his PR from the media to help him out in whatever job interview he has next whether it’s professional or not.

    Don’t know about “help.” If a guy can’t play, no amount of feature stories will change that (just take the amount of infantile freakouts over Sideshow Bob for example).

    Can easily see Verner someday working in TV. He is smart, eloquent and looks the part of a TV talking head. He already has the resume for that.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    Personally, I think he’s making excuses. However, there is no question that putting pressure on QBs has an effect on overall defensive play.
    I hope he does well in Miami.

  8. Bob Bucs Fan Says:

    Skip to 40 seconds to see why he signed with the Dolphins:

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for that EXCELLENT post. I wish mine were always as well thought out as your last effort.

    Nice research to back up your insights and I love the fact that your presentation is open minded and simply searching for some answers. No pontificating just a really well thought out and researched post. Kudos to you for elevating our bar.

  10. uckinator Says:

    Ladies & Germs: The reason we are switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 is because….more pressure on the QB. Why do you think we drafted a 350 Lb. nose tackle in the 7th round ? Why did we draft a head banger at strongside LB in the 4th ? All to put pressure on the QB using the 3-4 defense. Should be an interesting year !

  11. unbelievable Says:

    Great analysis tnew.

  12. Lamarcus Says:

    Verner was whack for the bucs. Pass rush or not. He gets burrrrnnnnneeedd. That’s doesn’t help a pass rush either Verner. Good luck in Miami

  13. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Really??? Think if Belichess would’ve came calling he would’ve turned the offer down. Not hardly. And I don’t recall many sack taskmasters from that unit last season. The pivotal play from the superbowl came from a Hightower LB blitz. The game has changed and not many seem to be aware of it. Belichess knows the game is being played from the back end forward. Belichess places emphasis on safety play not D line. Belichess simply wants to control the los with a stout run defense making you one dimensional thusly forcing you into his teams strength. Pass defense.

  14. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Also the “Badd@$$” debate has misconstrued. If you are good enough to make it into the NFL you probably badd@$$ in comparison to most humans waking around this country. To me “Badd@$$” is not simply how skillful you are but also or more so how you deal with adversity. When you’re getting beat down do you maintain heart for the fight. We’ve all seem fighters getting they’re @$$ handed to them for 10 rounds and out of no where he lands a BIG one and bang the fight is over. No one says”he get @$$ whip for all those rounds” everyone simply says “he won the fight”.

  15. Dolphinfan Says:

    Dolphins fan here…the reason for Miami’s incompetence on defense was 100% the back 7. Even if they got pressure right at the snap, the linebackers were too slow to cover a back in the flat. 4 times during the season teams were able to just throw it wherever they wanted and rack up 21+ points in the 1st quarter and the rest of the game just ground it out. It was exhausting to watch. They need coverage and tackling help.

  16. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Appreciate your honest perspective fin fan. Hope that holds true week one homie.

  17. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    The birds were running like wild on them in the superbowl early on. A member of the pats coaching staff told Marshall Faulk years later had they run the ball more they would destroyed the pats in the superbowl that year because they’re gamelan was all about stopping the passing game. This is nothing new. Belichess defense has been beating HOF QBs for years. When he was the D qtr for the giants his defense beat Joe money and then went onto to beat Jim Kelly in the BIG game. Handled manning for years. How long will this man out smart the entire league. Doubles your number 1 Wr and places his number 1 corner on your number 2 Wr. I’ma nobody fan how is I can see this but NFL heads seem to not.

  18. BucEmUo Says:

    Dont you also wonder why Vernwr had a pro bowl season prior to coming to Tampa and then did nothing? Unless your elite yoyr going to look horrible playing in this defense. Or has the defense finally xhnaged for the better? Time will tell

  19. HOLLY BUC Says:

    I can’t believe ppl fall for this crap. This is just a classic case of talking up your new team. You’re reaching here Joe, not a story. Whats Verner supposed to say here? “Tampa was great, Im upset I was released, they were really good and I was average at best”

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Vernie is a camp body and won’t make the roster. He’ll be lucky to make it through camp.

  21. Tyrell*TN Says:

    He spoke the truth. Wish him the best, as long as its starts week 2