Brutal Growing Pains For Ryan Smith

August 15th, 2017

Cornerback Ryan Smith trails a Jaguars rookie receiver. Rough moment in a rough Tuesday for Smith.

UPDATED 3:15 p.m. – As cornerback Ryan Smith’s Tuesday morning got progressively worse battling a variety of Jaguars receivers, defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s patience wore thin.

Another beating of the second-year corner drew a fiery tirade from his coach.

C’mon, stay on top! Whaddaya think they were going to do? C’mon, Ryan!,” Mike Smith yelled as he raced downfield to where Smith was beaten badly by undrafted rookie receiver Keelan Cole.

Joe had never seen Mike Smith so hot.

It was one of several Ryan Smith rough moments during today’s joint practice.

Later, Joe was standing with Rex Ryan, who was visiting practice and studying the Buccaneers defense. Smith worked for Ryan in Baltimore and was watching Ryan Smith struggle in 7-on-7 work.

Mike Smith barked at Ryan Smith after a rough sequence. “C’mon, young rook.”  Ryan quickly uttered, “Man, that’s the kid who’s transitioning from safety. Corner is a lot easier than safety. Should be.”

Ryan Smith later found a pass interference penalty in 11-on-11 work and, Joe suspects, he couldn’t wait to hit the showers.

“These are going to be great learning moments for him in very competitive situations,” Mike Smith said after practice. “This isn’t like a situation when you’re practicing against yourself. You’re seeing new routes. You’re seeing new receivers, new situations, different situations. I think he’s learning. It’s a learning curve for him. He hasn’t really played a snap in a game at the corner position. Last week was his first time, and he’ll get extended snaps this week.”

The Bucs’ D-coordinator added that he thinks Smith absolutely has the talent to make it.

Joe has documented Smith’s struggles. Sure, he’s young and learning, but it’s not pretty, and he’s a second-year guy. Keep in mind he played cornerback in college but last year the Bucs thought he was a safety and that experiment failed.

It’s odd that Smith is back and pegged to be the first backup for Brent Grimes of Vernon Hargreaves.

Are the Bucs forcing things with Smith? Definitely.

But enough depth remains where they can use Robert McClain in that role or Josh Robinson, if Smith can’t hack it in four weeks.

32 Responses to “Brutal Growing Pains For Ryan Smith”

  1. Buc50 Says:

    Looks like next year’s draft priorities include CB

  2. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Buc50 Says:
    August 15th, 2017 at 1:43 pm
    Looks like next year’s draft priorities include CB
    I don’t think there’s any doubt

  3. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Time to get a legit 3rd corner somewhere, if grimes or hargreaves goes down then we’re f***ed….

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    CB; like O-line is a developmental position typically.

    Hence VHIII looking like a beast this year vs looking a bit lost last year.

    IMO the coaches likely think he easily has the most potential of any CB not named VHIII based on his athletic pedigree and performances in raw coverage that doesn’t require thinking or understanding the defense.

    I don’t think it’s a “we have to make this 4th round pick stay here” mentality at all. This staff has shown they don’t operate that way. I think it’s moreso “can we develop Ryan Smith into a better player than McClain or Robinson?” and they think they can.

  5. Bucn Enough Says:

    Ryan Smith was another “REACH” pick by Jason Licht…
    Wasted a year trying to turn him to a safety…

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    I agree with Lord C! Heck, Ronde Barber took several years to develop.
    He’s in the spotlight so his weaknesses are amplified. We always need depth at this position so I hope that he can get it straightened out.

  7. Lamarcus Says:

    This kid ain’t gonna make the cuts

  8. LocalJoker Says:

    Tarvarus McFadden/FSU or Minkah Fitzpatrick/Bama in 2018 draft.

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    We are in trouble again at CB.

  10. Baz Says:

    Ryan Smith has 4.47 speed, and showed off some excellent athleticism at the combine, so he’s obviously got the skillset and talent.
    Meanwhile, he played safety in high school and his first year of college, so can we stop with the “Licht tried to turn him into a safety” nonsense? It seems obvious that the Bucs are looking for an athletic ballhawk at safety, given that they drafted Smith last year (and have since moved him to corner, since he seems better suited there) and Evans this year. Reading up on Smith, it was mentioned his fluidity and height, traits he shares with Evans this year.

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    The hottest you’ve ever seen Mike Smith get? That’s like the temperatures of the bottom of the flaming pits of hell then.

  12. Buc 4ever Says:

    Time to call Tramping Brock. He is visiting Seattle today.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    So is Joe ready to back away from this “deepest position on the team” nonsense yet?

    CB in rd 1 or 2 next year – Fo sho

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    the thing that screwed him up was the bucs trying to force him to become a safety…..his college highlight tape was filled with him playing CB….they should’ve tried to develop him as a CB and if that didn’t work, try him at safety….

    the kid has talent and skills….I know it may be hard but licht has to practice patients with this kid….he’ll be solid….at worst he could take over for j.robinson in a year or 2 as our ST ace….GO BUCS!!!!

  15. USFBUC Says:

    The entire draft next year is going to be defense and an OT

  16. unbelievable Says:

    Yea but Joe has Robinson been getting any work with 1’s, or even the 2’s?

    Never really hear his name mentioned at all, except on special teams (where he is a stud!)

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    News flash – most teams don’t carry a 4th CB who plays at the level of their 1/2s.. Miami just lost one of their primary starting CBs for the year and I’ve never even heard of that guy.

    Does anyone know Denver’s 4th CB? That’s the role we’re talking about for Ryan Smith since he’s not playing nickle. Denver has the best secondary in the NFL; and I have no idea who their 4th CB is lol.


  18. rayjay1122 Says:

    We need to determine if Ryan Smith can be an average starter or if we need to cut bait and find someone who can. We have too many expectations to play a guy who is a huge liability.

  19. Issic Haggins Says:

    Say what you want there are major depth concerns at corner , add in a 34 year old starter. Serious concerns but addressable if Light decides to address it. Many ah GM thinks they are good enough because it’s their guys and fail to realize weaknesses before it is to late and with sixteen game seasons i it gets to late very quick , like right now !! Please remind yourself of the offenses that are in this division and the young receiving talent

  20. Fsuking Says:

    Bobby McClain and Josh Robinson have both been told by multiple teams multiple times not to play outside cornerback. Do you see what I mean no depth?

  21. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    At this point, I don’t feel like I’m over reacting when I say this guy is going to make his living as a special teamer.

    He seemingly lacks the mental constitution and confidence it takes to be a corner/ safety.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Smith was terrible the other night in that Bengals game – he made one really nice play where he darted in to make a tackle – but outside of that he was terrible. He is the one that got turned around on that Driskel run, I saw him miss at least one other tackle and I saw him blow at least one other pass coverage play. He was constantly around the ball all night – in a bad way, in that the other team didn’t really care that he was there since they knew they could do whatever they wanted around him. He is most likely not going to make the team but should easily get signed to the practice squad as I can’t see any team actually signing the guy based on his tape thus far. Hopefully something clicks here soon and he figures it out as the team has basically no depth at corner (yes Joe – corner is a weakness on this team, not our deepest position).

  23. Destinjohnny Says:

    With some huge contracts coming down we aren’t going to be able to sign free agents like we have.
    Jason is going to have to draft better if we want to be great not just good.
    His drafts have been a B which is good. But not great

  24. JAB83 Says:

    Im over the hype…. #TBRayssuddenlysuck

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Destinjohnny – the team has a ton of cap and a lot of money in players they’re spending that can free up. For example Evan Smith is making $4.5-mil – and he’s the 3rd team center. Doug Martin is making $7-mil and if he performs than great, pay the man, but if not he can be cut at any time (at least that’s my understanding). Grimes is getting $8-mil but only signed through this year. George Johnson, remember him? Well he’s making $2.25mi/year and somehow still on the team. The Bucs have the 8th most contract space for 2018 – and that’s with Evan’s 5th year option (meaning he’s not cheap anymore) and with Doug still making $7-mil and Ayers making $6-mil and a bunch of players any of who could be cut with no cap cost. In 2019 the Bucs have the 3rd most cap space as of right now, but will need to sign Evans to a longterm deal, but again still have Martin in there at $7-mil, D-Jax at $10-mil and if McCoy finally slips he’s $13-mil. In 2020 the Bucs only have one guy with a guaranteed contract making more than $1-mil a year and that’s OJ.

    The Bucs really have zero cap issues and a ton of flexibility. The new contracts for players will certainly eat into that but they also have a lot of non-guaranteed money in players who will certainly get cut at some point in the next few years. They shouldn’t be making any moves right now worrying about cap space. You can’t be reckless obviously but they can still be quite aggressive.

  26. Lee Says:

    Josh Robinson = special teamer
    Ryan Smith = struggling
    Javien Elliot = ? Is Smith outplaying him?????
    Robert McClain = retread who should not be more than a fourth corner. Even in his prime, he was a shaky nickel–at best.

    Time to check the waiver wire in a few weeks.

  27. Lee Says:

    Tracy Porter tire-kicking time?

  28. Issic Haggins Says:

    Yes Lee it is , he is better in his worst year than our #3

  29. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Trade to the bears for kyle fuller, kooky licht is having his kooky glue coming undone, OL, DL, Secondary sucked last year and gonna suck again this year

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ronde tool 4-5 years to get it together. Some players take longer than others. VHIII was drafted high…he’s expected to play great. Ryan was not a high pick…he’ll need time. And that time is offset by a year at safety.

    And…Rex Ryan???? Please.

  31. Pawel Says:

    Looks like he has the athleticism but no football iQ. Simple as that. Lets get some real stuff and not artificial.

  32. Jim Says:

    He wont make the 53.