Biggest Impact On Defense

October 2nd, 2017

Defensive MVP? (Photo courtesy of

Yeah, it’s only three games into the Bucs season. But at this point, if Joe had to pick an MVP of the defense, it would be cornerback Brent Grimes.

Consider: The Bucs went up to Minnesota a week ago and Grimes was a late scratch with a bum shoulder. The pass defense was roasted over an open pit by the likes of Joe Montana Case Keenum.

Fast-forward to yesterday. The Bucs faced an opponent much more loaded with passing weapons, highlighted by Odell Beckham and a likely Hall of Fame quarterback, two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning. The difference yesterday was that Grimes played and harassed Beckham all afternoon.

Hey, the way Joe looks at it, if a defense holds Beckham under 100 yards receiving, that’s a win. That’s what kind of a difference Grimes makes. He takes a struggling defense and makes it superior.

“It’s a team effort,” Grimes told Joe, almost embarrassed by hearing any individual accolades. Defensive coordinator “Mike Smith called a great game. He put us in great positions. ‘Smitty’ called a great game. That is what it is all about.”

But Grimes’ teammates knew the score, and how the Bucs got to that score: Grimes.

“That guy brings a presence on the field,” defensive tackle Clinton McDonald said. “He is probably 5-8, 5-9 maybe 5-10. Probably 185 to 190 pounds. But this guy makes a big difference. He knows how to play the ball. He knows how to play the receiver. He’s a veteran of the game and he is not slowing down. He is ageless. It is impressive to see.”

Grimes, by NFL standards, is at the nursing home age of 34.

“We have seen a lot from Brent Grimes,” McDonald said. “He is like a cat out there. He doesn’t land anywhere but on his feet, even if he is in an awkward position. And it is impressive to see him and to play with him these last two years. He is a guy with a big heart and he plays with the same big heart. To see a guy perform like that is a blessing.”

Bucs receiver Mike Evans goes against Grimes a lot in practice and watching Grimes work his magic on the field during a game doesn’t surprise him.

“When you have a Pro Bowl corner out there with a lot of experience like Brent, he’s one of the best in the game,” Evans said. “It’s huge [to have Grimes], especially with the weapons [the Giants have], it is huge.”

And Grimes, who measured 5-foot-9 coming out of college, played above the rim yesterday.

Haters like to bang on Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht for his past free agent swings-and-misses, but it seems his signing of Grimes may have been one of his best moves since taking over the Bucs.

33 Responses to “Biggest Impact On Defense”

  1. Stanglassman Says:

    Not to discredit Jason but wasn’t he Smitty’s Guy in ATL.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Great job vs the Giants Brent!

    What ever you are doing – Health, Diet, workouts, pre-game romps w/ Miko… Keep doing it!

    Stick around a couple more years and you might well get that shot at a Super Bowl ring.

  3. AlteredEgo Says:

    #24 =’s Spiderman

  4. CautiousOptimism Says:

    Credit for Grimes goes to Koetter and Smith. Licht handled the paperwork.

  5. orlbucfan Says:

    Hate to say it but GMC was a factor, too. Just ask Grimes. 🙂

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    Free agency mysteriously improved when the incompetent one got dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. darin Says:

    Always been a fan of Grimes. Well I take that back, I used to hate him. Guy picked off the Bucs quite a bit when he was with Atl. Great player. His Ints are coming, maybe this thurs. Go Bucs

  8. DB55 Says:


    That’s what good weed and good pucy does for a man. Keeps’em young and vibrant.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:


  10. Rod Munch Says:

    Grimes being back is huge – but not playing Ryan Smith was equally huge. Ryan Smith is literally the worst corner I’ve ever seen, and that’s not hyperbole, he’s really that incredibly bad.

  11. JonBuc Says:

    Grimes has been excellent in Atlanta, Miami and now Tampa. I believe he picked off Freeman at the end of a piviotal game vs ATL in 2010. I didn’t like him much then. 🙂 A true baller/gamer. Saved both wins vs Carolina last year or DK isn’t a “winning coach”.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Doug was reinstated just over an hour ago… I’m waiting to see how Joe spins this as he spent the entire offseason telling us there was no chance he suits up for the Bucs again.

    I love ya Joe, but just take your beating on this, you were so incredibly wrong and amendment in your stance despite all the evidence to the contrary. If you have strong opinions at times you’re going to look really dumb, this is one of those times, it happens. Why it happened with Doug on something that was so obvious, I have no idea… how that opinion stayed the same as Doug looked like a pro-bowler in the preseason and all the other running backs looked pretty blah, I have no idea. But you stuck with it… now it’s time to pay up, take your beating, and move on.

  13. Seminole Bill Says:

    At the game yesterday, it looked like Manning had all day to setup and throw, particularly in the second half. Now, this is not a knock on McCoy, since I could see him fighting two (or more) blockers on every play. How about some help for GMC, come Thursday night against the Pats?

  14. pick6 Says:

    he’s an excellent player but what makes him so valuable is the massive gulf in talent and experience between our #1 CB (grimes) and our #3 and 4 CBs. in addition to re-signing\extending him the team should be looking for upgrades all the way down the depth chart this offseason, and Licht shouldn’t be dismissing the idea of securing a trade deadline upgrade from one of these teams that is tearing down their roster and seapping veteran talent for draft picks.

  15. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    I have to hand it to you Joe, it must be nice to see you were calling for Grimes long before he got here and he’s pretty much the reason bucs at sitting at 2 -1. I thought he was washed up in Miami.

  16. pick6 Says:

    *swapping veteran talent for draft picks

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    I was clamoring for Grimes when he became a FA after Schiano’s first season. They went with Revis. It’s in the archives how much I wanted a much younger Grimes. He’s exceeded my expectations since we’ve had him…by a mile.

  18. cmurda Says:

    Oh, I get it when we make good free agency moves, it is Dirk or Smitty but if they are bad the anger is directed at Licht. No, it doesn’t work that way. Licht gets the credit or the blame for free agency, period. Grimes is an absolute stud and VH3 is lucky to have such a stud to learn from. The play in the picture of this post was spectacular.

  19. cmurda Says:


    Spot on!

  20. Bill Byrne Says:

    GREAT pick Joe with McCoy a close second!

  21. BUC IT Says:

    Grimes and McCoy are without a doubt our most important defensive players and I would lean toward Grimes.

  22. PRBucFan Says:

    I would just like to remind everyone that I had been smashing the drum for Grimes after he left ATL.

    Better late than never I guess.

    It’s just sad this will probably be the last season we have him (Miko stated last night on twitter that he will most likely than not retire after this season), then it’s back to looking for an elite corner.

  23. Dave Says:

    VH3 is good.
    Grimes is pro bowl level.

    Thru definitely need to draft a CB next year.

  24. cmurda Says:

    @PR. Sadly, I’m of the same mindset that this will be it. Grimes is playing at such an elite level that he could play next year if he wanted to but that’s a longshot.

    @Dave. Definitely need to go hard on the defense in the draft especially DE and CB.

  25. BucEmUp Says:

    I wanted Grimes badly when Miami signed him…I was afraid he didnt have much left in the tank after that but he clearly still has it. I hope he plays another two seasons.

    Wouldnt mind seeing jason licht sign frank gore next season either. Another ageless wonder.

  26. SOEbuc Says:


    Spiderman. I like that.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    Miko told him she wanted to stay in Florida. The truth.

  28. TampaTown Says:

    @AlteredEgo: You just created another great nickname. Spider-Man and Batman 2.0

  29. Kstoges Says:

    Getting grimes back is huge and I mean huge I like our cb corps I really like Ryan smith and his potential he isn’t ready tho but what people don’t understand is that he got set back a year trying to learn a new position last year he’s a young player learning a really hard position give the kid some time

  30. Kstoges Says:

    I hope and pray he develops into our number 2 and is a great player for us kind of like Brian kelly

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    I do believe Grimes has played better in Tampa than he did in Miami – which is amazing since corners rarely get better year-over-year late in their career. It really is impressive. No doubt the Bucs get him on another 2 year deal I’d guess, he seems to like it here and the Bucs have the cap room to continue to pay him. But with that said the Bucs still have to draft another guy.

    Just think of the string of corners this team has had. You got Ronde who is a HOFer, then you got Talib, who might end up a HOFer, then Revis who is probably a HOFer and now in his last years you get Grimes, who if he keeps it up for a few more years could make the HOF discussion at the very least. Hopefully VH3 steps up or the Bucs draft/sign another guy to keep that amazing streak alive.

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    Kstoges – I agree on Brian Kelly being a key cog to that all-time great defense, and we know this since they looked mortal once Kelly got injured in 2003 and that caused the domino effect that ended with Gruden having a reason to destroy the defense.

    But I disagree with Ryan Smith – the kid is terrible, completely lost, has no business being on the field. Not saying you don’t perhaps keep him on the practice squad but he shouldn’t see the field outside of special teams ever again. There is no one that watches the tape of him play that would ever sign him so any idea that the team is afraid to lose him is nonsense. In the preseason he was awful. Sure he made a nice play here and there, but he made 10 bad ones for every OK one. I see nothing in the kid, he’s lost on the field, on simple man-to-man coverages he was beat over and over and over ago, not only in Minnesota but in the preseason, he’s a lost cause. If I’m wrong let him prove it on the practice squad. If they really value him as a special teams player that’s nice, but Russell Shepard was an exceptional special teams player who was the 2nd best WR on the team last year. Sure that isn’t saying a lot considering how bad the WR play was last year but he could actually produce outside of special teams. Ryan Smith has no ability to do that. He’s literally the worst corner I’ve ever seen, ever. Again that’s not hyperbole, I’ve been watching the Bucs for 30+ years now, he’s the worst I’ve ever seen and makes Rod “The Toast” Jones look like a 1st team All-Pro player.

  33. PRBucFan Says:

    No actually he was lights out in Miami too, which got him pro bowl nods