Focusing On CB The True Mistake

April 2nd, 2018

Need veteran corners.

Until proven otherwise, Joe is absolutely resolute and unshakable in the following stance.

The current defensive staff of the Bucs cannot develop a rookie corner.

There is zero evidence they can. The coaches, defensive coordinator Mike Smith and defensive backs coaches Jon Hoke and Brett Maxie, have not developed rookie corners in their two seasons with the Bucs. This is a fact.

Has Javien Elliott improved? No, he has not.

Has Ryan Smith improved? No, he has not.

Has Vernon Hargreaves improved? No, he has not.

Sorry, Joe has no faith this troika will magically go 1-for-4. No faith until Ryan Smith or Elliott or Hargreaves actually improve. This may sound harsh but that’s the ugly truth.

Joe doesn’t give a damn what these coaches did before they came to the Bucs. Joe’s only concern now is what they have done while being employed as Bucs coaches. And when it comes to rookie corners, the evidence is frightening.

This is why Joe is adamant the Bucs should not draft a corner on the first two days of the draft. If the Bucs want to draft a corner on the third day, OK. Throwing away a fourth round or worse pick isn’t so bad.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the Bucs would make a major mistake not drafting a corner with one of their first two picks. Joe thinks the opposite.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a few weaknesses in 2017, but pass defense was chief among them. The Buccaneers ranked dead last in the NFL with 22 sacks and last in pass defense, allowing 260.6 yards per game. …

The Buccaneers need to target the secondary early and often in April. … However, there is enough need on the back end of the defense that Tampa should use more than one pick on secondary players.

It would be hard to fault the Buccaneers for scooping up Quenton Nelson, Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb if one falls to No. 7, as all three are elite prospects. However, Tampa needs to make the secondary its biggest priority.

If the Bucs pass on Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb or even this Quenton Nelson character for a corner, Joe just might have to be (not Swaggy) Baker Acted.

Do the right thing; go sign a veteran (the same coaches Joe spanks for not developing rookies seem to work much, much better with veteran corners) or hell, trade back with a quarterback-needy team and lift one of their starting corners as part of the ransom for the No. 7 pick.

60 Responses to “Focusing On CB The True Mistake”

  1. NJ_BUC Says:


  2. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Baker-acted here also!!!! Town would riot, passing on Barkley for a CB. Not that Barkley will make it to 7 of course.

    Veteran corners might also be available in 2nd round of FA (cuts after the draft before camp).

    Go Bucs!

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    This is the dumbest take by joe sine the status woe campaign that just turned into the status whine campaign!!!!!!! To think that the pass rush has nothing to do with last year, and that is all that it has been is 1 year!!!! Much too small a sample size to make crazy statements!!!!!!

    I will just make this down in the “Coach Schiano held this roster back and lovie will have a top 10 defense!!!”
    ” no concern that manziel goes to bars and drink”

    and my personal favorite, ” Mark Dominik did such a good job that no gm want to follow in his foot steps!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Bnomo Says:

    Some players are born, some are coached.

    Hey, maybe Rhonde B., Needs a job. Ha!😀

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The players might just not be that good, because there are the coaches and then you have grimes who would be another coach/teacher out there showing the players what has worked for them, so maybe the players just are not any good which is why one wasn’t drafted and the other was an FCS player and prolly over valued by the crafty licht, then hargreaves routinely got lit up by the NFL ready players he went against when he was at UF

  6. JJV Says:

    Signing veteran players for our secondary have not solved our to needs either. Former Pro Bowlers Alt Verner, TJ

  7. JJV Says:

    Only Brent Grimes has been worth it

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Agreed Joe, find veteran help first. I really hope that the draft is made easy for us. The thought of the Bucs looking at James, Ward, or Minkah at #7 makes me cringe.
    “Coaching”? What coaching?!

  9. Crazed Bucs Fan Says:

    Penny in Pewter!!! Ladainian Tomlinson potential. Get him!!!

  10. Broy34 Says:

    Hands down the dumbest thing Joe’s ever written. Let’s just never draft a corner in the draft with this regime because Hargreaves is a bad football player and a 4th round corner/safety sucked with no pass rush. Just like realist said — heard cries because they didn’t sign bla bla bla. Give this one a rest. Gonna laugh so hard when Denzel ward is a stud. Do u rly think if lattinore went to Tampa instead of new Orleans he’d be a bum

  11. Bradentonbuc Says:

    @Joe couldn’t agree more with your take on this and the scary thing is secondary seemed to be a point of emphasis at the owners meetings or at least it seemed so via the Ira podcasts.
    Why have we not resigned McClain?!

  12. Cover Deuce Says:

    This is a cringe worthy take. I hope that the team doesn’t elect to pass on talented secondary players just because Joe is feeling antsy about it. The coaching staff also hasn’t been able to develop a pass rusher recently either, so I guess we should avoid those at all cost too. This is almost as bad as the Joes getting all hot and sweaty for Johnny Football a couple years back.
    Take a deep breath. First, the Bucs changed defensive line coaches and, presumably, they went wild in the offseason to account for not developing a pass rush. So in reality, they approached the D-line the way Joe hoped they would have cornerback. Second, there is a strong divide on this subject at world headquarters, and that has been discussed on podcasts and in a couple of posts. Third, Joe was 100 percent in favor of the Bucs drafting Johnny Football or Teddy Bridgewater when they were desperate at QB in 2014. You so sure Johnny goes off the rails here in Tampa versus the environment and coach in Cleveland. Regardless, anything would have been better than McCown. –Joe

  13. Jason Says:

    Bucsfanman Justin Evans is coming along quite nicely at safety. Notice Joe mention only corners so you adding James or Fitzpatrick to your argument holds no weight.

  14. passthebuc Says:

    either they are professional coaches, or they are not. If they cannot handle the necessary facets of the game, why the hell are they there?

  15. Dre Says:

    Definitely agree with you joe, got to admit you truly keep it real bro! I don’t understand how hoke and Maxie have not been recognized as the problem yet. I don’t blame mike smith he’s done wonderful in his profession as a linebacker coach but those other corner coaches are horrible.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Has Ryan Smith improved? No, he has not.” – J0E

    Actually, yes he has. Are you going to tell me his second year was not better than his first? Of course it was.

    And that, however small, is improvement.


  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Jason- My “argument” is for the Bucs not to REACH for secondary help (corners or safeties) at #7.
    I read the article, thanks.

  18. SteveK Says:

    Our CBs, Smith and Elliot, are late round picks.

    Heargraves should be better. He has to step up.

    still, we need to draft BPA. No more reaching, as it just solidifies our spot in the NFCS basement.

  19. Waterboy Says:

    I completely disagree, you don’t pass on a top CB talent because you think this coaching staff can’t develop him. Denzel Ward has true shutdown potential and Mike Smith and the whole staff will more than likely be gone next season so it would be very unwise to use that as a criteria to make draft decisions. If Denzel Ward is still on the board at 7 and the big 3 are off the board, Licht should take him unless he gets a great offer to trade down.

  20. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Again as Lord C pointed out last week the league pretty much sets the value of positions. If the GM’s know what they’re doing and their values are accurate in terms of which positions contribute most to final results…

    Obviously QB is #1…then come WR’s…that surprised me…and DE’s..that did not.

    Clustered in the middle are RB’s CB’s Safeties and Guards.

    The ONLY way I would EVER want us to draft a CB in the first round period is if we are sure he’s a generational player. When you actually look at the salaries the really superior shutdown corners..maybe a dozen guys…get paid WAAAY more than the others and bring that CB average up. So apparently if you can find a true Deion Sanders or Darrelle Revis you cannot overspend in the draft.

    But as much as I love Brent Grimes he’s not a first round talent at CB.

    And that is the problem. I can see the massive potential in Nelson, Barkley, Via, Chubb…I do not see that anywhere else and nobody in the backfield.

    There are some nice players…Minkah..and the rest but I do not see another Darrelle Revis so I do not want us to spend a first round pick on any DB.

    Then there is Joe’s point about whether can develop them anyway…and while our DL prospects are looking pretty good until we actually demonstrate a pass rush we should probably realize we are hopeful…DB’s are not going to help if our pass rush is as woeful as last year’s.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    Well guess they can’t develop quarterback either. This is a stupid agreement. Players a taught the system and taught in the film room you either have the talent or you don’t. There’s a reason why Winston was a day one starter he’s simply better than Glennon, there’s a reason why Kwon and marpet and Justin Evans are who they are. You can’t develop an average guy into a starter because if that were the case Keith Tandy would have been the man years ago but still getting one year deals and no one else wants the guy

    Draft talented players and the stupid develop argument goes away. The three corners you mentioned are trash players no one else wants. Book is still out on vh3 though

    But still he started as a rookie are you saying he was developed in one rookie off-season since he started? No he was the most talented go at the time.

  22. NFLNut Says:

    DRC would be cheap and there will likely be plenty of vet CBs cut in camp … but … Minkah doesn’t need coaching, he’s ready to go and Denzel Ward is more talented than any CB on our team, so …

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe had an opportunity to ask Ronde Barber about CB coaching…..either he asked and didn’t like the answer or didn’t ask. ?????? Barber recently said Smith could be a good No. 4 corner, maybe become a No. 3. However, the Bucs confidently considered Smith their No. 3 entering last season. Perhaps that says a lot.–Joe
    IMO….that was a good opportunity to test Joe’s opinion on Buc coaches not developing CBs…..
    I am not convinced that is the case….I think we need another year to find out…..we have 3 players….one a UDFA…..two a 4th Round pick chosen to be a safety and three….yes a first round pick who hasn’t performed as well as expected.
    I believe it could be more scheme and a putrid pass rush than development.

  24. Rob W Says:

    Defense works as a unit. When NFL QBs have all day to throw, they will complete passes.

  25. Phil Says:

    I say they draft Ward out of OSU with the first pick.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    Best Ronnie Reagan voice – “Well…. There you go again….”

    And yes – Ryan Smith DID improve visibly over the course of last season.

    This “theory” is going to be shown as the ridiculousness that it is when Hargreaves, Smith and our newly drafted rookie cb ALL look good next year…

  27. Its_A_Tough_Buc_Life Says:

    Just DON’T draft the 5’10 corner from Ohio State wit the first pick PLEASE!!!

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    agree with @joe…..this staff cant develop a young CB to save their life!!!!!…..sign eric reid….Kenny v or tre boston….

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  29. bucs_365 Says:

    Yup, Joe is continuing to demonstrate stupidity AND stubbornness with his insistence on repeating the CB narrative.

    Yeah, don’t bother adding talent because the coaches can’t develop the talent. Most MORONIC thing I’ve ever heard.

    This repeating of an idiotic take is what’s called aggressive stupidity.

    I’ll once again remind and any of the like-minded posters here that everyone thought Warhop was an awful OL coach and were screaming that he wasn’t fired… And then they got him some talent. Guess what…

    This staff isn’t 0-3 on developing CBs. How can you count a UDFA and a 4th rounder as failures? So, if we say VH3 is a failure, they’re maybe 0-1, unless you consider 2 things (1) The jury is still out on Hargreaves, and (2) Maybe his disappointing play rests with him…

    So, if you’re considering this reasonably (which D3Kemper appears incapable of), they’re somewhere between 0-0 and 0-1.

    I’d say the only rational thing would be to add 2 CBs in the draft, one of which should be a day 1 or 2 pick.

  30. Jjones Says:

    I’ve always believed that CB’s take time to develop so you would think the coaches think along the same line. Look around the league and this proves to be true with the exception of a few athletes. Scheme obviously is a factor as well as having a good pass rush. Those teams with average CB’s that have good pass rushers are made to look good so maybe with our revamped dline and new passionate dline coach who’s proven to enhance the dline talent while cutting out their weaknesses will prove true for us now. I still believe VH3 has a confidence issue and with experience will come around.

  31. Tony from Los Angeles Says:


    Also – the Bucs need to put the finishing touches on fixing their most important problem.

    The trenches.

    Ideal scenario:
    Nelson at #7 to complete the O-line overhaul (with a later round swing tackle for depth)
    A young DE in round 2 to groom behind the vets and add to the rotation.

    That will give the Bucs the 8 new faces on the trenches I’ve been shouting for since the end of last season. Everything cannot be fixed in a single offseason. But the most important part of the team can be fixed – and the effects will trickle down to all improvements in all other position groups.


  32. Jjones Says:

    I know James and Fitz are not CB’s but they’re clearly more versatile and have a man’s confidence in their play and demeanor where as VH3 had a giddy boys confidence coming out of college. I believe that they’ll have far more of an impact than VH3 did day 1 if we so choose to pick one of them.

  33. Architek Says:

    Anyone who quibbles about why we should draft a CB over a DL or OL clearly don’t pay attention to winning teams and champions.

    The Pats Secondary resembles a McDonalds value meal – good value for hunger and save a buck on the overall budget. Patrick Chung, McCourty are good players but not elite shutdown defenders. They are built from the front back.

    Eagles are and were constructed from the front to the back, Denver was the same. Sure it’s good to have some studs but the overall value should be and always will start in the trenches.

    Again, when I see the Bucs develop a solid Outside CB I will have confidence as well but if I’m team Glazer and a Lineman is there it’s a no-brainer!

    Linemen can survive regimes! Trust me Licht and Koetter are no locks and we still need help upfront if we want to leave the NFC basement

  34. bucs_365 Says:

    A reminder again on joe’s contention on the 0-3 with developing CBs…

    1) Eliot doesn’t count. He was a UDFA. How can that be pinned on the coaches?

    2) Ryan Smith doesn’t count. The jury is still out since he’s switched positions and he was a raw prospect coming out of a small school. It’s only fair to wait and see how he comes along this year. So he’s an incomplete.

    3) I’ll give you Hargreaves… But even there, we don’t know if his failure (up to now) is on the DB coaches or VH3 himself. He’s still a young player, and he did well at nickel… So, I’d give him an incomplete also.

    4) We had no pass rush.

  35. Seattle Buc Says:

    The Bucs have had quite a collection of below average corners for years. Myron Lewis, EJ Biggers types. Should have kept the gun toteing cabbie puncher.

  36. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Joe, regardless of what you feel about the current coaching staff, you need to realize this, The Bucs are 1 injury away from having the undisputed worst secondary in the NFL.

    That can not happen. If the big 3 are gone, and Denzel Ward is there, we simply have to take him.

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Bucs confidently considered Smith their No. 3 entering last season. Perhaps that says a lot.” Actually it does say a lot Joe … the Bucs were woefully deficient in the Secondary. Smith was essentially a 4th Rnd rookie, transitioning from Safety to CB. That Ryan was listed as 3rd on the depth chart says a lot about how poorly this team was constructed.

    Javien Elliott was undrafted & is a true lightweight (176 lbs soaking wet). I’m surprised that he’s still on the roster. VHIII has excellent potential to be a nickel CB, but no way is he tall enough, fast enough or quick enough to be a great outside corner. Instead of slicing & dicing the Secondary coaching staff & Scapegoat Smitty, why don’t you spend more time wagging the finger at the REAL culprit here … our illustrious GM Jason Licht. He IS the one who provides the talent … or should I say lack of talent.

  38. firethecannons Says:

    We needed secondary help from the free agency pool, we are unable to develop corners period. At least get safety help–isn’t Reid still there hoping to get picked up.?

  39. firethecannons Says:

    seems like they should have some cornerback camp somewhere these players should be at during offseason–lots of drills and film and more drills

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    I hate the idea of using the draft to get a starter because 1) you don’t know how the draft will play out and 2) you’re drafting a rookie and you don’t know if they’re going to be any good or not.

    If the Bucs needed say a #3 corner, then OK, perhaps you gamble on the draft with the idea of getting a #3 corner post draft, but the Bucs need a #2 that can step up to be a #1 corner should Grimes start to show his age. Putting all that on a guy who may or may not be there in the draft isn’t the way you should do things in my opinion. Instead you get a solid #2 guy and draft a rookie hoping he can be your #2 if it outplays the starter, but knowing you’re not putting the entire season on a rookie.

  41. Guzzie Says:

    Yeah this can’t develop a rookie CB is total horse crap, UDFA, 4th round rookie (I know Smith wasn’t a rookie, but he really was playing time wise) aren’t supposed to be relied on to be major contributors and definitely shouldn’t be bashed on for performing they way they did, honestly they performed great for UDFA/4th rounder especially with no pass rush. Hargreaves already showed traits of getting demolished by above average WRs in college, and backed that up with his below average size and speed for CBs but he was still only a 2nd year CB with no pass rush, jury is still out on these guys and definitely not the secondary coaches fault they weren’t lights out there first 2 years

  42. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:


    Is this the same Joe who hyped up Johnny Football as the next Fran Tarkenton?

    This is a ridiculous take. So should we not draft a DL because we had the worst sack total so it’s obvious we can’t coach up a DE. Has Will Gholsyon improved? Gerald? Ayers?

  43. Joe Says:

    Yup, Joe is continuing to demonstrate stupidity AND stubbornness with his insistence on repeating the CB narrative.

    Yeah, don’t bother adding talent because the coaches can’t develop the talent. Most MORONIC thing I’ve ever heard.

    If you can prove Joe wrong, go for it. You haven’t yet. And last warning. You use numerals again to get past the spam filter, you’ll get the boot.

  44. bucs_365 Says:

    ^^ I’ve proven you wrong Joe. You just lack the rational faculty to understand.

    Also, threatening to boot people is lame. Yeah,

  45. bucs_365 Says:

    @Alaskan Abdominal Snowman:

    Do you deliberately call yourself “abdominal snowman” or do you mean “abominable snowman”?

  46. bucs_365 Says:

    And now every post goes in the moderation bucket… [smfh]

  47. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    We need NFLNut…all together…Chubb, Barkley, or Nelson or TRADE DOWN.

    There is no CB in this draft that justifies a 7th pick especially THIS year.

    At 7 we get either QB leftovers in one of our big three…or there is still a top 4 QB to dangle in a trade down. We can ALWAYS get a DB…or two or three or…

  48. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    If the Big 3 are gone. Denzel Ward absolutely is worth the number 7 over all pick. I posted this yesterday and I’ll do so again until my point is understood.

    Player X: 40 Time – 4.36 Vertical – 38.5″ Broad – 132″

    Height – 6’0

    Weight – 193 LBS.

    Arm Length – 31 & 1/4″

    Player Y: 40 Time – 4.32 Vertical – 39″ Broad – 136″

    Height – 5’10 & 7/8″

    Weight – 191 LBS

    Arm Length – 31 & 1/4″


    Player Y = Denzel Ward

    Player X = Marshon Lattimore

  49. Bird Says:

    Yah. Joe’s.

    Give me a break. Hargreaves is only one that counts cause he was taken high
    Get it …high…

    Ryan smith – 4th round you rarely hit there

    Javion Elliot – undrafted. Hhhmmm undrafted players hit about 2% of the time.

    You guys need to take a break. Or the one joe should anyway

  50. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Also, to further illustrate my point, compare Wards #’s to those of a Corner who the Bucs scouting department was incredible high on last year. Adoree Jackson.

    40 Time – 4.42 Vertical Jump – 36″ Broad Jump – 122″

    Height – 5’10

    Weight – 186 LBS.

    Arm Length – 31 & 3/8″


    Ward has ELITE athleticism, and impressive film to match it. You can bet that Denzel Ward is close to the top of the Bucs draft board.

  51. SteveK Says:

    We can draft a corner, they just need to be talented.

    Smith might improve, Heargraves to this point is an huge dissapointnent.

    It would be unwise to pass on a superior talent at CB (BPA) out of fear for the regime to develop them. If the regime fails, then I’m sure the next coach would appreciate a stocked cupboard.

  52. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Isiah Oliver wouldnt be a mistake Joe………………………….imagine Minkah Fitpatrick and Oliver in our secondary. We’d immediately start shutting down opposing offenses routinely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. feelthepewterpower Says:

    More on IO here:

  54. BucEmUp Says:

    Been saying forever, a bad defense can be lack of talent. A defense that is dead last worst second ( besides 5 stat swaying games last season ) is on coaching. Anyone who thinks Mike Smith can coach a defense please hook it up with some of what you got cuz it’s gotta be goooooooood.

    Worst secondary in the league. Worst dc in the league. Worst possible position you can put your young qb in. STUPID!!!!!!!!!

  55. bucs_365 Says:

    Well, Mike Smith has one more chance to prove he can coordinate a defense. Can’t see him staying past this year unless we make a significant jump to at least middle-of-the-pack on D.

  56. bucs_365 Says:

    And moderation again… ridiculous.

  57. denjoe Says:


  58. DalvinCookRules Says:

    You don’t need elite CBs if you have even a semi-elite DL…. START THERE.

  59. Brandon Says:

    Enough of this stupid drafting a freaking guard BS! He’s a freaking guard. Yeah, I watched his tape, he’s good… but no guard is worth a top 10 pick… EVER! He played pretty well against Miami, a game in which Notre Dame didn’t get on the scoreboard until seconds were left in the 3rd quarter… GUARDS are NOT difference makers… he made no difference in this game. He gave up a couple of pressures, looked good, he’ll be a good guard in the NFL…. but NOT a difference maker. The last time a guard was chosen in the top 10? Johnathan Cooper and Chance Warmack… they both sucked… they were both CAN’T MISS prospects… well guess what happens when a guard misses? He’s unemployed! At least when you miss with a tackle he can slide to guard a la Mandarich, Gallery, and others. NEVER DRAFT A GUARD TOP 10!

  60. Issic haggins Says:

    Dead on Joe