Fantastic Move, But Too Late?

July 7th, 2018

Can he snap the trend?

The Bucs made solid offseason moves on defense, but could they be for the next defensive coaching staff?

Jenna Laine of ESPN, in sort of a preview of Bucs training camp that begins in less than three weeks, looks at how the defense was built and she gives major props to Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht for filling a lot of holes.

In particular, Licht’s wheeling and dealing during the draft impressed Laine, when he traded down in the first round and loaded up on draft picks used to selected cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, and then drated a safety.

Since it’s unknown what type of player the Bucs will get in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves after a down 2017 season, the team has to prepare for the future when Brent Grimes decides to retire. What’s interesting though, is that Stewart and Davis are both corners who excel in press-man coverage, and the Bucs play mostly off-man technique. So this move only gets an “A” if they actually allow these corners to play the same aggressive style they did in college. Coach Dirk Koetter did say that they would be pressing more in training camp.

Joe agrees with Laine. Licht did one helluva job to get regain picks lost and add more. But Joe has to admit to feeling uncomfortable about it, short-term.

Bucs fans go nuts when Joe writes the following but Joe is not one to stick his head in the sand and pretend things are better. The current defensive coaching has yet to demonstrate it can develop a young outside corner (Dirk Koetter raves about Vernon Hargreaves as a nickel corner– apparently the Bucs have given up on Hargreaves as an outside corner despite being a No. 11 overall pick in 2016.)

If that trend continues — and why should Joe expect otherwise — Joe would have to wonder if those wonderful Licht picks will instead develop and ball out for a future crop of defensive coaches?

66 Responses to “Fantastic Move, But Too Late?”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I find it very troubling that NO ONE is talking about M.J. Stewart and his “skills”….

    ……..all we’re hearing about is Davis.

    That would really suck if Stewart turns out to be another bust with such a high pick in the draft.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Best Reagan voice –

    “Well…Joey…There you go again…”

    Bucs have 4 young, talented CBs (Hargreaves, Ryan Smith, Davis and Stewart) – 5 if you want to count Elliott.

    At least 2 or 3 of those 5 will turn into solid NFL CBs.

    Joe should know as well as anyone that while yes – coaches do have their role in a player’s development – it is largely on the player himself as to whether he “makes it” in the NFL or not…

  3. Sc Bucs fan Says:

    Joe with a negative article about the Bucs. Go figure.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    No one should believe we got better, not until we actually see it.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well Joe, you proudly announced on several occasions you would rather draft a punter (s)………
    I’ll take my chances over these three and keeping Brian Anger….

  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I suppose a slow news day filled with Laine articles that could have been written weeks ago is better than a day with no articles at all.

  7. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I cannot believe that 4th rounder CB out a small school hasn’t been “developed” by Coach Smith! It really is like fingernails on a chalk board Joe! Could it be that these UDAs and late round draft picks simply have a very low ceiling and no amount of coaching will make them Deon Sanders 2.0. Hargreaves is the one example that may have some merit. However, he may have simply overrated by scouts when he came out of college. I mean he didn’t have blazing speed, is short, and tended to get beat badly by the better wideouts in the SEC back at Florida.

  8. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    We blame Smitty for the No-press defense, but maybe it’s Grimes pulling the strings behind the scenes. Grimes, who excels in the cushion defense, might have told the Bucs that he wasn’t coming back if you don’t keep the cushion. Maybe once Grimes leaves we can finally play press.

  9. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Corners may take a while to develop as it was for Rhnde. New d-line should help on their development.
    Plus GMC is wearing paint on his face this year. He has a new attitude for ice fans. Remember Batman Woods? Now we have Badman McCoy lol

  10. RRSRQ Says:

    If Isaiah Oliver for the dirty birds becomes a pro bowler that when we should have major issues with Jason, he could’ve had not Oliver and Davis, nothing against M.J. if he proves it, I have hope as I did not realize that Justin Evans was going to be that solid

  11. Joe Says:


    What exactly do you want Joe to manufacture? There are no practices or games. Players, coaches and suits are scattered throughout the globe on vacation. Bucs offices are closed. The draft is over as is free agency.

    If you expect Joe to break down offensive line calls, sorry. Joe runs a business here, not a charity. Of course, Joe could go dark the rest of the month but that wouldn’t be good for business.

    If this site doesn’t meet your standards, there are other places that have week-old stories masqueraded as “news” you can read for the fifth time.

    Hey, Charles Sims was doing chin-ups on a New York subway this morning!

  12. Joe Says:


    Of course Joe doesn’t expect every player to be the next Ronde Barber. What Joe does expect is to see the guys improve, not get worse.

    That’s really not much to ask or expect.

  13. Joe Says:

    Joe with a negative article about the Bucs. Go figure.

    Joe sure wishes a 5-11 team that just lost it’s starting QB would give him something positive to write about. ☹️

  14. ruggyup Says:

    Let’s not get too fast forward on the coaching staff. Pay some mind to the fact that new rookie corners and safeties have a steeper learning curve to overcome than any other position(my view). Mix that with horror story playing out at QB and it’s best to cut ourselves some slack in patience for Bucs and their fans. Says I, after game 10 make a realistic judgement and let then let the fur fly.

  15. BucNole Says:

    I have thought about that very thing.
    Grimes likes to play off coverage and that suits his skill set.
    The prob is he is not a “move” corner for the most part which allows teams to get their better WRs in mismatches to exploit our secondary.
    All teams mix up coverages – I would like to know who made the decision to play “OFF” so much of the time. Maybe just to compensate for the lack of a pass rush.
    interesting how it all panned out tho – mostly bad

  16. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Sterling Moore, Mike Jenkins, Alterran Verner, Brent Grimes – free agent cb’s signed by Bucs- with only Grimes being a stud ( Moore had 1 decent year)
    Seems to me draft picks have same or better odds of making it and are alot less expensive

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs will be playing a LOT more press coverage in 2018.

    If the Bucs CBs had played tight man coverage for any significant % of plays in 2017 – the results would have been even worse than they were. Would have been 32nd in TDs against to go along with the worst yards ranking.

    Pass rush is SO crucial to an NFL cornerbacks’ ability to succeed and we just didn’t have any pressure at all on way too many plays last year.

    Watch how much “better” Hargreaves and Ryan Smith play this year with a vastly improved DLine.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It is a slow NFL news period…..this is that time of year when you hope there is no news from any of your players……they could either be injured in a charity basketball game or end up with some sort of NFL suspension or worse….(oops)

  19. ATrain Says:

    Hey Joe the new DLine will put actual pressure which will not leave our secondary out to dry

    No secondary can hold forever while the QB has a minute to run around

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:


    LMAO!!! After reading some of the remarks from the tough crowd here I was all set to come to your defense. But you beat me to it.

    I feel your pain. And I for one think you guys have done an excellent job.
    There is much I appreciate about this site and I totally respect your editorial and censorship choices.

    You’re as generous any host at permitting negative slams against you. You have a light touch on the censorship.

    The site is great don’t change a thing!

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    No news is good news, for the Bucs

  22. HFXBUC Says:

    Was it too late when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

  23. Joe Says:



    Joe has no problem taking the heat. Sometimes it is deserved. Anyone is welcome to vent so long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

  24. Joe Says:

    Was it too late when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?


  25. Joe Says:


    Joe sure hopes so. And to a large degree you are right

    Remember, a good offensive coordinator can always scheme a way to buy an extra second for a QB to throw.

  26. DB55 Says:

    Isiah Oliver and Donte Jackson called tweeted that M.J. will be the final nail in Licht’s coffin. And then Guice retweeted it.

  27. DB55 Says:

    Argh still asleep

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    St. Pete

    I appreciate about this site and I totally respect your editorial and censorship choices.

    Respectfully, you have little idea about Joe’s censorship choices because they have been censored.

  29. WestminsterCoBucsFan Says:

    Mike smith is too stubborn to change his scheme for a couple rookies. Qb Pressure from a revamped d-line will help the secondary. After 2016 everyone was stoked that mike smith came back. Why? Bc everyone knew we won 9 games because of defense. Joe can write about Mike Evans scoring tds, but in 2016 the defense had 16 ints in the 9 wins, only 1 int in the 7 losses…give us a consistent kicking game and a few more red zone tds and this team will be fine. If the bucs can manage 8-8 this year with a tough schedule, then everyone gets to keep their job

  30. Pryda... sec147 Says:

    I’m excited a pass rush should be the biggest help for our team.

  31. ATrain Says:

    I believe that the DLine will be devastating

    GMC will get a lot more single coverage

    And JPP off the edge

    V-Monster will also be hard to handle

  32. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    go get Tyrod Taylor

  33. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I certainly take your point. But I’m making my judgement on what he DOES let through.

  34. Not there yet Says:

    Maybe you just stick your head in the sand when watching football. You keep up with that same line but have yet to admit whether you believe Ryan Smith or javien Elliot could be starting caliber corners on any other team in the NFL. Vh3 well he started as a rookie and who blames the coaching staff for a guy regressing and playing worse after gaining valuable experience but playing worse the second year.

    I think you just say the bucs can’t develop a cornerback just for the hell of it you know like saying Winston is America’s quarterback without any kind of logic or any reasonable explanation someone would understand except if you reside in a mental Ward

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Did everybody here see the movie “Something About Mary”?

    Remember how she’d string the guy along and then say…”Just f’in with ya”.

    I think that’s Joe with “Americas” QB. He’s just f’in with you guys and you take the bait!

    I HATE the Dallas Cowboys. If those jackwagons call themselves “America’s Team” Joe can call Jameis “America’s QB”.

    BTW…..I am America’s poster.

  36. WestminsterCoBucsFan Says:

    What’s wrong with jameis being America’s qb?? Half the jbf community either loves him or hates him. Who was the last u.s. president that wasn’t loved/hated by half the country. Is America perfect? America has gone through more than a hassle or two from making stupid choices…with jameis’ re-election around the corner, hopefully he figures out a way to ‘make the bucs great again’

  37. SB Says:

    I am “America’s Contractor”!!!

  38. JerseyBuc Says:

    just read an interesting article……bring Teddy Bridgewater in before the start of the season….little risk, if it doesn’t cost too much, i think its a great idea…..Joe, i’d love to get your thoughts.

  39. Joe Says:

    Joe, i’d love to get your thoughts.

    For three games? Doesn’t know the offense. Hasn’t worked with Koetter and rest of offense?

    If Jameis is getting cut, sure. Doubt he gets cut before 2018 season starts.

  40. SB Says:

    @Jersey……If you are suggesting that TB start instead of Fitz then I think you bumped your head. Fitz went 2 and 1 last yr in relief of JW. TB doesn’t know the offense or the receivers. Now if you are talking about bringing in TB to push JW and then we get rid of RG then I get your premise.

  41. BrianBucs Says:

    I think the Bucs drafted the 2 cover corners for a reason. That was also Hargrave’ s strength in college. Maybe, just maybe Bucs defense is going to have a little bit of a scheme change. Stay tuned Bucs fans

  42. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    St. Pete

    You are really stroking Joe today…..trying to avoid the cooler?……

    The key to Joe is to challenge him “properly”…..

    Like calling him out on the punters vs DBs….

    You can call him out on “America’s QB”…….respectfully

    TBBF “America’s Cooler Inmate”

  43. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo has been mostly silent on the Hamus issue. This is because Pablo has had his own issue wit womens. Pablo is seeing every defense for Jameis except for the best defense.
    Gold Digger
    The Pres brags about it
    Pablo’s defense for Haboo is the “Elongated Arc Defense”
    That thing will get you in trouble every time.”

  44. Cobraboy Says:

    Tight coverage with no pass rush would have been a Big Play disaster in ’17, even more so than it was.

  45. AlteredEgo Says:

    if you get bored waiting for the next JBF article to fight over….go the the official Buccaneers site and check out the dozen or so photo’s of our 1st round water buffalo draft pick….what a massive human being !!!

  46. Bucko40 Says:

    Joe has always been since it’s inception the PR mouthpiece of the Bucs. Now that they are being the least bit critical of America‘s CrotchGrabber They are persona nongrada. Wow how quickly fans disavow their press.

  47. stpetebucsfan Says:


    LOL. You know me…to many of these guys I’m the blog’s fragile snowflake.

    I do not engage in “cooler material”. Your posts are always literate and well thought out so I’m not sure how you get in the cooler.

    I think working in sports coverage in another life helps me feel Joe’s side just as I’m sure your experience let’s you know what he’s going through.

    As far as editorial choice…one year…remember Bristol and the Tri Cities are absolutely NASCAR country…so in ’84 I became the first station in Tennessee or Virginia…we were in both…literally…the main street in Bristol is the border between VA and TN. to originate our six and eleven PM sports from Daytona Speedway.

    Upon returning to the Tri Cities to my proper glory for pulling it off I was brought down to earth quickly.

    Some guy whose daughter swam for the same high school Steve Spurrier starred in football yells at me…while you were in Daytona you missed the Conference high school swim meet. Imagine featuring NASCAR over high school swimming!

  48. PewterBruce Says:

    This whole “haven’t been able to coach a young cornerback” argument is FAULTY.

    That’s like saying a team fails to develop a young, late round corner into a Pro Bowler – it rarely ever happens.

    Cornerbacks drafted into the NFL have some of the highest failure rates, and an overwhelmingly number of solid starting DBs in the NFL were 1st and 2nd round selections. But even many 1st rounders never make good NFL corners — Hargreaves not working out is an average result across the league.

    Show me one NFL team or system that consistently churns our solid defensive backs, even from non-1st or 2nd round draft picks. SPOILER ALERT: You won’t find one because they don’t exist.

    It takes a very rare athlete that will turn into a top starting NFL cornerback.

  49. bucanation Says:

    My hope is the d is much better and we can roll with fitz we need to move on from JW ive seen enough. I wanted marcus but started likeing JW he cant score points with all the weapons he had last year on offence and if we can win with Fitz bring it on .

  50. JameisNOT Says:

    Signing washed up players looking for a paycheck is not going to help this teams future. Better off taking the Cleveland Browns route and at least build hope and save some money. The end result is always the same.

    I speak the truth, I am the truth, the truth hurts.

  51. Joe Says:

    Show me one NFL team or system that consistently churns our solid defensive backs, even from non-1st or 2nd round draft picks. SPOILER ALERT: You won’t find one because they don’t exist


    Show Joe where the Bucs have taken a rookie corner the past two years — there have been three rookies — where just one of them improved. Just one!

  52. Walter Seidel Says:

    Is Winston still on this team? Until he’s gone, simply cannot be a fan.

  53. SB Says:

    RHonde Barber only started 9 games in his first two yrs and had 2 ints and 0 Passes Defended. In his third yr he had 2 ints and 0 passes defended. Third yr 2 Ints and 0 passes defended!!
    Fourth yr though he had 10 Ints and 24 passes defended.
    Point being don’t give up on our young CBs just yet if we have an above average pass rush for once in a long time.

  54. SB Says:

    *Meant fourth yr 2 ints and 0 passes defended. Fifth yr was his breakout!

  55. SB Says:

    *Meant 4th yr 2 ints and 0 passes defended
    5th yr was his breakout.

  56. DB55 Says:

    America’s Quarterback and his Yankee Doodle Dandy

  57. BrianBucs Says:

    As usual I see poor misguided DB55 on here again blindly defending his fallen idol and favorite Criminole. Very sad and pathetic.

  58. JameisNOT Says:

    Well you know what DB stands for……

  59. JameisNOT Says:

    I just heard on Bay News9 that the little guy keeps fumbling his rattle. He also grabbed a nurses crotch when she was not looking. Dads excuse was that the little guy must be so exhausted that he could have possibly blacked out.

  60. gp Says:

    Has nobody here ever been falsely accused of something?

    If Goodell had ANYTHING solid there would have been no negotiation and the suspension would have been 6 games or more!
    SMFH at some of you “fan” (im)posters

    From now on they will be called “dingleberries”
    Insignificant but very irritating

  61. gp Says:

    If you don’t know
    A dingleberry is a little piece of 5h1t hanging from the hairs of your A55

  62. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Dngleberries lol, always funny

  63. ARGH_M8E Says:


  64. ARGH_M8E Says:

    I’m banned?

  65. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’m sure your parents are proud. That was a really classy comment.

    And so in your mind posters here who disagree with you are POS’s? Really?

  66. Owlykat Says:

    I would have picked Oliver over Stewart and would have planned on Hargreaves staying at slot corner. But one of our Coaches must have wanted Hargreaves given a second shot at starting opposite Grimes, perhaps with a plan to let that position use press corner technique; so Licht had to draft a CB who could take over at slot corner if Hargreaves was moved to OCB and Stewart was tailor made for the slot and a hard hitter. However it remains to be seen who can replace Grimes next season. Don’t count out Ryan Smith who got a year of experience last year with his fast speed to recover, and he looked better at OTAs this year. But if we had taken Oliver we could have had Davis and Oliver as two big outside corners next year, but if it is Hargreaves and Davis next year, Licht was smart to grab Stewart.