Job Won?

August 25th, 2018

Joe’s going to make a call here and say Vernon Hargreaves has locked down a starting job on opening day opposite Brent Grimes.

It’s not so much that Hargreaves has been special this preseason and summer, but he looks like he might be back at least to his 2016 rookie form — and that was good enough for him to be part of the NFL’s best third-down defense that year. And while he certainly wasn’t great then, he wasn’t garbage, either.

Last night, Hargreaves’ tackling started off poorly but he did have a nice solo tackle of LeGarrette Blount later in the game. Hargreaves is not much of a tackler but his willingness is there. One could also say he got away with an end zone hold of Lions receiver Golden Tate in the second quarter, but that’s debatable and Hargreaves’ coverage there did stall a Lions’ drive.

Joe thinks rookie CB Carlton Davis has not done enough to convince coaches he’s the opening-day guy, and M.J. Stewart is banged up. Brent Grimes sat last night out healthy (presumably) alongside Stewart.

Plus, the Bucs really want Hargreaves to win that job, at least out of the gate.

If Hargreaves indeed starts outside, Joe is confident Hargreaves will move inside to nickel on pure passing downs.

The good, Joe believes, is that the Bucs will be quick to pull the plug on anything at cornerback (outside of Grimes) in order to get the most effective guys on the field.

31 Responses to “Job Won?”

  1. Says:

    He made some nice plays at nickel, too!


    Is it just me or does Hargreaves look to have leaned out this year? He looks a helluva lot quicker and is starting to flash on the field! I sure hope he breaks out this year I love the swag and confidence this kid has in himself.

  3. BucEmUp Says:

    Seems like the starters were playing much tighter coverage. I didn’t see much contact but the gap between the corner and the line of scrimmage was.much tighter.

    Up until the steps and three started playing later in the game and the soft coverage with huge cushions started showing it’s ugly face again..Funny how that happens at the same time the opposing team scores twenty points to come back and win.hmmmmm.

  4. Jmarkbuc Says:

    He had a decent game, kinda what you would expect from a first round pick. Gotta put a few games together before I’m sold.

    Best VHIII stat for the night? 0 for 5 in finger wagging!

  5. Stanglassman Says:

    I thought M.J.’s two strip fumble game last week was pretty impressive. Hi didn’t realize his injury was so significant he couldn’t play in two weeks from now.

  6. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    He was great at open field tackles at Florida, one of his strengths , last night seemed like he was more aware of the plays unfolding and where to be, he seems to be an alert player as opposed to last year were it looked like he was in dream land

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Have always felt that VH3 would win the outside CB job…..Ryan Smith looked better last night and the CB we picked up from NO was also OK……
    Whitehead had good coverage but made contact too early on the PI call.

    Conte comes from out of nowhere to make tackles and seems to be a pretty good tackler……coming from out of nowhere may mean he was out of position to start with….or he just recovers well enough to make some tackles.

  8. FairMinded Says:

    “Not much of a tackler”? That’s the one thing I’d give him credit for…above average there

  9. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Conte did have to save his ass on the blown coverage…got completely fooled on that one

  10. johnnybuc Says:

    LMFAOOO if he’s the opening day starter day 1 then why did davis start outside last night? why was smith and davis the outside corners if they are so confident hargreaves can lock down the job? if they were truly planning on starting hargreaves outside wk 1 he wouldn’t have been exclusively in the slot last night . pretty simple to figure out actually . davis WILL be the starting corner opposite grimes wk 1 and hargreaves will see significant snaps in the slot .

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea – disagree on all counts Joe.

    Tackling is is one of Hargreaves better attributes for his size.

    And I’ve seen enough from Davis that I think he’s ready. Davis is a sure upgrade to Hargreaves on the outside once he gets some experience – so lets get on with getting him that experience.

    Davis will make some rookie mistakes this year to be sure – but I doubt they would equal VH3’s “mistakes” in coverage if Hargreaves were given those same snaps on the outside.

    Vernon looks solid in the nickle role which means he’s on the field 65-70% of the time. Leave him there and let him continue to build confidence. Something that Davis is NOT lacking in – guaranteed.

    Davis, Stewart and Whitehead are all “ready” to hit the field and make an impact. Here’s hoping all 3 of these rookie DBs see significant playing time in 2018.

  12. Godeep66 Says:

    Lions QB had some poor throws to help the cause.

  13. Dapostman Says:


    really doesn’t matter your size when it comes to tackling. Either you are a good tackler or you aren’t. My opinion of Hargreaves is he really isn’t a good tackler. Especially on the edge.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think overall they’re going to be a good group that keeps getting better.

  15. reality-is-a-beotch Says:

    it’s never a good thing when a 7th rd talent gets drafted in 1st rd and forced to play out of necessity. if bucs have to rely on a short, slow and stupid first round bust at cb then glazers are well on their way to another basement title.

  16. Joe Says:

    then glazers are well on their way to another basement title.

    Memo to Rip Van Winkle:

    Last place in the NFC South is nicknamed “Buccaneers Cove” for a reason.

  17. firethecannons Says:

    Pickgrin says it best! Play all 3 of the rook DB’s(not necessaarily starting all 3) — still impressed with MJ Stewart’s forced fumbles from game 2. Really enjoying watching the DB rooks in preseason this year.

  18. Bucamania Says:

    I expect Davis will start on the outside, like he did last night. Vh3 looks good at nickel, where he wants to play. Davis matches up better with big WRs like Julio and Michael Thomas. MJ will be a great filling in. Whitehead needs to take Conte’s spot.

  19. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Joe Says:
    August 25th, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Last place in the NFC South is nicknamed “Buccaneers Cove” for a reason.

    That’s funny Joe!!!!!!! And what are the directions to that cove???????? First go down mark Dominik boulevard, then make a left on lovie smith lane!!!!!! It will take you to that cove every time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says
    March 1st, 2018 at 9:00 am
    …At 22 years old, Hargreaves was still under development. After the season, Koetter/Smith met with him and went over with him the areas he needed to work on to improve his development. He had a great attitude and determination when they spoke.

    He’s young. Younger than the QB who we say is still maturing as a player. Seems to me, how he responds to this past season is the test. Obviously, Koetter was happy with his response.

    As I said back then, Hargreaves is in control of his future, and I was not ready to write him off, unlike almost everybody here. Just like Mike Evans responded to a sub-par sophomore season, Hargreaves deserves the chance to show he can do better. I said this all off season, and no one agreed. Now here we are.

    That said…we’ve got options now that we did not have then. If Hargreaves does not prove himself, we have two guys who are anxious to do it themselves.

  21. Shane Says:

    Thought Hargreaves played good enough.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Start Grimes and Hargreaves, and rotate the others in and out to get them experience. If one proves he is good enough to start over Hargreaves, then so be it. If not, we keep Hargreaves in so long as he is earning it.

    But it is important to keep in mind that Joe is guessing just like the rest of us. Hargreaves still may not start.

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Come on dudes. Vernon looked great last night in coverage. MVP material. If your not hoping that game was a sign of things to come youre just being an ass.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Joe’s going to make a call here and say Vernon Hargreaves has locked down a starting job on opening day opposite Brent Grimes.” Guess I’m missing something Joe. Did VHIII play Grimes’ spot last night or the other outside CB or nickel CB? I thought he was mostly playing nickel, but I admittedly wasn’t focusing on VHIII. The starting outside CB opposite Grimes I initially thought would go to Ryan Smith but then I thought Davis had beaten him out (he’s played pretty well for a rookie). I thought VHIII would be our starting nickel.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    Hargreaves quickness on display last night surprised me.

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    I think its a good prediction for Joe. When you look at the future of this team we are not needing to fill 1 CB spot opposite Grimes. We are needing to fill both CB spots after Grimes retires.

    Hargreaves may not be seen as the future to the fans but the Bucs have not given up on him at outside Corner. This will probably be his last real chance to outright win one of those two positions for 2019 and beyond.

    It was a good point Joe brought up that he will be on a short leash. Davis I really like despite only seeing him in just a few snaps. Vernon may have looked good last night but I would personally wager more money on Davis being a feature player here in years to come.

  27. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I also don’t see tackling as a VH3 problem. He was better at tackling than covering in his rookie year. I do think VH3 got left behind on the deep crossing
    route that Conte made the touchdown saving tackle.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack, I agree that Bucs most likely need to fill BOTH outside corners (Grimes’ spot after this year), but it seems like they also consider nickel to be a starting CB also. From what I remember, VHIII seems to play much better outside when playing in place of Brent (he definitely seems to favor that side). And even Grimes said his ‘natural’ position is nickel.

    What confused me about Joe’s comment is that it sounded like he felt VHIII had won the starting spot opposite Grimes, and I thought Davis would get the nod there instead, with VHIII playing nickel. Next year I could see our outside CBs being Davis & VHIII (taking Grimes’ spot) with Stewart at nickel more than likely. But hey, that’s a looong ways away and anything can happen.

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense……I just think it’s one of those things where they have to figure out what they have in VHIII. We absolutely cannot go into another offseason being iffy on wether Vernon can play or not. They need to figure out if Vernon’s part of the future here. If not it’s next man up with Davis(who will see some action regardless).

    Yeah you can play this guy or that guy at nickle. Nickle is an important spot but starting corner is much more important. First things first and we need to figure out who is going to guard the sidelines here. If the best Vernon can do is play nickle then he is closer to being part of the problem then he is the solution.

  30. Billy_43 Says:

    Is it just me or has no one mentioned the 2 plays in a row where Hargreaves got picked on for 1st downs.

    Re-Watch it and you can see Stafford look directly to his side on both plays.

    Even Detroit knows Hargreaves plays too far off.

    Veteran QBs will always pick that apart.

    Please GOD start Davis!!!! No reason to still be talking about it.

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’ve always thought VH3 was good and will get better. Last season he got hurt early and never recovered from it. He looks healthy now and confident again. We will see how it goes.