More Justin Evans To Nickel Chatter

August 15th, 2018

Experiment still on.

It’s not just a fluke or a spur of the moment hunch with Bucs coach Dirk Koetter.

In an effort to find ways to get his best players on the field together, and in the wake of a rash of injuries, Koetter has still given the green light to safety Justin Evans getting a crash course on how to play nickel corner.

Evans told Joe earlier this week he hasn’t played any type of corner since he was in high school. So it is interesting to Joe that less than a month before the Bucs kick off the 2018 season against the passing-dangerous Saints led by a future Hall of Fame quarterback, the Bucs are cross-training Evans.

Koetter said this notion is similar to other positions on the team.

“Well you got to have flexibility, so I look at those DBs similar to how you look at the wideouts,” Koetter said. “I mean, Chris Godwin can play four wideout spots. Mike [Evans] can play four wideout spots. We’re getting stressed at our depth at corner right now and nickel — so Justin Evans is becoming one of those guys that has to be able to move around. M.J. Stewart is in that same spot.

“When you get hit with injuries at one position, we don’t cancel practice. We’ve got to figure something out, so in the long run it builds your depth.”

And part of that is no one currently walking the street who could play nickel corner effectively. The only players looking for work in mid-August are camp meat players — future Walgreens assistant managers and cops.

Koetter didn’t exactly rule out Evans playing nickel Saturday at Tennessee.

“We’ll see how that plays out,” Koetter said. “We’re hoping to get a couple guys back. The thing you’ve got to remember is this isn’t a game where your first group’s not going to play the whole game.

“You’ve got to have a first nickel group and you’ve got to have a second nickel group. Tennessee’s not going to feel sorry for us. They’re going to run their stuff and we’ve got to be able to match up.”

Joe honestly doesn’t expect Evans — barring injuries getting totally out of hand during a game — to play much nickel corner if at all once the regular season starts.

By the time the final preseason game is over and teams shave their rosters down to the mandated final-53, there should be a player or two available that is remotely competent and has experience playing nickel.

20 Responses to “More Justin Evans To Nickel Chatter”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    This is all probably much ado about nothing. Cross-training is commonplace everywhere in every industry. Knowing what the man in front of you is doing might be useful for his position.

  2. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Other teams cross train. However, bucs just set players back years until they escape the black hole that is Tampa bay Buccaneers football. No team out smarts itself like the kings of the nfc south basement

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This may be good news for Whitehead… may mean that they are actually trying to find ways to get him on the field….moving Evans to nickel opens up a safety slot.

  4. FrankPillow Says:

    This certainly implies that the VHIII injury may take a while longer to heal and they’re now contingency planning for Week 1 to get the best/most athletic combo of Dbs on the field + Conti. Makes we wonder why we won’t even sniff Breeland.

  5. Neal Says:

    At this rate they might as well move VH3 to FS when he comes back. The dude plays 15 yards off the LOS anyway.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think this is a good thing…thinking outside of the box something we don’t normally associate with DK.

    Generally speaking cross training also makes one more efficient in their own position because they understand the position next to them as well as their own.

    And nothing is gambled doing these kinds of experiments in training camp and preseason games.

  7. SOEbuc Says:

    Who are our injured CBs? I didn’t even know we had a CB crisis on our hands till they put in Evans? Is Stewart injured? He’s our stud nickel. F#ck VH3 soft ass. Cut your hair hippie.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Trade 4 Ronald Darby already.

  9. Marc Says:

    First it was Smith to S (granted, he is an awful player), then it was Marpet to C, now Evans to CB? Why does this coaching staff continuously attempt plugging square pegs into round holes?

  10. Buchead5588 Says:

    I think Breeland is just to much money we need the 8 million or so we have so season injuries An I’m sure once cuts happen we have our eyes on a cpl of Veteran CBs but at the same time that stops the progression of our young guys with Vets in there playing so it’s a give an take but I’m sure someone is brought in when cuts happen surprised we didn’t call Scandrick who the redskins just let go he’s a 31 year old Proven Vet who would look good across from Grimes heard he’s got a visit with the Chiefs

  11. Brandon Says:

    As I’ve stated before, a nickel CB is essentially playing the role of safety close to the LOS. It’s a CB that has replaced a LB… they are pretty much the same as in the box strong safeties only they are split out a little wider over a WR. This really shouldn’t be a big deal to most safeties that can cover. And considering how much off and zone coverage the Bucs play, they literally NEVER play cover 0 (which means everybody is in man to man coverage with no safety help deep), this is a total non-issue. For the most part, Evans has a big CB body with CB athletic ability. If he can play closer to the LOS it will only help him be more of a playmaker and have a greater impact on the game.

  12. Broy34 Says:

    Grimes Stewart Davis and then your fourth can be Elliot or Ryan Smith. Why why why would you put Evans at nickel. It’s ridiculous

  13. Godeep66 Says:

    Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are kicking their chops.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    MARC & 34

    I AGREE!!!!


  15. Bird Says:

    Don’t mess with this kids development.

    He has a chance to be great

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    At nickel, he is like a third LB.

    He is big with long arms.

    And he is quick and fast.

    Justin Evans was a great pick.

    He could be nasty at nickel.

    I don’t know why Whitehead isn’t training at nickel also.

    He’s a natural nickel.

  17. pick6 Says:

    i think it’s an acknowledgement of the fact that a) whitehead is coming on strong and b) there are alot of strong TEs in the NFL who line up in the slot and he might be a better answer than an undersized nickel or a slower LB

  18. Season Is Over Says:

    I don’t know how Licht still has a job after drafting Hargreaves and Rojo. Smith can’t even put together a defensive game plan and yet we are to believe he is going to teach players different positions. This regime is still making the same mistakes after four years. It is truly laughable at this point.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    “Put your best players on the field.”

  20. Darin Says:

    Terrible idea imo. Not surprising either. The experiments will hopefully end with the Smitty experiment. Guess they dont learn from past failures. Cant think of a past experiment from this staff that turned out well.