Back To Drawing Board

January 29th, 2019

Showed promise.

It is damn sad how many draft picks the Bucs have used on players for the secondary and still that unit was a sieve.

The Bucs, in the past three years, have used a first-round pick, two seconds and a third for cornerbacks and a safety. The way that secondary has been lit up in the past three years, the Bucs would have done equally well pulling guys off the street.

And Gregg Rosenthal of seems to think a decent secondary is all that is keeping the Bucs from a run at a Super Bowl.

The good news is that new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has a strong history of coaching up defensive backs, especially under new Bucs coach Bruce Arians during their time together in Arizona. The bad news is that the Bucs don’t have many sure things on the roster, despite spending six picks on the secondary over their past three drafts (including two second-rounders in 2018 and a first-rounder on Vernon Hargreaves in ’16). The new Bucs staff will have to quickly evaluate which remaining players fit in their plans, then attack free agency and the draft to cover up the remaining holes.

Believe it or not, Ryan Smith showed flashes of competence last season. Carlton Davis appears to have the skills to be a long-time starter. After that, it’s slim pickings.

Hargreaves has only played in 10 games the past two seasons. Justin Evans is just a guy. Who knows what will happen with fan favorite Chris Conte? M.J. Stewart inspires no confidence to Joe whatsoever.

But Joe is dead-set against spending another quality draft pick on a corner when the Bucs have a dire need for an edge rusher and a tackle and/or guard. And of course, running back is an ever-present pothole on the roster.

If the Bucs need another corner, go buy one. This team has spent way too much draft capital on defensive backs lately to continue to pour sand down that rabbit hole and ignore other more glaring needs.

53 Responses to “Back To Drawing Board”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    better coaching and a scheme that fits the DB’s will make a world of difference…..

    all of our DB’s excel in man press….thats why i was begging for the bucs to sit old man grimes and start ryan smith….kid played well in man press….he just needed to be developed….and the best way for a young DB to develop is by playing…..

    the previous staff set many players back by keeping them parked on the bench….

    luckily, this staff will figure out what the secondary does best and create a scheme around them instead of being coach my passive zone scheme smitty…..

    better coaching = more wins…..


  2. Jean Lafitte Says:

    To be fair, with the exception of a few teams, every team out there was a sieve. How many 350 – 400 yard games were there? It had to be a league record.

  3. destinjohnny Says:

    after 5 drafts our GM has assembled the worst talent laden secondary on the NFL

  4. Pryda..sec147 Says:

    We need our team to stay healthy! I think we need to aim to have the best defensive front 7 that’s where I’d focus on draft see if you get honey badger in FA

  5. RawDog Says:

    I thought the defense as a whole played better after Duffner took over. Obviously starting fresh with new coaches, but I agree that we shouldn’t target any CBs in the draft.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe……not seeing our 3rd round pick of a S or CB

    2016 Hargreaves CB 1st
    2017 Evans S 2nd
    2018 MJ Stewart & Carlton Davis 2nd

  7. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    Arians says we are stacked at RB….SMH.

  8. Larry Says:

    MJ Stewart is TOO SLOW to be an NFL corner. Period!!! Hargraves is hurt too much. The rest of the group is average at best. Licht has had too many misses in free agency and the draft. If this coaching staff can’t improve to at least 9 and 7 (or better), then Licht needs to go!!

  9. Robert Says:

    I agree the defensive coaching has been horrible. I think these guys will look like pro bowlers with decent coaching.

    bennett, clayborn, talib, barron how many bucs defensive players have been or ARE playing in the SB. lol

    the offense on the other hand. I think the combo of playcalling and bone headed turnovers by crabman, aka JW were momentum and morale killers

  10. doolnutts Says:

    We have so many holes that we might have to settle with resigning D. Smith for now. We can’t draft and sign a LT, RG, RT, CB1/CB2, Safties, DL back up QB. Bruce Arians and Bowles should def help these players more with their schemes so It will be interesting where we decide to go with draft capital and what little cap we do have.

    If it was me I would be drafting DL/OL. Shore up the trenches and coach up the kids in the back end of the defense.

  11. Trench War Says:


  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Yeah agree with Joe.

    Also it’s kind of super early to give up on CBs or think we know who they are after 1 year (or 2 in Evans case) in the league.

    Davis IMO looked like a legit outside #2 CB as a rookie. That’s pretty solid.
    Hargreaves when healthy was looking like a legit #2 CB / nickle CB.
    Justin Evans has all the skill set needed to be a stud FS if used aggressively IMO.
    Whitehead looks like someone who is going to injure himself trying to destroy someone but I like both his & Evans swag.

    Those 4 all have a lot of promise IMO. They’ve at least flashed it in spurts and given signs of potential via big plays. VHIII not so much a #1 shut down CB. He was over drafted. But he can still be a good CB. Davis might actually have that shut down potential more than anyone.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    TBBF- Jordan Whitehead?! Maybe. I thought he was 4th round though.

    I’ll say it if nobody else will. Expecting anything out of VHIII is willful negligence. Better have a ‘Plan B’! The only person slower than VHIII in the secondary is MJ Stewart, and Stewart’s a good 5 inches taller.
    I kid, but really!

  14. miken Says:

    @joe… with you a 100%… time to go in free agency and sign a few corners who can play. Each of the dbs we have drafted were a round or 2 or 3 too high.

  15. TexBuc Says:

    VHIII, C. Davis, and MJ Stewart all were press man CB asked to play off zone coverage.

    Two different skill sets required to be a press man versus off zone CB.

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    vh3 is a complete waste of team let it go…. you can’t fix nor can you coach SHORT, SLOW AND STUPID! not to mention he makes that bum Murphy look like an ironman.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “better coaching and a scheme that fits the DB’s will make a world of difference…..all of our DB’s excel in man press.”

    @Robert … “I think these guys will look like pro bowlers with decent coaching.”

    OK bucboi, how much did you pay Robert to write that? All of the CBs & Safeties we drafted are average at best, and most strike me as being mediocre. Better coaching will certainly help, but you can’t teach speed. You can’t teach tall. And personally don’t believe that you can’t teach the type of instinctive quickness that Ronde had (to make up for his not being tall or particularly fast). Sorry to break this to you bucboi, but some guys are simply better than others (check the CB & Safety salaries if you don’t believe that).

  18. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Thought the secondary was actually weaker after the Dumbasses cut Tandy and Conte got hurt. Whitehead and especially as I’ve said all along Evans is not the answer. I’m kinda curious to see what Bucco does about his Secondary. Bets that Whitehead and Evans don’t figure in!!!

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “If the Bucs need another corner, go buy one.” There’s the bottom line right there Joe … we NEED a quality veteran presence to provide some LEADERSHIP in our Secondary, and right now we don’t have one. I’m convinced that Grimes never provided that FIELD LEADERSHIP to our young DBs & that hurt their development as much as meh coaching did.

    Agree with Lord C that Davis looks like a legit #2 starting (outside) CB. Several of the others are good CB depth (VHIII & Ryan Smith particularly). Can’t believe no one’s mentioned Andrew Adams; I thought he played quite a bit of nickel as well as Safety last year & did exceptionally well IMO when he was out there (strikes me as being one of those Safety/Nickel hybrids that a lot of teams seem to cherish nowadays). Evans & Whitehead are both keepers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Conte on the team once again this year.

  20. 813bucboi Says:


    robert is obviously calling it how he sees it…..

    sorry to break it to you but some coaches are just better than others….lol….

    look at josh norman….never was a speedster…..and he’s one of the highest paid cb’s in the league….same with richard sherman….

    you cant teach speed or heart but you can teach pursuit angles and physicality at the LOS…..take norman and sherman for example….

    those 2 have great footwork, great technique and under stand situational football…..its not all about measurables….

    and the biggest factor is that they had good coaching coming up that helped them develop combined with a scheme that fit their skill sets….

    the DB’s we have are in your mind “average at best” because they had to endure years of below average coaching……

    hold the previous staff accountable….dirk and smitty failed to develop anything outside of pass catchers…..


  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @Defense Rules

    I just personally don’t know how much I can agree that all the CBs & Safeties we drafted are “average at best”

    I know people here are obsessed with height and 40 time but VHIII / MJ Stewart’s height / times are on par with many CBs who have made recent probowls. Guys like Chris Harris JR = basically VHIII/MJ Stewart. Same measurables if not worse but plays nickle and outside CB and is one of the best in the game.

    I just still don’t feel like we know what we have. Over the last few years when guys are running 5-10 yards wide open through our zones via quick slants or wheel routes it wouldn’t matter what athlete or CB we had.

    Just think about most the big plays we’ve given up that lead writers to think our secondary is horrific. IMO most have been either
    1) Plays in which there was a huge hole in our entire defense / coverage due to either schematic failure or a lack of knowing wtf to do
    2) Plays in which the QB had way too much time

    Neither of those have to do with CB height or how well that CB held up in man coverage.

    THere were the Julio Jones vs Ryan SMith type of games – but mostly QBs shredded every level of our defense and a lot of times it was between LB and CB zones. WHen we played aggresive press (which was rare) the CBs simply had more success.

    When we played aggressive press or aggressive zone (i.e. 3 safety looks where they aren’t super deep on their drops) AND were able to generate a pass rush/consistent pressure – it was our best performances by far. At least that’s how I’m remembering things.

    When we played to not give up big plays we gave up big plays lol no matter who was starting

  22. Darin Says:

    I wouldnt judge a single player on this team based on dirk and smittys systems, especially defense. We saw about .001 percent man over the last 3 years. That will go up to about 50% or more soon. So we will find out just how these guys can play in an aggressive defense soon. The film review is under way. I’m guessing if theyre still on the team come camp theyll be fine.

  23. 813bucboi Says:




  24. 813bucboi Says:




  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s an appearance by the Tandyman!!! What’s good my friend?!

    I know that people don’t want to hear this but, despite getting stiff-armed straight into Georgia, that secondary fell off when Conte got injured. Say what you want, you know it’s true.
    To my friend Tandyman, we had to wait for Whitehead to get up to speed. Having Tandy would’ve been an upgrade at the time for sure!

  26. Buc50 Says:

    According to Grimes, it’s the coaching so I’m gonna wait and see what the new coaches bring to the table first.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    January 29th, 2019 at 12:21 pm
    TBBF- Jordan Whitehead?! Maybe. I thought he was 4th round though.

    Whitehead was the 4th……so, with Ryan Smith in the last 3 years we have spent.

    1. First
    3. Seconds
    2. Fourths

    Six picks on the secondary……(no thirds)

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This could be good….or could not be good……all six are still with us.

  29. joestang Says:

    Tired of hearing we have to develop talent. What about Derwin James or Quenton Nelson? Dont see much developing going on. You have to draft correctly. We cant draft or buy free agents that are worth anything. I blame Licht for this debacle. I dont know how he keeps his job. PS Conte sucked, Mark Barron was better than him.

  30. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Joe stang

    No team will ever win anything without developing players. That’s a fact.

    A new coaching staff will make a world of difference with these players.

  31. StoutGospel Says:

    Got it…read all about it.

    Trade down from #5 to #10 with DEN for 2019 + 2020 2nd rd picks–THEN:

    1) Take BPA (DL) at #10
    2) Trade 2019 2nd rd pick to ARI for Patrick Peterson
    3) Still have 2020 2nd rounder to work with

    ALL…very doable, ARI would be crazy to turn down that compensation for Peterson at his age and salary.

    Much better use of one #5 overall draft pick.

  32. RustyRhinos Says:

    I wonder how dead set against using draft capital Joe will be if we do not bring in any new blood to the DB room.
    I can read it in my mind already[ if these poor excuses for coaches and the sad choices by the GM and his player evaluators did not see the need to bring in a vet and another rookie to groom how foolish are those in charge of the bucs].. it must be the coaches who can not coach up DB’s it must be.
    Sometimes Great college players are never great NFL players. They just can not improve past their great college accomplishments.

    Go Bucs!

  33. AlteredEgo Says:

    What would Miko say ?

  34. GhostofSchiano Says:

    All I want to see in this draft is DL and OL. Fix the trenches, get Marpet some help and get JPP some help. PLEASE

  35. LoveOjwithcrablegs Says:

    Just remember where barber started…all it took was a real d coordinator to come in and make him a hall of fame db. Bucs haven’t had a decent DB coach since 05

  36. Sean Nicholson Says:

    I dont believe quinton Nelson was available when the bucs picked….and derwin james would have been playing arguably a different position on this defense so he may have been trash here up to this point as well

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    My plan would be to use Free Agency(or trade) to address the secondary.

    Spend a big chuck to bring in a seasonsed vet that can cover one sideline. Carton Davis has coverage skills and I trust him to cover the other sideline.

    VHIII and Ryan Smith are good depth IMO. I’d keep my eye on a late round CB to compete for a position.

    Our safteys don’t look so great. I would try to find some lower end free agents that have coverage skills and package them with Evans/Whitehead.

    The most essential guy to bring back is Andrew Adams IMO…….Think everyone assumed that Hargreaves wins the nickle role but my money is on Adams if he’s on the Bucs next year. He’s just a better football player.

    GOO BUCS!!!!

  38. Martindb9 Says:

    Joe, how bout we use a different picture for this guy, huh?

  39. The Buc Realist Says:

    The likely plan is to bring in 1 or 2 of the jets free agents of the secondary into the fold!!!! For now it looks like some are available like Darryl Roberts who played both at safety and CB, and graded out highly!!!!!! But watch for the Jets free agent list for the secondary, And if he get 1 DL free agent and another high draft pick for the DL would help the secondary immensely!!!!!! Funny how the secondary started to get it, once the D-line was healthy and started a little pressure last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The 2019 season will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I used to be for Greedy but I’m now with Joe…sort of…no DB’s but this draft offers unique opportunities.

    First off I do not believe our present players are as bad as advertised. As Joe mentioned Carlton Davis could be a player…
    Hargreaves was clearly a mistake in the first round..2nd or 3rd rounder ok..he may be an adequate nickel back. Our safeties are not horrid…Evans is solid and Whitehead has the potential to be a breakout player…he can lay the wood on guys…LEGALLY.

    The talent in this year’s draft is on defense. Most of the truly great prospects will be gone by #5 although there will still be some good DL. But the OL is what intrigues me.

    Talent to be had later in the draft…If there is a QB rush we could trade down and get TWO promising OT prospects with Juwann Taylor and Jonah Williams leading the pack…we could get one of them much later in the first and then with the extra 2nd rounder for trading down we get Dalton Risner or someone comparable.

    After those two picks which would solidify our OL for a long time with affordable rookie contracts to help our cap issues…then it’s all defense.

  41. 813bucboi Says:


    the secondary got better once smitty left the building!!!!!!

    thats not even up for debate!!!!!!!!!


  42. Widerightandleft Says:

    Cream puff hargreaves !!!

  43. Gruden4President Says:

    Sign the honeybadger and trade for Patrick Peterson. Boom problem solved

  44. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Bucsfanman My Man. Rooting for you Brother! I think Arians was a good choice. We will see how these young generation JBFers handle his Old School ways. Suppose we will have to see who returns and what happens in FA but finally have hopes for the Buccaroos and Bucco Bruce.

  45. Jean Lafitte Says:


    I like it …but I think you have to take one round at a time and have a good board. Talent is measured and if on my board I have a player who I think can give me higher value I’ll will select them according to my own ranking and need. Of course I’m also aware that every board is subjective.

  46. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Certainly agree with your take.

  47. SOEbuc Says:

    Bowels is a big CB man. Maybe he can turn Ryan Smith around and at least bump his game up to make him that much better at being a back up. Like I always say none of these guys have had good NFL coaching so this could turn anyone around.

  48. Brett Buell Says:

    The coaching staff is responsible for developing players. It isn’t as simple as who the GM drafted.

  49. Bucs Guy Says:

    I agree with Joe on getting a CB in FA. We have bigger needs in the early rounds. Good (not great) CBs can be found in round 4.

  50. passthebuc Says:

    The type of players determines the scheme, not the other way around. Coaches, even Chucky, tried to jam a square peg in a round hole. Why is it, that a business understands this and sports teams not so much. After 60 years in business, I never saw a three-fingered typist.

  51. adam from ny Says:

    justin evans is better than you think…it seems like he wasn’t prepared for all this losing, and it seems to have gotten him down…as the team started to fold he lost steam…i think that is his issue…it glared in his interviews as well…dude wants to win and probably never endured losing until the nfl…get his head right and his game should hopefully follow suit


  52. adam from ny Says:

    CD3 had it rough last year…but reps can’t hurt…so they gotta make sure his head is right as well going into 2019…he saw a big share of “welcome to the nfl rook” by opposing teams last year

  53. TOM Says:

    Gruden4president: Petersen & Honeybadger. Great. Problem solved. See how easy this is?