“It’s My Job To Lead These Guys”

June 6th, 2019

JoeBucsFan.com intern

The man head coach Bucco Bruce Arians has praised — and poked — since March is healthy and ready to roll for training camp.

He’s also ready to lead.

Vernon Hargreaves is entering his fourth NFL season and still remains a question mark. Plagued by injuries and incompetent coaching from Mike Smith’s staff, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida has yet to show what he is truly capable of.

Despite all this, he is the anointed leader of the secondary as he is the longest-tenured Buc in the backfield. It’s a role he is happy to take on.

“I have to because I’m definitely the oldest in the room.” Hargreaves replied today when asked if he is embracing the leadership role. “Playing-wise I’ve probably played the most, you know, even with the missed season. It’s my job to lead these guys and I’m taking that full responsibility.”

That leadership translated to a strong offseason from the young secondary. While one may argue it’s just underwear football, Arians is impressed. He’s been so impressed he made the claim that the secondary is “totally fixed.”

Many of these young guys haven’t taken a snap in a real NFL game. But they’ve shown enough that Arians and even Hargreaves have complete confidence.

“Of course, they were drafted for a reason,” Hargreaves explained when asked if he expects the strong offseason performance to translate to the regular season.

“[Jason Licht and Bruce Arians] did a good job of picking exactly who they wanted. [The rookie DB’s] are big, they’re long, they can all play, they’re athletic. There’s going to be an adjustment period as always, but they’ll be fine, they’ll be fine, they’ll figure it out.”

An adjustment period is expected, but it’s on Hargreaves to make sure it’s as smooth as possible. If he can’t do that, then they might not be fine.

And neither will this defense.

55 Responses to ““It’s My Job To Lead These Guys””

  1. DB55 Says:

    It’s going to be a long 7 weeks.

  2. Todd Says:

    Gotta love the fact that he’s “leaning in” to the leadership role. I bet it’s a WAY different vibe than when Brent Grimes was texting his wife during room time saying, “Boring, boring, boring…where do you want to go later for drinks? Did my check come in the mail? I’m soooooo tired. Can’t wait to get out of here.”

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    these rookie dont have to go thru the incompetent teaching of mike “coach my scheme” smitty…..

    they’re ahead of the curve just by avoiding that bump in the road better known as smitty!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. Eric y Says:

    Leadership of what??? He may be the oldest but the dude can’t stay healthy … yeah that’s great leadership … about as laughable as Gerald McCoy being a leader… tighten up bucs you have a lot to prove this year to the fans who spend thousands a year for season tickets to sit in that heat and watch losing year after year

  5. doctor_berto Says:

    Hargreaves is worst corner on this team. Chances are they will be leading him. Maybe he can teach the rookies how to finger wag and dance after an overthrow.

  6. K2 Says:

    Mike Smith & Lovie Smith… the front office needs to work with the Glazer family to pass a Bucs’ law, “no more “Smiths” will be hired to coach the defense period!”

  7. SCBucsFan Says:

    Hargreaves is going to say, as the vet, he isn’t paid enough to cover #1 receivers.

    Oh wait, that was last year’s guy.

    You can never have too much talent with the injuries in this league.

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    What Hargreaves said means noting. Words are worthless in football.

    All’s that matters is action. Last time I checked is our HC took action against Vernon and told him not to practice…….If he can’t even earn the right yo contribute at practice he is a long way from being a leader………To be fair I believe Vernon did earn his way back to the practice field but it’s obvious he needs to keep earning it or this Coach will not hesitate to replace him again.

    Vernon has a lot riding on this season and has a lot of pressure. That will make it a lot of fun to follow. Pro Athlete’s under great pressure can lead to some crazy results.

  9. Todd Says:

    Hey negative douschebags! WTF do you want him to say? Have NONE of you ever led in any way? Likely not. Leadership begins in your own head. Leadership is contagious. Often, leaders fake it till they make it…especially if they’re young or new at “whatever”.

    I LOVE that he’s stepping up! All you loser POS who just have to negatively judge every damned move from no basis of authority just boggle my mind. Get off his a$$ and get the hell out of this site, you non-fan losers!!!

    You’re all worthless.

  10. Dylan Krempel Says:

    Lead em where? Down bust lane ?

  11. Dylan Krempel Says:

    Todd- why don’t you just go rub yourself off already. Clown

  12. SCBucsFan Says:

    JimmyJack it wasn’t that he was told not to practice, BA from what I understand was miffed he missed practice with a minor injury and BA wanted him to play thru it and get tough.

  13. Buccernutter Says:

    I like vh3 and I think he’ll succeed but…

    What does he mean, lead the rookies in a new system to you all after failing in your previous system and he stayed injured? All because you were born first?

    Na man fall back.

  14. Slugglife Says:

    Well said Todd. Gets old, doesn’t it? Imagine having to live with some of these folks. I feel sorry for their wives and kids. Y’all know who you are.

  15. SCBucsFan Says:

    Slugglife you mean their parents no way some of these posters found wives.

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    SC……he didn’t practice because he was injured?

    I only heard what was reported and Bruce said he needed to get his head right. Never heard mention that he wasn’t able to go because of injury.

    If he wasn’t hurt that means he was told to stay on the sideline…….If not why the heck would he not play?

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    Todd what are you talking about stepping up? Vernon was benched during practice. That’s not stepping up that’s stepping down.

    I’ll give Vernon a shred of credit for earning back his practice reps but I expect better then that. He been a pro athlete for years. He should not be having hiccups during a OTA.

    My expectations for VHIII is to be battling WRs in real games to make plays……not battling rookies for practice time.

  18. Todd Says:


    If you can’t credit him for vocally leaning into leadership (what didn’t you understand about my “leadership begins in your own head” comment?), then I can’t help you. You’d rather focus on the negative (which is easy and lazy) than put on an encouraging hat and celebrate some progress.

  19. kyle Says:

    lol, love “toast 2.0” hargreaves talking about leading. He’s the last dude that should be worried bout leading anyone. If the new draft picks are smart, they will stay the hell away from this guy.

    Hey toast 2.0, i mean vern… how about shut up, play 16 games in a season, and make a few plays.

  20. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I agree with Todd that it is ridiculous to rip this kid for wanting to lead.

    Isn’t that what you would want from him?….

    As opposed to… “nah man, i am just here to get a paycheck.”

    Cmon man… i am encouraged that he cares enough to want to lead.
    Give him a chance.

  21. LakeLand Says:

    Life of a DELUSIONAL Yuc fan!!

  22. BringBucsBack Says:

    It seems pretty clear that BA sat Vern in an attempt to light a fire and look inward (sounds so PC, no?). Hopefully it works.

    Todd, most of us appreciate your optimism. Good on ya, mate. Keep it up. However, you know how little has gone well over the past decade-plus. We fans are starving for wins and drunk on kool-aid. This organization giveth and taketh away at our emotional & for some, financial expense. Dotson is NOT the longest tenured Buc, WE FANS are!

    We’re simply tired of the talk; we’ve heard it all before & it has only brought heartache & headache into existence.

    To quote the great Dale Bozzio (whom Lady GaGa got her look from) of the criminally overlooked ‘80s band, Missing Persons; “What are words for, when no one listens anymore.”

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Todd I am not discrediting that. Those aren’t the words I’m talking about.

    The words I referenced as worthless are the ones in this article. The ones to the media…….To me it’s the same as when Dirk said he wanted a badass team or when McCoy said they just needed to work hatder……or Vernon saying he’s taking control.

    I cannot speak to what Vernon is doing as an actual leader on the team. All I can comment on is his actions that get reported. It’s off-season. All I can do. Getting benched in practice is not the actions of a good leader. He leaves a lot to be desired in the leadership dept…….starting with game performance.

    I’m rooting for the kid and I don’t see my post as negative. It’s called critism.

  24. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    JJ that’s what I read in one article. BA was upset with him because he wouldn’t power through a minor injury. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know I wasn’t there.

  25. LakeLand Says:


    These Yuc fans are getting more delusional by the day

    Now in their deluded minds VH3 is a leader

    Only in Sucksville,USA

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Lakeland. What do you think about these new additions we got in our secondary. Bunting & Dean?

    I keep hearing about Dean making plays on the field. Sounds like he is developing nicely. Any thought on him?

  27. Race to 10 Says:

    Wait so he’s taken the Geraldine role in the secondary? Haven’t heard his name very much since Utah’s and minicamp started unless you count his temper tantrum started. At least we knew Geraldine was the best defensive tackle on the team. I’m not so sure he’s the best corner and heard we drafted a lot of leaders all offseason so don’t know if being the oldest in the room should count.

  28. Todd Says:


    See, your post is evidence that we can have a respectful, reasoned, rational discussion and discuss both sides of the same coin. Indeed, we are all long-suffering…but if there’s anything about what BA has pulled together that’s the “same ‘ol, same ‘ol”, folks will never escape the past. Did you hear Suh today? “The past is the past. We’re all about the now and the future.”

    That’s. REAL man being accountable…not a miserable histrionic that looks at everything through a dirty rear-view mirror.

    It all starts at the top. BA is leading by example as are all his coaches. They have a system. It’s not Lovie’s or Dirk’s system, it’s BA’s. He INVITES players to step up and become leaders. VHIII was just answering the bell. And I admire him for it.

    What’s next? Shall we knock Devin White for arguably also stepping into a leadership role?

    This team deserves some positive vibes and encouragement.

    I’m an unashamed optimistic believer. They’re going 6-0 their first six games.

    VHIII will be part of that. As was Honey Badger.

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    I gave sympathy for any BBC DB having to learn and play under thee coaching abortion known as Mike Smith.

    Half the battle is convincing those guys that they weren’t as bad as the scheme made them look.

    Hargreaves was a ballet in college. Smith turned him into a 12yard cushion marshmallow.

    Like Jones on O, I won’t be surprised if Hargreaves plays like a different guy.

  30. Cobraboy Says:

    Buc, not BBC. I hate tiny keyboards.

  31. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Yup Vernon is gonna lead em…….straight to injured reserve!

  32. Dapostman Says:

    Crying………”that’s my cornerback.”

  33. Dapostman Says:

    BBC DB?


  34. geno711 Says:

    I am a fan of your posts!

  35. AceOfAerospace Says:

    10 picks and Pro Bowl.

  36. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I don’t mind if he’s the rookies emotional leader, I just hope he doesn’t give them any coverage tips.

  37. BucEmUp Says:

    Its going to be amazing to watch ALL of our DB’s play good football and the idiots who have bashed the GM year after year finally see that you can’t play coverage 12 YARDS OF THE FRISKING LINE OF SCRIMMAGE EVERY FRIEKING PLAY FOR GODS SAKE HOLY CRAP I’M EXCITED MY HEADS GOING TO “BOOOOOM”

  38. DooshLaRue Says:

    Cobraboy Says:
    June 6th, 2019 at 5:29 pm
    Buc, not BBC. I hate tiny keyboards.
    Or maybe your keyboard remembers what you always type in on xvideos!!!!

    I kid.

  39. buc15 Says:

    Todd is right. I love the Bucs but some of you are $hitty fans. You know who you are.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    BucEmUp … Please tell me you’re not giving Jason Licht credit for this POTENTIAL turnaround. BA is in charge … end of story. And when it came to the defensive picks, do you REALLY think that JL would have said ‘Ooooh, we’ve GOT to grab Devin White with our #5 pick’ IF BA & Todd Bowles had wanted a DE instead? Ya right.

    THIS was BA’s draft & odds are very high that he acceded to TB’s preferences for picks. Every guy we drafted matches up VERY WELL with what TB NEEDS to make his defensive concepts work. We’ve just started to see that in this underwear football initial look. Smart, tall, fast, aggressive & TOUGH … are those the qualities that JL picked in his defensive players in the past?

    JimmyJack … I agree with you about actions speaking MUCH louder than words. Far too many in today’s society in general overlook PERFORMANCE in favor of the verbiage so many spew forth. Most of us ‘old-timers’ learned long ago to hire folks to do work for us (at home or on the job) who have good reputations for PERFORMANCE. Words may get you in the door for an interview, but PERFORMANCE is what gets you the job.

    Since Jason Licht has been GM, our first round picks have been 2014 – ME13 (#7), 2015 – Jameis (#1), 2016 – VHIII (#11), 2017 – OJ (#19), 2018 – Vea (#12) and 2019 – White (#5). Of those SIX picks, who’d be the FIRST one that you’d cut IF you had to choose? Odds are most would say it’s VHIII who hasn’t lived up to the 1st rnd billing. Folks can make all kinds of excuses for why (injuries, bad coaching, too short, too slow, whatever), but in the end it’ll always come back to PERFORMANCE. I HOPE Vernon performs superbly for us this year wherever TB decides to put him, but until then, the PERFORMANCE is lacking. And as an aside, being ‘the oldest in the group’ doesn’t qualify anyone to be the LEADER of that group.

  41. SenileSenior Says:

    My first response to some of the posts to this article …. Wow! Give me a friggin break!

    Rather than dispute or affirm various points made I am going to come at it from still another angle, another tangent, another viewpoint.

    We have very little experience among our veteran CBs overall. Each is young in NFL experience. All of our DBs are new to this Todd Bowles defense at the NFL level as far as I know.

    Arians has put the leadership responsibility squarely on VH3’s shoulders. First he blasted him with the “getting his head straight” remarks. Then he turned around and praised him after at least one of the OTAs. Finally he made the broader public statement that our DB situation was fixed.

    It is sink or swim time for Vernon. It’s his time to grow up NFL-wise or get out. He had better be ready and AVAILABLE this year.

    Arians is behaving as a head coach should. Managing the big picture with sufficient hands on attention to detail. In BA I trust!
    Go Bucs!!!

    P.S. Todd
    and more

    I support your positions in general!

  42. D1 Says:


    Hargreaves isn’t coming out of lala land with this stuff. It’s coming from B.A.
    You mentioned he has been told not to practice or his head isn’t in it.
    True. But you’re taking that the wrong way. Or making the wrong conclusion from an inference.

    Here’s the truth. B.A. operates this way. He has in the past and is doing exactly what he’s always done. Picks a guy who is the most veteran or respected guy in his position group. Backs him initially with public praise.

    Then when he needs to communicate a certain message ton that group He gets in front of the media and blasts a player. The young guys see a vet taking the public tongue lashing and the message is recieved. Btw, B.A. Doesn’t blind side the player , he talks with him ahead of time and explains the situation. That way the player trusts the coach and understands why he’s saying something to the media that may be entirely different behind closed doors.

    This is how ba does it. Any and I mean anyone familiar with BA looks at the situation with Hargreaves and they smile and say…classic B.A..

    As far as actions speak lounder than words……great adage. Does it apply to the situation or larger view of sports in general. Hell no. Yeah, I get the old white guy who is tuff as nails and thinks this generation is not battle hardened like the old guys..Its basically a bout of nostalgia. .nothing more.

    Speaking to the press is an obligation and it’s smart business. Questioning this notion, why are you on this site all the time. It’s all talk but promotes nothing. It’s what you’re critical of but without ever the chance of having furthered your business.

    Just saying , it’s business. Who’s the greatest heavy weight boxer of all time?
    Ali! Why because he told you so every chance he could. He backed it up.
    But who would have cared if he didn’t talk talk talk…..he got paid because he could talk. We believed him because he backed it up.

    It’s a cart and horse thing..

    At the end of the day, BA putting over Hargreaves isn’t on Hargreaves. It’s really an indication of how devoid of talent that position has been. If Hargreaves is your vet leader….blame the idiots drafting and acquiring talent.
    BA had to find a guy..,Hargreaves was the best of the lot.

    You see the draft…That’s how they really feel about him.
    The rest is leadership from BA.
    And confusion from buc fans.

    Be patient with the process this coach knows what to do…

  43. Todd Says:


    Well, you just made the list for the Pro-Bucs-Fan-Retreat at a not-yet-named bar (trust me though, you WANT to be on this optimistic list!

  44. Sport Says:

    Todd, the ‘not-yet-named’ bar offer still stands. The first ones on my tab.

  45. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Perfect “leader” for the worst defense in the league.

  46. Todd Says:


    Done and done.

    What’s your bar name (and where)?

    I surely don’t have to wait until we win the division to come enjoy an adult beverage!


    Great post. You, like Defense Rules and JA…are articulate. I dig articulate. Contributors like you balance the knuckle-dragging idiotic trolls who begin and end each post with “lol” “lmao” and “rofl”…you know, the bitter gammas who have never gotten tail in their lives.

  47. CoBucFan Says:

    Great job Zach!

    it is so refreshing to have someone with some obvious training in how to write an article without the dumba$$ cutesy descriptions, the idiotic “hot takes” about nothing, and the ever ignorantly irritating “referring to oneself in the 3rd person.” (which, let’s face it, is only done by whackjob narcissists!)

    Don’t let the manboob duo ruin your developing professionalism.

  48. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    vh3 will be traded

  49. Joe Says:

    vh3 will be traded

    What crazy general manager is going to rent a guy for a year that’s only played in 10 games the past two seasons and has one pick in his career?

  50. Succaneers Says:

    Todd, are you on your period?

  51. Tom S. Says:

    On leadership: “I just wake up and that’s what I do,” said White, noting greatness can’t be defined on paper.

    Look at how Devin White responds to the question of leadership above and how Hargreaves responds to the question of leadership below:

    “I have to because I’m definitely the oldest in the room.”

    So Hargreaves is effectively saying he “ha(s) to” lead because he’s the oldest in year 4. Does it sound like he’s a an eager participant? No. Meanwhile White appears to take the role on having never taken a snap in the NFL. Quite the contrast.

  52. GoBuxFla Says:

    Facepalm. The only thing VH could lead is the ambulance to Tampa General. This clown gets hurt clipping his toenails.

    He’s in the final cuts, watch and see.

  53. BigMacAttack Says:

    I thought many of us were skeptics, but Joe has really picked up the ball and ran with it. With all the doubts, one might think Mike Smith was the new head coach. You’re killing me Joe, killing me 😂.

  54. Matt Says:

    Spot on as always guys,VHIII is a major bust and will likely get cut. He already showed his lack of speed at the combine and has gotten progressively slower, if that’s even possible. He over celebrates his successes by jumping up and down waving his hands when a ball sails 6 feet over his head on 1st and 10 gets all amped up then bites hard on a slant fake and gets burnt to a crisp on the corner route. He hardly ever wins one-on-ones and is a below average tackler. Please someone show me any average attributes…

    This rookie class is very very special. I had no idea Bunting had elite and I mean elite ball skills. How did he fall that far? He moved up the boards quickly the last couple weeks before the draft but he wasn’t used correctly at CM. This guy seriously has Pro Bowl potential. Dean can absolutely fly. Only thing I’m concerned with is put on The A&M game and just notice how lazy he plays in pursuit. But damn can he cover! After analyzing him he is just as sticky as Greedy Williams but with more size. If Dean doesn’t get hurt he’s easily a late 1st early 2nd. And Mike Edwards is like a more instinctive Mike Minter. He’s going to be around for a long time, he’s a better version of Keith Tandy. We totally revamped our secondary in one season.

    Again, NoAh Spence is our wild card. A breakout season from him could add 3 wins and get us a wild card. Beta boy McCoy is gone so that’s another +3 wins so we could be looking at 9-11 wins.

    We have dogs, wild dogs out there on defense and Devin White is the instant heart and soul of our team. He is Ray Lewis 2.0 but with more sincerity and less ghetto holier art thou ramblings. White is far and away the best leader to come out of the draft in the last 10 years. Jamie’s just needs to shut his mouth and say “Yeah what Devin said!” And we’ll be fine. I have not been this excited since coming off that 10-6 year with Josh Freeman taking over. Lol

  55. Brandon Jeff Says:

    I wonder if BA has a degree in psychology?