Health Needed For Secondary

July 22nd, 2019

Secondary analysis.

Recently, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian flatly stated the Bucs’ secondary “was a mess” last year. A guy who coached against Polian’s Buffalo Bills teams agreed.

Speaking last week on his fantastic radio show co-hosted with former NFL quarterback Jim Miller, ex-Jets player personnel director and linebackers coach Pat Kirwan went into much more detail about how the Bucs’ secondary was a mess.

Kirwan suggested much of the secondary dug themselves a grave by not being available to make any sort of impact.

In so many words, Kirwan echoed Bill Parcells’ famous saying that “Your best ability is your availability.” This lack of availability of individual players in the defensive backfield, Kirwan said, doomed the Bucs secondary last year.

“But when you have your [secondary] meeting, you are not looking at anyone that is a [proven] 16-game starter,” Kirwan said on “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Now some of them are close enough. Carlton [Davis] had 13 games. But you can’t look around that room — and I remember how this feels — but you look around the room and tell me who is going to be out there every week? You don’t feel good about it.”

Kirwan then rattled off names of defensive backs with the Bucs NFC South rivals — reliable players who answer the bell for a full season of games. And the other three teams regularly are in the hunt for a playoff berth or a division crown, but rarely the Bucs. Coincidence?

“They don’t have guys that even line up and suit up every week,” Kirwan said of Tampa Bay. “If you’re a secondary coach, and you are activating different guys every Sunday, after a while, you have no idea what you can do. You really don’t. ‘I don’t know, I got a couple reps this week with a guy; the only kid that can play can’t go, okay; we got to play him; I don’t know if he can play.’

“You know, this is a challenge to any coach. So hopefully they’ll stabilize it. And I believe when you get this much volatility you end up saying, ‘Let’s just put in the rookies.’ By the end of the season, I’ll say two rookies are starting in that secondary.”

Kirwan said the Bucs didn’t burn three picks on defensive backs on the second day of the draft to drink ice water on the sidelines during games and scope for chicks in the stands. The Bucs were determined to rebuild the secondary, Kirwan believes, which is what Joe suspected all along.

Interestingly, Kirwan thinks the Bucs may just use Vernon Hargreaves more as a swing corner — playing either regular corner on the outside or nickel depending on the situation — in order to get at least one of the rookie corners onto the field.

22 Responses to “Health Needed For Secondary”

  1. TOM Says:

    Hargreaves will be lucky to just make the team with his contract.

  2. rrsrq Says:


  3. Dapostman Says:

    They must have been talking to everybody outside of Tampa because everybody in Tampa already knew this.

  4. westernbuc Says:

    Licht has spent so many premium picks on the secondary, the results have been a disgrace. Hope to god it’s all Mike Smith’s fault.

  5. JA Says:

    Of the thousands of talking heads out there, I’ll give Miller an Kirwan credit as two of the few that do their homework.
    Although it doesn’t take a genius to realize the Bucs have been riding on a DB merry-go-around, at least Kirwan knows who we drafted and was able to offer some detail to our plight.
    Nice change from those led by Steven A., who proudly spout opinions on topics they have spent zero minutes researching.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Tom … VHIII will make the team as a result of his contract ($4.5 mil salary with the same $4.5 mil dead Cap value). Seriously doubt however that he’ll be a Buc next year. They approved his $9.0 mil 5th year option for 2020 back in April. I guess the logic is that they can cut him after this season if he plays poorly or even average. If he really excels though in Todd Bowles defense, he MAY get to stick around. $9 mil is a bunch given our other projected salary Cap issues in 2020.

    Agree with Kirwan that our Secondary ‘was a mess’ last year. So was our LB position group. Come to think of it, our DLine was pretty much meh last year too. Add all that up and it spells #31 in POINTS ALLOWED (pity poor Oakland who came in #32 … better bring back Monte Kiffin Chucky).

    Love Kirwan’s wording that ‘You know, this is a challenge to any coach’. Kinda sorta think that Mike Smith would agree with him. Bruce Arians & Todd Bowles came up with an answer … Scrap pretty much the whole thing and ‘reload it’. But we won’t call it a ‘rebuild’.

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We drafted two CB’s with better physical skills than VHG. They are rookies so VHG “should” be able to outplay them because of his experience.

    I don’t wish to get deep into the weeds of a the VHG draft pick.
    Like most here I believe he was picked far too high to justify his talent. That doesn’t mean VHG can’t be a competent NFL CB. I just think both of our rookie DB’s may eventually pass him on the depth charts as soon as they gain enough experience to go with their physical gifts.

    VHG is just too tiny and slow for a CB to be a major star but he could yet emerge solid player.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can never have too many DBs……WRs……RBs……Oline…..Dline…..LBs……TEs……and Kickers!!!

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The injury leader ,VH3 has to both step up his game and increase his availability exponentially.

  10. AwShbucs Says:

    I say 2 rookies will be starting right away.

  11. Bnice Says:

    We see it every year where rookies come in and excel beyond their “rookie” title. Undrafted guys come in and start the whole year and dominate. All we got to do is hope that 1-3 of our guys come in and do the same. I see guys like Bunting, Edwards, and Gay being those rookies this year. Also see Dean coming in with some splash plays throughout the year.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    VHG will be a starting outside CB and shadow the opposing teams best WR….with TB’s coaching he’ll succeed, make the PB and make you doubters eat crow….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    i dont see how anyone can judge a player in smittys GOD awful scheme….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I don’t really care who starts I just want to see better results.

    If I had to guess it’ll be Davis/VHIII outside and Murphy Bunting playing nickle, with Justin Evans & Mike Edwards at S.

    Whitehead = primary backup S and Dean = primary outside CB depth. If Bunting or VHIII injured then you can move either inside and have Davis/Dean outside.

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    a little freaking early for the bottle pal…. so a guy who has been a colossal bust and can’t stay healthy not to mention his only highlights are acting like a fool celebrating over throws and he is now magically going to become a legit starter shadowing the opposing teams number one… yeah ok… have another drink pal…. the only number one this useless punk is shadowing is playing pee wee football in clearwater and is probably faster and taller already. the little fella in clearwater is definitely more intelligent. vh3bust is a waste of time and just another bum on the long list of local feel good story failures.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    I have to say that I agree with tmax, maybe not quite so eloquently!
    If we get anything out of VHIII it will be a pleasant surprise. We still need depth. BUT, I don’t know what anyone has seen that indicates he’s a 180 just waiting to happen.
    Just my opinion.
    And yeah, we were decimated by injuries. I was not as surprised as some to see our draft this year. You simply can’t have enough competent players at certain positions.

  17. 813bucboi Says:


    pipe down…..

    besides GMC, you’ve been wrong and a complete fool every time you post…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  18. Buccaroo Says:

    It’s not rocket science to understand why our secondary was slow to develop. We had basically 1 serviceable veteran (Brent Grimes) and he was malcontent. Besides often injured Hargreaves, Evans, and Smith the rest were 2nd year and 1st year DB’s. This year is practically void of veterans with the exception to Hargreaves, Evans, and now suspended Ryan Smith. Last year I think the Bucs shot themselves in the foot when they didn’t resign veterans McClain, Ward, and Adjei-Barimah. They decided to go with the youth movement and it backfired. And now this season there will be even more youth in the mix. BA and Co. have there work cut out for them to get these guys acclimated to pro ball but to expect a miracle would be heaven sent.

  19. Race to 10 Says:

    Now we know why we drafted another safety….Evan’s foot still not healed, glad we didnt gamble on him being ready like dirk always did

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    VH3 is the only vet in this deep, young, and hungry to win and get taught up by Bowles secondary defense. This could turn out to be a top ten secondary in about three years.

    Licht haters need to realize how bad our second and third string secondary was and we had a ton of injuries last year. Secondary is deep with early round picks now that are playing their more respectful positions and many can rotate and blitz.

  21. tmaxcon Says:


    i have never been wrong once pal… not once…. well there was a fat chic in 10th grade but that does not count…..

  22. SenileSenior Says:

    Wearing exotic hair styles and/or exotic hair colors says just as much to me as the guys who hit the ground talking the big talk as rookies. All of those folks have a “Look at me!” kind of flash to them.

    They all have to walk the walk as well. Vernon has not done that yet! Even if VH3 starts at the beginning of this season he is going to have to play exceptionally well all year to retain that job and get the big bucks next year. I don’t doubt he can be re-signed next year. I believe he will have to accept the appropriate pay to stay here as I do not see him as one of our starters next year.

    I would be very happy to be surprised and see him emerge as an elite NFL football player on the other hand. There is nothing I would like better than to see a team of real football players and stars for our Buccaneers contending for some championships.
    Go Bucs!!!