“I’m Back At Home”

July 29th, 2019

An Xs-and-Os homecoming

JoeBucsFan.com intern

The revamped Bucs secondary has been the talk of training camp.

They’ve been fast, they’ve been physical, and they have gotten their hands on a lot of passes.

They’ve been everything Bucco Bruce Arians said they would be.

Granted, there have only been three camp practices, but it’s hard not to take notice of the difference in attitude and play in the Buccaneers’ backfield.

And the veteran of the group is leading the charge.

Bucs 2016 first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves has looked the part of a starting cornerback. He’s been every bit as fast and physical as the rest of the DB’s and even got the “game-winning” interception in yesterday’s 2-minute drill.

What’s made the difference in Hargreaves’ play?


Hargreaves talked to JoeBucsFan.com in a 1-on-1 interview and noted that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is allowing defensive backs to be themselves in this defense, which has led to the difference on the field.

Part of Hargreaves being himself is playing press, which is what allowed him to be such a dominant defensive back at the University of Florida. When asked about getting back to being an aggressive press corner, Hargreaves didn’t hold back.

“I’m back at home,” he said. “I’m back at home. This is what I do. That’s what I do. I believe that’s why I got drafted here, to play press man coverage, go follow guys around and you know, that’s what I do, that’s what I’m best at. And you know, that’s what Coach Bowles loves. He’s going to pressure you, play man-to-man on the backside and, hey, have at it.”

Interesting to hear Hargreaves note that playing press man coverage is what he’s best at.

Didn’t former defensive coordinator Mike Smith say he allowed the corners to play where they felt comfortable when asked why his corners were playing so far off receivers?

If Hargreaves is most comfortable playing press, then why would he line up in a different area code than the receiver he is facing?

It doesn’t add up.

Just another example of the ineptitude of the past coaching.

Now under Bowles’ supervision, Hargreaves and the rest of this young secondary should be in good hands.

21 Responses to ““I’m Back At Home””

  1. Easy Says:

    VHIII in press coverage is best for him and why the previous inept coaching staff didnt put him there still rustles my jimmies. Hes gonna get picked on quite a bit because CDIII was a beast last year when he started pressing.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Zach is starting to sound like Lee in his writing, lol.

    I truly hate Zone. So glad it would is gone now. Zone is the worst.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Press & Jam……if you get burnt, you get burnt….but at least it will take extra time for WRs to get open putting more pressure on the QB……I think our defense will surprise this year…….”think”

  4. NOSBOS Says:

    Mike Edward’s stated “we’re really feeling comfortable on the back end because the coaches are preaching don’t worry about making mistake just play fast”. That concept seems to be working. Although ME caught a deep ball on somebody near the right sideline yesterday and toss the ball at him with a stare like “enough wit all this DBs love ish” .

  5. Buc4evr Says:

    This is great news. Bree’s is going to have to keep his head on a swivel. No longer crazy 10 yard cushions. Can’t wait to see the 3-4 used again and pressure from multiple sets with DB’s and Safeties flying around. Potential to be a top 15 defense with just better coaching.

  6. NOSBOS Says:

    Screw what y’all think, Kevin Minter just stated “we will be a top 5 defense”. And I wholeheartedly believe him. The whole squad composed of nothing but Dogs.. Oh and that school meister JPP will be back real soon. No worries.

  7. Bird Says:

    Pretty sure Mike Smith couldn’t win at the high school level right now.

    Great coaching on both sides with make the other better

    Someone keeps saying “iron sharpens iron”
    I would agree

  8. Jeff Says:

    Mike Smith was lying because his scheme from the mid 90’s was no longer relative. Clearly he was playing cheap brand of bend but don’t break defense.

  9. isrBuc Says:

    I guess you don’t have to tell a corner where to line up. Its enough to tell him not to get burnt for a big gain to make him take a few steps back. its the mentality that matters most

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    No question in my mind that this year’s defense will be MUCH BETTER than last year’s. The only question is HOW MUCH BETTER? IF we can keep everyone healthy, this defense could improve dramatically. Injuries, as always, is a critical element. But so is DEPTH. None of us know yet who the final 53 will be, but it looks like even the projected ‘subs’ are balling. That has to bode well for us not only this year but also in future years.

  11. Sport Says:

    Identity brewing? I sure hope so. That would be awesome!

    In BA I Trust!

  12. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Let them play to their strengths is exactly the medicine they needed. Instead of pigeon holing them into a prescribed set of coverages this allows the individual corners to make the decisions whether they want to press or play off with cushion. Plus, it makes it harder for offenses to check out of certain plays depending on coverage. When Smith had them give 10 yard cushions the offenses would just throw underneath with quick slants or curls. Mixing it up using press along with off coverage makes us less predictable, and harder for the QB’s to decipher the coverage. Let these fast guys swarm to the ball and create turnovers. No more easy completions. Make them work for every inch.

  13. Crockett69 Says:

    It was Defensive coaching / scheme all along it truly does seem! Good Article Zach!

  14. Neal Says:

    “If Hargreaves is most comfortable playing press, then why would he line up in a different area code than the receiver he is facing?” Because M. Smith wasn’t calling man coverage plays. Kinda hard to line up and press when your coach keeps calling cover 4 zone.

  15. #1bucsfan Says:

    Love it. Have your defense tailored to your players not try an fit a square peg in a round hole LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU MIKE SMITH!!!! #endthedrought

  16. WestChap Says:

    Love what I’m reading. Can you imagine how much better we would have been if we hadn’t got “lucky” by not losing Smitty to the JAX head coaching role? Worst part: I thought retaining him was the right answer given D gelling toward end of his first season. But also couldn’t understand how anyone, including Koetter, could have kept him after the second year debacle. Although, we wouldn’t have Bruce or Devin White… What a crap shoot?

  17. DT25 Says:

    No, Mike Smith did not allow everyone to line up however they wanted to. Stop pushing this broken narrative. Mike Smith didn’t use press man coverage. Period. His quote was that he would allow CB’s to line up where they want but it requires context…in his base soft quarters zone, pressing your man is beyond stupid. To run it effectively, it’s far safer for a CB to play off coverage to ensure nothing sneaks over the top in your zone. This isn’t rocket science. This article just looks like a way to take a shot at Hargreaves rather than actually realizing how Smith’s defense worked. And for a publication as close to the team as JBF is, you should know better.

  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tighter defense! Yippee! Go Bucs!

  19. DT25 Says:

    So reading it again, I see you were less taking a shot at Hargreaves and more implying Mike Smith didn’t actually allow CB’s to line up wherever they want. So I retract my previous statement lol. I always found that press conference by Mike Smith funny because to play his soft defense effectively (as effectively as possible, since it was an ineffective defense by nature), you really don’t have a choice but to line up off the receiver and get deep enough to not get beat over the top by other routes crossing into your zone. Smith acting like anyone could do whatever they want was just laughable.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    Hargreaves is a short, slow, fragile and ignorant fool… go ahead fanboys get your hopes up for the little guy but he will fail and the optimists will once again look stupid as usual

  21. Old School Athlete Says:

    If tmax is against it, I’m for it. Go Bucs!