Plan In Case Davis Can’t Play

December 24th, 2020

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians.

[UPDATE: 3:16 p.m.: Carlton Davis is listed as doubtful for Saturday on the Bucs’ Thursday injury report.]

Last night on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bucco Bruce Arians sounded as if Bucs corner Carlton Davis might not play Saturday in the team’s final regular season road game at Detroit.

Asked about Davis today in his daily presser, Arians wouldn’t tip his Kangol hat about Davis, other than to say he is a game-time decision.

Arians did say that whoever was playing at the end of last week against the Dixie Chicks would likely be starting Saturday.

“We finished the half with the group that is going to start if [Davis] can’t go,” Arians said. “He’s going to be a game-time decision.

“So we have at least a half of football — we have a number of moveable parts, guys on defense that can play a number of positions. We won’t be short-handed.”

So Joe decided to go to the trusted snap count database for the Bucs-Dixie Chicks game.

Below are the defensive backs who played and the number of defensive snaps they logged. You can have fun trying to see who may replace Davis in the starting lineup based on what Arians said today and based on snap counts.

Sean Murphy-Bunting 65, Antoine Winfield 65, Jamel Dean 51, Jordan Whitehead 49, Carlton Davis 40, Ross Cockrell 16, Mike Edwards 15.

In his presser, Arians lauded the play of Cockrell, so Joe will guess when the Bucs go nickel, it will be Cockrell, Dean and SMB on the field.

14 Responses to “Plan In Case Davis Can’t Play”

  1. Cometowin2 Says:

    We need at least one more high draft pick at cornerback this upcoming draft.

  2. Godlovesbucs Says:

    I am happy dean is back. I will be estatic when davis and dean will be back together. The 2 worst showings this season were when we did not have dean on the field. (Chiefs and rams). I really doubt both games go the same way with dean out there. He is a HUGE upgrade over SMB.

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’m interested to see how Sean Murphy-Bunting plays on his return to the “Mitten”. I hope to see some confidence out of him, that’s one of the things he’s been lacking. He had a good game against the Lions last year, but Stafford wasn’t playing.
    I also hope the Bucs get a veteran corner for next year. I doubt they can afford Patrick Peterson, but that’s my dream scenario.

  4. Cometowin2 Says:

    Dean played very well last Sunday but has had some tough games this year. I would like to see another 2nd round pick at cornerback and have Dean and Murphy-Bunting eventually at nickel and dime. Can’t afford a free agent corner and resign who we need to next year.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    Dean has the size and speed to play outside.

    Sean Murphy-Burnt-again does not.

  6. Colorado Says:

    We need to draft another CB or we’re going to get stuck in the “Jameis Zone,” good enough to win some games so we think we should keep them, but bad enough to keep the team from anything significant.

    Love SMB, had high hopes for him, but he gets roasted all day long. We need to replace him.

  7. Beeej Says:

    I like what I’ve seen of Cockrell (although THAT has all been running plays)

  8. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    When Winfield was drafted didn’t I read he was adept at any DB position to include the slot CB spot. Winfield slot, Whitehead and Edwards at saftey…just no SMB right now please.

  9. Craig Says:

    Not sure if the Bucs need more depth or a coach that knows how to use what he has. The defensive backfield has looked too much like a Mike Smith backfield too often this season.

    Playing a bump and run DB eight yards off is not the way to use these guys.

    Hopefully the D-line will make for short time plays and the offense will score early and often.

  10. Bucfan81 Says:

    Damn we really need secondary help. There is no depth there and SMB is a liability.

  11. wolfet Says:

    The last thing we need is another high corner draft pick. Give me more pass rushers. The better the pass rush the better the coverage. In the first half last week we got no pressure. In the second half we were all over Ryan and the coverage looked better.

  12. Beej Says:

    (from another site)
    “Of all the defensive backs in the NFL, Murphy-Bunting has played on 497 coverage snaps in 2020, good for 55th most in the league. It might not sound significant, but remember, each NFL squad starts four defensive backs, and the coveted third cornerback has basically become a starter in the modern era of professional football.

    He’s also been targeted 55th-most and has allowed the 23rd most completions against him with quarterbacks having successfully connected with wide receivers 36 times this year.

    Even higher has been the number of yards SMB has surrendered, coming in with 513 of them ranking him 17th among NFL defensive backs allowing the most.

    He’s also allowed five touchdown passes, tied for second-most, and has just one interception. 69 NFL defensive backs currently have two or more interceptions this season, including Bucs safety Mike Edwards, who has played 350 fewer coverage snaps than SMB has.

    Perhaps most disturbing is that Murphy-Bunting has zero passes defensed as well. He’s one of just two defensive backs in the Top-100 in targets against with no passes defended. The other is Washington Football Team’s, Jimmy Moreland.

    All of this, according to Sports Info Solutions.

    Those are ugly numbers and paint a rather clear picture of why many are beginning to call for more of Ross Cockrell in Todd Bowles’ defense.

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for quantifying with stats what I’ve felt anecdotally from just watching SMB.

  14. Colonel_mp Says:

    SMB goes back to his home state and finally has a good game is my prediction. Will get a least either a sack or INT this game. He is long overdue for a good performance.