Carlton Davis And The Vernon Hargreaves Mystery

July 12th, 2021

Getting props.

As much as Joe sees national writers either ignore Bucs cornerbacks or dismiss them, this came as a slight surprise.

Joe believes Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis is Tampa Bay’s shutdown corner. No, he’s not Deion Sanders much less Jalen Ramsey. But he often takes on opponents’ best receiver and fares quite well.

Think about it: Can you name a Super Bowl winner that lacked a good corner?

When Joe read Jeremy Fowler of BSPN’s list of top-10 cornerbacks based on intel he received from NFL suits and scouts, Joe did not expect to see Davis’ name listed for the some reasons Joe mentioned above.

Sure enough, Joe didn’t see Davis’ name but did hear the Loco Brothers in his head (“True? True.”). Davis, however, appeared in the honorable mention list.

Carlton Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “He could be a little better in man coverage, but his instincts are top notch.” — NFC scout

Davis — and the entire Bucs defense — turned a major corner immediately after the Bucs tossed loafing Vernon Hargreaves off the pirate ship. And the defensive hasn’t looked back.

One of these days, Joe’s going to find out exactly why the defense got so much better the instant Hargreaves was run off.

Hargreaves, by the way, is the projected starter at corner for Lovie Smith’s defense this fall in Houston. That ought to be fun.

27 Responses to “Carlton Davis And The Vernon Hargreaves Mystery”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    Jameis. Hargreaves. Two talented guys who did not work out here. That happens. Wish them well except whenever they play Tampa.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    Sometimes u have to take a toxic dump to get better. Vernon Hargreaves was the dump

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s no mystery the Bucs got better when VH3 was tossed…..first of all…his replacement was better……but most of all…..the remaining players learned that their jobs were not safe because the team was willing to cut a 1st rounder for poor play.

    That is the best motivation in the world……I don’t know why it’s a mystery.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Joe you’re kidding, Lovie is the new DC with Houston? I did not know that, thought he was still coaching college. With Watson’s troubles, and Lovie as their new DC Houston will be a real dumpster fire this year.

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    TBBF, you beat me to it. Joe had an explanation yesterday that made sense, but I thought something else was also at play, and you hit it on the head. When you’re selected at #11 in the draft and 3 years later your team jettisons you like a piece of trash, that sends a pretty strong signal to others on the team, particularly those playing your position, that you damn well better perform or your arse will be out of here.

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    Dumping a high draft pick is often that guys’ “come to Jesus” moment.

    Perhaps the DB got better because no longer was there a totally weak, uninspired link. Hargreaves was a constant target.

  7. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    I miss watching Vernon celebrate an overthrow like he caused it, while trailing his receiver by 4 yards wagging his finger. Fun times.

  8. Beeej Says:

    I figured he didn’t know the playbook or something, which would be the last straw for most people

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Smh…Where do you get these guys Joe? it was the switch from Smittys horrid zone to a Bowles tighter man coverage scheme that Carlton Davis has definitely improved.

    Don’t call it “BSPN” if you’re going to reference these guys all the time. Wake up every morning and tell myself “one day closer to July 23rd.”

  10. TOM Says:

    Lovie, Hargreaves = DISASTER

  11. SB Says:

    I have never been more wrong about a player going from college to pros.
    I don’t think it was just my Gators bias either.
    I truly thought he would get even better as a Pro.
    -slaps self across the face!

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s no ‘mystery’ surrounding Vernon Hargreaves; he wasn’t all that good from Day 1. Short, slow & average CB instincts at best. He was a HUUUGE reach when Bucs picked him at #11 in 2016 (we were desperate for a CB).

    Todd Bowles’ biggest problem though when we started 2019 was that the Bucs’ Secondary had mediocre talent to start the season plus 3 unseasoned rookies (SMB, Dean & Edwards). Look at the guys who got 30% or more of the defensive snaps in the first 8 games:

    Game 1 (Loss): VHIII (97%), Davis (99%), MJ Stewart (42%), Whitehead (100%), Darian Stewart (91%).
    Game 2 (Win): VHIII (97%), Davis (99%), MJ Stewart (69%), Whitehead (99%), Edwards (92%).
    Game 3 (Loss): VHIII (100%), Davis (100%), MJ Stewart (81%), Whitehead (100%), Edwards (97%).
    Game 4 (Win): VHIII (99%), Davis (100%), MJ Stewart (93%), Whitehead (94%), Edwards (100%). (Of note, SMB got his first 7 def snaps in that game).
    Game 5 (Loss): VHIII (94%), SMB (86%), Davis (41%), MJ Stewart (32%), Whitehead (100%), Edwards (94%).
    Game 6 (Loss): VHIII (87%), Davis (93%), SMB (53%), Whitehead (91%), Adams (99%). (Of note, Dean got his first 2 def snaps in that game).
    Game 7 (Loss): VHIII (90%), Davis (97%), SMB (47%), Whitehead (93%), Adams (98%).
    Game 8 (Loss): VHIII (97%), SMB (100%), Dean (77%), Whitehead (89%), Adams (74%), Edwards (26%.
    Game 9 (Win): VHIII (64%), SMB (100%), MJ Stewart (58%), Dean (48%), Whitehead (100%), Adams (52%) Edwards (48%).

    So in those first 9 games of 2019, with a brand new coaching staff, Bucs went 3-6 and started 3 different CBs who were all released during that season: VHIII, MJ Stewart & Darian Stewart (Adams is no longer with us either, but he wasn’t released, just not re-signed). We also managed to get rookies SMB, Dean & Edwards some significant playing time during those 9 games.

    When Davis returned for Game 10 after being out for 2 games, VHIII was released; and MJ Stewart & Darian Stewart were almost exclusively relegated to S/Ts for the rest for the season. Todd Bowles biggest problem IMO was that the rookies took about half a season to come up-to-speed. Once they did though, Katie bar the door.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    SOEbuc Says
    “Don’t call it “BSPN” if you’re going to reference these guys all the time.”

    As long as you have been here, you should know suggesting Joe drops a nickname is a waste of time, lol.

  14. SB Says:


  15. Duane Says:

    I like Davis’ game. I think he uses his size and length really well. He is not elite, but he is given the role of those types by shadowing the best receivers. It felt like he got less penalties last season. He is getting better, or at least the perception from the refs is improving. VH3 was too small, too slow, and wasnt even as streaky as SMB.

  16. Irishmist Says:

    I think Lovie and Hargreaves are there to ensure Houston gets the number one pick to help replace Watson. Now that Josh McCown has retired, that’s the next best bet for suckiosity

  17. SOEbuc Says:


    Lol. Well aware.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    Coke Spoon- You beat me to it! Dude celebrated overthrows like he had something to do with it. I will say this about Hargreaves though, NOBODY in the league could trail a WR like him!
    How he is even still on a team is astonishing.

  19. Jason Says:

    The root cause of Hargreaves problems is his priorities. I believe JPP addressed the issue in the background of a post game locker room interview.
    (I believe Hargreaves was released the following week, but I could be wrong about that.)

  20. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Davis may be our best corner, but he is hardly a “shutdown” corner. Gave up 2 bad TDs against Green Bay in the playoffs. Shutdown guys don’t do that. He is probably upper half of the league though like the Fowler list has him.

  21. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    So Houston isn’t content to stand around drinking Lone Star watching the dumpster burn. They are pouring gas on it. I remember what it’s like to be a fan of a franchise that doesn’t want to win and I really feel for that fan base.

  22. SappAttack Says:

    How the hell did Lovie get ANOTHER crack at the NFL??? That’s the real headline

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Hargreaves, by the way, is the projected starter at corner for Lovie Smith’s defense this fall in Houston.



  24. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Irishmist Says:
    “I think Lovie and Hargreaves are there to ensure Houston gets the number one pick to help replace Watson.”


  25. BradyBucs Says:

    I’ve been saying it for ages on this site that Davis isn’t an elite corner and so many people would always attack me for it.

    He’s a decent corner, but he wasn’t listed in that guy’s Top-10 for a reason. He probably ranks somewhere in the 20s for starting corners.

    Anyone who thinks he is truly elite hasn’t closely watched his games. He’s decent but far from great. Davis is definitely better than Dean and SMB, but that’s not saying much.

    I predict when the times comes, the Bucs WON’T resign Davis. He’ll be asking too much and he’s just not worth it — and they know it. You just wait and see.

  26. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    “… NOBODY in the league could trail a WR like him!”

    LOL. Perfected the trail technique!

  27. Buczilla Says:

    Bspn has balls charging folks for their mostly garbage content. If not for being owned by deep pockets, backward a$$ disney (not worth capitalization) and live sports they would have been toast long ago.