“People Are Testing Him”

October 19th, 2021

Bucco Bruce Arians speaks

NFL offensive coordinators love smelling blood in the water of struggling defensive backfields.

They’ll go right after a cornerback or any mismatch until the player/team shows it can adjust and overcome.

Bucco Bruce Arians says that’s been the case with cornerback Jamel Dean.

Bucs fans may remember Dean’s struggles in the season opener against Dallas. Afterwards, Arians said Dean had personal issues before the game, ones that were never made public by the team.

From there, Dean was inconsistent with the rest of the Tampa Bay secondary after battling a knee injury that cost him a game. But Dean has come back strong the past two games, including an interception in each contest.

Arians said today on the Buccaneers Radio Network that Dean has responded to the challenges directed his way.

“I think you go back early in the season, he struggled a little bit so people are testing him, and he’s starting to put the fire out pretty good,” Arians said. “You know, he got that [pass interference penalty in Philadelphia] they came back on him and got the interception, a bunch of pass breakups in the ballgame. When we let him play man-to-man, that’s his forté. He’s long and strong and he does a great job with it.”

For now, Dean is the Bucs’ best available cornerback. On Sunday, he should square up with banged up Bears receiver Allen Robinson. Normally, Joe would call that a tough matchup, but Robinson is having a subpar season and the Bears’ quarterback situation is below average at best.

A great setup for Dean to build more confidence.

23 Responses to ““People Are Testing Him””

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    What I still don’t understand is why the Eagles were throwing on Dean, the only thing close to an NFL cornerback that we have on the roster. Now, this isn’t Monday morning quarterbacking here, but if I’m the QB, I look and see where Dean is, and then just throw it to any one else since they should be open.

    As for Dean, he’s learning from Sherman and what they did in Seattle. Just commit blatant PI on every single play and take your chances knowing the refs will only throw so many flags. That’s how the Legion of Boom worked, just grab and hold and pull down receivers, and sure you’ll get a few flags, but you’ll also get turnovers and will end drives.

  2. alton d green Says:

    Rod, my friend, you described KC Chiefs to a T. That’s the most often holding team that i’ve ever watched. It caught up with them in the SB hahahha

  3. Mike Says:

    Rod, who do you want to throw the ball to between Mike Evan or Watson even ME is covered by a No1 CB?

  4. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Sticking to my story
    Go Bucs

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Throwing at Dean because Cockrell is covering his man

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    The PFF tribe did a Top-32 Outside Cornerback listing prior to this season. Bucs have THREE CBs who were ranked (at the time) in the Top-20.

    o #11 – Richard Sherman (yes, despite his age & coming off injury & being a FA; didn’t know that Sherm was the highest-graded cornerback in the league (90.3 overall) back in 2019).

    o #15 – Carlton Davis (didn’t know that he’s been tested more than any other CB in the league since 2019, with a league-high 197 targets; his 17.3% forced incompletion rate ranks second among cornerbacks who have seen at least 100 targets over those two years; impressive).

    o #19 – Jamel Dean: love what they had to say about Jamel …

    ‘Dean expanded his role in the Buccaneers defense from fewer than 400 snaps in 2019 to 935 defensive snaps this past season. That larger role didn’t lead to less impressive coverage numbers. The only outside cornerbacks to allow fewer yards per coverage snap than Dean (0.8) on at least 600 coverage snaps since the start of the 2019 season are Richard Sherman (0.4) and Jalen Ramsey (0.8).’

    Talent’s there. Now all we need is to get our Secondary back healthy.

  7. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Rod, you are absolutely correct about the Legion Of Boom. And Kansas City emulated them.
    I agree that Dean is the best we have right now, and I can see improvement in him.
    I read somewhere that one of the NY Jets cornerbacks may be wanting a trade out of these, and Bowles is familiar with him, since he coached there.
    Maybe we squeze him in before the trade deadline ?

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Ross Cockrell is playing very well this season. Opponents have only completed 19 of 31 targets against him (61.3%) which is better than either Davis (65.4%) or Sherman (75.0%). SMB was doing very well until he got hurt (57.1%) but that was only on 7 targets.

    Dean continues to amaze me, especially since they pick on him so much. He’s been targeted 22 times in 5 games, but they’ve only completed 8 of those (for 36.4%). And included in there is 7 PDs, making him leader in that category on the team. Makes you wonder why they’re picking on him.

  9. Tb12 back to back Says:

    Good info Def.Ru.

  10. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    I think Dean has the ingredients to become a great shutdown corner he just needs to fix that mental aspect hoping Sherman can help elevate him

  11. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Dean can cover… He’s physically gifted. He has poor ball skills and has missed out on a LOT of ints. It’s frustrating. A CB that definitely plays best in man coverage, but QBs know he can’t find the ball so they target him anyway. SMB exact opposite. Not a great man cover corner but can make plays on the ball. Davis has the most complete game but has peeked imo. A lot of draft capital in this secondary and time is running out on them reaching their potential.

  12. Jason Says:

    When we let him play man-to-man, that’s his forté. He’s long and strong and he does a great job with it.”

    Uhh huh huh! So let him play man-to-man more!
    Herh yeah! Huh huh! Man-to-man rules!

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    He plays great man defense. The NFL has annihilated man coverage and then you here people everywhere crying about PI all day. The college guys are saying thank you for letting me play real football. Where’s just a tid-bit of help NCAA???

  14. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Jason Says:
    October 19th, 2021 at 10:28 pm
    When we let him play man-to-man, that’s his forté. He’s long and strong and he does a great job with it.”

    Uhh huh huh! So let him play man-to-man more!
    Herh yeah! Huh huh! Man-to-man rules!

    Dean is the one choosing to play scared and line up so far back he concedes first downs. It is not about physical talent with Dean, he has plenty of speed. I have been saying this since the Dallas game. He has played scared, soft coverage this year for the most part. I said it was all about confidence with Dean. Now you are hearing BA talk about his confidence. Cannot fault the coaches, this is about Dean honestly maturing, so he can be the player that the talent he has is seen consistently on game day.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    These injuries got us playing way back.

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    @august 1976

    Exactly. Dean plays scared.

    He needs anger and confidence. Like Brady.

    And let him play man to man.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … I’m curious. Do you really believe that Todd Bowles would allow Dean to “play scared and line up so far back”? Nah, Dean is doing exactly what Bowles is asking him to do right now.

    I tend to think that it’s all part of the ‘bend don’t break’ defense that we seem to be playin. And it’s working quite well IMO. Sherman was doing the same before his injury BTW.

    Bucs lead the NFL in most Passes Attempted Against (251) AND most Passed Completed Against (176), giving us a 70.1% completion percentage. The ‘Why’ is simple: we also lead the NFL in least Rushes Attempted Against (98) AND least Rushing Yards Allowed (329). Interestingly, our defensive pass coverage has improved a bunch over these last 3 games (hmmm, might have something to do with playing less potent offenses?).

    Yet while folks have been picking on the CBs as being ‘THE Problem’ they’ve been playing some very solid football. Our CBs (Davis, Dean, Cockrell, Sherman, Delaney, Desir & SMB) have been targeted 115 times in our 6 games, and opponents have completed 71 passes against them … 61.7% completions allowed. Take out the 3 CBs who weren’t with us last season (Sherman, Desir & Delaney) and the 4 CBs who’ve been here the longest (our ‘starters’) have only allowed 55.8% to be completed. Hmmm, better familiarity with Bowles’ system perhaps?

    Our Safeties aren’t doing quite as well, but close. Whitehead, Winfield, Edwards & Adams together have been targeted 58 times and allowed 40 completions … 69.0% completions allowed. Somewhat less than our CBs 61.7% completions allowed, but then again, they are the last line of defense.

    Our ILBs have been getting pounded in pass coverage, but we’ve all seen that. LVD, White & Minter have been targeted 80 times in our 6 games and allowed 67 completions … 83.8% completions allowed. Our OLBs are also allowing a high percentage of completions. JPP, Shaq, JTS & Nelson have been targeted 19 times and allowed 16 completions … 84.2% (pretty much the same as our ILBs).

    Higher completion percentages for our LBs are perfectly understandable IMO given that opponents have been dinking & dunking their way down the field because they can’t run against our defense. Those quick, short passes are extremely hard to stop (Bucs’ LBs seem to go with the idea of nailing the receiver as soon as they catch the ball, rather than playing close, missing & then watching the receiver go off to the races).

    Overall, given the extensive number of injuries that our defense has experienced, I’d say they’re playing extremely well. They’ve moved up to #16 in the defensive rankings (using Points Allowed) and now rank #9 in terms of Total Yards Allowed. That’s pretty impressive.

  18. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Well said Defense Rules !
    Some (like 1976) I think they bash Dean and our CB play as sort of a right of passage
    Bowles knows what he’s doing !
    Go Bucs

  19. August 1976 Buc Says:

    DR, yes Todd does let play there. Go bacl and watch the games, in one of the games they showed a shot of Dean and fear was all over his face after getting abused again. BA and also Sherman have specifically mentioned Dean’s confidence. Why does Dean line up and concede a first down when you have the speed Dean has? This is not about talent. Dean has a ton of talent, but he has played scared. It is about Dean growing a pair, and begins to play without fear, so the talent he has is being shown on game day. Go back amd watch Dean in the games he has played this year, it is very evident. Like against the Eagles Dean gets beat long, and he just panics and smothers the reciever and gets a PI, instead of being composed amd getting his head around and not getting needless penalty.

    GO BUCS!!!!?

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … That particular PI blew my mind & was obviously very costly (that’s why I’d much rather see the NFL either be a lot more lenient on PIs or just adopt the college rule on PIs). On that particular play, as I remember, Jamel was right with him but never turned his head around, the ball was slightly under-thrown, the receiver adjusted, Jamel didn’t. Boom … 45 yard penalty, with the ball now next to the goal line. Do not like penalties like that.

    Still, Dean’s primarily a man-to-man CB, dating back to his Auburn days, who’s being asked to play off. I’d surmise that the techniques are very different, and he may be uncomfortable playing like that. Still, opponents have only completed 8 passes against him on the season out of 22 targets (36.4%). That includes a team-leading 7 PDs and he hasn’t allowed a TD in pass coverage. That sounds like an awesome outside corner & not like someone who’s panicking all the time.

  21. August 1976 Buc Says:

    In the Dallas game Dak checked out of a run multiple times and attacked Dean. On top of how many times the OC for Dallas went after Dean. How a team attacks a team really shows what other teams think of a player. We all remember Revis Island, in his Jet days, lol not his Buc days. It was because OCs would not mess with him overall. Even the Eagles went after Dean, even though currently lesser players are manning other secondary positions. Again this is not about talent, but talented player playing confident and not fearful. It is in someways like ROJO, he has much talent but it is where Rojos mind is. With Dean it is confidence, with Rojo it is really about being alert in the moment, not missing blocks or dropping passes.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  22. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Do you know how we all sometimes kind of “label” others based on how we see things and not necessarily reality?
    Unlike many NFL corners like CD III, Sherman , etc who carry themselves with a lot of swag, and the fancy handshakes, and cocky quotes like CD tells media frequently that he is the best corner in league and he says just watch the tape
    Dean kind of carries himself like kind of “nerdy”, not outspoken, aloof etc, quiet
    Kind of refreshing in today’s pro sports

    How else can you look at numbers objectively and not think 35 a solid corner
    Cause your labeling him with subjectivity

    Dean has highest ceiling of all Buccaneer corners
    Go Bucs

  23. geno711 Says:

    Don’t we play a cover 3 on about 80 percent of 1st down plays. It makes sense because of our extremely strong front defensive line.

    Our outside corner guys are not ever pressing on 1st down that I see. They seem to be protecting against the deep ball and that is what Bowles wants to do.

    On 3rd down, it seems that Bowles may be much more likely to press Dean and other corners.

    KC exploited our defense in the 1st game last year.

    But then in the Super Bowl, we not only got great pressure but the other part of that game was playing cover 3 all game long with no press coverage. Bowles totally protected against any long Mahomes passes. It seems that he was daring KC to run the clock on us and beat us underneath all day long. He was confident (or maybe just hopeful) that eventually when there was a short field, that KC would not be successful with their weak-ass running game or lack of tall/physical receiving talent on a short field. It worked.

    No good defensive teams run man all game long. I think the cover 3 is a smart base defense for us.

    Let Dean play man-to-man on 3rd down where he can excel at it for 20 plays a game. No changes needed.