“Stepping-Stone” Season

May 16th, 2022


Cornerback depth is an important X-factor with the 2022 Bucs, so it’s worth noting the bottle of cologne, cornerback Pierre Desir, is unemployed despite making two starts and collecting two interceptions and 28 tackles last season.

Joe suspects that’s because the Bucs (and the rest of the league) don’t think Desir is very good.

But a guy still around is 27-year-old cornerback Dee Delaney. He also made two starts last season and got strong reviews from former head coach Bucco Bruce Arians. Delaney has a one-year contract that’ll pay him about $900,000, assuming he makes the team.

Undrafted in 2018, Delaney bounced between the Jaguars, Dolphins, Jets and Redskins before sitting out the 2020 season and landing with the Bucs. Last year was his first significant live NFL game action on defense.

It was good enough for Delaney to stick around.

He enthusiastically spoke on the Saturday Morning Inspection YouTube Show recently about how last year was a “stepping-stone” year for him and he expects bigger and better things this year. He also leaned on how much he’s learned from his experience, including his time away from the Bucs and around Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville.

Joe likes Delaney. It’s easy to root for him.

Arians talked last year about Delaney made the team as a special teams player but slowly proved his worth on defense.

Delaney stepped in for 53 snaps when Jamel Dean messed up his knee against the Rams early in the season and was ok. Then he was thrown into the fire when Richard Sherman pulled his hamstring in the first quarter against the Eagles. That 46-snap performance, per Arians, let everyone know that Delaney is a reliable player.

Yes, it’s May and Joe is writing about Delaney. But when it comes to the Bucs and cornerback depth, every option is critical.

Maybe Delaney is a late-bloomer type who can step up to becoming a strong backup this season.

26 Responses to ““Stepping-Stone” Season”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You simply can’t have enough CBs……….Delaney will do…..and we are rooting for Pierre so we can be treated to the “Bottle of Cologne” articles.

  2. Joe Says:

    You simply can’t have enough CBs

    You need to qualify that. “Capable cornerbacks” is more accurate. Just because a guy has the position designation “cornerback” doesn’t mean he belongs on the field. The Bucs had crap for backup corners last year and it showed.

  3. ModHairKen Says:

    Every member of the team can’t be an All Pro. So guys who have desire and enthusiasm are better than guys with chips on their shoulder because their contracts aren’t as big as they think they should be.

  4. Mort Says:

    I mean, name one good 5th string corner around the league. I’ll wait.

  5. Coburn Says:

    Thought Delaney looked ok at times. See if he gets any better at the bottom of the depth chart

  6. #8 Says:

    Cannot spell desire without Desir.


  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    If DB Logan Ryan jumps in as a nickel CB, he’ll fight for #5 with draft pick Zyon McCollum.

  8. Buczilla Says:

    We have an overpayed, above average corner in Davis at one outside corner spot and a bunch of talented, oft injured neverbeens vying to start opposite him. Does that sound like team going all in for a super bowl run? It sure as heck doesn’t seem like it to me and I really hope Mr. Licht has a plan to bring some competence to our other outside corner spot.

  9. GOB Says:

    @Buczilla, I agree, and was very disappointed the bucs were not more active in FA at the position. Davis isn’t a #1 corner in my opinion. SMB is terribly inconsistent. Licht obviously feels health was the only problem in the secondary last year. It wasn’t. Unless the pass rush is ferocious, the DB’s will be picked on again this year.
    What I can’t understand is why bowles didn’t change things up last year. If your DB’s can’t hold up, the logical thing to do is modify the scheme to help them. Instead bowles ran the same blitz heavy plays over and over. The Rams game was a microcosm. Stafford could see the blitzes coming. He actually struggled when they devoted more coverage.

  10. Steven007 Says:

    GOB, I would challenge you to name 31 other corners you would rather have starting than Davis. Granted the first five to 10 might be fairly easy. After that who you got? Davis is a capable starting cornerback. Whenever any player signs a new contract it is almost always deemed too rich for that player. Davis could easily start for the majority of the teams in the NFL. And Dean isn’t far behind, especially if he can get his health in check. After that I am in agreement. But then again, how many three to four deep secondaries at the corner position do we really have in this league?

  11. Alvafan Says:

    No doubt coaching is a big part of it. Defense was way to predictable last year for a guy who is supposed to be a genius at it. Very slow at seeing other team’s strategies and making adjustments. I hope he leaves the offense alone and lets Brady do his thing.

  12. Alvafan Says:

    Dean still has a lot to prove before I’d give him a big contract

  13. Tony Says:

    I’d still consider signing somebody like Kyle Fuller. He’s still out there. Or maybe we can bring back EJ BIGGERS!😀

  14. Dooley Says:

    @GOB maybe you’re mischaracterizing “picked on” with the fact that we walked into games knowing we’d make offenses 1-dimensional and we also got passed on more than most secondary’s around the league because of that. Either way, I can see how fans over embellish the secondary’s inability while being totally oblivious to the circumstances that made CB a Mash unit all season. Still only lost 4 games and won the NFC south for the 1st time in 15 years. It’s like reading comments from a flock of Chicken Littles. Also, you’re questioning why Bowles didn’t reform his entire scheme midseason to compensate for the string of injuries we endured at CB, but apparently forgot we had to promote Delaney, Desir, AND bring Sherman in off the street before the end of September in 2021.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs’ Secondary roster is already written; don’t see any suspense there. We traditionally keep 10:

    o CBs (6): Davis, Dean, SMB, Cockrell, Delaney, McCollum
    o Safeties (4): Winfield, Edwards, Neal, Ryan

    All 10 of those are experienced, except the rookie McCollum (hunch is that he’ll turn some heads). Other CBs/Safeties currently on the Bucs’ roster: Gardner, Robinson, McMichael, Cooper, Turner, Warner. Not-so-much on the experience side.

    Delaney BTW has bounced around (he’s still only 27) but seems to have hit a sweet-spot with the Bucs’ coaching. Last season was the 1st real chance he got to strut his stuff, and I thought he did reasonably well for the situations he was put in. Targeted 26 times, allowed 19 completions (73%), but only allowed 378 yds after completion (YAC) total, roughly 2 yds per completion allowed. Expect him to do better this year.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Oops, 37 YAC, not 378.

  17. GOB Says:

    Funny, I didn’t hear bucs fans crying about beating an arena league O line in the superbowl. Injuries are like a holes, we all got em. Steph Gilmore was on the street for months, and Tampa should’ve signed him little does bowles know, but you can play man defense in this league. I never said Davis sucks. I said he wasn’t a #1 corner. To your point. If you know teams are going to throw, it doesn’t require an entire schematic change to blitz less. Stafford kills the blitz, and struggles throwing against 7 or more. Coaches are supposed to attempt to hide deficiencies. Bowles didn’t do that last year.

  18. GOB Says:

    Steven007, like you said the top ten is easy. Here’s my list of corners I’d rather have, after the first ten.
    Byron Murphy
    Kenny Moore
    Marcus Peters aka the strangler
    Jaylon Johnson
    Casey Hayward
    James Bradbury
    Will Jackson
    Paulson Edebo… that guy will be a stud
    No particular order
    So that’s 18 corners I’d rather have. If it makes you feel better to technically call him a #1, fine. My standards are a little higher, I’ll admit.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Joe: I’m sure you watch more film than me, but calling Delaney “reliable” might be a stretch, IMHO. It looked like to me when Delaney was out there, there was the dreaded “communication problems”, he wasn’t very good at covering people, or a little bit of both. You’re right, he is a likable guy and I’d be fine with him making the roster, but if the Bucs were to HAVE to play somebody at CB, I’d want the kid McCollum to get the playing time with his high upside.

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    *Than I

  21. Irishmist Says:

    Armani times must we here about the bottle of cologne, Joe? It’s becoming an Obsession.

  22. View from 132 Says:

    Why wouldn’t a guy like Desir go to the USFL? Still another paycheck, more film, more coaching…

  23. Brandon Says:

    Davis was paid well because he’s that good. As for Dean being a “never been”… your opinions have never been good. Dean held opposing QBs to a rating of 50.0 and no TDs. Yall need to STFU. Facts over your insignificant feelings.

  24. Brandon Says:

    The same dummies critical of Davis and Dean were the same clowns that wanted us to sign Sherman and Bell last season… and McCoy the previous season. These washed up guys are available for a reason. ALWAYS.

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    We are very deep versatile safety position that can play backup nickel. We need one more solid backup at outside CB with McCollum.

  26. westernbuc Says:

    Desir was not as bad as he could’ve been. I wouldn’t hate having him back to fight for a spot