“This League Will Always Try To Grab Your Confidence”

September 30th, 2022

Sean Murphy-Bunting

Joe can imagine how hard it must be for a 25-year-old former starter on a Super Bowl team (a playoff hero) to ride the bench in a contract year for the same club.

That’s the boat cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting is floating in right now. And he’s healthy.

It’s great for Bucs depth, but it’s not so great for SMB personally as he sits behind a rotation of nickel cornerbacks and starters Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean on the outside.

Joe asked co-defensive coordinator Larry Foote about that yesterday. Foote spent 13 years as an NFL linebacker and he said he can relate to how well Murphy-Bunting battling for a strong NFL life.

“I’ve been a guy in this league that been the starter, part-time starter – and he’s handling it well right now,” Foote said. “He’s giving us some good special teams reps, but he’s got to be ready. I’m quite sure all you guys know we’ll need him. We’re going to have to call on him at some point during this year.

“You’ve just got to be a pro, stay confident – this league will always try to grab your confidence and you’ve got to keep it. You know, he’s a Detroit kid, so I expect him to handle it like a champ. But he’s doing a good job. But I can relate. I’ve been in and out of the starting lineup, but he’s just got to be ready for his opportunity. And I’m quite sure he will be.”

Joe hopes the Bucs steer clear of injuries, but Foote certainly is correct. The Bucs are likely to need Murphy-Bunting, their 2019 second-round pick. And the test of his greatness will be whether he’s up for the challenge.

For now, SMB is a shining example of the Bucs’ exemplary depth at defensive back, a massive improvement from last year.

30 Responses to ““This League Will Always Try To Grab Your Confidence””

  1. Mike Says:

    Can he play WR?

  2. Lennon Duncan Says:

    Trade him!!!!!!! I bet he will be great somewhere else.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to get a sizable lead so that SMB & Zion can get some snaps……and, yes…we’ll probably need him.

  4. SB Says:

    We could trade him to the Saints. I hear they need a Quarterback.

  5. Rod Munch Says:

    Well if he played better, he’d be on the field. Regardless, sooner or later someone will get hurt, and he’ll get his chance to shine.

  6. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    I hope he doesn’t get a chance to be on the field he had plenty of opportunities to grab the #2 spot and did nothing

  7. Infomeplease Says:

    Dean has been playing very well. Sorry SMB!!

  8. CleanHouse Says:

    The club is stupid. simple as that.

  9. BucsNoles Says:

    He is important depth on this ballteam at the moment. Im glad we have him

  10. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Why is clean house/ndog so mad at this team all the time?

    >we have meaningful depth for once
    >defense has been playing lights out
    >keep a competent DB in bubble wrap for when someone goes down


  11. BillyBucco Says:

    Why is the Club at fault for anything?
    This defense has been lights out so you can’t complain.
    3 safeties is the obvious plan for Maholmes.

    I hope SMB scores on special teams.
    Blocked punt return or muffed punt return.

    These guys weren’t playing teams in the preseason.
    Glad we are much improved there.

  12. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Ignore the trolls and they’ll go away. They thrive for reactions to make them feel relevant.

  13. George Says:

    Injuries happens and he will get plenty of playing time over the course of the year

  14. CleanHouse Says:

    A guy who has 4 playoff picks should get the benefit of the doubt and not be riding the pine

    If that is a troll statement so be it

  15. SPARKY Says:

    Right now we have good depth at the d-back. Why not go more no huddle once in a while, because if our defense gets tired we got the guys to sub and give them a break,.

  16. Trask To The Future Says:

    The Bucs D is much improved this year because he’s NOT playing.

    SMB just isn’t that good. He made some splash plays here and there but overall he was a terrible cover guy and terrible tackler.

    He won’t be on this team next year. Bucs need to let him walk.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Cleanhouse … In the past 4 years, SMB has 4 INTs in the regular season. In those same 4 years, Jamel Dean has 7 INTs; Carlton Davis has 6 INTs; Mike Edwards has 6 INTs; Logan Ryan has 6 INTs.

    SMB has allowed 69.2% career completions (4 years). In those same 4 years, Jamel Dean has allowed 53.9%; Carlton Davis has allowed 55.6%; Mike Edwards has allowed 60.2%; Logan Ryan has allowed 64.7%.

    SMB did great in the 2020 playoffs with 3 INTs, but those other 4 (who are all presenting starting) have all put up better numbers over the past 4 years in INTs & completions allowed. Bowles has already said that he wants ball-hawks out there. Dean, Davis, Edwards & Ryan seem to fit the bill.

    Perhaps Todd Bowles

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    DR — there you go again, spoiling some idjut’s take with data and logic.

    Cleanhose- who would you bench?

  19. David Says:

    Going into last year they had a fairly deep secondary and it was decimated.
    This year they had a very deep receiving group but three of the top four have been injured or not able to play and it got thin real fast. Receivers 5-7 i’ve shown they’re not all they’re cracked up to be, at least when trying to routinely be the top options.

    Having SMB as a backup is pretty good depth but yes, hopefully they don’t need him much

  20. Adrnagy Says:

    Since his injury you can tell hes not the same. Probably confidence. This training camp dean won. Smb is a good player that can be a great player. Its a matter of his next chance either bucs or another team next year.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Goatfarmer … That last line was cut off & was supposed to read ‘Perhaps Todd Bowles just feels that those 5 fit the best as a unit at this point in time’. SMB will get more chances. It’s a long season.

  22. August 1976 Buc Says:

    There has been many changes to a secondary that needed to start pulling their weight.
    This is what you want to see -change happening and the secondary getting better.

    Who really cares who is in there if they are playing well.
    All that matters is whoever is in there plays well.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  23. Oneilbuc Says:

    They paid Carlton Davis and haven’t done anything so far this year he’s been getting picked on so far this year.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    OneilBuc … Don’t know why you’d say that Carlton Davis ‘hasn’t done anything so far this year’. He constantly matches up with our opponents’ best receivers, so yes, he will ‘get picked on’. But Carlton more than holds his own.

    o Davis: 30 targets – 16 completions – 53.3% – 0 INTs
    o Dean: 16 targets – 9 completions – 56.3% – 2 INTs
    o Edwards: 16 targets – 10 completions – 62.5% – 1 INTs
    o Ryan: 10 targets – 5 completions – 50.0% – 1 INTs

    I think all 4 of them are playing lights out.

  25. Redeemer Says:

    Dean is clearly the better DB.

  26. Redeemer Says:

    Unless you’re the reincarnation of Deion Sanders, every DB gets picked on now a days. The league wants arena ball. The pure shutdown corner doesn’t exist anymore.

  27. teacherman777 Says:

    And he won’t tackle.

    Dean and Davis are both big boys and big hitters.

    They could be the best cornerback duo in the NFL this year.

    If they can stay healthy, they can be dominant.

    I hope we can extend Davis next year. But it will be hard.

  28. teacherman777 Says:

    *Dean I mean

  29. TJ Says:

    We don’t need to trade him. If Carlton Davis keeps getting toasted SMB will get the reps. It’s a league of what have you done for me lately and clearly in “practice” and preseason SMB wasn’t shining as bright and hasn’t gotten the live game playing time that Davis and others have gotten. If Davis keeps being the weakest link in this great defense. Why not encourage competition and let SMB take some of those reps.

  30. Lennon Duncan Says:

    Can’t take our confidence we know we are good. That’s one interception don’t be surprised if he goes for back to back to back games.