Another Development Gem

September 19th, 2023

Sunday’s interception that wasn’t from Zyon McCollum.

Joe is blown away by the accomplishments of Todd Bowles and his defensive staff over the past five seasons in Tampa.

Just look how cornerback Carlton Davis has thrived and how all three defensive backs drafted in 2019 got nice second contracts.

This staff knows how to coach up players in the secondary. And it seems the next wave has arrived.

Undrafted rookie nickel corner Christian Izien has two interceptions this season and appears to be playing over his head. And then there’s No. 3 cornerback Zyon McCollum, the second-year player.

He started a handful of games last season but looked overmatched. After an up-and-down 2023 preseason, he got a start for injured Davis on Sunday and looked darn good, albeit against a sad offense.

Here’s how Bowles described McCollum’s day to WFLA-TV sports czar Dan Lucas:

“He played very well. He was calm. I was very proud of him. He had a heck of a ballgame. It was one of those unsung hero type of games,” Bowles said. “He press-bailed, he covered, he played press, he’s a very athletic corner. And his mental part of the game has grown so much, you know, it’s like we have three starters back there; whether Carlton is there or not, we understand that Zyon can play [and] when his time comes he’ll be ready.”

Great stuff from the Bucs coaches and McCollum.

Next up, Joe looks forward to coaches helping safety Ryan Neal take his game up a notch.

54 Responses to “Another Development Gem”

  1. Craig Says:

    Yes, he did, and he will play better next week, because his mom will be in the stands and his twin across the field.

    I think the last two draft classes have been some of the best in NFL history.

    The thing about the draft is you still have to have patience with the youngsters and instill some confidence into them.

    The NFL is a big step from college where all teams have top level players throughout their roster. In college two stars can make a team almost unstoppable and that takes some getting used to.

  2. Buc4evr Says:

    Cowpokes released RoJo…..just sayin…. Lol.

  3. zzbucs Says:

    He played a very solid game….I need to see that in a more conistent way, same problem with the rest of CB´s, inconsistency is the common denominator…..

  4. R.O. Says:

    Neal to me has underwhelmed. Doesnt look like he is where he should be when in coverage coverage.

  5. Brandon Says:

    Low IQ fans have been asking for us to cut McCollom all offseason and preseason. He looked excellent on Sunday. He finally showed up, hopefully he builds on this momentum and really takes several steps forward.

  6. DS Says:

    Neal does look lost never see him pop but o well everyone can’t be dominate some guys just play their roles

  7. SlyPirate Says:

    Read Zyon’s interview over the summer!!!

    Zyon, Hall, and Goedeke (and Wirfs) practically lived at One Buc in the offseason. They knew they weren’t good enough and dedicated themselves to watching tape and improving their craft. His remarked on learning so much from studying hours of tape. These guys are young professional athletes willing to put in the work. Every Buc Fan should be thrilled to have them on the team.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Strongly advise watching Zion’s presser…..great kid…very smart….personable, humble….really quite impressive…

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Watch Zion’ presser….very impressive

  10. jugheadfla Says:

    Individually they are play great, if they can just figure out how to play zone properly they will move on to the next level of D…..for now their zone play is abysmal

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Too soon to judge…but I will say one bad game and the fan base will turn on them. That’s just the way NFL fans are.

  12. H-Town Darryl Says:

    Neal looks a step slow and out of position damn near every play. He appears to be the weakest link on defense.

  13. Dan Says:


  14. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Really like what Jason does in the draft. he gets guys that have the abilities and that just straight love the game and have the heart to get better. JTS hall Zyon whitehead Davis dean and the list goes on. Something they all have in common is they just need a few years to get right and the coaches have done a tremendous job coaching these guys up. It’s only 2 games but JTS seems to have turned the corner and hall has had a great 2 games. What I think is hilarious if low IQ fans want to dump these guys after the 1st season when they don’t turn into superstars. Again I love what Jason is doing. He’s setting the team up for future years to come and who knows maybe a superstar player or 2 comes in and puts over the top like Brady and co did a few years ago.

  15. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Hey Dan go play in traffic or at the dump. It’s where people like you belong. You’re prob one of those guys who has no friends and sits in a basement and cries themselves to sleep cause there’s not a person in the world that likes you. Even your mom gave up on you

  16. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    The guys should Haze Ryan Neal and hooks him down and shave his head. Maybe then he will start playing like a man instead of playing/looking like goldilocks out there searching for porage.

  17. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:


  18. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Ok Dan, Saints fan I guess… 11-6 Brother!!!!! Go Bucs

  19. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    Dan is a bot, ignore that fool

  20. Duane in Sanford Says:

    I give Bowles credit for being able to develop these secondary players. Our secondary was historically bad before he got here. Its also why I think he is going to be asked to cut salary on that side of the ball next season. Lots of money invested in guys that dont get sacks or picks. Izien has two for less than a 10th of the cost.

  21. Pewter Power Says:

    Definitely Ryan Neal does not look confident and comfortable yet but a lot of games to go, he’ll wake up to try and get that big contract

  22. SB~LV Says:

    Smart and articulate
    There is a good video of him talking about the last game, probably on the Bucs youtube channel, I watched it last night

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The sky is the limit

    6’2, 4.33 40, 39.5″ vert

  24. StormyInFl Says:

    Maybe this can give the Bucs flexibility to move on from one of the overpaid China Dolls currently starting, and direct that $ elsewhere. Maybr then they can afford to pay Mike.

  25. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Next 2 games will show. AJ Brown, D. Smith, and then Olave, Thomas, Shaheed. Not including Swift bulldozing on Monday night. We shall see young Zyon. You got the tools.

  26. Scott Kaplan Says:

    Why is Carlton Davis always hurt ? every year this guy is out

  27. Baking with Canales Says:

    Good job Joe!

    I can’t believe some fans(?) are eager to see us lose to pound their chest. Smh


  28. Baking with Canales Says:

    Licht keeps shining!

  29. Jack Clark Says:

    I’ll start believing in this team if they can beat the Eagles this week

  30. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Zyon will be a full time starter. Sky’s the limit for him as long as he continues to grow his confidence and masters his tackling technique.

    Ryan Neal should have played in the preseason. He’s the weakest link right now next to Dean in coverage, but hopefully it clicks for him as the season progresses.

  31. gotbbucs Says:

    Our player development on the defensive side of the ball is pretty incredible.
    If Canales can keep the offense going in the right direction, there is almost zero chance Bowles is at risk of losing his job any time soon.

  32. Steven007 Says:

    Jack, why then? They could still go three and 14 don’t you know. Being a fan is believing in the team. Period. Doesn’t mean we win all the games. No one does. Except the 72 dolphins. Certainly, I hope we beat the eagles. But if we don’t, especially if we still look solid, that’s meaningful. But yes, I’m looking for a win as well. Doesn’t mean it will take that win for me to believe in my team. Loser mentality.

  33. gotbbucs Says:

    Has there been any injury updates on Sirvocea Dennis?

  34. Dan Says:

    Erik Hesson – Fine Artist and Founder of Says:
    September 19th, 2023 at 12:16
    Dan is a bot, ignore that fool

    Why am I a bot Erik? Because I am a realistic person and some fat guy sitting in his mom’s house in his saggy underwear unemployed like you, why not meet me in person and I will show you just how much of a bot I am lol

  35. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Two and OH……. we’re on the right direction…. GO BUCS !!!

  36. Defense Rules Says:


    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, especially when it adds something to the conversation. Unfortunately for us, yours didn’t. And oh ya, you’re dead wrong about the Bucs (in CAPS no less so everyone will notice?). But then again, you don’t really care, do ya.

  37. Crickett Baker Says:

    Well said Steven007! You took the words right off my fingers. IDC if we happen to lose to last year’s SB team–as long as the game is exciting and the players look engaged I will have nothing bad to feel.

  38. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Dan is a bot. Come Texas bro I’ll show how much bot you are

  39. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen…we’ve got another keyboard karate expert talking tough ( no doubt hopped up on wine coolers and WhiteClaws ) even threatening to meet people outside his mom’s basement ( they dig basements in Florida? News to me…).

    I give you Dan-dee!

    He could be right after all…The Bucs have yet to win more than 4 games this season.

    Keep up the good work, Dan-dee. JBF does not discriminate and welcomes all types…even the precious ones like The Dan-dee.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Good to see you crediting Todd Bowles for one for the key strengths that he brings to the table Joe … player development. Got very tiring reading commenter after commenter bad-mouth our HC over these past few months based on a handful of miscues (some even made up) during his tenure as a Buc coach.

    Only 1 man in history was perfect and he was smart enough not to coach the Bucs. The rest of us make tons of mistakes, but the smart ones learn from those mistakes then hopefully don’t repeat them. It’s not hard to see the growth in Todd Bowles over these 4 years if you look for it, same as it’s not hard to see the growth in Jason Licht over his 10 years with us. Unfortunately so many get blinded by others’ mistakes that they overlook the growth, let the person go then hire a shiny new coach expecting that guy won’t make any mistakes. Fool’s errand.

    Love how CS Lewis put it … ‘Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God do you learn.’

  41. Dewey Selmon Says:

    This is what good franchises do, Draft and develop with FA’s sprinkled in. Players are going to leave and to have a seamless transition can only be done when you have the same coaching staff/GM. remember when we fired coaches after 2-3 years ?

  42. Dan Says:

    1#bucsfan Says:
    September 19th, 2023 at 12:04 pm
    Hey Dan go play in traffic or at the dump. It’s where people like you belong. You’re prob one of those guys who has no friends and sits in a basement and cries themselves to sleep cause there’s not a person in the world that likes you. Even your mom gave up on you

    LOL,What a tool this guy is, some fat guy who lives and breaths for every Joe Bucs Fan Article so he can post because he has no life, telling me I have no life, Touche DB, Touche lol

  43. Dan Says:

    1#bucsfan Says:
    September 19th, 2023 at 12:04 pm
    Hey Dan go play in traffic or at the dump. It’s where people like you belong. You’re prob one of those guys who has no friends and sits in a basement and cries themselves to sleep cause there’s not a person in the world that likes you. Even your mom gave up on you

    [Naw man. — Joe]

  44. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    hall was almost invisible again with half a sack and logging lots of snaps. Hall must contribute more-too many here willing to give Logan a Hall Pass.

  45. Jaybuc Says:

    I’m still not sold on McCollum. After all, it’s Justin fields he played against. The bears are probably looking for a quarterback to draft as we type. If anything, the silver lining is that McCollum actually looked somewhat decent against Fields. If he didn’t… well…

  46. geno711 Says:

    Hard for me to tell which is worse.

    Dan’s personality or his prognosticating skill.

    Dan Says:
    September 17th, 2023 at 12:18 pm
    Reality sets in today with you Joe Bucs fans nut huggers, lol…. Bears 34 Bucs 13

  47. gotbbucs Says:

    BucsFanSince76 Says:
    September 19th, 2023 at 1:41 pm
    hall was almost invisible again with half a sack and logging lots of snaps. Hall must contribute more-too many here willing to give Logan a Hall Pass

    “almost invisible” then “half a sack”. Not sure I’ve ever seen someone contradict themselves so quickly.

    Hall had a good game. Stat sheet maybe doesn’t show it, but he’s been head and shoulders better already this year than he was last year as a rookie. Someone that’s supposedly been a fan since 1976 should understand that defensive linemen usually take time to develop. He doesn’t need a “Hall Pass”, he contributed.

  48. HC Grover Says:

    Wait till the Filthy get a load of the Double Spy defense.

  49. stpetebucfan Says:

    This thread is amusing me. I confessed to D.R. yesterday that effing with the trolls is a “guilty pleasure” of mine. I know…I know…don’t feed the trolls but sometimes it’s just so much FUN!!! LMAO

    I feed the squirrels and birds every morning no reason I can’t feed some of our squirrelly trolls.

  50. Mike C Says:

    Ha Dan got the mussel

  51. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Do what you do best Dan 😭😭

  52. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Carlton Davis “ thriving” seems like a reach…

    He’s injured a lot, and not the best corner we’ve ever had.

  53. garro Says:

    Izien deserves all the credit in the world Joe. But still has room to grow as a rookie in Todds scheme. He has an excellent start.

    BTW…Learned long ago back in the dial up days not to feed the trolls yall. The only thing they crave is the attention. Some folks fall for it every time. Ignore them and they eventually get bored and go away.

    Go Bucs!

  54. teacherman777 Says:

    I agree.

    Neal looks out of shape. Slow. And not very strong.

    I was expecting more out of him.

    He is not at athletic or as strong as I hoped he would be.

    I think we need to find a 6-3 safety next year who can run a 4.4.