If Healthy, Jamel Dean Will Start (So Will Carlton Davis)

October 11th, 2023

Not yet a starter.

It seems just from the comments on this here website, Bucs fans have quickly soured on cornerback Jamel Dean.

Dean hasn’t had the greatest start to the season, punctuated by a neck/shoulder injury suffered against the Eagles, which also kept him out of the slimy Saints game.

In his place, Zyon McCollum and Dee Delaney have stepped up and played well, specifically McCollum. Asked today if McCollum would get more snaps due to his play, Bucs coach Todd Bowles sniffed out where the question was going and in so many words said, “Slow down” about Dean getting shoved aside for McCollum.

“He’s playing well,” Bowles said of McCollum. “Carlton [Davis] and [Jamel] Dean are still ahead of him. Obviously he has a bright future. And we have to find ways to get him on the field. But not to replace the other two.”

So there you have it. Dean, when healthy, will be and is one of your starting cornerbacks.

24 Responses to “If Healthy, Jamel Dean Will Start (So Will Carlton Davis)”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    There has to be something behind the scenes that has not been released about Dean’s health this season. If not then there is no way to justify TB’s take on this. Zyon has more snaps than Davis and Dean this season. He has objectively played better than both of them. He has especially out played Dean. I don’t get it.

  2. First Name Greatest Says:

    ALL 22 doesn’t lie Dean & Davis are OVER PAID!!!!!

    Guys are very slow to react to routes in zone and seem to be ok with catches in front of them

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    Cool. Hopefully Dean is back, we have a full stable of DBs, and depth at the position.

  4. Boss Says:

    zyon looks damn good, but Dean and CD are our horses plain and simple. Good to know Zyon is ready.

    cool name Zyon..

  5. zzbucs Says:

    I´ve been saying this since long time, I think both are average, and form time to time they make good plays, I agree they are overpaid, If Zion and Delaney keep playing at this level, I would trade both, and get out of those contracts, we will need that moeny to pay the Wirfs, Evans, Winfield White, and maybe Mayfield too

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    A Bucs Fan … ‘There has to be something behind the scenes that has not been released about Dean’s health this season. If not then there is no way to justify TB’s take on this.’

    Todd Bowles is with these guys every single day. We’re not.

    Todd Bowles future as the Bucs’ HC is riding on how well this team does this year. The Joes & ours aren’t.

    Jamel Dean knows I’m sure that he has competition for the outside corner starting role. Big surprise; every starter has competition for their starting role.

    I suspect that your first statement was correct. There’s ‘something going on behind the scenes that hasn’t been released about Dean’s health’. I’m not a bit surprised by that though; Bowles isn’t well known for keeping the media (and fans) up-to-speed on injuries to Bucs’ players. Personally I don’t blame him.

    Zyon is playing OK right now and certainly better than last season, but folks need to stop pretending like he’s the second coming of Deion Sanders or Darrelle Revis. He’s got 3 PDs & 15 tackles (12 solo) in his 198 snaps over 4 games. And oh ya, plus 0 INTs, 0 FF, 0 FRs, 0 TFLs & 0 QB Hits. Dean only played in 2 1/2 games before getting hurt (only 153 snaps) but had 1 more tackle (16 combined with 13 solo). And Dean has a lot more experience, to include experience playing with the other outside starting corner, Carlton Davis.

  7. gofortheface30 Says:

    If the Bucs score more points than the Lions Sunday, they will win the game..

  8. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @DR I have to disagree with you here. I never wrote he was Deion or Revis. He’s the best Bucs cover corner this season and it’s not close. Zyon has been graded the 17th ranked best CB in the league so far this season. He has only allowed 7 completions on 14 targets for 61 yards and no touchdowns. He could/should have had a pick against the bears. He also made an impactful forced incompletion against Olave that was a step/football move away from being a FF. He has shown tremendous strides from last year where he didn’t look like he even belonged on the field at times.

    He’s done this while lined up against DJ Moore, AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas.

    Dean might have more tackles but it’s because he’s giving up big completions. He’s already given up more completions, over 200 yards and 2 TD’s this season (one to Chase Claypool!?). Davis has given up more completions and yards too with less playing time (albeit most of it was against Justin Jefferson). Even if Dean was injured previously and playing through it Zyon is the hot hand. It’s better to let him play and allow Dean to heal so he can return to form…if that is what the case is.

    Let me emphasize I’m not saying Zyon is the next great CB. It’s way to early to tell that, but what I can tell you is he’s been the most consistent outside CB the Bucs have had all year. He’s played better than both in coverage this season. It’s objectively true.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @DR just a heads up I responded but am in mod jail. My response might get deleted or post later.

  10. dmatt Says:

    I’ll admit…I was hard on a Zyon a lot last year n some this year during preseason. He played like a rookie in which he was last year.However, lately, based on his recent aggressive style of play, I now have a different mindset. He seems to have come out his shell. On the other hand, I’m still not too fond of Dean. He played like a rookie when drafted, n shows some of the same signs to this date. He play passive, has a deer in the headlight look on missed tackles or assignment, is slow to react to the play, n has poor hand/eye coordination.
    All top tier corners consistently play aggressive. Not so much for Dean. He is not worth the pay.

  11. NaplesBucsFan Says:

    Gofrotheface30…are you sure though…what if we lose the turnover battle or special teams doesn’t play well?? Will we still win if we have more points at the end of the game????

  12. gp Says:

    If Zyon doesn’t start, I expect special teams play to be up a notch. Zyon is one of our fastest gunners and I’ve noticed a drop in our punt coverage with him as a starter.

  13. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @DR I’ll just summarize my other post. If it gets posted so be it. I don’t agree with you. Zyon has been graded the 17th best CB in the league this year so far. He has allowed the least amount of completions, yards and TD’s at corner this season with the most playing time.

    Zyon has allowed a 50% completion rate for 61 yards 0 TD. His allowed ypc is 8.7 yards.
    Dean has allowed a 70% completion rate with over 200 yard and 2 TD’s. His allowed ypc is over 18 yards.
    Carlton has allowed a 61% completion rate… I can’t remember the rest of his stat line right now.but it’s more than Zyon.

    In any case even if Dean is dealing with an undisclosed issue. Zyon is the hot hand and depth is key. Let the young man play while Dean gets fully well if that’s how you see it. I also never said he was Deion or Revis. He’s just been the Bucs best outside CB all year so far. Should have had that pick against the Bears and that hit on Olave was a football move or step away from being a FF returned for a TD.

  14. Duane in Sanford Says:

    I figured Zyon would be a project coming out of a small school. What I have been surprised about is his ability to tackle. Credit to Coach Bowles for getting these young guys ready to play in the secondary.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    You play most of the game in nickel, so who starts doesn’t mean much. Also based on the injury history of the Bucs corners, not to worry, Zyon will get plenty of playing time this season.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Duane in Sanford Says:
    October 11th, 2023 at 5:02 pm
    I figured Zyon would be a project coming out of a small school.


    He was absolutely a project, and only got drafted because of his outstanding workout numbers (a perfect 10 RAS score). Last year when he was forced to play, he didn’t look good at all. Even this preseason he didn’t look that good. Not sure what clicked with him, but whatever it is, he’s been really good.

    He’s reminding me of Cappa, who also was a project but the exact reverse as far as the RAS goes, but Cappa didn’t play his rookie year much, then in the preseason of his second year he looked GOD-awful in the preseason, I mean really bad. Then the regular season started and he was all of a sudden a solid starter who got better. It was quite the turnaround.

    In any case, Zyon is ahead of schedule. Said it all last year and this preseason when people were knocking him – but if he ever clicks, he has all the ability in the world and could become a superstar level player with his physical abilities. He’s obviously not anywhere close to that yet, but he’s looked good and should only get better from here.

  17. BA's Red Pen Says:

    Dean will start and then get hurt in the second quarter, Dean is soft.

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    In any sport go with the hot hand. Zyon should get the start and keep it unless or until his play declines.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    A Bucs Fan … I get what you’re saying, but what I take exception with is your conclusion that unless there’s something going on behind the scene that we don’t know about then ‘there is no way to justify TB’s take on this.’ He’s the HC & the DC. He’s knows his players far better than we do. He’s got a lot more to lose than any of us. He’s also the one who knows the game plan for the Lions game & what roles he needs his CBs to play.

    Bowles is already quoted as saying about McCollum … ‘Obviously he has a bright future. And we have to find ways to get him on the field. But not to replace the other two.” Zyon has 4 games of doing good in Bowles’ eyes. Dean has 4 years.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    don’t be talkin’ ’bout dean like that…!

    that’s coaches’ fave player…

    if bowles was a school teacher, dean would be class pet…

    coach loves him some dean !!!

  21. RSJCheapseats Says:

    I wasn’t a Dean fan – but over time I did realize he was perhaps the Bucs best cover corner (never was thrilled about his tackling but that is another story).

    In 2021 I thought the secondary was a weakness – I don’t think it is now really. The Bucs D could be really really good.

  22. garro Says:

    Davis and Dean have always played this Bowles zone poorly.
    Way too much cushion!

    Go Bucs!

  23. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @DR “Zyon played well. Zyon’s playing like a regular starter, every down starter,” – Todd Bowles 9/27 after the Eagles game. If he’s playing that well while we know Dean is struggling for whatever reason you start the better performing player. Especially if the underperforming player is injured. The alternative is it looks like you are forcing someone into the line up because of how much money the Bucs spent or a personal relationship with said player (Bowles and Dean are said to be father/son like).

    I’m any case it’d be a good problem to have IF Dean returns to form.

  24. Sidnavy1993 Says:

    The issue I’m having with everyone saying start Zyon over Dean and Davis is once you do that you lose the confidence with those CB’s. It’s not madden when you can switch back at forth like it’s nothing. You keep your 2 paid starters there and give them the opportunity. Having Zyon as your #3 is not a bad thing and again he was a 5th round draft pick last year and very raw coming out of college. Give him time this year as a gunner and let him develop and maybe after the season you will see how Davis and Dean did overall. If their play is still not to the level of their contact then you can switch them either later on the season or next season and you can have Zyon start. You can never have too many CB’s but switching back and forth is only going to hurt the confidence in Davis and Dean and stop the growth in Zyon.