Being Versatile Has Made Zyon McCollum Smarter

April 16th, 2024

Bucs CB Zyon McCollum.

Joe is not a big fan of taking a young player and having him line up all over the place.

Sure, versatility is great. Still, Joe would like a player to establish himself at a specific spot first and then he can bounce all over.

Joe is still convinced this sunk Ryan Smith. A small-school cornerback, then-Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith tried him out at safety, then at corner then back to safety and then to corner — in between he spent a year as a terrible Bucs kick returner.

The poor kid was probably dizzy. He never developed aside from being a solid special teams player (hey, he got a ring with the Bucs).

Joe fears the same is happening for Logan Hall. It’s like the team doesn’t know if he is a tackle or an end.

However, new starting (?) corner Zyon McCollum, who is expected to start in place of Carlton Davis, was given test rides all over the secondary. Safety, nickel corner, regular corner, you name it.

Unlike Smith and possibly Hall, McCollum said yesterday that this has actually made him a better corner because he knows where everyone else should be lined up and he can adjust presnap accordingly.

“I mean, since playing safety and playing nickel, I know exactly where I want my safety and nickel to be because I can put myself in their shoes,” McCollum said. “So with that, when we go out and we’re practicing drills, we can communicate at such a high level because I can speak their language, they can speak my language, and vice versa.

“Just being able to know exactly where someone is going to be when, [Bucs coach Todd] Bowles calls a call just allows me to say I don’t have to cover that, I just have to worry about this and giving them the reassurance that they don’t have to cover the routes that I’m responsible for – just worry about doing your job. I think it all goes hand in hand.”

If that helps McCollum set himself up for each play, then hat’s off to McCollum.

Joe hopes McCollum does well. He’s a good dude. He is clearly a good athlete. The rest, as they say, is upstairs.

Consistency is what McCollum needs. Because of McCollum’s lack of starts at corner, Joe wouldn’t punch any walls at world headquarters if the Bucs drafted a corner at No. 26 to bolster the cornerbacks room.

21 Responses to “Being Versatile Has Made Zyon McCollum Smarter”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I think the reason why the secondary guys are having such a high success is because Todd was a safety. Mike Smith was absolutely hopeless, so I don’t put much credence into how Ryan Smith turned out. So Todd is able to get the best out of secondary guys (other than zone for man cover guys) and whether or not the other positions have success could be due to his influence or the other coaches. Not sure

    On Logan Hall, he’s a victim of his size. If I recall the knock on him was he’s a tweener. On top of that, he was the first pick of the 2nd round and subsequently our first draft pick of ’22 so expectations are high. It’s been disappointing, especially since, while it was an accident, he essentially ended Jensen’ s career on the 2nd day of practice.

    I have faith with the amount of depth the secondary has that we’ll be OK, especially since Bowles can cook up pressure from anywhere seemingly. It’d be nice to pair someone up with YaYa, but who knows, maybe it’s Ramirez, or Watts, or Gill.

  2. heyjude Says:

    I am all in on McCollum and think he will do better this season. I am on board with drafting another CB too.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    Id punch a wall, unless its round 6 or 7.
    Zyon is a very good corner- and I think hes gonna be a great Cb this year.
    We have Christian Izien, Jamel Dean. We also signed Brice Hall and Tavi Thomas.
    We are good at CB and Safety until next year, when we draft a New CB, and jettison Dean.

  4. heyjude Says:

    Yikes, no punching walls. Years ago my cousin punched a wall over a girl while playing basketball in college. He was a very good player. It ruined his chances in entering the draft too. Don’t do it! No punching walls.

    I have to agree with Capt. Tim too. And we do have other needs first. Yes, get a CB in the final rounds.

  5. Obvious Says:

    I’ve gotta say, Joe Tryon and Zyon McCollum look like Twins! Does anybody see that like I do?

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    “It’s like the team doesn’t know if he is a tackle or an end.” This falls directly on Coach Bowles. By all accounts he is a super chill guy and players love playing for him. But a defensive genius? It’s past time to drop that moniker and just refer to Bowles as a coach.

  7. Boss Says:

    Love the guy…….but he is no CD …just yet

    Me thinks we took CD for granted.

    Should be offset with picks though. Go Bucs

  8. Bucs Guy Says:

    No CBs before Day 3. I will be very upset if the Bucs waste their first rd pick on a corner.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Obvious Says: I’ve gotta say, Joe Tryon and Zyon McCollum look like Twins! Does anybody see that like I do?

    Yes they do look alike but one sucks and the other has pro bowl potential.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can never have enough CBs or WRs……..but I hope our first pick is a C or Edge Rusher………we shouldn’t reach for a rusher……trade up if necessary.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    We dont have anyone here, who played left guard last year.
    So, yeah- we need a left Guard.
    Hainsey was the 34th ranked center in the NFL last year. Hes horrible. Need a new center.
    34th ranked pass rush last year, THEN we cut Shaq and White.
    Need a Pass rushing LB and DE.
    32nd ranked TE production.
    Yeah, we need a TE.

    Thats our critical needs.

    Should be our first 5 picks.
    After we address whats critical, then draft whoever you like.

  12. SlyPirate Says:

    Odd thing to predict, but I think JTS and Hall produce this year. They just seem like guys that need a little more time to adjust to the NFL.

    JTS: 7-8 sacks
    Hall: 4 sacks

  13. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Nice kid, he always sounds like he needs a d glass of water during his pressers.

  14. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    heyjude Says:
    I am all in on McCollum and think he will do better this season. I am on board with drafting another CB too.
    I agree 110%. McCollum is very smart, a great athlete, and is putting in the work in in the off-season he need in order to get better. (he’s been training with his brother who also in the NFL). He may not be as good as CD YET, but his ceiling is higher IMO.

    That said, we do need to draft another CB or bring one in via free agency. We need to have good depth at that position if we are going to go deep into the playoffs, and we may need a replacement for Dean.

  15. Conner50 Says:

    I think Zyon will have a great year if he makes it as a starter. We also got Hall and Thomas in free agency so I don’t see corner as a good first round pick for the Bucs. People keep acting like Davis is I big loss when it won’t be, he was hurt all the time and got burned too many times last year. We should definitely get another corner for depth in the 3rd or 4th round but nothing sooner than that. Either way I trust Licht will have a really good draft, he has his misses like every GM but man he’s really getting better over the years

  16. Olboy Says:

    I think this kid is going to have a helluva year

  17. heyjude Says:

    @BucsFanSince1996 – You said it much better than I did. Agree on Dean too.

  18. adam from ny Says:

    all this drafting a cb is nonsense…

    i think they really like zyon

  19. Buccos Says:

    They do need to draft a corner as they should every year. It’s just a question of which round. I think I would try the 3rd round because we do have more pressing needs and if you get him in the third you should still get a talented guy but maybe he needs a year to learn. I do not expect Dean to return after this year. Having a DB who it seems can’t ever squeeze the easiest INT’s is a huge liability. Especially if he is constantly hurt

  20. Dave Pear Says:

    Todd the defensive masturmind keeps his players confused by complex schemes, hopping players all over the place playing different positions and not ensuring guys know their assignments during practice through the week. Whitehead had his best season with the Jets. Why? Because Salah knew to stop Whitehead from playing the Toddster Calculus 5 and simplified Whitehead ‘s role so he could play fast. Just watch for all the busts, as per usual Bowels.

    Poor Zyon. Expect mega-busts.

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Seriously? We’ve been a near bottom ranked pass defense for a while now. A long while.

    Not sure how that translates…