Christian Izien: Challenge Accepted, Let’s Get It On

April 28th, 2024

Don’t count him out.

If the Bucs were somehow using an expensive method to motivate Bucs slot corner Christian Izien, it worked.

Izien is the current starting slot corner, a position he won as a rookie last year in training camp.

By appearances, that seems to be in jeopardy. Friday night, the Bucs drafted Tykee Smith of Georgia in the third round. He is projected to be a slot corner in the NFL or perhaps a safety.

So the former publisher of The Draft Network, J.C. Cornell, pumped out his projected Bucs starters after Night 2 of the draft, Cornell listed Smith as the starting Bucs slot corner.

Let’s just say this elicited an interesting response from Izien.

The second-year Bucs slot corner retweeted Cornell’s tweet with his projected starting lineup with a laughing emoji.

Apparently, Izien isn’t about to take this transaction lying down. It’s as if he announced, “Let’s see what you got, rook!”

Don’t count out a Schiano Man just yet. Toes on the line!


34 Responses to “Christian Izien: Challenge Accepted, Let’s Get It On”

  1. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:


    Izien ” Sho u right probie!”

  2. KABucs Says:

    Competition makes the Bucs better!!!

  3. SB~LV Says:

    This is a “good problem “

  4. SB~LV Says:

    Yo Joes !
    What was the nature of McMillian’s knee injury?
    I have not seen mention of what it was exactly

  5. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I don’t think Izien is losing his job

  6. Scott Says:

    I read the knee injury was a mcl sprain somewhere

  7. SB~LV Says:

    Izien was dogged by the referee’s last season for pass interference and holding

  8. SlyPirate Says:

    The draft must be the most stressful night for NFL players. You’re watching your team actively finding your replacement.

  9. geno711 Says:

    Last season Jalen McMillan had a grade II MCL sprain. He first injured the knee in a game against Michigan State on 9/16. He came out of that game early.

    Washington had games on 9/23 and 9/30 that he missed. Washington was off on week of 10/7.

    McMillan came back on 10/14. He reaggravated the injury in the 1st quarter. No catches made.

    He missed the game on 10/21.

    He came back to the 10/28 game and reaggravated the injury again.
    So is that McMillan not understanding his body, or is that on the trainers. Twice he came back and had reaggravations.

    He played the next 3 games with no catches in any of those games.

    I am guessing with less snap counts.
    Because at the end of the year, at least statistically he came on strong. He had 25 catches.

    In his 1st three games in 2023, he had a total of 20 catches for 311 yards and 3 TD’s. He also did some punt returns.

    In 2022, he actually caught 4 or more passes in every single game.

  10. Cometowin2 Says:

    May the best player play whether it be Izien and/or Palmer or the new guys.Confident Barton and maybe even Braswell will start day one.

  11. SB~LV Says:

    Thanks Geno !

  12. matthew a veal Says:

    sometimes draft capital ends up going for a talented somebody internally to beat out. hardy nickerson used mccants that way (don’t misuderstand me, this was another tragedy like gaines adams and ricky bell, men that deserve to remembered for contributions to an overall good, not be mocked).
    i will definitely be betting on christian over the new guy ( i am not even gonna bother learning his name at least for now).
    If your the new guy, feel free to prove me wrong and mock me when you’ve done it

  13. Leighroy Says:

    We needed CB depth after the Davis trade, and always needed S depth. Izien AND Smith pushing to be the 3rd guy at either position is a win-win.

  14. BillyBucco Says:

    Competition breeds excellence.
    Tykee Smith will be hard to keep off the field.
    McMillan is definitely WR3 from day 1.
    He finds the open field in zone and his bigger body allows him to go over the middle easier.
    He can also line up outside, but of course so can Devin Culp.
    Bucky Irving is better than most think and nice to have if White goes down.
    He could start by week 6.
    Possible we got 7 future starters actually.

  15. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    They’re all going to play. All the exotic looks Bowles likes, the movement of the NFL to 3-4 WR sets, the ability of Smith, Winfield, Whitehead, Izien to blitz, the ability of Smith to match up with TEs, and lastly, the Buccanner plague of injuries to CBs.

  16. All_da_way Says:

    Love Izien. He is a football player through and through.

  17. NJbucs23 Says:

    This is a god problem to have. Bucs needed a youth infusion and dudes who love football. We accomplished both. Now it’s time to get to work.

  18. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Stickinup4centers exactly my thoughts too.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our first 5 draft picks will see a great deal of playing time.

    Barton, Braswell, Smith, McMillan & Irving……

    This was a very good draft……we needed C/G, Edge, CB, RB

    The only need not addressed was ILB.

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    Leighroy-. Keep in mind that the Bucs signed CB Byce Hall and Tavierre Thomas in March. They’ve always loved Hall. He was just behind 2 Pro bowl level CBs on the Jets. Thomas started the last few years for the Texans and the Browns before that. I’m not claiming they’re all pros but better veteran depth at CB than we had in awhile.

  21. orlbucfan Says:

    I doubt Izien is worried. Besides, Bucs need competent backups.

  22. Bojim Says:

    Izen should be better this year. It will be fun to watch.

  23. ModHairKen Says:

    This team is building on last year. Baker in year 2. Kancey in year 2. Izien in year 2. Diaby in year 2. Mauch in year 2.

    Gone is underperforming Davis. The weak Hainsey will be riding the pine or pitching his tent in another campground.

    White and Tucker will be much better. Any semblance of a running game is going to turn Evans and Godwin into 1,500 yard WRs.

    It’s not too soon to start talking about expectations. Philly is worse. Dallas is worse. SF has too many WRs and not enough money. Detroit is about to cause a rift with its QB. So who does that leave?

  24. Dan the Bucs fan Says:

    In Todd Bowles defense he like a slot corner who can blitz. He said bunch of times last year they didn’t have a slot corner they could blitz with. This draft pick was to fill that need. He will not lose his job he was great as a rookie last year this is just another weapon for our defense. When he is on field you have to worry about him blitzing outs more pressure on the other team.

  25. Leighroy Says:

    Fair point indeed Stan. I’m not sure if the 2 vets are inside or outside CBs, but I haven’t heard that they can play safety. The positional flexibility of Izien and Smith really rounds out the depth now in the DB room.

    I disagree that ILB was a need. KJ Britt demonstrated he’s ready to be a starter. Dennis will mix in as the 3rd ILB. We aren’t going to carry 4 ILBs on the roster. When David retires, then we will have a need, but we haven’t crossed that bridge yet!

  26. MadMax Says:

    and Mr. Winfield just sittin back, watchin and smilin….Jason knows whats up….and we got this 😉

  27. Hodad Says:

    There’s a reason one played for Georgia, and one Rutgers. Smith is just better, and will win the job. Both are good players, and both will play a ton this season.

  28. Colin in Canada Says:

    Left Guard – Mauch / Bredeson
    Right Guard – Klein / Opeta

  29. Brian in St Pete Says:

    They’ll find a spot for Izien. Maybe Smith won’t be ready to step in day 1. But regardless, Izien played well as an UDFA, they’ll find a spot for young promising players, be it a rotational guy or a frontline starter.

  30. Capt.Tim Says:

    I relly like Iziens game. I think hes our starting slot CB this year.

  31. drdneast Says:

    Don’t count Trey Palmer out either. I know some may not think so, but I actually think Palmer had a good season last year for a rookie.

  32. Coach Smith Says:

    Just with the doctor ordered , competition for a first year player going into his second season….It’ll keep Christian Izien hungry and on his toes. He’s not given that spot up they’re gonna have to find somewhere else on the field for Smith. This is a good thing for the bucs.

  33. MadMax Says:

    Tykee is a great pick….he was off my radar…. yeah, we were sneaky with this one lol…great job Jason!

  34. GhostofBrady Says:

    Leighroy Says:
    “We needed CB depth after the Davis trade, and always needed S depth. Izien AND Smith pushing to be the 3rd guy at either position is a win-win.”

    We just franchised Winfield an all-pro CB. Yet were were 3rd WORST pass defense in the league allowing a staggering 4568 yards (269 yd/gm) for the year. I get it, pass rush is part of that and we have not had consistent sacks and hurries since Shaq Barrett got paid.

    But man McMillan was a wasted pick in the 3rd round. More receivers are nice but you rarely see 4 of them get adequate playing time in any game or the year. I would have preferred we moved up in the second round and picked Cooper DeJean. He would have bookended the corners quarters the way the Tampa zone is supposed to work. Possibly trade McMillan’s 3rd Round at position 92 AND a 3rd rounder in 2025 to the Patriots at 37. Swoop in there and pick DeJean before the Eagles. The Patriots were dealing to move down for multiple picks. They moved from 34 to 37 already with Chargers. To pick a mid-tier WR at 37 (Ja’Lynn Polk – the other Husky WR). There were plenty of more WRs in the draft in round 3 and 4 for the Patriots to pick.

    We still keep the picks that got us Bragwell, Smith and Irving which to me were solid picks. But who knows, New England may not have been interested in giving up their 2 for this year for a 3 this year and 3 next year. And maybe we tried in the background. All the other good CBs got taken 4 of the next 10 picks after Dejean. So getting in front of the line was our only real hope. If McMillan ends up a minor contributor and we’re in the bottom 10 again in Pass Defense even with new investments in pass rushers, we may look back to the 2nd round of rich CBs we missed out on.