Bucs Secondary Almost Top-Ten

July 5th, 2024

Capable starter?

If you believe the rumblings of the PFF tribe, the Bucs secondary may be good enough to cover for Zyon McCollum if he struggles in his first season as a full-time starter at corner.

That’s the word from John Kosko, who says the Bucs are just on the outside of the NFL’s top-ten secondaries.


The Buccaneers have arguably the best safety in the NFL in Antoine Winfield Jr., and they have a solid supporting cast surrounding him. Cornerback Jamel Dean is ultra-consistent, and they added slot cornerback Tavierre Thomas and safety Jordan Whitehead in free agency. While the two new pieces will be question marks to start, they both prevented separation at very high levels in their previous stops.

Well, if this Kosko (not to be confused with “Costco?”) thinks Jordan Whitehead isn’t starting, Joe has some Arizona swampland for sale. Of course he will start! That’s why Joe thinks the Bucs may have the best safety duo in the league.

Joe still thinks the Bucs took a risk trading their best corner. Yes, Joe knows fans turned on Carlton Davis. Still, he was the team’s best corner.

Joe had no issue trading Davis so long as there is a capable replacement. You know, Raheem Morris’ famous saying, “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” McCollum was a little too inconsistent for Joe’s liking.

The Bucs were one of the worst teams allowing passing yards last year. Yet a backup corner on that same team is now deemed worthy of starting?

21 Responses to “Bucs Secondary Almost Top-Ten”

  1. CleanHouse Says:

    This person obviously knows nothing of Whitehead and the high regard he’s held in here.

    They have no business giving their ridiculous opinion.

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Zyon Played more defensive snaps last year than either one of our 2 part time cornerbacks- Davis or Dean.
    Those 2, as usual, missed alot of snaps.
    Zyon isnt a first time starter. He was the starting CB last year.

    Dean has missed so many snaps, I think hes playing his last season as a Buc.
    We brought in a couple good corners this off season. Our Secondary should be much improved this year-especially with Jordan Whitehead back in the fold!

  3. heyjude Says:

    We should be 2 or 3 spots higher up on the list. Don’t agree with Jets at number 1. The Browns number 6?

  4. RamblingRhino Says:

    No mention of Bryce Hall??? Did the JETS not lose both CB Hall and S Whitehead?

  5. heyjude Says:

    That is right, RamblingRhino. Bryce Hall. Great point!

  6. Dude Says:



    Zyon-95 targets-55 catches-59.8%

    Davis-83 targets-51 catches-61.4%

    Jamel Dean-56 targets-37 catches-66.1%

    The work has been put in and now we’ll get a good look of what Zyon looks like as a full-time CB.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    The best asset of a player is availability. While Carlton Davis was a good CB when he was on the field, he was often injured. Secondly, Davis was no speedster and with age and injuries, I think Lynch realized that Davis play would drop off fast. If he had 4.3 speed, then his drop off with age might have been less drastic.

  8. Beeej Says:

    I couldn’t see all the games, but I didn’t get a sense that CD3’s play was superior to Zyon

  9. garro Says:

    Safety is #1…Not top ten.

    Corners are well…You said it Joe. Todd and the OLBs/DL do them no favors though.

    Go Bucs!

  10. heyjude Says:

    McCollum is in his prime and I think he will be even better this season. He came in during a transition. He started with the Bucs in 2022 and Brady had retired. Last year was a rebuild. He said he is working on getting even better. This could be his year.

  11. KABucs Says:

    With McCollum it’s just a mental and an experience thing. He has all the intangibles you could ever need. He has decent size and his athleticism is at the 99th percentile. He’s also pretty tough. He just happens to be young and learning + came from a smaller school. The experience was a must and he got a lot of it last year. He just has to put it all together now.

  12. Ol' Boy Says:

    Loving the list season Joe! And having to dig through these, daily? I guess it’s not bad for work if you gotta have a job.

    The defense may have some weakness but it’s not zyon. And it’s not the backfield. And the line, man, I am excited to see the wrecking that our front is going to bring this year. My gut says its going to be special. If I have concerns, it’ll be linebackers. Not sure why, but it’s there.

    Top 5 by the end of the year. Hide and watxh

  13. Fan of the South Says:

    6 of the 8 player in on the most tackles in 2023 were defensive backs.
    A lot of those can be chalked up to the secondary not being too good and tackling receivers after the catch.

    If a DB is coming up to tackle on WR screens that is one thing but having to provide support on wide runs where the Edge doesn’t shed blocks and make tackles that is totally different.
    When the rush can’t get to the QB and a DB has to sell out his body running full speed downfield to break up a pass that’s another problem.

    Injuries in the secondary are more of a by product of D Line failings than just simply DB’s being injury prone.

    Getting a handful more sacks from the Edge Guys is a waste if Winfield goes out with a shoulder injury in week 7 trying to get Derek Henry tackled 10 yards down field with a full head of steam.

  14. Dave Pear Says:

    No mention of Bryce Hall at all, one of Licht’s most underrated off-season moves. This guy will start, and yet the boob who thinks it’s questionable that Jordan Whitehead starts doesn’t even mention him.

    Maroons gonna maroon.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Anyone who claims Whitehead will be competing for a starting job clearly doesn’t know a thing about the Bucs.

    More hot air during the offseason

  16. Cho Says:

    Man, this one stings. The Buc’s secondary has been terrible for the past 15 years. The Super Bowl was the single only game I watched (and I watched all of them) when the secondary stood out for good. I don’t know what it’s been, but the last decade we’ve made basically any QB look like Aaron Rodgers. Sure, we have pretty good players, but for some reason or another they never play together. I love Dean but he’s consistent…ly injured

  17. Dave Pear Says:

    Cho – it’s Todd’s fear of giving up the big play combined with his fascination for trying to disguise coverages and confuse quarterbacks. The back 7 often get more confused than the opponent. Todd’s been good at tightening it up in the red zone but it’s a slippery slope to live by “bend don’t break.”

    I think we will see a more well coached, disciplined unit this year especially with two additions by subtraction.

    Ryan “what planet am I on” Neal and Diva “I want my hundred million” White.

  18. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Let me tell you people something
    Been hopeful on Zyon since we drafted him
    Especially athletic ability
    But before y’all get carried away here
    Just watched some highlights or rather missed plays on Zyon from ALL those starts last year
    I hope he’s ready but he’s made plenty of mistakes on his young Buc career
    Just keeping real
    Go Bucs

  19. catcard202 Says:

    To me, the question became: “Would you rather pay Winfield or Davis?”…& the FO said Winfield.

    Davis then became expendable for draft capitol. DET – in dire need of competent CB play – did TB a solid by taking his contract & sending a 3rd rd pick back. Licht was smart to spin that pick into Tyree Smith. Who’ll prove himself to being a valuable chess piece for Bowles.

  20. Larrd Says:

    Last year was McCollum’s first as a “starter.” Perfect size, speed, athleticism and likes to hit. If you can’t start him in year three you need to replace the coaches.

    That said, “almost top ten” = “middle of the pack”

  21. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    Yeah Larrd, I like that. I must remind everyone we the Bucs have always had to put up with all of the media BS since the beginning man. So be like a Duck and let that bs roll off your backs like water 🌊💦. It’s just the same old thing year after year, the Bucs are the worst team, they even thought, Tom Brady wouldn’t get to the Superbowl with us in the beginning of the year. F them.