Overview: Defensive backs

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
12:14
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- We continue our series of position-by-position overviews with the defensive backs.

Looking back: Tampa Bay ranked last in pass defense in 2012 and the Bucs went to great extremes last offseason to make sure that didn’t happen again. They traded for cornerback Darrelle Revis, signed free-agent safety Dashon Goldson and used a second-round draft pick on cornerback Johnthan Banks. That was enough to give the Bucs a respectable pass defense. But this unit still didn’t hit its full potential as Revis wasn’t 100 percent after knee surgery, Banks went through growing pains, and Goldson missed time with an injury and a suspension. In short, this unit was good, but not as good as it can be.

Looking ahead: Revis has said he’s confident he can get fully healthy for next season. If that happens, the Bucs might have the best cornerback in the league. Although he’s known for using Tampa 2 coverage, new coach Lovie Smith has indicated Revis will get a chance to do what he does best -- play man-to-man coverage. Banks should benefit from last season’s experience. Goldson needs to tone down his hitting a bit to avoid further suspensions. The previous coaching staff and front office felt that strong safety Mark Barron blossomed in his second season, and he should only be better in his third season. If everything goes according to plan, this unit has a chance to be a very good secondary.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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