The next stop on our pre-camp position-by-position analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the defensive backfield.
The new regime quickly decided that Darrelle Revis wasn’t an economic or schematic fit and released the cornerback. The Bucs are switching to the Cover 2, and Revis’ talents might have gone to waste in that system.
The Bucs signed free-agent Alterraun Verner to be their No. 1 cornerback. He came at a much better price than Revis, and he’s a natural fit in the Cover 2. The second cornerback spot still is murky. Johnthan Banks started there last year as a rookie, but the Bucs brought in Mike Jenkins to compete with him.
Logic says the loser of that battle becomes the nickelback. But coach Lovie Smith takes a different approach with nickelbacks. He treats it as an individual position and has a coach (Larry Marmie) responsible just for coaching the nickelbacks. Leonard Johnson and Danny Gorrer got work at nickelback in the offseason program.
The safety spots are a little more certain. Barring injury, Mark Barron will start on the strong side and Dashon Goldson will be at free safety. There’s solid depth behind them with Major Wright and Keith Tandy.