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November 10, 2011 @ 6:45 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Biggers Is Earning His Teammates Respect

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Enjoying his finest season of his young career, cornerback E.J. Biggers says he doesn't mind being picked on by opposing offenses. Secondary coach Jimmy Lake and teammates Aqib Talib and Tanard Jackson said Biggers is growing up right before their eyes.

Buccaneers cornerback E. J. Biggers is used to being the underdog. And not only does he not mind it, he welcomes it and uses it as motivation.

Despite a solid four-year career for the Western Michigan Broncos, Biggers wasn’t selected until the seventh round in the 2009 draft by the Buccaneers. After fighting the odds of being a late-round draft pick, the Miami native made the roster only to be lost for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in practice during the first week of the regular season.

“It was really tough at the time,” Biggers said. “But you have to realize everything happens for a reason. I just had to get in the playbook and film room and come back better.”

Defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake told PewterReport.com that Biggers is quietly having a good season.

“He has played excellent,” Lake said. “He's made a lot of plays. He set up Ronde [Barber's] interception. His first interception [he] tipped the ball to Ronde. He comes in [and] he is our third corner [and] really goes unnoticed for the most part. But Biggers has played excellent up to this point.”

Biggers understands there is still much to learn but has shown the coaches and his teammates he is willing to work to improve. Coach Lake is constantly reminding his defensive backs to finish plays and Biggers is taking the advice to heart,

“I feel like there's always room to get better,” Biggers said. “I watched Ronde Barber and Aqib, and like I tell everybody, these are my two big brothers in the locker room. I’m working hard to get to the level of those guys.

“So finishing plays is what I am focusing on. Of course sometimes you are going to get caught [beaten for a catch], but if you're finishing plays you will be lot more successful.”

With one interception so far to go along with seven passes defensed, Biggers ranks third on the team behind Ronde Barber (10) and Aqib Talib (8). Talib is impressed with the third-year corner and said Biggers has improved every year.

“I think he's doing a great job, personally,” Talib said. “Some of those big games where we needed to win, like the Falcons and the first Saints game, those were two of his better games of the season. He keeps showing up in games like that then it won't be long and he will be the man.

“His confidence is really improved and at a totally different level than it was last year. That comes with playing in big games against big-time players like Roddy White. Just the repetition of getting to play gives him that confidence.”

Talib also said he welcomes the opportunity to be a mentor to Biggers and the other younger defensive backs on the roster.

“Definitely having a younger player look up to you makes you want to go out there and practice harder,” Talib said. “I still look at Ronde and it makes me want to go out there and practice everyday. Younger guys now look to me so it just gets passed down the line and I do my part.”

Safety Tanard Jackson agreed with Lake and Talib’s assessment.

“E.J. really holds his own,” Jackson said. “I don’t even look at him as a seventh-round draft pick. He's a guy who has gotten better every year since he's been here and he's standing up. I think he's become a student of the game and is constantly learning from guys like Ronde and Talib. I think the sky is the limit for him.”

With Jackson, Talib and veteran Barber on the field, Lake knows offensive coordinators are going to take their shots at Biggers.

“Yes, I think I would, too,” Lake said. “Especially from the outside because he's the outside corner so you have Aqib Talib on one side and then this seventh-round, no-name guy on the other side. 

"They will definitely go over there, but I don’t think they've had a lot of production his way if you go back and look at it. I don’t think they've had a lot of production going at Biggers.”

Biggers agreed with Lake and said he would do the same thing.

“Hey, if I’m the offensive coordinator and I see Aqib and Ronde and Tanard Jackson, then I’m throwing at No. 31 also,” Biggers said. “Those are two of the best corners in the league. I’ll tell everybody that each and every time.

“But I’m not afraid of it and I love the challenge. I love being involved and helping my team. Our defense is capable of great things, we just have to keep finishing plays.”

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2011 19:17

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  • avatar

    I agree Coach Lake's assessment of Biggers. I am very disappointed in Myron Lewis who has the build, the speed, and the height to be a good CB in the pros but he does not have the heart or the motivation to put in the work to get the production his talents and athleticism make possible for him. We need to trade him for whatever we can get for him. Look at the size of Rhonde and he will be in the Hall of Fame one day; so you have to look for a football player rather than just someone with great potential based on their talent. Wish we had some weak teams to play and could try out Gaitor and Ahmad Black at DB.
  • avatar

    It is legal to tackle by the hair. OOuch! Maybe running backs and receivers should shave their heads. Then again maybe Darren Sproles, no, make that Arian Foster this weekend should have hair flowing down to his waist. As he whizzes by with those dreads streaming - just reach out a get a handfull or two. No horse collar penalty either.
  • avatar

    As a Western Michigan alum, I love that EJ made the squad. Met him at training camp last year and he's a solid guy. But feel like he's always a step behind, a couple inches from knocking the ball down, or just too small to make the tackle. Opposing offenses are targeting him and hope he can get better with time. But expect we will be drafting or signing free agent corners this off season. Rhonde won't last forever, Talib will likely get suspended or just punch somebody, Myron Lewis seems to spend all his time at the beach, and Elbert Mack makes EJ look like an All Pro. And with no pass rush, hard to stop 6'5" WR's that teams are loading up on.
  • avatar

    We sure do have problems when our corners are looking up to Talib. I hope they don't try to emulate the way he tackles (I should say the way he does not tackle). With each big run or screen pass the other team makes against this defense, you can usually see Talib not getting off a weak block or grasping at air. The guy looks like he is barely trying out there. Not to mention the way the ball bounces off of his stone hands. Look up to Barber and pretend Talib is not on the field. I know the opposing team does and that seems to work out well enough for them.
  • avatar

    Horse, obviously I was referring to your post regarding Biggers. But let me get in front of any doubt about your motives here. I have read your post and I know that you are passionate on the subject of race. In hindsight, I see how my original post could imply otherwise and that was never my intention. For that I apologize in advance and to my fellow posters for the ensuing discourse. This website is no place for political or societal opinion - it's about football and Buc football at that and I will always respect that. I sincerely hope that I am clear on this matter.
  • avatar

    macabee, yeah it fired me up and sorry I made a negative comment to you. I am serious about long hair out of a helmet. The helmet is worn to protect the head. I always thought that it also means hair. I am okay with long hair inside a helmet; outside, no.
  • avatar

    bcrowell, actually I was referring to the on-field performance of both players. But after having read your post, perhaps we should all be concerned!
  • avatar

    macabee, I agree. Long hair out of a helmet has no place in a contact sport.
  • avatar

    macabee - are you implying that there is some kind of racial motive to asking Smallers about his dreds? Seriously? Maybe no one asks Clay Mathews about his hair because he doesn't play for the Bucs. Just an idea. Man, I thought that having a black president was supposed to clear all of this racial stuff up for us. So weird.
  • avatar

    bcrowell, that's silly. I think Cay Mathews hair is stupid. I think all long hair in sports is stupid. That's all I am saying. Somebody one day will lose their scalp because of that and will take legal action for it happening.
  • avatar

    I have absolutely no idea what the people in this article are talking about. Almost every catch against us seems to go right over the top of Mr. Smallers. He sucks and we have got to get an upgrade at this spot if we ever want to have a top 5 defense against the pass. I'm sure that he tries hard, but his talent level simply doesn't match the task at hand.
  • avatar

    I think Biggers plays better play to play than people think. They see a pass being caught and think the defender sucks. All DB's have passes caught against them. The difference is that some DB's are better able to make the INT's to offset them.
  • avatar

    This is a JOKE right this guy gets beat every game. I guess his best game was againts ATL right.
  • avatar

    Nobody ask about the length of Clay Matthews hair! Wonder why?
  • avatar

    macabee, dumb for saying that. If Clay Mathews was on this team I would think it was stupid. So to help you macabee; hey Clay Mathews you look stupid with long hair in a contact sport. Don't go there with that dumb statement macabee. I asked a legit question to PewterReport. Long hair out of a helmet has no place in the NFL because eventually an ugly injury of the scalp will happen.
  • avatar

    Be sure to ask him why he is the CB on every other big 1st down conversion for the opposing team on 3rd down and why he didnt turn his head around on the fade route to Lance Moore for a TD last week? Was he waiting until he was out of bounds to turn his head? Tks!
  • avatar

    b farbs this is what Jimmy Lake had to say about that specific play. "I think for this year he gave up a three yard fade ball to Lance Moore and Drew Brees threw it perfect. When we go in there and grade those things he played his technique perfect and Drew Brees throws a perfect ball and Lance Moore makes a great catch. There is really nothing you can do about it. Same thing that Aqib (Talib) had on Calvin Johnson against Detroit. The one yard fade in the end zone right there on the goal line. Play it perfect [and] put your hands through his hands and he comes out with the ball. There is really nothing you can do about it you know. There are other plays when we knock it out sometimes, but if he makes a great catch [and] they make a great throw."
  • avatar

    No he didn't play it well. If I am correct Moore lined up on his outside shoulder.He should have anticipated that instead of letting him run right by him. Biggers is soft and weak. He should not even try to play press coverage.
  • avatar

    That's a great question horse. I'll ask EJ about it.
  • avatar

    PewterReportMC, thank you. I think long hair on any sports player is stupid as stupid can be. Clay Mathews hair looks just as stupid. It's really dumb on basketball players. Probably baseball players can get away with it because it is basically a non contact sport.
  • avatar

    Only one question Pewter Report? Why are players with long hair not required to at least bundle it together? One day a player will lose part of their scalp and that will be the end of long hair extending out of a helmet. Have you ever seen a partially scalped person? I have and it's not a pretty site.
  • avatar

    Until that happens I don't understand what all the crying is about. So what a player has hair coming out of his helmet.If he gets it tugged out then its his assphault. Just because you like your hair short and neat doesn't mean others have to prescribe to that way of thinking. Biggers braids is a cultural thing so people who don't understand or accept that culture need to get over it. Guys like him might look at people like you with your clean cut appearance as being soft and weak!
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