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April 21, 2013 @ 5:43 pm
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Revis Trade Totally Revamps Tampa Bay's Secondary

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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How does the acquisition of Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis impact and reshape Tampa Bay's secondary? Pewter Report looks at the projected starters in the Bucs' defensive backfield, which is radically different from what it was a year ago with the acquisition of Revis and FS Dashon Goldson.
The Buccaneers’ blockbuster trade in which the team acquired cornerback Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets for a first-round pick in 2013 and essentially a third-rounder in 2014 – along with signing Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Goldson in free agency – totally revamps Tampa Bay’s secondary.

And that’s a good thing, especially considering the Bucs had the worst-ranked pass defense in the NFL a year ago, surrendering an average of 297.4 yards per game and finishing the season 38 yards shy of allowing the most passing yards in any season in NFL history.

Tampa Bay entered the 2012 season with Aqib Talib and Eric Wright as its starting cornerbacks, E.J. Biggers as the team’s nickel corner, and Ronde Barber in his first year at free safety alongside rookie strong safety Mark Barron, who was Tampa Bay’s first-round pick. The Bucs felt good about their secondary until the unit struggled in Week 2 against the New York Giants.

Although Wright returned his first and only interception as a Buccaneer 60 yards for a touchdown to help build a 24-13 lead at halftime, Giants quarterback Eli Manning torched Tampa Bay’s secondary for 510 yards and three touchdowns in leading New York back for a 41-34 come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter. It would only get worse as Talib would be suspended four games for using the performance-enhancing drug Adderall and eventually traded to New England for a fourth-round draft pick in 2013.

Wright was also suspended four games due to unauthorized Adderall use and then suffered an Achilles injury late in the season. Wright missed a total of six games down the stretch and finished the season with a disappointing 37 tackles, seven pass breakups, one fumble recovery and one interception after signing a five-year, $37.5-million contract last March.

By the end of the year, the Bucs were starting Biggers, undrafted free agent Leonard Johnson and Danny Gorrer, and also using former seventh-round draft pick Anthony Gaitor extensively late in the season. Tampa Bay’s secondary gave up 12 combined passing touchdowns to the likes Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Denver’s Peyton Manning, Philadelphia rookie Nick Foles, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and St. Louis’ Sam Bradford in a five-game losing streak from November 25 – December 23.

The acquisition of Revis and Goldson changes everything for the better.

Goldson, who signed a five-year, $41.25-million deal with $22 million guaranteed, has intercepted 14 passes and forced five fumbles in his six-year NFL career, and is a real enforcer against the run with 346 career tackles.

“We always try to find unique and it’s rare instances when you can add a player of this quality and we felt like Dashon was one of those,” said Bucs general manager Mark Dominik. “Over the last couple of seasons, he has been to Honolulu, elected as a Pro Bowl member, which is a rare class to go to two years in a row.

“He was also franchised by the San Francisco 49ers, which made him very untouchable. We had planned and hoped for the opportunity to pursue Dashon Goldson but certainly we were excited when the 49ers did not place the franchise tag on him this year and allowed him to hit free agency and us to pursue him.”

Revis, whose nickname is “Revis Island” due to his ability to be placed on a proverbial island and shut down opposing teams’ best receivers in one-on-one man coverage, gives the Bucs a true playmaker at cornerback. The four-time Pro Bowler, who was signed to a six-year extension worth $16 million per season with no guaranteed money, has picked off 19 passes and forced three fumbles in his six-year NFL career.

Revis is expected to team with Wright, who recently took a pay cut and a shortened contract to stay with the Bucs in 2013, to become Tampa Bay’s starting cornerbacks in 2013. Wright was scheduled to make $7.75 million in 2013 and was under contract through 2016, but is now operating with a one-year, $1.5-million deal.

“Now that Eric (Wright) is back in the fold that is one more number for sure,” Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said. “Eric Wright is a starting cornerback-caliber talent. He just had some bad luck last year. I’m excited. I think he is going to come in here and he is going to work hard and perform well. God-willing he stays healthy, I think he is capable of playing well.”

With Revis and Wright set to start for the Bucs at cornerback and Goldson teaming with Barron, here’s how Tampa Bay’s starting secondary will look in 2013:

No. 1 CB Darrelle Revis – 5-11, 198
Revis is a supreme, playmaking, shutdown cornerback that allows Greg Schiano and Bill Sheridan the flexibility of being aggressive with blitzes because of his ability to play man coverage. Revis is a ballhawk that is capable of leading the team in interceptions in 2013.

No. 2 CB Eric Wright – 5-10, 200
Wright is a good cover corner that benefits from the addition of Revis by defending lesser, No. 2-caliber receivers in man coverage. Wright should be motivated by being in a contract year and needs to stay healthy and produce. He’ll have plenty of balls thrown his way as opposing QBs will stay away from Revis.

FS Dashon Goldson – 6-2, 200
The two-time Pro Bowler upgrades the free safety position. Goldson is an enforcer against the run and the pass like former safety John Lynch was. He’s a sure tackler and a ballhawk that can be the single high safety in Cover 3 or an in-the-box presence against the run.

SS Mark Barron – 6-2, 213
Barron will not only benefit from a year’s worth of experience under his belt after recording 88 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble, but will also be able to learn from Goldson, who has a similar skill set and body type. Barron is expected to take a big step up in production in 2013.

No. 3 (in nickel defense) CB Leonard Johnson – 5-10, 202
Johnson saw significant playing time as an undrafted rookie in 2012 and was a turnover machine with three interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Johnson will compete with Ronde Barber – if he’s re-signed – or the team’s 2013 draft pick for the nickel cornerback role.

Despite the acquisition of Revis, the Buccaneers must still address the cornerback position as veteran nickel cornerback E.J. Biggers left Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent. There is a chance that Barber could return for a 17th NFL season and become the Bucs’ nickel cornerback and give Tampa Bay three proven veterans at the top of the depth chart.

Regardless of whether the Bucs re-sign Barber or not, the team will spend at least one draft pick on a developmental cornerback. With Revis aboard, the Bucs have more flexibility in the upcoming draft and may not feel the pressure to take a cornerback early unless they are convinced that player would be the best available on the draft board.

The Bucs like several cornerbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft, including Alabama’s Dee Milliner and Washington’s Desmond Trufant, but both players are expected to be first-round draft picks. Tampa Bay also likes Houston’s D.J. Hayden, Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay, UConn’s Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Rutgers’ Logan Ryan, San Diego State’s Leon McFadden and Cal’s Marc Anthony.

Schiano said that a rookie cornerback could come in and compete for playing time right away in his system.

“I don’t think it’s any more different than anyone else’s system,” Schiano said. “We were fortunate last year. You look at something that usually doesn’t happen. You have three rookies come in and start all 16 games. It might be a little naïve to say, ‘Let’s go do it again.’ But you really want to get guys that are capable of coming in here, especially with those early picks.

“If they aren’t starting, they are playing a substantial role on Sundays. That’s the goal. If it ends up being a cornerback – just like the guy that started at Will cornerback – that’s about as complicated as it can get and Lavonte [David] did an extremely good job. So did Mark [Barron], and safety is very complicated – more so than corner. Both of those are more complicated than cornerback. If that’s the way the draft ends up going, I think that guy would be capable – whoever that guy is.”

Last modified on Sunday, 21 April 2013 17:50

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  • avatar

    Any questions about the Buc's commitment to making their Team better are put to rest with this trade. There is no player that the Bucs could get at 13 that would be as good as Revis, and it makes our Secondary legitimate with three pro bowlers, and last yrs # 1 pick. Our Defensive Line is the only area on Defense that needs to be addressed post haste. I think we are going to be a lot better and if the Bucs are able to continue to have good drafts we should be able to compete for playoffs within a yr.
  • avatar

    Revis! Right or wrong, the deal is done. Time now, I think, for all true Bucs fans to get on board. Our defense should be much improved this year and I expect us to win the NFC South and so make the playoffs. I have my fingers crossed that we get a stud nose tackle Friday. That seems to me the biggest remaining hole. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Yeah, i was against it too, but as you said they are looking much better now, then last season. I think we are still a offseason away from completing this.. D.J. Hayden/Tyran Mathieu would be killer (Mathieu is risky like Revis trade ;) ). The Bucs are in great shape to form a legitimate contender and i´m confident they will find good pieces in the draft(!). Hoping for this Rutgers LB in the 3rd (if Lavonte or Mason goes down we are screwed) and of course we are still in need for D-line and TE.
  • avatar

    Still interested to see the jersey # situation. I saw PR tweeted that Revis has inquired about getting 24 from Barron, but I wonder if it happens? And if so how much $$$ its going to cost Revis haha...
  • avatar

    While we won't get a pick Thursday unless Dom negotiates a move up to 31 or 32, it will be interesting to watch who falls to the second round or who surprises us and moves up into the first round. I have found over the years that the Kiper's and Mcshay's of the world usually usually get the first 2 or 3 correct, but after that all bets are off especially with teams like New England and Oakland. You never know what they will do. So while we know who our 13th is it will still be fun to watch. Go Bucs.......
  • avatar

    If Hayden is there in the 2nd, he has to be the pick, just too much upside there. Otherwise, I hope we take best DT/DE/OT that slides too us. I don't want us too move up, would prefer we move down, we have a lot of needs-DT/DE/SLB/CB/TE/OT/QB that we need to address. I like how how our starters are in general, but we need alot of depth, especially DL/OL. If someone gets hurt, we have no depth on the line, and we don't have a starter at NT yet.
  • avatar

    I feel good about this team, yes there are holes to fill still, but compare it to last year's 7-9 team....last year we had 2 DE's out at least part of the year, 2 guards out most of the year and CB's that both got suspended and 1 traded. This year the DB backfield is strongly upgraded, the DE's and Guard's are back, GMC had a good year last year, Martin and a great roookie season, we have very nice receiver package in Jackson and Williams, plus Josh gets a 2nd year under the same system finally, so.............that seems to indicate there is a good chance for a better record and I am very hopeful about the playoffs being a real possibility right now. I certainly did not have that hope last year.
  • avatar

    buctebow, I agree and I feel good about this team, too. Last year, they were 7-9 with the worst pass defense. If the pass defense was just average, they would of been in the play offs.
  • avatar

    I would like a speedy return specialist also on my wish list.
  • avatar

    I was against this deal. I hope it works out well and do likel that they are being aggressive and trying to win this year. Unfortunately I was looking forward to the draft and now day one will be dull unless we trade back into the first round. At any rate get a NT and a RT in the draft and Win Bucs Win.
  • avatar

    Can you imagine Revis doing a pick-6 on Sanchez in week 1? Can you imagine how crazy that would make Jets nation? Goodness gracious!!!!
  • avatar

    Taking best player available will take care of a lot of needs in the draft whether its Hunt, Short, Amerson or any number of CBs they all help and fill needs. The one thing I really like is that this gives Tampa the leadership in the secondary necessary to take a chance on a guy like Tyrann Mathieu. He could be a mid round selection that shores up the nickel back spot for years to come. Great ball skills, physical enough to re route WRs off the line of scrimmage and playing the slot wil line him up closer to the line of scrimmage which is his strength. Also doesnt hurt that Ronde will prob be back to mentor him on and off the field.
  • avatar

    Hey stlbucsfan - I like Matthieu as well....but I just can't see him as a Buccaneer-man (from what I've seen he looks to have a lot of Neon in him)...maybe the definition of Buccaneer-man is changing this year and if so I think Matthieu has a lot of skills and would make a big impact on the field...our secondary could literally go worst to first this year....I guess then we would really see how well we stand-up to the run without Bennett and Miller....I think we'd still be fine, but we need to find some more DL help in the draft IMO.
  • avatar

    If we can get Mathieu in the 4th round I like the value considering he would actually have the ability to help this as opposed to the projects we took in those rounds last year. Im also high on Amerson from NC State, I think since we play such a man based scheme having corners with big time ball skills is vital especially considering the volume of passes they are likely to see with Revis on the other side. You're right though it all comes to whether or not they see him as a continual problem like Tanard or a kid in college like Mike Williams. Time will tell but with a solid draft I will have high hopes for this season. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    If it weren't for Talib & Wright failing drug tests, I would say yes take a chance on Matthieu. But since we had to clean that part of the team up, I don't think they take a chance on him. Even though Matthieu only smoked weed which is not a drug IMO. Still can't bring that kind of attitude to the team
  • avatar

    I think we truly have the luxury of taking the best player available with our 2nd round pick since we need depth in many positions. I'd rather see how the 1st round plays out before I say who I want in the 2nd round. If I had to pick someone now it would be K. Short. He reminds me of Price. I see no reason not to put a natural 3-technique in our NT spot for all three downs. Are we trying to add pass rushers or not? A guy certainly doesn't have to be a DE to be a pass rusher. Short has twice as many career sacks as M. Hunt.
  • avatar

    I agree, pinkstob. Plus, the season can't get here fast enough!
  • avatar

    I agree with Roland and others about Gaitor. I think he is a better overall CB than Johnson and should win the 3rd CB spot. I also agree with the comment that Gaitor should move outside and Wright should move to the slot when all three are on the field. I do like Johnson, but as a #4 CB.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Time to go get Margus Hunt.
  • avatar

    Well, it's done. I think the Bucs overpaid to get Revis, but now that it's done let's hope the knee is fine, and Revis is motivated to show the NFL that he is back and as good as ever. The Bucs secondary is vastly improved and there is a lot of excitement around the team. So let's get down to business and win this year.
  • avatar

    @arizonajoe: Exactly
  • avatar

    I ss that now Tampa can get a CB's in the later rounds. If somehow they can get that DE from SMU will really enhance the Defense line. Tampa can really get the players in the later round to make the bucs better. Also I think If Rhonde Barber comes back lookout teams offense will feel the wrap of bucs defense in 2013-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    I like Anthony Gaitor too, but how does Schiano feel about him? For all the good things that Schiano brings to the Bucs, he is a coach that either likes you or not. And if he doesn’t like you, you’re not going to play for him. My opinion, he doesn’t like LeGarette Blount. Anthony Gaitor is a Raheem Morris pick and I don’t know if Schiano believes he has the aptitude to play his scheme. He drew Schiano’s public ire in the Atlanta game for being out of position. I may be totally misreading Schiano, but I think he favors his own picks like Keith Tandy over guys like Gaitor. You decide if Schiano is right or if I’m pre-judging him from a few simple observations. I will stand by my opinion until I see different.
  • avatar

    As for the draft, I almost am certain we will go NT now in round 2, unless we are just in love with a DE or CB that's available. jongruden I too like Kawan Short but I think he may be a better fit to be a 3-technique, not a NT. Jonathan Jenkins would be my choice. Jenkins can be as superstar as a NT gets if he doesn't eat his way out of the league. Johnathan Hankins would be a nice add to as he can disrupt the pocket and make others look better. Hankins has a seriously quick first step. If we did go DE or CB look for us to grab NT Brandon Williams (round 3) or NT Montori Hughes (round 3 or later, off the field issues).
  • avatar

    I did not see CB Alford mentioned any where as a possible draft pick. This kid is a born football player. He had one hell of a Senior Bowl. He is a ball hawk and is always around the all not to mention he is a hard hitter and sure tackler. He looked a lot better than some of the CB's mentioned.
  • avatar

    Walter White?
  • avatar

    Agree about Gaitor. Anthony has more upside then Leonard Johnson imo. Especially if we are going to go to more strait man coverage. In the Nickle my guess is we put Gaitor opposite Revis and put Wright in the slot when we are going with our best man coverage set up.
  • avatar

    Why do we always forget about Anthony Gaitor? I think he will be a good CB in this league.. Unfortunately it may end up somewhere else. Sometimes a player only needs an opportunity.. If he can stay healthy through training camp I think he wins the nickle spot and takes the no.2 CB sopt after we let Wright walk after the year.
  • avatar

    They call Alabama the Crimson Tide they call him Deacon Blues !!!!! With Revis and Goldson in tow, Gaitor should have a nice incubater to develop in. I have to say I am proud of the way Dominik negotiatied this deal. Basically if Revis is is unable to play in the future, all the Bucs lose is a first round pick in 2013 and a 4th in 2014. But with no guarantees at least the Bucs aren't in cap hell. Smart !!! My hope is we lose a 3rd in 2014, because that will mean Revis is recovered and the Bucs are happy with his performance. You have to figure the Bucs physicians know what they are talking about and wouldn't allow the Bucs to take damaged merchandise. The only thing that would make this a bad deal is if Revis can't play to his full ability.
  • avatar

    I agree Deacon.
  • avatar

    We still have work to do. I would like for the Bucs to look into the medical clearance for CB D.J. Hayden. This guy skill-wise is the best CB in the draft including Milliner. He had a terrific injury where in a freak on-field collision during practice he tore a major vein in his heart - a near death experience. If the doctors think this was a once in a million occurrence and he is fully rehabilitated, I would not hesitate to take a flyer on Hayden in the 2nd round. I followed him at Houston and the guy that he most resembles is ...........Darelle Revis! Check him out Dom!
  • avatar

    Macabee - Your right on with your assesment of DJ Hayden he is a straight beast I watched alot of "youtube" videos of him and he is a baller and yes he did tear his inferior vena cava almost completely off which he almost died, not sure how he will play with that injury even after surgery but he is worth the pick. I like Kawan Short from Purdue he was unblockable at the senior bowl destroying Wolford of Kentucky on several plays and I would take a corner third round like a Logan Ryan or a Leon McFadden
  • avatar

    Homerun for Dominik. With no guaranteed money, the bucs have all the leverage if they need to renegotiate if his play slips. I don't think we should draft another CB. I think now Barber will come back and we already have Johnson and Gaitor behind that. I think we should either trade our 2nd, two 4 and one of our 6 th andthe to trade back into the 1st for Fluker / Richardson or later in the first for Werner / Moore / D. Jones / Hunt.
  • avatar

    I like how some Dbag on bleacherreport wrote an article talking about how the Bucs secondary still isn't good because of Eric Wright. What does he want us to do, trade for Richard Sherman too??? I swear some people just have to hate no matter what.
  • avatar

    bucdiezel, don't take that BR report seriously. Some of the writers who report on the Bucs are guest writers, some are literally high school kids or budding journalist still in college. Matt Miller and a few others are reputable. So don't expect to learn very much there and please don't buy their every five minute mock drafts. There are some good articles there, but you have to be selective!
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