With the waiving of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, one of Tampa Bay’s most experienced defensive backs, Tampa Bay will be forced to rely heavily on the young and inexperienced players in their defensive backfield.

When defensive coordinator Todd Bowles stepped to the podium at One Buc Place on Wednesday the key topic was those young players stepping up in a secondary that’s allowing 298.9 passing yards per game.

“They’re getting better every week, they’re working hard,” Bowles said. “They learn some things on the field, a lot of things they know going into the game but as a player you’re going to learn something new every week when teams do something different. They’re very intelligent, they work hard, they study hard so I look forward to getting them better.”

Rookie Jamel Dean, after allowing three touchdowns in coverage against the Seattle Seahawks, reportedly showed up early every day the following week to watch film with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Dean was then the league’s top-graded defender by Pro Football Focus in Week 10 following a game against the Cardinals where he racked up four passes defended while bringing in a game-saving touchdown.

“It’s always good [to watch extra film], especially the way Dean started out, the game he had against Seattle,” Bowles said. “To bounce back and come back and played a game like he player and says a lot about the player and a lot about the man, from a confidence standpoint. [Sean Murphy-Bunting] is very studious in his own right as well. They all watch a lot of tape back there, not just the younger guys but the older guys too, they’re helping them out. It’ll be a group effort back there. There’s 11 guys over there, they know how to play [defensive back], they came into the league as [defensive backs] so they’ve got their chance.”


Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The film work, improving the little things, they’re all a part of the process that rookies go through as they truly learn how to hone their craft and become a pro. It’s different for everyone, when and how each player learns according to Bowles, but it’s putting in the work to fix those little things that make all the difference.

“The coaches always request you watch extra film,” Bowles said. “Whether it be with other coaches or other players or by yourself, you always need to study and watch the game. Everybody’s big, strong and fast, that doesn’t give you an edge. If you can’t anticipate plays and you don’t know where you’re going, it’s going to be hard to make plays. As a rookie coming in they all learn differently so [Dean] understood that even more so after the Seattle game.”

Bowles continued.

“You can’t focus on everything, you learn some things,” Bowles said. “Sometimes you just get beat and you play well and the guy who beat him had a better play but he’s got to focus on the little things that he can grasp. And you learn, as a coach, how to teach certain players differently and how to watch film with those guys. You can’t watch them all the same because they’re different and they learn differently. Dean has his own way of learning and we understand where he is and I know how he has to learn so we give it to him that way.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I agree. Now the win against NO is so important because it solidifies our defense and we can maybe make to playoffs.

Reply to  mbrown758
1 year ago

I agree, a win against NO would go a long way towards this secondary building some confidence in itself, but lets focus on getting back to .500 before we start talking playoffs.

1 year ago

I agree, they are getting better over time. Not as fast as we’d all like but it’s happening. I wouldn’t agree with BA that the secondary is “fixed” quite yet, but there is definitely talent there. When we get Justin Evans back that will only improve the secondary even more.

1 year ago

The coaching staff and the support staff that Bruce Arians brought together is superior to anything that any of his predecessors had from top to bottom in the previous 10 years. The results won’t really be obvious for another year from now.

For most of our frustrated fans next year might as well be eternity.

In BA I trust.
Go Bucs!!!

1 year ago

They’re Youngry.

Hockey Duckie
Reply to  matador
1 year ago

Not only are they youngry, but the secondary is also fixed since pre-season.

1 year ago

How can Bowels coach up Dean to be best graded defender in one week in his second start when Bowles sucks? That’s how stupid the trolls are here like suck-ass___ This is the best coaching staff we have had in very long time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. We have inexperienced secondary with talent. Next year this whole team will me much improved. I understand frustration I am frustrated myself, but talk of blowing it up mid season with new coaches is just the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. Talking about how Bowles sucks mid season is asinine! I… Read more »

Buc stops here
1 year ago

Cutting Vernon Hargraves I have been begging for awhile now, and I am glad it happened. The way these rookies are trying so hard give me hope they eventually may be good players. I don’t think we ever saw the effort from the veteran even when he was drafted. His example was not needed.

Reply to  Buc stops here
1 year ago

VH is a good example of drafting for need.

1 year ago

Payton will expose their many weaknesses. Its going to be another 350+ yard day in this secondary. Lets hope the offense solves the Saints defense, no turnovers, solid running game. Lets hope the defense cause a couple turnovers. I hope the backfield is getting better, because right now, they are the worst in the league (yards per game).

1 year ago

What monkey morons would give thumbs down to mbrown at the top.

If bucs win then there is a possible road to div title. Who here wouldnt want that.

If you dont out the people’s names that thumbs up and down it’s silly to have votes.

Would the saints fans please go back to the Mardi gra parade now?

Go Bucs!!

1 year ago

Not that fantasy matters but it is based on the field.
ESPN Evan’s and Godwin 5th and 6th (awesome)
Winston 8th (ahead of Brady and many other names)
Go Fun Bucs Go!!