Bucs cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah has gained a reputation as one of the most competitive players on defense.
Bucs CBs Alterraun Verner & Jude Adjei-Barimah – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
He fought his way onto the practice squad after going undrafted out of Bowling Green in 2015 and eventually earned a starting job by Week 9, replacing Johnthan Banks. In seven consecutive starts Adjei-Barimah recorded 33 tackles, and while he may lack elite skills in coverage, he showed promise as a physical defender. Which is why Mike Smith’s system is a great match.
As Alterraun Verner told Scott Reynolds, written in the Fab 5 Friday, Adjei-Barimah is adapting well in a more aggressive scheme and making Vernon Hargreaves, the Bucs first-round pick, earn his reps at nickel corner in training camp. Hargreaves is expected to break into the starting lineup, to be sure, but not without fierce competition from a player who is more comfortable and confident heading into his second season.
Adjei-Barimah, staying humble and praising his fellow cornerbacks, is approaching this training camp with the same mentality as last year: showing he belongs on the roster.
“Right now I’m just trying to carve out a role for myself wherever I’m needed,” he said.
Understanding the makeup of the secondary this year – two high-profile additions and two returning veterans – Adjei-Barimah is even looking to “carve out a role” on special teams, in addition to a rotating role at nickel corner. Competition is strong, he said, and Smith is giving everyone an equal opportunity to make an impression.
“We can do a lot of things, and I feel like that’s what coach Smith wants to do,” Adjei-Barimah said. “Right now he’s giving everyone a chance to get acclimated, come out here and compete. As players, that’s the most we can ask for.
“I’m a lot more comfortable just because I had the opportunity to go through the offseason program. I was able to come in with the vets in April and go through OTAs and minicamp and stuff like that. Just the chemistry I got with the guys, the familiarity I got from coming out here, just the day-in and day-out process of being a pro – I think I’m a lot more comfortable coming into this year.”
He didn’t forget to mention his supporting cast, either.
“(Verner and Banks) are veterans – they know what to bring to the table,” Adjei-Barimah said. “They know how to come into camp, how to prepare and how to play,” and Hargreaves and Grimes are “both great talents, great additions to the group. Like I said, our group is very talented and I think we’ll be pretty good. Lot of confidence.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I can’t help but feel our corners and coverage will be so much better this year. Just a big upgrade in talent, competition and coaching.
I just hope I am not being overly optimistic and setting myself up for another disappointment.
Didn’t Jude play some safety in College? I seem to remember that he did. I wonder if that’s true they would consider moving him into one of the safety positions? At this point, even if he doesn’t have safety experience – cross-training him there might pay off big this time next year.
Thanks Zach; good to know we have some keepers. Go Bucs!
I hope we see aome analysis of Adjei-Barimah’s coverage skills and how they compare to his competition’s. Most interviews of athletes will have copy and paste answers to stock questions. “I work hard every day. I want to do what coach says we can do. I hope to be part of this great organization’s future. Blah, blah, blah.” I would really like to know how well he covers and/or guns, though, based on his tape. What is he good at precisely? What holds him back? What other corner, in Bucs history or elsewhere, does he resemble. How so?
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2017 PewterReport.com All Rights reserved. Marketing Tampa | Visual Realm