One week after Bucs head coach Bruce Arians admonished cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III for needing to “get his mind right” when the former first-round pick sat out of last week’s OTAs, Hargreaves was back on the field and ready to make amends.

Hargreaves dismissed Arians’ comments as just “tough love,” and said that Arians did not tell him to sit out practice.

“Nothing, it was about nothing,” Hargreaves. “He came to talk to me, and that’s my guy. We’re on the same page, it’s nothing.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Tough love. Just two weeks ago he was telling me how great I was going to be, right? So the good comes with the bad. Like I said, it’s nothing, he came and talked me, we talked several times before that – we’re all good. There was no issue, there was never an issue between us. I’m a coaches kid, there would never be an in issue with me and the coach – ever.”

Hargreaves went onto talk more about the issue.

“He didn’t tell me not to practice,” Hargreaves. “It was my decision, it was my choice. Just some lingering [injury] issues that I had coming into OTAs.”

Hargreaves talked about his expectations this offseason.

“Just [take it] day-by-day, I can’t take it any other way,” Hargreaves said. “I’m just excited to get going, but this (OTA practice) comes first. So I’ve got to get my lungs back, I’ve got to get my wind back, I’ve got to get back into rhythm.”

Despite being in just his fourth season, Hargreaves reflected on being the elder statesmen in the secondary among the cornerbacks.

“Yeah, I am the oldest – and I’m only 23,” Hargreaves said. “That’s kind of crazy, but I understand what needs to be done, I understand that I’m the vet. I’m going to help those guys come along, but they don’t really need no help, honestly, until probably the season starts, then they’ll start, but right now they got it, they got the playbook. I don’t need to worry about it.

“Those kids (new draft picks) are good, they can play. They’re long, tall, they can play. I’m excited for them.”


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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Hey look, everyone over-reacted a whole lot of nothing!

    Carry on!

    Rating: +19. From 21 votes.
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  2. Well that settles that. VH3 acknowledges the young rookie CB’s are fast and tall and that he has to work hard. All good signs it seems to me.

    Put in the hard work and lets see what this defense can do with Bowles focusing on DC side of things. Arians is now freed up so he can help out both sides of the ball too with Lefty focusing on offense.

    Rating: +15. From 19 votes.
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  3. He’s on notice I don’t care what he says. Underperform or hurt again and they dump him this year.

    Perhaps he can actually play more than 1 game this year?

    Rating: +8. From 20 votes.
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  4. Yes injuries happen, but when you have guy that seems like a “playa” not a player…doesn’t bode well for them.

    Rating: +2. From 16 votes.
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  5. I don’t think it’s an over reaction, just an initial reaction. Arians is going to be a much different coach than Koetter.

    It’s been said the best ability is your availability. Those younger, taller, faster guys VH3 described are his competition.

    Rating: +11. From 11 votes.
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  6. this guy does not have enough dog in him, smitty screwed up his football i think he forgot he came from the sec.

    Rating: +4. From 8 votes.
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  7. BA is changing the lackadaisical attitude around Bucland fast. When you waive a top DL and then go after a No. 1 pick, you know no one is immune from BA’s wrath.

    Rating: +14. From 14 votes.
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  8. Great response by VH3! BA has made his point quite clearly and publicly. There’s no doubt VH3 has the talent to be our #1 corner. BA has said about as much. He needs to put it together THIS YEAR. Now’s the time for him and I hope he delivers!

    Rating: +8. From 8 votes.
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  9. Looks like Bruce got his attention. Mission accomplished.

    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
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