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    • michael89156

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      Frazier: Moore in lead for Bucs' starting nickel job Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer? ? June 3, 2014 5:21pmdj_zps49d10561.jpgTAMPA -- Leonard Johnson was on the field for 65 percent of the Bucs' defensive plays last year, but former Bears defensive back D.J. Moore has the early lead for the team's starting nickel defensive back job. "We've got some competition, but D.J., his history and his background kind of give him a leg up right now," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Tuesday, speaking to the media after an OTA practice. "With D.J.'s experience, he's been in this system, had a lot of success in it in Chicago. Leonard (is) learning the system, he's fighting to earn the spot and he's a very good special-teams player as well."Moore, 27, had 10 interceptions from 2010-12 in the nickel role in Lovie Smith's defense, and that familiarity is a major advantage, even though he totaled only five tackles in two games with the Panthers last season. Johnson, 24, had 62 tackles last season while starting eight games, returning an interception 48 yards for a touchdown.Given the prominent role of the passing game, the Bucs expect to be in their nickel defense -- with five defensive backs -- more often than with three linebackers, so the nickel is a key position in Smith's defense. Frazier, the former Vikings coach, said that veteran Danny Gorrer was also getting reps at nickel.The Bucs should have good competition all over the defensive secondary, including the second cornerback job, where second-year pro Johnthan Banks is being challenged by former USF standout Mike Jenkins, a free-agent signee this spring."It's been very heated. Mike has come in fighting for a spot, and Johnthan Banks doesn't want to relinquish the spot," Frazier said.

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    • Anonymous

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          With a recent challenge from Quinton Pointer. Competition is ALWAYS good…

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    • gobucs123

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      What’s the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      I thought he would have made a really good Nickel...but not a bad "first guy off the bench" if someone gets hurt IMO.

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      allergic to contact, from what little I have seen

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      Sounds like they have him competing for the starting corner spot opposite Verner.Jenkins is a lot better corner than most on here are giving him credit for. I think he will prove to be a VERY good pickup for this team

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    • Anonymous

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      DJ Moore and Major Wright will be key players on defense. Goldson is a walking dead man next year when he gets cut and frees up $8 million dollars. Nicks will be gone too, another $8 million. Add that to the current $13 million and the Bucs can go shopping again.

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      Sounds like they have him competing for the starting corner spot opposite Verner.Jenkins is a lot better corner than most on here are giving him credit for. I think he will prove to be a VERY good pickup for this team

      He won't beat out Banks.

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      Sounds like they have him competing for the starting corner spot opposite Verner.Jenkins is a lot better corner than most on here are giving him credit for. I think he will prove to be a VERY good pickup for this team

      He won't beat out Banks.

      Agreed. Banks will be a hell of a corner. He also matches up well physically with what coaches around the league are trying mimic.

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    • Anonymous

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      DJ Moore and Major Wright will be key players on defense. Goldson is a walking dead man next year when he gets cut and frees up $8 million dollars. Nicks will be gone too, another $8 million. Add that to the current $13 million and the Bucs can go shopping again.

      Willing to give Goldson one more shot with Lovie before condemning him. Nicks? Good as gone barring a miracle.....that miracle being him suddenly coming down with a case of giving a f*#k.

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    • Anonymous

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      Agree on Goodson getting his shot. He’s overpaid, but is still pretty good. People latch onto his fines but forget how some were just calls based on reputation. Most were clean hits.I also think banks beats out Jenkins. He's more of a fit for lovies scheme. The year of playing a lot of man I think helped him into becoming a better all around corner. He was already a fairly good zone guy coming out of college. His legnth and playmaking ability only helps him zone. Plus he's a better tackler than Jenkins. Jenkins is a good insurance policy though and aside from questionable tackling is good in his own right.

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    • Anonymous

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      The fact that there is actually legitimate competition for starting jobs at some of these positions is a breath of fresh air. Could it be that they are FINALLY developing depth?

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    • Anonymous

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      DJ Moore and Major Wright will be key players on defense. Goldson is a walking dead man next year when he gets cut and frees up $8 million dollars. Nicks will be gone too, another $8 million. Add that to the current $13 million and the Bucs can go shopping again.

      Willing to give Goldson one more shot with Lovie before condemning him. Nicks? Good as gone barring a miracle.....that miracle being him suddenly coming down with a case of giving a f*#k.

      I don't think they want to pay a safety $8mil plus so I'd expect this to be Goldson's last year no matter how well he plays.

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    • Anonymous

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      DJ Moore and Major Wright will be key players on defense. Goldson is a walking dead man next year when he gets cut and frees up $8 million dollars. Nicks will be gone too, another $8 million. Add that to the current $13 million and the Bucs can go shopping again.

      Willing to give Goldson one more shot with Lovie before condemning him. Nicks? Good as gone barring a miracle.....that miracle being him suddenly coming down with a case of giving a f*#k.

      I don't think they want to pay a safety $8mil plus so I'd expect this to be Goldson's last year no matter how well he plays.

      it’s not like they are hurting for $$. If nicks comes off the books, they’ll have over 20mil plus any rollover. Unless he underperforms, I don’t see them cutting ties right away.

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    • Anonymous

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      What's the deal with Mike Jenkins ? Is he not suited for nickel ?

      Sounds like they have him competing for the starting corner spot opposite Verner.Jenkins is a lot better corner than most on here are giving him credit for. I think he will prove to be a VERY good pickup for this team

      He won't beat out Banks.

      I agree. I bet Jenkins ends up our starting nickel when all is said and done.

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    • Anonymous

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      Idk, Lovie has made it clear that he views nickel as something seperate and I haven’t seen any word of Jenkins being considered at nickle yet. I personally think he’ll be the 4th guy with Moore being our nickleback. I like that Moore has experience as a nickle in the system and I’m perfectly fine not having LJ on the field.

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    • Anonymous

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      Jenkins does not have the optimal skill sets to be a nickel in this defense.  Look at all the players that are competing for nickel clearly indicates they have to play the run like a SAM by filling their gap.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2847

        In the little time Pointer has been a Buc, he’s impressing, which could ultimately push Johnson out the door. Moore & Pointer as nickel backs, with Banks, AllTerrainVehicle, Jenkins and Melvin as our CBs makes 6. We could keep 7, but I doubt it…

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    • Anonymous

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      Jenkins is simply too soft to line up tight to the formation. A boundary-only corner. I see him being the primary backup to both boundary positions as well as the dime back.

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    • Anonymous

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      Jenkins is simply too soft to line up tight to the formation. A boundary-only corner. I see him being the primary backup to both boundary positions as well as the dime back.

      Yup.

        In the little time Pointer has been a Buc, he's impressing, which could ultimately push Johnson out the door. Moore & Pointer as nickel backs, with Banks, AllTerrainVehicle, Jenkins and Melvin as our CBs makes 6. We could keep 7, but I doubt it...

      Right now that seems plausible.  Carr could beat out Melvin or Pointer but that last one or two spots will be interesting.

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