Last week Vikings’ Case Keenum made the Bucs secondary look like Lovie Smith had returned as defensive coordinator.
Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes was a late scratch with a shoulder injury last week, and how much a difference he would have made in preventing the Bucs killer Keenum from torching the Bucs is anyone’s guess. But after Sunday’s game against the Giants, with a recovered Grimes as a starter, you would have at least figured Keenum wouldn’t have thrown for 362 yards.
To say the Bucs were happy to have No. 24 back in the secondary on Sunday would be an understatement.
Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald was one of the Bucs impressed by Grimes after the 25-23.
“We’ve seen a lot from Brent Grimes,” McDonald said. “He’s like a cat out there. He always lands on his feet. It’s impressive just to see him having played with him the last two years. He has a big heart. He is a guy that plays with the same big heart that he walks around with. To see a guy come and perform like that, it’s a blessing.”
A humble – but happy – Grimes, gave most of the credit for the win to his defensive teammates and coaches.
“We know they are going to try and run the ball, but shout out to our front seven for stopping that early. That forced them to be more one dimensional. That’s always good.”
Grimes, who led the NFL in pass breakups a year ago, added three more to his 2017 total, along with five tackles. Giants QB Eli Manning managed 288 passing yards, but Grimes and fellow cornerback Vernon Hargreaves held Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to 90 yards and no touchdowns on just seven receptions.
Hargreaves was short and to the point when asked about Grimes in the locker room late Sunday evening.