Give some credit to Vernon Hargreaves for both Bucs interceptions Sunday, says Lavonte David and Keith Tandy.

On the first pick, with the Chargers backed up at their own 8-yard line and leading 14-10 late in the third quarter, the rookie corner broke up a quick slant intended for Tyrell Williams, tipping the ball in the air and allowing for David to make the play of the game on defense.

“It was just a great play by Vernon Hargreaves with tight coverage on a receiver,” David said. “It’s a pass that they do that we studied for and Vernon Hargreaves made a great read on it. He got a hand on it, all the guys ran to the football and I was lucky to be the first to get it.”

That wouldn’t be the last time Hargreaves’ preparation paid off.

With three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay leading 28-21, Hargreaves recognized a formation and warned the safeties of a deep-out route. His instincts were spot on and Tandy iced the game with an interception, later acknowledging the 21-year old pro as acting more like a veteran corner on the play.

“They came out with a formation that we’ve seen on film,” Tandy said. “Then actually it was the rookie, Vernon Hargreaves, who said, ‘Hey, watch this route.’ And they ran a route that he called, so I just tried to make sure that I had good eyes and turned when I got in phase with the wide receiver.”

The recent emergence of second-round pick Noah Spence has been well documented, but the Bucs first-rounder has been just as impressive during this four-game stretch. Coordinator Mike Smith deserves a great deal of credit for the defenses’ progression over the last month – which is perhaps best exemplified by the maturation of rookies.

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

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]
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Naplesfan
Naplesfan
5 years ago

Not only did Vernon have a critical hand in both of our takeaways, he also led the team in tackles yesterday! And returned 2 punts for 14 yards after Humph went down with a concussion.

VaBeachBucsFan
VaBeachBucsFan
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

His side of the field was on lock down all day long. Besides Grimes getting beat…again…all Rivers could do was check it down to Gordon. Gordon was all of the Chargers offense. The only few times the ball did get thrown to his side of the field ended up in two INTs, and as this article claims, VH3 was pretty much responsible for both of them. We’ll give him 2 assists! DougBaldwin did nothing for the SeaHawks, Hill did nothing for the Chiefs outside of the 40 yard catch when he burnt Grimes…again. Although Kelce did beat VH3 on one… Read more »

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
5 years ago

Yes, VH3 had an amazing game. First of all, I am very happy the Bucs have a defense that can defend the slant. Second, I think he is close to getting his own pick. Glad Jason Licht selected him in the first round. Go Bucs!

nitey
nitey
5 years ago

I’ll admit I wasn’t a instant fan of the VH3 selection, but it’s proving to be the right one. I wanted Spence in the first, I was really surprised and pleased we got him in the second. It’s looking like Jason hit another couple out of the park with these two!

Matthew
Matthew
5 years ago

VH3, Kwon and Spence will lead this defense for years to come. Go Bucs!

chetthevette
chetthevette
Reply to  Matthew
5 years ago

Don’t forget LVD. he is still the best LB on the team.
GO BUCS

Matthew
Matthew
Reply to  chetthevette
5 years ago

of course yes never can forget him

XpfcWintergreen
XpfcWintergreen
5 years ago

I certainly did not know what other people saw in Hargreaves that distinguished him from other DBs in the draft. I had not followed his college career. I now applaud the selection. What I have seen is the way he plays the whole games. I am extremely happy to see some of his tackles that stand out in my mind. (Yes, I have also seen some good coverage skills exhibited at times.). I could care about how many or how few “splash” plays he will have had in his rookie year. I am sold on him now and I expect… Read more »