Buccaneers Have To Find An Answer At Cornerback
With Jude Adjei-Barimah suspended the next four games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for answers at a thin position at the worst time.
Jude Adjei-Barimah’s suspension could not have come at a worse time. With the Seahawks and Chargers on the docket the next two weeks, the Buccaneers losing their sot corner is a huge blow for a defense that has played much better football as of late. To compound things, the outlook for Brent Grimes playing this week with an injured quad is grim, making the Bucs scramble for answers at the cornerback position.
Alterraun Verner stepped in for Grimes last week against the Chiefs and played serviceable football. He gave up a few big plays, but also had some key pass breakups, forcing the Chiefs to punt. Normally, with Jude going down, Verner would’ve stepped in to cover the slot position, rotating with Vernon Hargreaves. Now, with Grimes down, the Buccaneers are going to have to turn to Josh Robinson to fill in.
The Seattle Seahawks have been on fire recently. Despite offensive struggles and a Russell Wilson injury earlier in the year, they found ways to win. Now, Wilson is healthier, the offense – especially Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham – is firing on all cylinders and can easily take advantage of a depleted Bucs secondary that was already average on its best days.
In order for the Buccaneers to stand a chance in this one, Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald have to play flawless football. They will have to contain Graham, and keep Wilson from making those big plays he’s capable of when he moves outside the pocket and waits for his receivers to get open. Robinson and Verner will have to play at the highest levels they’ve ever played as the Buccaneers will now rely on a guy playing in his eleventh NFL game to be the anchor of the cornerback corps.
This game could get ugly in a hurry for the Buccaneers defense if they can’t elevate their play in a big, big way. The NFL is a “next man up” league, but if the next men up were that good, they would’ve been “the man” already. It’s a lot to ask out of these guys, but the Buccaneers haven’t had a win as big as this Seattle game could be any time in recent memory.