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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs first pick Hargreaves earns time with the starting defense

Vernon Hargreaves, right, had been playing the inside slot position on nickel passing downs when opponents went to three receivers.

CHRIS URSO | Times

Vernon Hargreaves, right, had been playing the inside slot position on nickel passing downs when opponents went to three receivers.

22

August

Vernon Hargreaves' two interceptions against the Jaguars Saturday proved he knows how to take the ball away. Now he may take somebody's job away.

The Bucs rookie cornerback got repetitions with the starting defense Monday, coach Dirk Koetter confirmed.

"He was going to start working there today. He started working with the ones at corner as well,'' Koetter said.

Hargreaves had been playing the inside slot position on nickel passing downs when opponents went to three receivers. His first INT Saturday came from that position when he drifted into coverage and made a leaping grab a pass from Jags quarterback Chad Henne. Hargreaves took advantage of Henne again near the start of the second half with an interception from his cornerback position.

The difficult catches illustrated Hargreaves superior hands and ball skills.

“Yeah, heck, I’m thinking about moving him to receiver,'' Koetter said. "Those were two great catches. Two beautiful plays. He ranged on the one when he was in nickel. Brent Grimes might argue, but you’re not going to see a whole lot of better catches than those two plays.''

Hargreaves, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 203-pounds, has had no trouble going up against taller receivers.

 “They have to have good ball skills and our guys do,'' Koetter said. "They have to be explosive to the ball. Our guys are. Like we said before, they’re not going to grow. We’re not going to change them out at this point. Our corners are who they are. We’re happy with them. We like what they’re doing but they’ve got to be able to go get the ball.''

[Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2016 3:21pm]

    

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