Can Brandon McDonald's re-signing help Bucs' reeling secondary?
When CB Brandon McDonald was released by the Bucs on Nov. 6, the transaction barely made headlines.
But, in retrospect, the Bucs could have used some veteran play in their secondary in recent weeks as they’ve been torched by opposing quarterbacks in their three-game losing streak. McDonald had played extensively early in the season, at one point holding the nickel back role while E.J. Biggers and Anthony Gaitor rehabbed their respective injuries. The Bucs, statistically, anyway, have the league's worst secondary.
McDonald was re-signed this week, and is more than willing to help out.
“I nicked up my ankle a little bit,” McDonald said, referring to his first go-round with the Bucs. “That’s just how it is. One guy goes down, another guy has to step up. That guy played well and that’s how the cookie crumbles.”
Rookie Leonard Johnson started strong when he first entered the cornerback rotation, but he has had some tough moments in recent weeks. Johnson’s rise probably influenced the decision to release McDonald, though coach Greg Schiano was unspecific about the decision.
“As I’ve said about every personnel move since I arrived, when we make a personnel move, Mark (Dominik) and I, we think (about) what the best thing for our football team to win games,” Schiano said. “At that time we felt that other guys gave us the best chance to win. Going into (this week), we felt Brandon gave us the best chance. It’s good to have him back.”
In eight games, McDonald played adequately, particularly before his injury. He registed 20 tackles, including one for a loss, two pass deflections and an interception he returned 40 yards off Giants quarterback Eli Manning.