Koetter: Adjei-Barimah ahead of Banks as Bucs' fourth cornerback
One week into training camp, second-year cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah is ahead of former second-round pick Johnthan Banks for the Bucs' fourth cornerback job, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Friday.
Koetter included Adjei-Barimah, who started much of the second half of last season as an undrafted rookie, among his top four cornerbacks, along with current starters Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner and rookie Vernon Hargreaves. Banks, who lost his starting role as part of a struggling secondary last season, is competing for the fifth corner spot with newcomer Josh Robinson.
"We have four guys kind of out in front now," Koetter said. "In no particular order, (that's) Grimes and Verner and Hargreaves and Jude, and we have Banks and Josh Robinson battling for five and six. That's sort of where we are right now."
DOWN ANOTHER GUARD: Kevin Pamphile, who has stepped in as the starting left guard all offseason while J.R. Sweezy is injured, was excused from Friday's practice to attend to a personal matter, nothing injury-related. In his absence, the Bucs had backup center Evan Smith working as the starting left guard.
That promoted Ben Gottschalk to second-team center, with Josh Allen and rookie Taylor Fallin as the second-team guards, with rookie Caleb Benenoch also sidelined with an ankle injury.
"We just have to deal with it -- that's all you can do," Koetter said. "That's how you build your depth, and that's what we have to do."
STRONG START: Koetter said newcomer Jonathan Krause, claimed off waivers from the Eagles just before the start of training camp, continues to impress, with two touchdowns in "low red zone" work inside the 10-yard line Friday.
"That kid, as we said the other day, I didn't even know that guy's name, and Jason (Licht) and those guys pulled him off the waiver wire," Koetter said. "For a kid who missed all of OTAs and just came out here, he's doing well. He's definitely in the mix."