Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs introduce ball hawk Brent Grimes

TAMPA — Dirk Koetter learned during his first season as offensive coordinator in Atlanta not to throw at cornerback Brent Grimes. It was a warning issued by quarterback Matt Ryan during practice, and Grimes made the Falcons offense pay for challenging him.

"I know first-hand from going against Brent in my time in Atlanta in practice, I haven't seen Matt Ryan back down from too many corners," Koetter said. "But Matt would tell me every day, 'Oh, we can't throw this route on this side because Grimes is over there.' I was like, 'What? We can go against that guy.' He had about 15 picks (in practice) that first year I was there."

That kind of production has been a staple to Grimes' career, which is why Koetter and former Falcons head coach and Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith wanted to be reunited with him.

Grimes, who turns 33 in June, has defied the clock by earning three of his four Pro Bowl selections the past three seasons with the Dolphins. His 13 interceptions with Miami are the fourth-most in the NFL in that stretch. Grimes played six seasons for the Falcons, 2007-12.

The Bucs, who signed Grimes to a two-year, $13.5 million contract, are hoping he can bring the same playmaking ability to a secondary that was picked apart by opposing quarterbacks to the tune of a 102.5 passer rating and 31 touchdowns.

"What do I do best as a corner? Make plays on the ball," Grimes said Monday during a news conference. "I feel like that is my strong suit. I go get the ball. That's what wins games in the league, making plays on the football when the ball is in the air. I believe that's a strong suit for me."

Grimes is at an age where most players see production fall off, but last season he had four interceptions. His youthful appearance belies the fact that he is entering his 10th season in the league since joining Atlanta in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from Division II Shippensburg (Pa.)

"This guy sitting next to me — the age says one thing, but like (general manager) Jason (Licht) said, he'd have a hard time getting into Applebee's and having a cold one right now without getting carded," Koetter said. "I think that age is a number. … Turn on the film, the film doesn't lie."

Grimes credits his genetics and good cooking by his wife, Miko, for his longevity in the NFL.

"First off, I have to thank my wife for making great food," Grimes said. "Food is the key. I take good care of myself. A lot of it is genetics. A lot of people when you get to certain age, I'm lucky to able to do that. I think God for that and just keep going for as long as I can."

Grimes said prior to meeting Miko, he "couldn't name two vegetables. Man, I could go on and on. She makes a great steak, awesome salmon," he said. "Just everything she makes is good but it's usually healthy. … She put me hip to a lot of … expanding my vegetable horizon, I guess you could say."

The Bucs tried to sign Grimes as a free agent three years ago when he was coming off an Achilles injury. Grimes said he wasn't sure what made him opt to choose the Dolphins instead, but added that his familiarity with Smith's system was a big plus this time.

"It was a big deal to me because I like the system," Grimes said. "One thing I know about Coach Smith is he's a great coach as far as everybody on the field will know where to be, know what their assignment is, and he pays attention to detail. I feel like in a league like the NFL, it's the best of the best so things that win the game are details and he's very detail-oriented and I feel like that will help me and the team."

More signings: The Bucs continued adding to their defense, signing former Central Florida and Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson to a one-year contract. Robinson, 25, missed most of the 2015 season after tearing a pectoral muscle in summer workouts. In the three previous seasons, he had 21 starts and 155 tackles for the Vikings, with five interceptions. … Safety Bradley McDougald earned the Bucs' highest performance-based bonus given to low-paid players with significant playing time with a bonus check of $222,054.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Comments
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Updated: 6 hours ago
On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

Defensive end Noah Spence, whose two NFL seasons have both been limited by injuries to his right shoulder, is getting himself healthy for the 2018 season.Spence has kept a low profile since the Bucs placed him on injured reserve in late October, a mo...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Ryan Fitzpatrick is an unrestricted free agent, and his future with the Bucs remains uncertain. But the veteran quarterback is still very much here in Tampa and still sharing his wisdom with younger athletes.In this case, they're much younger —...
Published: 02/19/18
Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

TAMPA – Jameis Winston is heading for a big payday with the Bucs. He's played well enough to make that an easy decision.But what impact will that have on the type of players they surround him with?The Bucs are expected to exercise the fifth-yea...
Published: 02/16/18
Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

The Bucs continue to move quickly with the defensive line opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff, interviewing former Cardinals assistant Brentson Buckner.Buckner, 46, spent the last five years as Arizona's defensive line coach, leading the unit to...
Published: 02/16/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

It’s a Mailbag Friday as Rick Stroud answers your questions, including what will happen with the Jameis Winston investigation, who should the Bucs sign in free agency and would Warren Sapp make a good defensive line coach?Also, who will win more game...
Published: 02/16/18
Kevin Pamphile on Bucs’ O-line: ‘We’re not far from breaking through’

Kevin Pamphile on Bucs’ O-line: ‘We’re not far from breaking through’

Free agency is less than a month away, and the Bucs have several decisions to make about unrestricted free agents from their 2017 squad. One is Kevin Pamphile, who started all but one game at left guard last season but still split the job with backup...
Published: 02/16/18
Jameis Winston’s ‘Eat a W’ ritual lives on at Florida State

Jameis Winston’s ‘Eat a W’ ritual lives on at Florida State

Jameis Winston's pregame "Eat a 'W'" speech didn't go over too well the last time he gave it in front of the cameras and teammates.Before the Bucs-Saints game in New Orleans on Nov. 5, Winston formed a "W" with the fingers on his right hand and proce...
Published: 02/15/18
Browsing the Bucs’ needs and possible free-agent answers

Browsing the Bucs’ needs and possible free-agent answers

No sooner had the Bucs 5-11 season ended than coach Dirk Koetter identified the two areas his team needed to improve for 2018."I think we were 3-7 in one score games. You're going to have a hard time getting where you want to go when you win 30 perce...
Published: 02/15/18
Free agency preview: Brate, Humphries lead Bucs’ restricted free agents

Free agency preview: Brate, Humphries lead Bucs’ restricted free agents

NFL free agency is now just a month away, and as we begin the process of previewing the 2018 free agent class, we'll start with a less prominent part that is still relevant for the Bucs this year: restricted free agents.Unrestricted free agents have ...
Published: 02/14/18