Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting cornerback corner at Senior Bowl

Janoris Jenkins played at Florida until he was kicked off the team; he finished at North Alabama.

Getty Images (2010)

Janoris Jenkins played at Florida until he was kicked off the team; he finished at North Alabama.

MOBILE, Ala. — Whoever winds up coaching the Buccaneers will immediately face a number of questions in a very critical area of the roster.

When the new coach looks at his secondary, he will evaluate a unit that soon could be missing its top two cornerbacks depending on Ronde Barber's retirement decision and Aqib Talib's legal issues.

Which brings us to Senior Bowl workouts, where the Bucs have some intriguing options to evaluate before April's draft.

Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard is among that group, as is troubled former Gator Janoris Jenkins, who was kicked out of UF after multiple arrests and played last season at North Alabama.

With significant competition at cornerback, prospects have to work hard to set themselves apart. That's good news for teams evaluating them, like the Bucs.

"Sooner or later this week, I want to distinguish myself," said Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson, an All-Big 12 selection from Largo High who started 39 straight games for the Cyclones. "That's the goal. I want to separate myself from other guys and become one of the top corners (in the draft)."

Johnson wanted to display his sound technique that he says helps him make up for other deficiencies.

"Being a technician, no matter what goes wrong, you're always relying on that," he said. "That will always have you in the right position and you'll be right on point."

Donnie Fletcher of Boston College hopes his feistiness will leave an impression on scouts. The Cleveland native stressed tackling ability and physicality as his primary attributes.

"I feel like I'm a big corner (he measured 6 feet and 201 pounds on Monday) who can get up and press, but I also feel like I'm a good cover guy," he said. "And I'm not afraid to hit. I can go either way. I really want to be a complete cornerback.

"When the receiver catches the ball, I want him to pay for it. I want him to be thinking about it the next time he tries to make a catch."

As for the current Bucs, Barber, the starting right cornerback, hasn't announced a decision on playing a 16th season. Meanwhile, Talib, the starting left corner and most talented member of the secondary, has to resolve a case this spring in which he is charged with assault with a deadly weapon in Texas.

COMING UP SHORT: The Monday morning weigh-in and measurements at the Senior Bowl always prove revealing.

This year was no different, with a big-name quarterback coming up rather short. Boise State's Kellen Moore, one of the top quarterbacks in college football the past two seasons, was measured 5-11¾, 191. Scouts and coaches getting a first-hand look at him during the afternoon workout were taken aback at his lack of size.

NFL quarterbacks under 6 feet are rare.

Meanwhile, Nick Foles of Arizona, projected as one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, didn't disappoint. He looked the part at 6-5, 244.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting cornerback corner at Senior Bowl 01/23/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Secret to Alex Colome's success is staying cool, calm, collected

    Blogs

    The ninth inning couldn't have started much worse for Rays closer Alex Colome on Tuesday, who took over with a 6-4 lead and quickly allowed a single and a double to bring the tying run to the plate.

  2. How will former USF assistant Tom Allen fare at Indiana?

    Blogs

    Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo doesn't sound particularly optimistic about Tom Allen's chances of keeping Indiana competitive in his first year as the Hoosiers' head coach.

    "He has some challenges," DiNardo said.

  3. ESPN cites safety in removing Robert Lee from UVA broadcast due to name (w/video)

    College

    ESPN has removed an announcer from its broadcast of the University of Virginia's first football game next month because he has the same name as a Confederate general memorialized in statues that are being taken down across the country.

    Louisville lines up for a play against Virginia during an NCAA college football game in Charlottesville, Va., in 2016 ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not work Virginia's season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. A spokeswoman for ESPN says Lee has been moved to Youngstown State's game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network says the decision was made "as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name." [Associated Press]
  4. Celtics were only team in position to deal for Kyrie Irving

    Nba

    The Cavaliers found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation when it came to trading Kyrie Irving. Not only did Cleveland need to try to extract the kind of price a team looks to get to trade its star — some combination of cap relief, young players and draft picks — it also needed to acquire talent to …

    Kyrie Irving, left, is guarded by Stephen Curry during the NBA Finals last season. [Associated Press]
  5. Browns, who visit Bucs this week, take a courageous step toward social change

    Bucs

    CLEVELAND — The laughingstock of the league during a 1-15 season in 2016, the Browns took a dramatic step forward Monday night.

    Browns players kneel as others stand to support their circle during the national anthem before Monday night's preseason game against the Giants. [Associated Press]