Bucs coaching camp is drawing close to and it’s time to preview the Bucs roster place by place. Pewter Report will break down and study every roster spot, the gamers on the depth chart and preview the outlook for the 2022 season.
At this time, we wrap up the defensive facet of the ball within the Bucs 2022 Camp Preview sequence with a take a look at the safeties.
Even with the lack of Jordan Whitehead, the Bucs’ revamped security room seems to be a energy of the workforce. Nonetheless, there are a couple of query marks. Who replaces Whitehead’s prowess towards the run and his hard-hitting nature? Will Mike Edwards thrive in a full-time function? How a lot does Logan Ryan have left within the tank?
The solutions to most of those questions will come throughout coaching camp. Antoine Winfield Jr. has one spot locked down. After making his first Professional Bowl, he seems to proceed his development as one of many NFL’s finest safeties. Edwards will get the primary crack at changing Whitehead, however he’s extra of a free security than a real robust security.
Rotating with Edwards will probably be Keanu Neal, who is understood for his in-the-box play and hard-hitting fashion. Ryan will probably be within the security rotation, although he’s seemingly see most of his snaps on the nickel cornerback place. Behind the highest 4 are Chris Cooper, Troy Warner and Nolan Turner, who will compete for the potential fifth security spot and any accessible observe squad spots.
Antoine Winfield Jr.
So far as the secondary goes, Winfield is rapidly cementing himself as its finest participant. Coming off his first profession Professional Bowl choice, he has been touted in quite a few rankings as top-of-the-line younger safeties within the recreation. He graded out because the second-best security in all of soccer final season, per Professional Soccer Focus. He posted the fifth-best protection grade (out of gamers with 400-plus snaps) and the Tenth-best protection grade. His focus this 12 months will probably be creating extra turnovers as he bids for a possible All-Professional season.
2021 Stats: 88 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 compelled fumbles and three fumble recoveries
After serving the final three seasons in a rotational function, Edwards lastly will get his shot at a beginning place. The fourth-year security has been a ballhawk on the again finish, logging 5 profession interceptions and returning two for touchdowns. Although he’s not the run stuffer his predecessor was, he’ll be aided in that division by Winfield and Neal. In a contract 12 months, Edwards has loads of causes to indicate why he can deal with the duties as a full-time starter.
2021 Stats: 46 tackles, 1 deal with for loss, 7 go breakups, 2 interceptions and a compelled fumble
The Bucs pounced on Ryan as quickly as he was launched by the Giants this offseason. The versatile security has expertise taking part in all around the defensive backfield. With the Bucs, he’ll be utilized in numerous methods. Ryan will see snaps at each security positions. He’ll even be on the sphere in three-safety units and slide into the nickel spot in reduction of Sean Murphy-Bunting when wanted. Plus, he brings a veteran presence as a man who has seen all of it throughout his nine-year profession. Head Coach Todd Bowles loves versatility in his gamers, and Ryan brings it in droves. At simply the veteran minimal wage, Ryan was one of many high free agent pickups for the Bucs this offseason, particularly given how a lot he’ll be capable of contribute on the again finish.
2021 Stats: 117 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 8 go breakups, 2 sacks, 2 compelled fumbles and a fumble restoration
One other key signing for the Bucs this offseason was Neal. Whereas he might not be the participant who obtained off to an unbelievable begin to his profession, he’s nonetheless a hard-hitting security who thrives within the field. Signing with the Cowboys final season, they transitioned him right into a linebacker function that didn’t swimsuit his talents. Nonetheless, it did give him priceless expertise in that function, which implies he could be a depth choice if accidents pile up at inside linebacker. He’s anticipated to be a part of a rotation at robust security with Edwards, coming in on apparent operating downs, which is when he can best-utilize his ability set.
2021 Stats: 72 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and a sack
Warner spent all of final season on the Bucs’ observe squad and was protected a number of instances final 12 months. The youthful brother of 49ers linebacker Fred Warner, he’s an intriguing prospect. He’s a bodily security who can excel within the run recreation. He’ll want to indicate he’s grasped the playbook from his season with the workforce and attempt to carve out a task on particular groups. Nonetheless, Warner will seemingly profit from one other 12 months on the observe squad, particularly with extra openings on the security place anticipated subsequent season.
2021 Stats: N/A
Cooper signed with the workforce the day earlier than coaching camp began final season. After initially making the 53-roster, he was waived and signed again to the observe squad. Cooper made one of many larger splash performs of the preseason on particular groups final 12 months. In a recreation towards the Texans, he batted down a punt within the endzone to stop a touchback. His finest approach to make the workforce will probably be by way of particular groups, however that’s provided that the Bucs elect to maintain 5 safeties on the roster.
2021 Stats: N/A
Turner has wonderful athleticism and the flexibility to play a number of positions within the defensive backfield. He’s a robust finisher and is aggressive within the run recreation along with his physicality and hit energy. He’ll profit from working with the Bucs energy and conditioning workforce and was typically seen hanging round safeties coach Nick Rapone throughout OTAs and mini-camp when not taking reps. Turner logged over 700 snaps on particular groups throughout his faculty profession. That appears like his surest path to a spot on the Bucs’ roster or observe squad.
2021 School Stats (at Clemson): 45 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception and a compelled fumble