The Buccaneer secondary did not disappoint in Saturday night's preseason game versus the Jaguars, coming up with a whopping four interceptions. Two key draft picks this year in Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith were responsible for three of the four picks, and Dirk Koetter was pleased with what he saw from their showing.
"You gotta be thrilled for Vernon, to get as many picks in one preseason game as we had all last year with our corners," Koetter said. "Four picks overall tonight, I thought our DB's did a good job against a couple good quarterbacks."
During the draft process, the Bucs knew they were going to get an instinctual ball-hawker in Hargreaves, and with Smith they knew they were getting a versatile player comfortable at both corner and safety. Both players showcased their awareness strengths against Jacksonville primarily in the form of the three interceptions, but they have also proven to be reliable tacklers in each of their respective college tapes.
Ryan Smith currently sits as the third-string safety on the Bucs' depth chart, and Hargreaves is directly behind Alterraun Verner as one of the team's second-string corners. If this type of production can continue to manifest itself at the hands of two rookies who haven't even been named starters, the Tampa secondary may be set for a massive turnaround from last year's defensive debacle.