More than a week ago, the Buccaneers announced that they had signed four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, adding depth to a position where the Buccaneers saw several sets of starters a year ago. The team picked up another corner when they signed former Viking Josh Robinson and many draft analysts believe the team will select former Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with the ninth overall pick in this year's draft.
The Bucs still have a handful of talented corners on their roster, though. Among them is Johnthan Banks, a former second-round pick who began last season as the Bucs' starter. Meeting with reporters at the Annual NFL League meetings in Boca Raton, head coach Dirk Koetter said that, despite the team's signings, he has high hopes for Banks heading into 2016.
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"When we sign a free agent, I try to call guys at that position, even though there are no secrets anymore," Koetter said. "It amazes me how fast information gets out. But I try to at least call the guys at that position and have them hear it from my mouth to their ear that we signed a guy at that position. I always refer back to, 'We need competition at every position.' That was the case with Johnthan Banks last week when we signed Brent Grimes."
"I gave him a call just to let him know that we still had very high hopes and high expectations for him but we were going to add a couple of corners, actually, because we were adding Josh Robinson as well. We're trying to create competition in the secondary. He said he appreciated the call and he was looking forward to competing."
There are plenty of reasons to have high expectations for Banks. He spent his first two years as the Bucs' full-time starter at corner, recording seven interceptions in 31 games. He will also be playing in a new system under Mike Smith, who was hired to be the team's defensive coordinator this winter.
The Bucs could very well go from lacking depth at corner to it being one of the deeper positions on the team. In addition to Banks, Grimes and Robinson, the team also returns Alterraun Verner, a former Pro Bowler himself.