Photos of the defensive backs on the Bucs' roster heading into training camp.
More roster updates: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers, Offensive Linemen,Defensive Linemen. Players: CB Johnthan Banks, S Chris Conte, CB Brandon Dixon, CB Deshazor Everett, CB Isaiah Frey, S Chris Hackett, CB Mike Jenkins, CB Leonard Johnson, S Bradley McDougald, CB Sterling Moore, S D.J. Swearinger, S Keith Tandy, CB Alterraun Verner, DB Derrick Wells, CB C.J. Wilson, S Major Wright.
Coaches: Cornerbacks – Gill Byrd, Safeties – Mikal Smith
1. Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks are front-runners to start at corner.
Throughout spring workouts, Verner and Banks have been the starting cornerbacks, with a few different players rotating in the slot. In 2014, Verner started 14 games on the left while Banks was the starter for the same number of games on the right. The two combined for 98 tackles, six interceptions and a touchdown.
2. The coaching staff was very high on D.J. Swearinger.
Swearinger was cut by the Texans and the Buccaneers quickly claimed him, as several teams had also hoped to do. Head Coach Lovie Smith said the signing was similar to having an extra draft pick and Swearinger almost immediately started working in with the first-team defense.
3. Don't sleep on Isaiah Frey.
For a good portion of spring workouts, Frey lined up as the Bucs' third cornerback, working mostly in the slot. Frey was signed by the Bucs in the middle of the 2014 season and appeared in eight games. He was originally drafted by Lovie Smith in Chicago in 2012.
4. Chris Conte could have a prominent role.
There were a few different combinations the Bucs used in the defensive backfield during spring workouts. For a portion of those, Chris Conte worked with the first team at safety. Conte was picked up by the Bucs as a free agent and, like Frey, played under Coach Smith in Chicago. He started 12 games for the Bears in 2014 and picked off three passes.
5. Sterling Moore brings versatility to the group.
Moore has made a name for himself playing in the slot, but upon arriving in Tampa said he'd like to work on the outside, too. For the better part of OTAs and mini-camp, he's done that. As camp wears on, it will be interesting to see if the Bucs' coaches move Moore into the slot to work with the first team or continue to play him on the outside, mostly with the twos. Either way, the fact that he can play both spots makes him a valuable asset to the Bucs' defensive backfield.