Vernon Hargreaves Working at Nickel

On Friday, the Buccaneers’ rookies took the field at One Buc Place for their first practice in Tampa Bay, albeit in helmets and shorts. It marked the first practice for first-round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves, who the Buccaneers selected No. 11 overall last weekend. With media members in attendance, Hargreaves worked in the slot as well as on the outside during the 90-minute session.

](http://www.buccaneers.com/videos/videos/Hargreaves-on-Day-1-of-Rookie-Mini-Camp/b69eb62a-39fd-4869-8d8b-53b801e283e9)Following the conclusion of practice, Head Coach Dirk Koetter said that Hargreaves has several attributes that could make him a productive nickel corner, but the team will start him off playing both positions.

The Buccaneers held their first rookie mini-camp practice at One Buc Place on Friday.

“Well, his quickness and how good of a tackler he is (make him suited to play inside)," Koetter said. “We’re going to start him off both inside and outside. We’re – both with the vets and the rooks – trying to find that perfect nickel and he’s one of the guys we’re looking at for sure.”

The common perception is that a nickel corner is a team’s No. 3 cornerback who only comes on the field in certain situations, but as Buccaneers.com Senior Writer and Editor Scott Smith pointed out on Buccaneers Insider on Friday, that isn’t always the case. The Buccaneers used Ronde Barber as their nickel for years, Smith said, but Barber would start the game on the outside and move into the slot when the Bucs brought in their nickel package.

The Buccaneers signed a Pro Bowl cornerback in Brent Grimes this season and have two experienced starters in Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks also playing the position. Which role Hargreaves plays will continue to be determined through spring workouts all the way up through training camp. He believes he could be a strong player in the slot, but is just eager to get on the field.

“I’m excited for (playing nickel),” He said. I want to play wherever I can play, wherever I fit in. It’s perfect for me.”

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