By the end of the first season in Tampas new regime, the SS position was the biggest point of concern in Tampas back 7 . Many believed that the Bucs would address the position through the draft since they were not so aggressive in free agency. The answer came in a 6'1 220 pound of a man they call Sean Jones. Why did Tampa go to a vet in his prime to come along on this rebuilding ride? It is important to understand what Tampa wants from an SS through free agency, and to know the skills Sean Jones inherit.
Lets start off by seeing what Tampa wants from an SS. UNFONLE says: They have to be able to see the entire field and know who is becoming their responsibility, Safeties also are asked to rotate on corner blitzes walk up in the box disguised as a Cover 2 initially ( as told in "Tampa2" Defense Explained). SS also have to be able to hold strong against the run in this defense also, Jermaine Phillips, Jon Lynch, and Bob Sanders are good examples of this. The SS has to be instinctive to do this, there will be a lot of situations when they will be thinking run but the offense is passing, if the player does not make the proper adjustment then he will be out of position (as was Sabby) and cost his team big plays at the same time.
Sean Jones is a guy who poses a good mixture of run support, and coverage ability. Living in the Georgia area I hate watching the BullDogs, but 1 thing about those guys is they hit and they hit hard, that skill stays with their players and Jones is no different. He is a guy that gets a lot of tackles and has a good knack for the ball. He is solid in coverage, when he played a form of the cover2 with Cleveland he had career highs in ints. Jones will be different than Phillips and Lynch in this SS role, he will not be as stout as those guys in run support, but what they lacked in coverage skills Jones makes up for that. He has the ability to be all over the field like Bob Sanders, or Tanard Jackson.
Jones role in Philly defense last year was to make the sure tackle on a potential big play, Philly comes with more than 4 on blitzes, and Jones did a good job in that role last year which means he is use to wrapping up and preventing big plays. I think his skills will flourish in our system, and it ill be nice to see him continue to develop in his prime. Jones is going to give Tampa something it has never had at the SS position in the Tampa2(thats his perfect mix of run support and coverage ability), it is only a matter of time.