TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Nathan Overbay #84 of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled by Myron Lewis #23 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
I like Myron Lewis. He's a very physical player with a lot of talent, but he has a lot to learn as an NFL cornerback. So much so, in fact, that he was inactive this weekend despite apparently being fully healthy: he didn't appear on an injury report before the game. Rookie seventh-round pick Anthony Gaitor was active instead of Myron Lewis. Yes, the Bucs apparently think the undersized seventh-round rookie who can't do much on special teams is more ready to play in an NFL game than the second-year player who is a physical specimen and was a third-round draft pick. Whoops.
So how does this happen? Well, missing most of two offseasons with injuries obviously doesn't help a young, unskilled player get up to speed. The fact that Elbert Mack has been playing very well as the dime cornerback this season doesn't help, and neither does the emergence of Anthony Gaitor as a useful cornerback.
But someone with Myron Lewis' physical talents should be able to overcome those hurdles. But this season he hasn't been able to get onto the field, and now he can't even beat out Anthony Gaitor as the sixth cornerback - despite the fact that Lewis has to be a better special teamer than the undersized rookie.
What's most disappointing about this situation is the sheer talent of Myron Lewis that seems to be going to waste. He has the talent to be a very good cornerback and displayed that at times last season, even managing to win a jump-ball battle with Calvin Johnson.
It's much too early to write off Lewis. We're only part-way through his second season and he has missed a lot of time because of injuries. The Bucs also have the option of converting him to safety, as he has the size and skillset to succeed at the position. He can still become a good NFL cornerback, but the signs aren't good right now.