KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 12: Defensive back Anthony Gaitor #39 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brakes up a pass intended for wide receiver Verran Tucker #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on August 12, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
The Bucs have prototypes for different positions, including cornerback. For a long time the prototype at cornerback was Ronde Barber: small, physical and explosive. The ability to play press-zone coverage was needed, but the Bucs didn't need cornerback who could eliminate a receiver in man coverage.
In recent years that has started to change. That may have started when Aqib Talib was drafted - a big, physical guy with very long arms and the ability to play man coverage. He is very different from Ronde Barber, who is not only much smaller, but much better suited to playing small spaces. Since then, the Bucs have generally stuck to both the Ronde Barber and the Aqib Talib prototype at cornerback: a corner had to either be big with long arms and the ability to be physically dominant, or he had to be small, physical and excellent in short spaces.
While talking about newly acquired cornerback Ashton Youboty, Raheem Morris also talked about the Bucs' prototype at cornerback, Raheem mentioned exactly that. "We've kind of got two categories right now of corners. We've got the Ronde versions and the Aqib versions," said Morris.
We can see this clearly when we look at the Bucs roster.
'Aqib Talib corners': Aqib Talib, Myron Lewis, D.J. Johnson, Ashton Youboty(by Raheem Morris' estimation)
E.J. Biggers is kind of a tweener there, but the category is telling for the kind of role these players will play. If someone is an 'Aqib' corner, he will play mostly outside and will be asked to play more press-coverage, as well as more man-coverage. A 'Ronde' type is more likely to find himself in the slot, used on blitzes and in zone coverage.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts players on the roster, and how this impacts the Bucs' roster-building in the future, as well as gameplans.