The Bucs Secondary still have a lot of work to do. We have heard about the Cover 2 and how the Bucs have the personnel to run the system. Most teams in the NFL have Cover 2 plays in their playbooks. It is safe to say every offense prepare for it and they definitely know the loopholes in the scheme and are more than willing to exploit it. This might be due to weaknesses in the scheme as a whole or targeting players who have certain loopholes in their games.
Quickly before I get into how offenses might attack the Bucs secondary, I think Barron or Goldston might even have a stonger year stopping the run. Sometimes I hear how it is easy to run against Cover 2 schemes. That is a misconception.The big thing about Cover 2 is its ability to build the eight man box. You can see in the picture below that the strong safety runs heavy in the box to make it an 8 man front. The defense sees a seven man front and sometimes offenses check a pass play into a run play because they see a standard cover 2 coverage. But with the safety in the box, it makes it difficult to run against. Thankfully the Bucs safeties are really good at stopping the run. Even the newly added Major Wright had 100 tackles last season.
Now Lets talk about how Offenses can attack the Bucs Secondary.
Offenses will be testing the Bucs Safeties. The problem we have with our starting safeties comes from the fact that stopping the run is what they (Barron and Goldston) do well but not too good in coverage. I think it was the reason the Bucs went after Major Wright. He is the best cover safety on the Bucs roster at this moment. If safeties can't stay discipline or not sound in coverage, there is always a big play waiting to happen. I have watched a lot of Bucs games, and I know Bucs fans have seen that our safeties are not great in coverage. In the last 2 years there has been so many times the opponent scores easy due to breakdown in coverage. DeSean Jackson's easy score last year still fresh in my mind. That touchdown was allowed by Revis and Barron on a zone call. We might say it is because of Schiano's complicated defense but it is also true that Barron struggles when the defense is in zone coverage.
In Cover 2, It is obvious that the safeties have a tremendous burden and a lot of field to cover. They must get help from the underneath coverage to keep receivers from outnumbering them in the deep zones. So it is important that Banks, Verner and others disrupt the routes of the WR. If they don't, It becomes a difficult job for the safeties. It will take the tremendous range of Earl Thomas, and ball skills of Jairus Byrd to be able to make a play. On the play below, the responsibility of each safety is to cover the deep halves.
Teams will also send four vertical receivers running down the field. The linebackers have to run with the tight end and the running back. if not the safeties will be outnumbered and it could result in a big play.
Any failure in coverage by a corner or linebacker, a big play is possible. Having safeties with great coverage ability, those weaknesses might not be as glaring. For now, we can't really say that about our safeties and that is a major concern especially playing in a scheme that gives safeties tremendous burden and a lot of field to cover. I see Major Wright being a starter down the road if Barron and Goldston don't improve their zone techniques or responsibilities.