clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cody Grimm's injury makes the safety position a lot more interesting

Getty Images

Cody  Grimm is still injured. I didn't expect him to still be struggling to come back from breaking his leg, but he is clearly not 100% in training camp. He was never a speedy guy, but players are blasting by him right now. And that's a shame, because Grimm was a revelation last year: an instinctive football player, who filled the hole in the running game, was a very good tackler and was solid in the passing game. The Bucs lost something when Corey Lynch took over late last season, especially in run defense. 

But if Grimm isn't ready once the season starts, and that's a distinct possibility, the Bucs will have to start someone else at free safety. And  you know what that means: competition! 

Corey Lynch got the chance to start last year and showed he was adequate in coverage, but didn't do much in run defense. That, to me, puts him behind the ball. While he has more experience than other potential starters, he also has significantly less upside. 

Larry Asante will be a guy to watch. The Bucs had him on the field a little late last season, playing mostly in the box. He's a tough player and solid tackler who, like Cody Grimm, can excel in the run game and be good enough in the passing game. He won't blow anyone away, but he's a solid player who can step in and be successful. 

Another player who could make a splash is Ahmad Black. I expect Black to see a lot of playing time in some sub packages anyway, but he has a chance, albeit a small one, to push for a starting job. Ahmad Black is slow and small, but he knows how to play football, he is tremendously effective in short areas and he's always around the ball. If he does turn out to be the starter, expect Raheem to move him around and use him in a number of different ways that fit his skillset best.