If Aqib Talib is suspended this year, the Buccaneers will have to ask other cornerbacks to step up. E.J. Biggers and Ronde Barber will be the starters if that happens, and while neither player is a top-level cornerback right now, they are both good enough to win with. But once we go any deeper than that, things become a little scary: Elbert Mack comes back into the picture.
Elbert Mack is a very small but very scrappy cornerback who always plays very hard. Unfortunately, he lacks the physical talent to hold up in coverage. He tries, but as soon as he steps on the field every quarterback the Bucs face will immediately target him. He was frequently victimized the last time he was the nickel cornerback in 2009. And the likelihood of seeing him on the field if Aqib Talib is suspended seems pretty high: Roy Cummings claims he will be the third cornerback in that case. If that happens, the Bucs can prepare for some shootouts.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. Myron Lewis is back on the field after missing two weeks with a minor hamstring injury. Lewis beat out Mack for the position of third cornerback late last year, and I have to think he will do this again if healthy. Besides Lewis, the Bucs also have rookie Anthony Gaitor who has looked very impressive in games so far. I am hopeful that either of those players can beat out Elbert Mack, because if they can't the Bucs will have a really hard time stopping anyone in the passing game.