The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to replace slot cornerback Leonard Johnson, or so Leslie Frazier implied today. The Bucs' defensive coordinator told the assembled media that they "want to get more out of their nickel position", and that newly signed cornerback Isaiah Frey will get a first look at the position, according to Tom Krasniqi of 620 WDAE.
Leonard Johnson certainly hasn't played well this year, but he's hardly been the team's biggest problem on defense. The Ravens roasted backup cornerbacks Crezdon Butler and Brandon Dixon last Sunday, and cornerback Johnthan Banks has had a very poor second season as well. The linebackers and safeties have largely been very poor in coverage, too. In fact, no one outside Alterraun Verner has actually done well in coverage this season.
Johnson has just two passes defensed this year, along with 20 total tackles, but the Bucs really want a playmaker at the slot cornerback position. Someone in the mold of Ronde Barber. It's why they turned it into a separate position, with a separate coach, and separate players. And why they're now looking to get more out of that position.