We're evaluating every Tampa Bay Buccaneers position, trying to determine whether the team improved itself during this offseason. Today: cornerback.
2014 roster: Johnthan Banks, Alterraun Verner, Mike Jenkins, Leonard Johnson, C.J. Wilson, Brandon Dixon.
2015 roster: Johnthan Banks, Alterraun Verner, Mike Jenkins, Sterling Moore, Leonard Johnson, Brandon Dixon, Deshazor Everett, Isaiah Frey, C.J. Wilson.
The Buccaneers looked like they had a pretty decent group of cornerbacks last year, having signed Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins to help out a promising Johnthan Banks, but that turned into a mixed back once the regular season started. Or to be more precise, they turned out to be awful at the start of the regular season before turning into competent or even good starters as they started to understand the scheme and the defense as a whole turned into a better-oiled machine.
That's the main reason to be optimistic about the Bucs' ability to cover wide receiver this years: the fact that they won't need to go through an adjustment period where they learn how this defense works. Verner and Banks were legitimately good at the end of last season, and that form should continue into this year. Making matters better is the fact that the team brought in Sterling Moore, who's likely to eventually take over at slot cornerback ahead of the awful, awful Leonard Johnson who somehow was re-signed anyway. Moore's signing also fits into finding players who know this scheme: he played in the same scheme in Dallas the past two years.
Overall, the Bucs look a lot stronger this year at cornerback than they did in 2014. Mike Jenkins is healthy, Sterling Moore looks like a major improvement in the slot and everyone understands the scheme.