Alterraun Verner must have done something to get put in the dog house by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaches, but it's hard to figure out what that is exactly. While it's hard to argue he's lived up to his $6 million per year price tag, he's still been either the best or second-best cornerback on the roster, the other being Johnthan Banks, and has played fairly well this year. Certainly he hasn't played badly enough to be benched.
And yet that's exactly what happened this Sunday, with Verner being replaced by Tim Jennings -- and then seeing Mike Jenkins get on the field ahead of him as well. It took an injury to Banks, and then subsequent injuries to Jennings and Jenkins to give Verner a decent amount of playing time. Even with those opportunities, he only played 31% of the snaps yesterday, compared to 91% for Jennings and 60% for Jenkins. That's down from last week, when he played 46%, and the opener, when he managed 73% of the snaps.
Jenkins' rise is especially curious, given the simple fact that he was obviously the worst defensive back on the field throughout the game. Jenkins was easily and consistently beat, and really hasn't played well at any point in his time with the Bucs, but the coaches continue to be obsessed with him.
Other notes on the snap counts:
- Wonder why Danny Lansanah didn't stand out on Sunday? The Bucs actually gave Bruce Carter more playing time: 19 to 11 snaps.
- Gerald McCoy only played 60% of the snaps, limited by a shoulder injury. Clinton McDonald had 66%, Tony McDaniel 35% and Henry Melton 41%.
- William Gholston got a lot of snaps with 54%, primarily as a run-stopping defensive end. The Bucs had issues stopping the run when Jacquies Smith (69%) and George Johnson (52%) were in there. Incidentally, the fact that Johnson has been largely invisible through three games is a bad sign.
- The safety snaps continue to be weird. Bradley McDougald got 82%, while Chris Conte managed 75% and D.J. Swearinger got 44%.
- While the Bucs listed Luke Stocker as the official replacement for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Myers got more snaps: 67% to 41%.
- Doug Martin and Charles Sims are still going with a straight-up split in snap counts, 51% to 49%. That's mostly because Sims is getting most of the passing down looks, but the refusal to really run Doug Martin -- who still looks like he's in form -- is worrying.
- Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander were the only defenders to play 100% of the snaps.