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Carlton Davis takes advantage of opportunity

The rookie cornerback had a heck of a game in South Florida.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp
Carlton Davis (33) defends the run at training camp.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the Buccaneers drafted Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart, fans made no qualms about putting Vernon Hargreaves III on notice. After a groin injury suffered in last nights game and Carlton Davis playing very well, fans or not, VH3 is on notice. Hargreaves lasted only a few drives into the first quarter before sustaining an injury, opening the door for Davis to shine on his own.

Davis stepped right into a starting role with Brent Grimes out for yesterday’s game and he played admirably for a rookie. Aside from an early 16-yard pass play on Davis’ watch, Davis was reliable in coverage all night. Davis made five solo tackles and made a nice play on a deep pass to force a 3rd-and-10 for the Dolphins. In all, Davis was successful in deflecting two passes thrown his way.

The size was evident for Davis, as his deep pass deflection he appeared to perhaps be behind a step and with a flash of the arm, disrupted the pass and forced the third down. Simple situations like that are what height and length can afford a corner. Size isn’t something the Buccaneers have much of outside at corner with Hargreaves and Grimes.

If Carlton Davis can continue to produce this preseason and be consistent outside, pairing him up with Grimes in the base defense and bringing in Hargreaves or even MJ Stewart if Hargreaves injury is worse than appears, would be a huge step in the right direction for this defense. Carlton Davis stepped up last night. Fans noticed, coaches surely noticed. It’s a breath of fresh air and I look forward to seeing more positive reps in the coming weeks.