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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Verner: Bucs’ corners have added responsibilities

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Published:   |   Updated: April 30, 2014 at 09:19 PM

— If you think the role of the cornerbacks in the Tampa 2 defense is as simple as sitting back in a designated zone and waiting for the ball to come your way, think again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers newcomer Alterraun Verner says cornerbacks working in coach Lovie Smith’s version of the Tampa 2 may have more responsibilities than any other corners in the game.

“Corners generally have the least amount of responsibility of anyone,’’ the 2013 Pro Bowler said. “I mean, if it’s man (coverage), you know you got this guy and that’s it. But here, as a corner, you’re expected to know a lot.

“In our defense, you have to know certain fits. You have to know the stunts the D-linemen are going to run, because you might have to show up against the run or you might have to help the safeties out.

“There are a lot of nuances, so we have to be very smart and know what we’re doing. We can’t rely on someone else to tell us. That’s why we have to study and get into our playbook because we have those additional responsibilities here.’’

Those added responsibilities may be one reason the Bucs took more of a veteran route toward building its cornerback corps this offseason.

In addition to adding Verner, a five-year NFL veteran, the Bucs also brought in six-year veteran cornerback D.J. Moore and seven-year veteran cornerback Mike Jenkins during free agency.

rcummings@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RcummingsTBO

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