As we have reported before, it’s no secret that there have been concerns about Vernon Hargreaves III’s aggressiveness on the field. Coach Koetter has voiced that concern numerous times this season. And to recap last Monday’s press conference, after their loss to the Cardinals; Koetter was asked how concerned he is about the former Gators performance, in which he replied, “Extremely, extremely. Adding that, “Vern is not in a very good streak of games right now. We asked Vern to be more aggressive this year and to be more aggressive with his coverage and he started out doing that. He started out doing that in OTAs and training camp, but he was not playing his best football these last three games. I don’t think it’s a confidence thing, but I’m not 100 percent sure on that,” Koetter said. “We all have to play better and I have to coach better.
Fast forward to this week’s game, Koetter said, “For this week, we wanted to just change Vernon’s role a little bit, he wasn’t playing as well as we know he can play on the outside, so we wanted to give him a different change. Going forward, we’ll have to see how the injury situation shakes out.”
After Sunday’s game against the Bills, it seems that Hargreaves got the message, and has been working on correcting his mistakes. And it looks like the decision to move him inside to slot corner paid off. We got to see more of what we were looking for, and what we know he is capable of in a performance that gained him an overall grade of 87.4 per Pro Football Focus. ‘The Bucs moved Hargreaves to nickel corner, and it made a huge difference, Hargreaves played much more physical and while he only played 36 snaps, he did not allow a single catch of four targets with one pass defense. He was all around the receiver on the other passes that went his way. If he plays at this level, the Bucs will finally get the player they drafted high last season.’ Wrote the PFF analysis team.
Even though the Bucs lost to the Bills 27-30, it was great to see VH3’s performance, and I hope that this is a good indication of what we can expect from him moving forward. I knew he had it in him.