Vernon Hargreaves Showing Leadership Skills


Vernon Hargreaves did not have a good start to his career. When the cornerback out of Florida was drafted 11th overall in 2016, the Buccaneers had very high expectations for him. To be honest, he has not met those lofty expectations. His rookie season was not exceptional, it was not exceptionally good, either. His second-year performances were below NFL standards, even though he is certainly not the only one to blame, as Tampa Bay’s defense was one of the worst in the league in every major category.

This year, however, things might finally change for the better for the young cornerback. He has played well so far in the preaseason and seems to have regained some much-needed confidence, which shows in his practices and in the preparation games so far. Lately, Hargreaves has taken the role of the motivator for the Bucs team, as he high-fives people a lot and gives his teammates encouraging helmet slaps on a regular basis. This newly attained confidence was noticed by Dirk Koetter, as well,

“I think Vernon has really asserted himself. Vernon likes to be vocal on the field, which we encourage. I mean, communication is a good thing. I think Vern has come out there every day he’s practiced and brought energy.” – via Carmen Vitali,

Hargreaves is expected to be the Buccaneers‘ starting nickelback, yet that will depend on MJ Stewart’s return from his current injury. Hargreaves has been used excessively in both positions this preseason, and his head coach knows why,

“Of course, he’s playing two positions and there’s some competition involved there but I think he’s risen to that level. We’re happy with where he’s at right now.” – via Carmen Vitali,

When asked whether he believes Hargreaves can make the transition to the nickel position, Koetter said in his press conference,

“I mean, he can definitely do it, he’s proven that he can do it… You’re just in nickel so much more than you are base, anymore. You know, he probably hasn’t gotten quite as much work outside as we would’ve liked, but it is what it is.” – via Carmen Vitali,

If you would like to see Koetter’s whole press conference, you can watch it here: