Day one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offical Team Activities is underway and already making some noise. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s practice, Bruce Arians was asked about veteran cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Arians stated, “He’s gotta get his mind ready for practice.”.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Vernon Hargreaves “has to get his mind right to practice. “ Hargreaves watched from the sidelines. Asked why he wasn’t ready, Arians said “you’ll have to ask him.”
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) May 14, 2019
This comes as a bit of a surprise as we may all have thought Hargreaves was ready to take a leap forward and become the player everyone had hoped he be since being drafted. There are a few things to consider when looking at this statement.
- The Bucs drafted secondary heavy this past draft and Hargreaves could be feeling unwanted or needed.
- There’s a lot of pressure now on Hargreaves to perform high in a new defensive scheme.
- The Koetter era has ended and players are being held accountable.
I’m in the court of the number one reason. When you’re on a team that just drafted multiple players at your position over a two year period, confidence has to be an issue. After a season-ending injury sidelined Hargreaves in 2018, the 2019 season became a prove it type season for Hargreaves. As stated by Greg Auman of the Athletic in the tweet below, newly appointed Buccaneers Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean saw action as the first team corners.
First Bucs OTA practice saw rookies Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean get most of the first-team work at corner. Bruce Arians on why Vernon Hargreaves wasn’t out there: “He’s got to get his mind ready for practice.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 14, 2019
Now it is way too early, and I mean way too early, to really put a finger on what is really going to happen to any player on the roster, but to hear your new head coach tell the media, and I’m assuming Arians said something similar to Hargreaves, that you need to get your head right can’t be a good thing or way to start an off-season program.
There is a new era in Tampa Bay and it starts with the head coach. Bruce Arians is a no-nonsense coach that holds veterans and rookies alike accountable for what they do on the field. With several new and second-year players at cornerback, Hargreaves has to prove that he has something the other players don’t have.
You also have to start to wonder if the Bucs saw something like this coming when they prepared for the 2019 NFL Draft. Todd Bowles likes a heavy defensive backfield but did the Bucs prepare themselves to start someone in place of Hargreaves come September.
Tomorrow is a new day and Hargreaves will have to make up for an extra day of practice. The writings not totally set on the wall but Hargreaves will want to stand out in a good way the rest of OTA’s.