Unfortunately, another Tampa Bay Buccaneer was in the news today for a drug related incident, as safety Ahmad Black was charged for possession of marijuana. This is the third member of the secondary to be involved with a drug related incident, but the first for marijuana this year.
For a team that has had its trouble with marijuana in the past, and given the tightly run ship by coach Greg Schiano, I didn’t think this was even going to be an issue anymore once Aqib Talib was traded away. While he did not test positive for it, getting cited by a police officer isn’t any better.
The worst thing about it is the encouraging play we have seen as of late from Black. He was the third safety rotating in, and when the Buccaneers have been going to dime sets, he was the player coming in, shifting Ronde Barber down to the slot. Whether or not he’ll be disciplined will remain to be seen through the week.
The Buccaneers rank dead last this year in pass defense, but are among the top in creating turnovers this year. Black has been a big part in two of the wins, getting late fourth-quarter interceptions against the Carolina Panthers in week one, and against the Oakland Raiders to seal the game.
Whatever the result is for Black, it wasn’t good for a player that could have had a serious shot at starting next to rookie Mark Barron next year. We all know that Barber isn’t going to play forever, and with his play this year you would like to think that Black would get the first shot at the job when Barber leaves.
The Buccaneers did shake their roster up a bit by promoting LeQuan Lewis from the practice squad and cutting Brandon McDonald. I’m all for shaking up the position and finding out what we have in everyone because the current guys aren’t cutting it.
Lewis got some playing time earlier in the year against the Buccaneers while he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. In the few plays I went back and reviewed, he played good press coverage against Mike Williams. It can’t hurt to see what we have in him in the coming weeks.
We will see exactly what unfolds in the coming days and weeks, but one thing is certain: the Buccaneers defensive backs need to be heard of on the field, not off. When that happens the pass defense might actually start turning around.