The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly quelled the fears of their fan base before free agency had even begun, as the seemingly inevitable was reportedly close to a done deal. After suffering through a 7-9 year in which they squandered the NFL‘s No. 1 run defense with the last-placed pass defense, the Bucs had the Darrelle Revis trade ostensibly wrapped up in early March.
However, weeks would stretch on and anxiety mounted with Tampa looking at Eric Wright as their top corner along a mix of overly green players and underwhelming vets. For all the leverage the New York Jets didn’t have, the deal might have yielded even less for Gang Green if the Bucs didn’t have such an obvious crater at the cornerback position.
It’s incredible what the month of April would bring as general manager Mark Dominik quickly transitioned this secondary from disastrous to intriguing with the additions of Revis via trade, free safety Dashon Goldson via free agency and Johnthan Banks with an early second-round pick out of Mississippi State in the 2013 draft. It’s no guarantee that this unit will instantly mesh, that Revis will return to old form and that Goldson can succeed outside the overtly aggressive play demanded of his position with the San Francisco 49ers — but Banks seizing the No. 2 cornerback spot as a rookie will be critical for Greg Schiano’s defense regardless.
“I played in the SEC,” the 6-2 Banks said about transitioning to the pros during a recent Bucs camp practice, via The Lakeland Ledger. “The speed is (not really any) different.”