Bucs Ryan Smith working at cornerback with absence of starters

Smith logged 86 snaps last preseason at safety, but has shifted over to CB during OTAs this offseason.

| 3 weeks ago
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Bucs Ryan Smith working at cornerback with absence of starters

  • According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Ryan Smith is back to playing his “natural position” during organized team activities, after playing safety last year.
  • Starters Vernon Hargreaves III and Brent Grimes have not been participating, allowing others to take advantage of valuable reps.
  • While Smith didn’t log a defensive snap in the regular season last year, he did play a total of 86 snaps in the 2016 preseason – 57 percent came at free safety and just seven percent came at cornerback, all of which were in the slot.
  • In Smith’s three games against FBS competition in 2014 and 2015 at North Carolina Central, he played 161 snaps, splitting between left and right cornerback while none came at safety.
  • In those three games, Smith was targeted 13 times and allowed just five catches for 44 yards (63.6 passer rating). He also collected an impressive three pass deflections.

Ryan Smith

| Analyst

Ryan Smith has been an analyst for Pro Football Focus since 2015. He is featured on the weekly ACC podcast, and is also the Philadelphia Eagles Media Correspondent for PFF.

  • Andre Taylor

    The Bucs offense is getting alot of attention, and rightfully so, with the addition of WR’s Deshawn Jackson and rookie Chris Godwin. Along with rookie TE O.J. Howard along with Cameron Brate’s and WR Adam Humphries, there isn’t a defense in the NFL that can keep up with Tampa’s offense for 4 quarters. While not nearly as talked about, the Bucs defense will surprise some people. GM Jason Licht added talent to every level of the defense, starting with DT/DE Chris Baker. Licht also resigned DE/DT William Gholston, and drafting big NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu. Giving DC Mike Smith the option of going with a 3-4 front to mix up his scheme, giving offense a different look. With 2nd year DE Noah Spence, DE Robert Ayers, DE’s Jacques Smith, and DeVonte Lambert. Mike Smith will be able to rotate fresh bodies to keep pro-bowl DT Gerald McCoy, and Spence fresh to get after the QB. The LB unit was already very solid with MLB Kwon Alexander and OLB Lavonte David, by drafting MLB Kendell Beckwith. Alexander can move outside with Beckwith at 6ft 2, 250lbs, can now provide the defense with a big thumper to improve their run defense. Leaving Alexander and David to roam sideline to sideline and work underneath in the passing game. In the secondary Licht resigned veteran Safety Chris Conte and signed SS J.J. Wilcox, Conte is a solid all around Safety. But maybe better suited to be the 3rd Safety or matching up against TE’s, Licht drafted FS Justin Evans. Giving the Bucs some depth at the Safety position, again giving DC Mike Smith options to mix and match depending on the situation. The arrival of Wilcox and Evans allows DB Ryan Smith to move back to his natural position at CB, when the Bucs go to their Nickel defense veteran Brent Grimes will move inside to the slot. With Smith and Vernon Hargreaves on the outside, Josh Robinson was also resigned. Robinson and SS Keith Tandy will provide depth, the defense got bigger up the middle with the additions of Baker, Tu’ikolovatu on the D-line, Beckwith at MLB, and Wilcox and Evans manning the FS, and SS positions. With the maturation of Noah Spence and Jacques Smith on the outside, Baker and McCoy providing pressure inside. Teams will find it much more difficult to run on the Bucs, with offense bound to put up alot of points. Tampa may find themselves pinning their ears back and hunting the QB most of the time.