*Opinion editorial* naturally
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: The secondary is bad. Bad bad. Saving you the stats in numbers is easy: they’re dead last. In everything. All of it. Literally. You could not be any worse. So, this leaves the glaring question unanswered: Why is the secondary so bad!?
The confidence in coach Arians and DC Todd Bowles was high and, for the most part, still is. The secondary being busted isn’t anything new, this was a known issue from the Mike Smith days, and a lot of draft picks were spent on to fix it in the past 2 years. When Bruce Arians came in, it was hinted that those issues were “fixed” and that Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians believed in pseudo-veteran Vernon Hargreaves. We’ve written MANY articles on this topic, and it’s painfully obvious now that they were absolutely dead wrong.
My theory is very simple on this topic: They simply underestimated how underdeveloped VH3 is. He’s not translating into the league very well and hasn’t since his debut. For a first-round draft pick, he hasn’t earned his keep. Former Bucs DC Mike Smith was questioned on why VH3 lined up so far off his man, and he commonly answered that they lined up “Where they were comfortable.” While no one believed it at the time, it seems fully believable now. He’s still doing it, and he’s getting burned on every play. Hard. So from my angle, they’ve got to rewire VH3 to make him someone other than himself, because he’s not working. While Todd Bowles scheme might have worked with Patrick Peterson, Vernon Hargreaves isn’t that guy, and from the looks of it, he may never be.