When Tampa Bay Buccaneer players come together next week for mandatory minicamp, they’ll be without both starting safeties. Just after Tuesday’s OTA practice, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said that neither Dashon Goldson nor Mark Barron will participate in minicamp due to injuries.
Goldson is still recovering from offseason foot surgery while Barron is on the mend from an unspecified injury that already forced him to miss voluntary minicamp. Both players are aiming to be back by the end of July, when training camp begins.
“Those guys are a key to our success on defense, so [we are] looking forward to getting a chance to work with them,” said Frazier.
The safety position is one that does require some adjustment in Lovie Smith’s defense. Under Greg Schiano, the Bucs utilized a lot of single high safety looks. But with Smith, it’s traditionally a two-deep system.
On the bright side, the Bucs do have Major Wright, who started 42 games in four years for the Bears.
As far as the rest of the secondary, the team has quite a competition brewing for the two starting cornerback spots.
“It’s been very heated. [Mike Jenkins] has come in, he’s fighting for a spot, Johnthan Banks doesn’t want to relinquish the spot and Alterraun Verner coming in fighting for a spot, it’s been healthy competition; it’s been good for our team,” said Frazier.
“Danny Gorrer he’s fighting for a spot, Rashaan [Melvin] he’s fighting for a spot, we’ve got some depth at corner and it’ll all shake itself out once we get to training camp, we get the pads on and get through the preseason, but right now it’s been very heated and very good for our team.”
As far as nickel back, Leonard Johnson and D.J. Moore have been battling it out. Frazier said that with Moore’s experience, he has the edge.
Frazier also noted the impressive play of Quinton Pointer, who had two interceptions in Tuesday’s practice. Pointer, a former undrafted free agent, signed with the team last Friday after two seasons with the Rams.