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Ranking The Units: The Secondary

Here I will reveal where I rank the Bucs’ projected 2011 personnel versus that of the rest of the NFL. Bear in mind, coaching is not being factored in and Raheem Morris is a supreme defensive mind.

Projected secondary:  Ronde Barber (FA), Aqib Talib, E.J. Biggers, Sean Jones, Tanard Jackson, Cody Grimm (starting if Jackson isn’t brought back), Myron Lewis, Ahmad Black. Barber is still better than most team’s RCB. The thing Bucs fans will watch most closely will be whether the Bucs bring back Tanard Jackson and Aqib Talib after their character issues. They both seem pretty low-risk from a money standpoint for this season. I truly believe this is a top-five secondary. They were not getting help from a pass rush that totaled just 26 sacks. I’m not anticipating the D-line being in the top half of the NFL this year but it doesn’t have to be for these guys to shine.

Ranked 4th.

2010 rankings: 318 points allowed (19.9 PPG; 9th), 23 passing TD’s allowed (only 13 in the last 11 games; 13th), 19 INTs (8th), 77.6 QB rating allowed (7th), 58.9 comp % allowed (12th),. They had 19 interceptions in spite of their pressure failures. They showed their depth as eight different defensive backs caught interceptions (Piscitelli was cut and is now in Cleveland).

Ranked ahead of the Bucs (in no particular order): Green Bay, Baltimore (with a healthy Ed Reed with Josh Wilson in his second year in the system and adding my #1-ranked defensive player in the draft, Jimmy Smith), and New York Jets (with healthy Leonhard and Revis, and a good effort to re-sign Cromartie; their pass rush was MIA much of last year). As great as Aqib Talib is, the rest of the secondary is solid yet occasionally spectacular. The Bears defensive backfield will take a hit when Danieal Manning leaves.

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