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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Much like Bucs, Hargreaves can’t peg reason for ongoing slump

Roy Cummings



Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA – The Buccaneers coaches aren’t the only ones who seem to be at a loss as to what’s gone wrong with their once prized second-year cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves.

Hargreaves seems to be at a bit of a loss as to what’s gone wrong, too.

The Bucs 2016 first-round draft pick addressed his sub-par play on Wednesday, but he really didn’t offer up much in the way of solutions outside of stating the obvious.

 “At the end of the day, I just need to make more plays,’’ Hargreaves said. “It’s not rocket science.’’

You wouldn’t know it from listening to Hargreaves explain what he needs to do to make more plays. Or should we say not explain what needs to be done to make more plays.

Hargreaves admits he needs to play more aggressively, but when pressed for details on what it was he had to do to stop being a liability on the field he fell back on the same old “make more plays’’ cliché’.

Hargreaves did say that his reason for playing so soft in coverage is a result of something he’s been seeing on the field or on tape or that he’s anticipating might happen on the field.

Beyond that, though, he didn’t offer up much in the way of what he believes might be the solution to the problem, which just makes you wonder if Hargreaves struggles aren’t the result of something taking place off the field and away from the game.

Look, Hargreaves and the Bucs both say that confidence is not the issue and they all agree that skill and ability are not the issue. Yet there is still an issue and you have to wonder if it’s just a matter of focus.

It’s not like the Bucs haven’t addressed this matter. They began asking Hargreaves to play more aggressively late last year and pressed the issue all during the offseason and into training camp.

And for a while at least it appeared as if Hargreaves was making some progress. That was the word from the Bucs at least. But then the season began and the situation only gotten worse.

As we noted previously, Hargreaves has been the most picked on and exploited cornerback in the league this year and that is indeed a big problem. In fact there’s only one problem that’s bigger.

No one, not even Hargreaves, really seems to know how to fix it.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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