Is Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes a bad tackler?
Well, he certainly didn’t look like one when he chased down Carolina running back Fozzy Whitaker (above) to stop him a yard short of the goal line late in the Bucs 17-14 win over the Panthers on Monday.
But Bucs coach Dirk Koetter hinted that might be the case when he was asked about the game-saving play Grimes turned in immediately after when he intercepted Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson to set the stage for the Bucs game-winning rally.
“Even more so than the interception was the tackle he made the play before that because – even though we give Brent a hard time about him not being the greatest tackler in the world – think about (what happens) if he doesn’t tackle that guy on the one-yard line?’’ Koetter said.
“They call it out at the 1-yard line and then the next play Brent gets the interception. So Brent was actually voted a game ball by the coaching staff (on Monday). He got the defensive game ball, Jacquizz Rodgers got the offensive game ball and (wide receiver) Russell Shepard got the special teams game ball.”
Those game balls were all well-deserved of course. Rodgers ran 30 times for 101 yards and caught five passes for 28 more and Shepard recovered a muffed punt in the first quarter to account for one of the Bucs four takeaways in that game.
As for Grimes tackling, his size (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) has probably proven to be a detriment at times, but you don’t get voted to the Pro Bowl four times if you’re not capable of consistently performing one of the most critical tasks in the game.
Fozzy Whitaker can attest to that.