Going into the offseason the Bucs had one glaring area to improve on and that was the backend of the defense, specifically the Safety position. They addressed it by signing J.J. Wilcox who wasnt a full time starter in Dallas and they also drafted in the 2nd round Justin Evans out of Texas A&M.
The Bucs chose not to re-sign Safety Bradley McDougald which I can see why basing off his lack causing many turnovers although I thought he was a quality starter. That leaves them with leftovers Keith Tandy, who had an amazing span of 5 games at the end of the year and Chris Conte, the Safety that every Buc fan loves to hate. As of now he battle has been extremely quiet and it has mainly been Tandy and Conte as the starting safeties as I would have predicted.
Watching the first 2 preseason games not many big plays have been made from any of the safeties, but one that has stood out more is J.J. Wilcox. He’s been showing plenty of urgency to the ball, all go all the time and has been showing the big hit ability he’s known for. He’s the only one that I can see is making an argument for maybe pushing Tandy or Conte.
As for Justin Evans he just looks like what he is, a rookie. He’s late to positions, not playing with urgency and not showing that hard hitting ability that he was known for in college. If you follow Real Bucs Talk, you know I wasn’t fond of the pick and would have gone another route but he’s a Buccaneer now and I’m fully hoping he takes to the coaching and becomes the safety Litch drafted him to be.
That leaves us with what the competition looks like. To me it looks like it should be with the starters being Keith Tandy and Chris Conte. Both already know the system and have shown there ability to play at a high level in it. People may bash Conte but the fact is he got better as the season went on and for me, opening day I want the 2 best safeties in the backend that give us the best chance at winning.