Secondary will be better, says Bucs’ cornerback Johnthan Banks

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Another season, another coordinator.

And so it goes with Johnthan Banks. The calendar flips, and sure enough, someone else is blowing the whistle. Another scheme to master. Another playbook to learn.

It is always that way with Banks, who plays under his third defensive coordinator in three years with the Bucs this year when Mike Smith takes over. In college, he played for four coordinators in four years.

“That’s crazy,”said Banks. “All through college, I had four different defensive coordinators. And here in the pros it’s going to be my fourth defensive coordinator. (Leslie) Frazier was my defensive coordinator and then Lovie   Smith was the defensive coordinator. I mean, it’s life and I’m enjoying it.  I’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”

Last season, with head coach Lovie Smith in charge of the defense, Banks seemed to fall out of favor. But if he can re-establish himself this year, it will be a benefit to the defense.

“It’s a new beginning,” Banks said. “These coaches, they don’t know a lot about me. Coach (Dirk) Koetter, he does because he played against me when he was in Atlanta and he was here last year. I’m just going to compete, have fun, and whatever happens, happens.

“Last year’s in the past. It’s a new year. I’m having fun. I’m out here [and] I don’t know if I’ve smiled as much as I have in these three weeks as I did in my whole three years. I’m having fun, getting around these guys, and these coaches, they make it fun. I try to put that in the past and move on.”

No one can quite be certain how this year’s Bucs’ defense will look, but players have called it more aggressive.

“Sometimes as a defensive back,” Banks said, “

you want to get in a system and be in that system, learn the nuances, learn the new techniques and all that. It kind of messes you over. I haven’t backpedaled in three years and now I’m backpedaling.”

Still, Banks is confident in himself and in his secondary.

“Oh, it’s very different. Everything is different. You won’t see anything of what we did in the past in this defense. It’s going to be fun, we’re going to fly around and make a lot of plays, a whole lot of plays. I’m excited about it and I think every guy in the locker room is excited about it.

“It’s fun. They let playmakers be playmakers, football players be football players. You fly around. He puts you in a position to go out there and win. I think we’re going to be great in the secondary. If you can play, this is the defense you want to be in. It’s going put you in a position to go out and make plays and have fun.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit