Bucs Looking For New Leaders To Replace Pierre-Paul, Suh, Minter

The Bucs seem like transferring on from a trio of leaders on the defensive facet of the ball. Though the group hasn’t formally shut the door on their return, outdoors linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive sort out Ndamukong Suh and reserve inside linebacker Kevin Minter haven’t been re-signed.

Their departure has created a little bit of management void on protection, and on particular groups the place Minter was a captain the previous two years. Tampa Bay has a pair of defensive captains returning on the linebacker degree in Lavonte David and Professional Bowler Devin White, however will want others to steer up entrance.

Time For Barrett To Change JPP

Bucs OLBs Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Ndamukong Suh – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Pierre-Paul was a loud, vocal chief with an alpha presence about him. He introduced power to the Bucs huddle on the sector and on the sideline. At age 33 and coming off rotator cuff surgical procedure, it’s uncertain he returns to Tampa Bay. The Bucs drafted Joe Tryon-Shoyinka within the first spherical final 12 months and have talked about him beginning this season. However at age 22 and getting into his second NFL season he’s nowhere prepared to steer.

As a substitute, outdoors linebacker Shaq Barrett has been requested to step up. Barrett, a two-time Professional Bowler, signed a four-year contract extension value $17 million per 12 months in 2020.

New outdoors linebackers coach Bob Sanders hasn’t been round Barrett that lengthy since becoming a member of the workers in March. However he does know that Barrett has what it takes to fill the void created by Pierre-Paul’s departure.

“He positively is a wonderful, glorious participant,” Sanders stated. “As vital, he’s an important particular person too. He has an important work ethic. … He’s a coachable man, and he’s a pacesetter. His work ethic – not solely on the sector, however within the classroom – has been good. I believe he’s in for one more large 12 months – I actually do.”

Bucs co-defensive coordinator and line of defense coach Kacy Rodgers agrees with Sanders.

“From the skin perspective, I might say Shaq – which is a gradual participant for us – he must step up into that position on the skin with [Anthony] Nelson, Joe and Cam [Gill] being youthful.”

Bucs Seem To Be Turning The Web page On Suh

Suh turned 35 in January and confirmed some indicators of slowing down final 12 months regardless of registering six sacks for a second straight season. Normal supervisor Jason Licht was requested about Suh’s potential return in a press convention through the draft after the group chosen Logan Corridor, a defensive sort out from Houston. Corridor, the group’s first decide within the second spherical, will begin on the 3-technique defensive sort out place, which is the place Suh performed.

Bucs DTs Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea

Bucs DTs Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea – Picture by: USA As we speak

Licht made it sound like Suh may solely be re-signed by the Bucs in an emergency state of affairs.

“No, we’re not shutting the door,” Licht stated. “There are a variety of accidents that occur all year long and we’re not placing all of our inventory within the guys we have now proper now, so I wouldn’t shut the door.”

With out Suh’s presence, Rodgers expects nostril sort out Vita Vea, the group’s first-round decide in 2018, to imagine a management position this season.

“Inside, it might be Vita – he must step up and assume the position, which he ought to,” Rodgers stated. “He involves work on daily basis, he’s right here and is aware of what we have now to do and get executed. By means of attrition, Vita ought to step up into the position upfront. We nonetheless have two leaders at linebacker (David and White) so will probably be by committee. These guys may have large footwear to fill.”

Late final 12 months, Vea signed a five-year contract extension value $17.75 million per season. That got here on the heels of incomes his first Professional Bowl berth.

“He was going actually good the 12 months earlier than after which he got here again for the playoff run,” Rodgers stated of Vea. “Then the way in which he performed this previous 12 months he was getting increasingly more assured because the season went on. He was nonetheless favoring [his ankle] some and knocking the rust off, however because the season completed I believed he was enjoying rather well. Now the factor with him, he’s received to – and I’m harping on him – he’s the largest man on the sector … however he’s received to play like that on a regular basis.”

Britt, Stuard Stepping Up For Bucs On Particular Groups

The job of changing Minter because the backup inside linebacker behind White and David will fall on the broad shoulders of Okay.J. Britt. Final 12 months’s fifth-round decide, Britt has drawn rave evaluations not just for his skill to study the center linebacker position on protection, but in addition to star on particular groups.

Bucs LBs Grant Stuard and K.J. Britt

Bucs LBs Grant Stuard and Okay.J. Britt – Picture by: USA As we speak

Britt was fourth on the group final 12 months with 5 particular groups tackles. Minter was third with seven. Final 12 months’s seventh-round decide, linebacker Grant Stuard, led Tampa Bay with 12 particular groups tackles and compelled a fumble.

Particular groups coordinator Keith Armstrong implied that Britt or Stuard might take over as a particular groups captain to fill the void created by Minter’s departure.

“Okay.J. is doing a very good job,” Armstrong stated. “A lot of the younger guys are right here proper now and we’re doing a variety of protection and particular teams-type stuff. Okay.J. is doing an excellent job of working the protection now. A few of that will carry over to the particular groups a part of it. The identical factor with Grant.”