Breakout Year For Tandy?

April 12th, 2017

Stud or reserve?

It could be a crossroads type of season for Bucs safety Keith Tandy.

His last year was very much Jekyll and Hyde.

The first half of the season he didn’t play well at all. The way Tavon Austin clowned him in an ugly Bucs loss had Joe eating TUMS and Pepcid AC all night. And until the bye week, that was the (ahem) highlight of Tandy’s season.

But Tandy blew up starting in place of injured fan favorite Chris Conte late in the season. Tandy not only looked like a starter, he played like a potential Pro Bowler and finished with four interceptions.

Because of that, Bonnie Mott of Bucs Wire believes Tandy is due to break out this fall.

Tandy wrapped up his 2016 campaign with 40 tackles (30 solo) and four interceptions over the final four games of the season, including two crucial game-winning interceptions in back-to-back victories against the Chargers and Saints.

Tandy originally signed a two-year deal back in March and has helped the team out tremendously since then. He consistently made plays and displayed phenomenal coverage while leading the Bucs to several key victories. The veteran safety went from being a career backup to a making a very strong case as to why he deserves a starting role this season, and now with the addition of J.J. Wilcox to the Bucs’ surging defense, Tandy is set to have another solid season for Tampa Bay.

Joe won’t go as far as saying Tandy helped out the Bucs “tremendously.” If he could have only tackled Austin at the Bucs-23, the Bucs quite possibly beat the Rams.

The fact the Bucs brought back Conte and signed J.J. Wilcox is very interesting. Does this suggest Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht doesn’t think that highly of Tandy, or was this just insurance in case Tandy bolts next winter?

31 Responses to “Breakout Year For Tandy?”

  1. Rojas Says:

    I think Tandy starts this year, along with a rookie we draft

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Perhaps Mike Smith’s defense (and what he asks the safeties to do) fits Keith Tandy’s skillset better than what Lovie & Schiano were looking for? Or maybe Tandy just needed an opportunity to start several games back-to-back to get into a groove? In any event, I’m just hoping that he picks up where he left off last year.

  3. Getaclue Says:

    Tandy had a knack for being around the ball before last season he just had limited opportunities . He needs to be starting , we don’t need a liability in pass coverage in the secondary

  4. Eric Denman Says:

    He showed flashes last year of what he can do so let’s see if he can do it over a full season.

  5. martinii Says:

    Joe had a article a few days ago that asked “Do the Buc’s really need a safety. My argument for not is the Fact that they added Chris Baker and are getting a host of injured DL healthy and added a rotational player like J.J. Wilcox to their arsenal. Maybe a mid-round project that we can look to develop over a few years, but when your DL is pressuring and your LB’s are fine tuned the FS/SS jobs are much easier. Tandy is going to be part of an improved Defense, so lets go get Jameis some toys.

  6. Bculaw Says:

    I agree, Getaclue. With the exception of the Rams game, Tandy has shown the ability to be a playmaker in the limited chances he had prior to last season. He was a legitimate starting caliber safety, if not better, when given his chance last season. I can’t wait to see if he continues to play well this season.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think Bonnie Mott is saying this because he too wants a certain player at 19, and he knows Safety actually is the biggest need.

    Tandy is good depth and I like him. A break out season? Come on, people. He’s entering his 6th year in the league. If he were going to have a ‘breakout year’ he would have had it already.

    How many players become great after 6 years of below average play? NONE.

    This is just a fluff piece by Bonnie Mott because he doesn’t want us to take Safety at 19.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Oh, and it isn’t as if he hasn’t had a fair chance to ‘break out’. He could have done so and claimed the starting position any time the last 3 years. It has been open competition at Safety.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “The fact the Bucs brought back Conte and signed J.J. Wilcox is very interesting. Does this suggest Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht doesn’t think that highly of Tandy…” – J0E

    I’m guessing you are right about Tandy, Joe. I would add that J.J. Wilcox is the better player, but only marginally. I do not think either one is starting quality.

    My guess is that the Bucs take a Safety at 19 if that is the BPA, and Tandy gets the boot.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Say what you will, But KT37 brought “juice” to the field!!! Anyone watching the back half of the season saw how energized the defense became after his big plays!!! He was making great reads in run prevention and covered his gap very well!!! Maybe he just needed some reps and a bit stronger pass rush from up front!!!

    But there is no denying that something clicked on the field!!! Lets hope it continues and expands and grows this season!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    I’d rather see him be a rotational guy than find out the hard way that he just happened to be in the right place at the right time last year. I think he’s a solid player, I just want someone special roaming that back end.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says
    “Say what you will, But KT37 brought “juice” to the field!!! Anyone watching the back half of the season saw how energized the defense became after his big plays!”

    Tandy is smart enough to know that making big plays as the season ends catches the eyes of the coaches.

    The problem is the rest of the season. He’s not consistent. Good enough (I guess) for a 3rd string backup. Not much more.

    As for Wilcox, his one selling point to everyone is that he ‘hit’s hard’ because Tampa fans miss the days of John Lynch. You and I both know there will never be days like that again, because the league rules have changed so much. Sure tackling in a safety has become more important.

    And that is a weakness for Wilcox. In fact, a week or so ago PF T ran a story in which the league said they were going to crack down on hard hits more than ever this year, even ejecting players for it.

    That is why Safety is the more important need on this team than any other, since McDougald is gone (who was the best tackler among the safeties).

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Wilcox is good enough to be a 2nd stringer. No better.

  14. Joe Says:

    I think Bonnie Mott is saying this because he too wants a certain player

    Bonnie Mott is VERY MUCH a she.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    That’s a matter of perspective 😉

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bonzai- Thank you for keeping it in perspective. I will add that Conte got injured just about the time that the defense, AS A WHOLE, was starting to get it. I can’t take anything away from Tandy, he played well in that stretch. Lets be real, Tandy was not the best safety on the roster or he would’ve been starting. That’s the long and short of it!
    I hope he does emerge. It would be a benefit to not HAVE to draft a safety high in the draft.

  17. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Funny people say what string someone that actually plays should be.

  18. I'm a Tandy Man Bucs Fan Says:

    Bonzai here is some perspective for you….Obviously you have never played big time sports. It is near impossible to play in bits and pieces of games and have any kind of continuity or fluidity. Keith got his chance finally because there were some leaders or Head Coaches ie Lovie that was up Contes butt and he put Keith in a box and when that happens you don’t get that opportunity. Well we seen where Lovie and Conte went didn’t we……Lovie out of a job and Conte to the bench and whinning like a little baby when Keith took his job. Did you ever hear Keith whine the whole time he knew he was better and had to watch????? When he got his chance the last five games he had 4 interceptions and led his team 2 0f those five games in tackles and in one game had 12 .. So the six years your talking about him not being effective and had chances your wrong. He got his chance and look what happened!!!! He is 28 years old man and after this season I will be back to remind you that you gotZ a lot of crow to eat. I coached this kid and know how he’s wrapped, you don’t have a clue what your talking about. He is a winner and you can’t coach that man!!! It’s just something a player has within and he has that. The way I see it from the way last season ended he is the only starting Safety returning and if JJ Wilcox or whoever the other is they will be playing beside and All Pro who wears # 37….The Bucs better get a running back or pass rusher… I think the rest of the squad can compete with any NFL Team going….If I remember correctly the Bucs beat the Team pretty handily that played in the Supper Bowl……

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    I don’t think Tandy was just a flash at the end of the year. That was too good of play to be just a flash. I think Mike Smith and his defense was a perfect suit for him and he caught it half way through the season like Mike said they would. I think he may be legit that’s why I hope we can draft a FS more than a SS. J.J. Wilcox is not a starter. Conte is purely depth Maybe some rotation with Tandy.or someone they draft that’s gonna start.

  20. NJBucFan Says:

    Tandy benefited greatly from having a corner on VH3 that actually listened to him and worked with him. Towards the end of the season VH3 was saying how him and Tandy studied offenses a lot together and on the field Tandy would call out cues for him to watch that allows both of them to make plays.

    This is something Conte obviously wasn’t doing and Tandy was clearly a guy that Verner and Banks had no interest in trusting or working with.

    Communication on defense is much more important than pure talent.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Boy do we have short memories! “Conte was garbage…., Tandy made plays….Conte is just depth…”, did anyone watch the games? How was the defense for the 1st, say half of the season? 2nd half? Terrible and then, OK. Why? The defense began to gel AS A WHOLE.
    Here’s a hint: The defense didn’t suddenly get better when Conte got injured.
    And what stupid conspiracy has a team benching a better player over another because of popularity and not performance?! Do you guys listen to yourselves at all?! Tandy had every chance to break the starting line-up as did every other player on the roster. He clearly was NOT the best player for the position for the last 6 years.
    Moving forward, I hope he does well. But please, stop with the “he didn’t get his chance” BS!

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Tandy, AND Conti- both played better last season.
    Its because, while it took them a while to learn, both florished once they learned Mike Smiths system.
    Smith’s defense has many complicated reads for the safeties. But once they figure it out, they were both in position to be playmakers.

    Safety in Smith’s defense requires intelligence. Tandy and Conti are smart. I guess Mcdougald- not so much

    It doesnt matter how Tandy(AND Conti) played in Lovie/Schiano/Raheem’s defense. Different systems are better suited to different players.

    And our safeties are well suited to this defense. No matter if the posters like it or not.
    We have 3 safeties, so we need another.
    But it isnt a desperate need. And whoever we draft needs to be more smart than instinctive.
    You can draft that guy in the 5th or 6th round

  23. bucs_365 Says:

    A career backup isn’t gifted a starting job because of one half season of good play. Depending on him being a top flight safety for a entire season is a gamble. This is why safety remains one of our top needs. No one back there has proven anything consistently in the NFL. Now, maybe Tandy does become the guy, and maybe Wilcox is just a little polish away from being a quality starter. Remains to be seen. Going into the season without drafting a safety from round 1-3 would be irresponsible.

  24. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Bucs365 …. Guess you will be eating that crow with Bonzai!!! Tandy is a pro Dude not just a chump off the street man….4 interceptions in 5 games is not luck… it is skill and talent and anticipation and preparation…Don’t understand your logic and thinking here. But opinions are like rear ends ….Everybody has their own!!! I just like rubbing it in people’s face when I know what I’m talking about and they don’t have a clue…3rd stringers and backups or utility players don’t do what he’s done!!!

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Tandyman- For everyone’s sake, I hope you’re right. But he’s been a back-up his WHOLE career. I might not have a clue, but a fact is a fact.

  26. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    I understand bucsfanman but Keith and I talk all the time. He was just put in that box behind people and he’s the kind of kid that is all about team and would never say a word about not playing. But now that he got his chance you guys will see what I’m talking about. Not trying to be smart about anything or make enemy’s on here. I just know what he’s all about from Coaching him. He’s a Bona Fide winner and will prove all the Nay Sayers that he should have been a starter all along. It motivates him when people doubt him. Just wait, watch and see!!

  27. DPewter Says:

    Tandy starting doing his homework and watching much more film, and it showed on Sundays.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Like I said, I hope you’re right. I’m a Bucs fan and appreciate his play last season. It really puts the Bucs in great position draft-wise, the less “starters” they have to draft.
    It’s nothing personal dude. He just hasn’t shown that throughout his career. I will happily eat crow, only blackened, if wrong! I hear that crow is delicious when paired with an ice-cold, frosty IPA.

  29. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    DPewter appreciate your keen observation… You are correct and he will be that prepared player every game here forward!!!Can’t wait for the season to begin!!!! GOo BUCS!!!!

  30. bucs_365 Says:


    I’ve actually been a Tandy supporter going back to when he was drafted and all the haters mocked him. My only point is that, from a GM point of view, you still have a lack of proven guys there, even if you have supreme confidence in Tandy. I think he’s probably our best safety right now. I would like to pair him with a high draft pick, and have Conte and Wilcox in reserve.

  31. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Ok Bucs 365 now we are on the same page… A top notch Safety to line up opposite Keith would definitely be a positive. Maybe we can get Sherman from Seattle and make him a Safety. Our work so far Getting Jackson and the others we have secured has made us better. Still wish we could get a great running back or pass rusher….