Limited Help For T.J. Ward

September 14th, 2017

Bye week helped some.

When the Bucs were thrown a curveball by the NFL and learned their bye week would be opening week instead of Nov. 19, a lot of Bucs fans thought this could be good for safety T.J. Ward.

Ward, a formidable safety, was acquired when it seemed he was a Broncos salary cap causality as teams whittled their rosters to mandatory 53-man units.

The extra week, on face value, seemed a good thing for Ward, who is new to Mike Smith’s defense. Remember, it wasn’t until after the Bucs bye week last year before the defense had a grasp of its duties. And the results were a night-and-day difference.

Yesterday, Smith was asked how much of a help the extra week was for Ward. It helped, Smith said, but only a little.

Ward wasn’t able to get on the practice field for a lot of reasons including that it was a bye week and per the NFLPA labor agreement, teams are required to give players four days off in the bye week. So Ward, until yesterday for the first time since the team was excused last week, wasn’t able to apply what he learned on tape and in a classroom to the practice field.

“It will help him,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get on the field and get him some snaps.”

What has helped Ward, Smith said, is he played with Jack Del Rio in Denver one year. Smith was Del Rio’s defensive coordinator in Jacksonville so there are some similarities between Smith’s defense and Del Rio’s.

Smith said the next three days of practice will determine how much Ward can be used Sunday.

12 Responses to “Limited Help For T.J. Ward”

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I keep reading about a lot of love and respect for Jack Del Rio from the Buc’s coaches. And he’s certainly done a great job with the Raiders.

    Too bad for Gator fans his son couldn’t play QB as well as the ole man coaches.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I suspect TJ Ward is more in a position to contribute than JJ Wilcox……The Ward acquisition was a great one that will help us immensely rest of the season.

    My top list of off-season pick-ups are.

    1. Desean Jackson
    2. OJ Howard
    3. Kendall Beckwith
    4. Chris Godwin
    5. TJ Ward
    6. Nick Folk

    The jury is out for me with Chris Baker and Justin Evans

  3. Q Says:

    Too bad for gator fans his son can’t play play an as good as the ole man coaches???? Now I’m a Nole fan…no way a gator fan….that made absolutely no sense at all!!! How can you compare playing a position to coaching???

  4. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    TBBF, I suspect that Koetter/Licht might have Folk at #1 on that list! Lol!

  5. Broy34 Says:

    Am I the only one that noticed that wilcox was playing for Pittsburgh? Ward will be playinaSunday . It blows my mind some people have said week 5. Humorous

  6. Garv Says:

    There are few if any positives about the bye move. Film on the Bears while they have none on the Bucs is one. 100% health barring practice injuries is another. But Ward still is not going to have enough time to contribute much this week. This really IS a must game. Bucs need it to avoid starting the season at 1-3 or even 0-4 and getting to far behind with 25% of the season done.

  7. Bucamania Says:

    TJ would be nice to have agains the Bears running game. He’ll be in there.

  8. pick6 Says:

    the bears will have very few weapons out there. TJ Ward knows enough about football to be in there on 1st down when Glennon will inevitably hand it off to Jordan Howard. TJ can come down into the box while Grimes and VH3 are in man coverage with whatever nobodies are still healthy at WR for the bears

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    This team should be able to compete every week so I don’t really think of anything as must-win.

    Remember 2 years ago we got DESTROYED in what we all felt was a Must-Win game against Tennessee. Week 2 the entire community of the NFL basically said it was the ultimate lock that we would lose to the Saints in New Orleans. NO ONE picked us to win that game. We won and ended up 1-1 which is pretty much exactly what everyone expected through those 2 games; but we beat the team we shouldn’t have and lost to the team we should have beaten on paper.

    We need to go at least 2-2 through these first 4 games. All 4 teams are beatable including the beloved Pats. Giants looked like garbage against Dallas. Their defense is solid but Eli looks like he needs to retire.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:


    TJ’s biggest contribution imo will be in the run game. He’s not an exceptional cover S by any means and Tandy / Conte are not enforcers.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:

    How can you compare playing a position to coaching???

    Duh as in success or failure? Would you have felt better if I had said too bad Luke didn’t play as well as his ole man or would you be here nitpicking they played different positions?

    Sorry for your limited imagination.

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    @Tbbf Beckwith before Godwin? I don’t know about that but we shall see come Sunday. Not to say Beckwith wasn’t a great pick, but he’s playing starter at SAM when he’s an original MLB. And trust me folks, Godwin ain’t gonna be sitting on the bench twiddling he’s fingers all year. Not at all. I hope you’re right though cus that would make Beckwith a straight up boss. GO BUCS!!!