When Will T.J. Ward Play?

September 16th, 2017

Coaches were talking

Though no coaches are saying anything specific, Joe has a hunch new safety T.J. Ward will get more than a couple of snaps Sunday.

Ward was acquired early last week after he was released by the Broncos. The former Pro Bowler had a grand total of one practice with the Bucs prior to this week.

Naturally, earlier this week, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said how Ward practices this week will determine how much playing time he may get. On Wednesday, Smith seemed to infer Ward was progressing nicely in the classroom.

“He has a very good understanding of football,” Smith said. Smith also noted that since Ward once played for Jack Del Rio, who Smith served as a defensive coordinator for in Jacksonville. Ward has an inherent knowledge of Smith’s defense.

Yesterday, Koetter all but said Ward would play Sunday.

“I thought he looked a lot more comfortable,” Koetter said. “But, the guy is a football player, so it doesn’t take long for him to show up.”

How many snaps Ward sees is another story. It depends on what the Bucs will be asking him to do.

It’s not as simple as plug-and-play. Remember, last year it took half the season before the Bucs figured out Smith’s defense. It it took that long with an underwear football season and a training camp under their belts, so Joe has to wonder just how much Ward can learn in less than a half-dozen practices.

15 Responses to “When Will T.J. Ward Play?”

  1. NOSBOS Says:

    Whip these dudes 36/13 I’m expecting similar results in tomorrow’s meeting. With addition of guys T.J and DeSean we are vastly improved feom the team they faced last season. They glennon and a mightymouse speedster named cohen and some have doubts about tomorrow. Really???

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I hope he plays, but if he doesn’t, I look for Chris Conte to have a great game, against his former team.
    I am so geeked that we are actually gonna have a game tomorrow.

  3. SoFlo Buc Says:

    I agree Joe, but it probably is easier when most of the other players now know the system opposed to when they were ALL trying to figure it out.
    Let’s hope, GO BUCS!!!

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think the smart thing is to rotate him in the first week. Let him get accustomed to things and let the rest of the team get accustomed to him.

    All I know is that I am super excited for the first time in years at the start of a Bucs season.

    In previous years, it was almost like ‘Well, time to toughen up my resolve to get through another season.’ But now it feels like the Bucs will rip success out of the hands of destiny.

  5. BucsQcCity Says:

    Jesus let him start and learn the playbook on the field. It’s not like we are facing Rodgers or Brees. It’s captain dink and donk. We need a safety that can be a force in the box because they are going to run

  6. Broy34 Says:

    BucsQ^ well said

  7. ncbucfanhere Says:

    Totally agree with BucsQcCity for those exact reasons stated: they WILL run A LOT, and Glennon is average at best, with totally subpar receivers. If we blow this situational layup of a WIN………

  8. teachermn777 Says:

    Best FOUR safeties we have ever had!!!

    I dont care what you hating fools say.

    Justin Evans is gonna be a badass!

    He is a physical freak!!! He is sooo fast and super strong.

    He just needs time to adjust to the speed of the NFL.

    Its not easy jumping from college to the pros.

    They need time fellas!!

    Keith Tandy is one of the smartest safeties in the league. He may not be fast physically, but mentally he is very quick. His reads are instantaneous and his hands are very good!

    Remember that INT he had as a rookie on the goal-line against the Seahawks?

    That ISH was insane!! At the 1 min mark..

    Watch again…


    And now we have TJ Ward to go along with a warrior like Conte?

    No matter what you say about Conte, he LOVES football, he sacrificing his body all the time to make tackles.

    And he gives his ALL.

    Give these guys a break for Buddha’s sake!!

    Go Bucs!

  9. Q Says:

    he played in jacks defense in Denver there’s no doubt he has the defense down ….our secondary is going to be dangerous

  10. NOSBOS Says:

    Teacherman they all will be forced to eat they’re negative commentary about Justin in due time. Watch.

  11. Rrsrq Says:

    Listening to Coach K on Sirius this morning, it did not sound like he would play, he stated that the safeties we have had about 400 reps and Ward about 10 due to his first practice, then a bye week and only one real practice this week. He also stated that Ward didn’t play much in the preaseason for Denver, I hope he plays but didn’t sound like he would be playing much.

  12. Kyle Says:

    Teacherman are you serious, best safetys we ha e ever had?? You forget about John lynch and Superbowl mvp Dexter jackson….

    Im sorry but our current safetys are no were close, these guys have a lot of work to do to get to that level.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    I doubt Ward will see more than 10-15 snaps vs the da Bears. He will be slowly given more and more snaps over the first few games and his play after that will determine when/whether or not he supplants Conte as the starter.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    I to fellow posters have not dissed J. Evans once since he got here. He’s a hard hitting ball hawk that sees very good across the field. It’s like everyone always says, Safety is the hardest transformation to make in the pros. Now we’ve brought in pro bowl ball hawk TJ Ward to show him the ropes, also. Very pleased Jason.

  15. Kstoges Says:

    @NOS I agree Justin Evans in due time will be a perfect compliment to TJ ward literally they both compliment each other perfect and can both play both saftey spots as in FS and SS our secondary is really taking shape man and to think I’m 2015 how bad our corners were lol