Brotherhood Lessons From The New Guy

April 3rd, 2019


Denver defensive players knew where they were going on Tuesday nights.

They were going to Von Miller’s crib.

By the time the laughs died down and the empty beer cans and pizza boxes were tossed in the trash, another element had been added to a delicate chemistry set.

New Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett.

New Buc linebacker Shaq Barrett didn’t hesitate this week when asked what made the Broncos defense so successful back in the day.

“I think it was pretty much all off-field honestly,” said Barrett, who plans to come off the left edge with some fury in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 set. “We hung out Tuesdays and Thursdays every week in the season, Von always had people coming out the house, hanging out. We were really like brothers. We all hung out. It was a real brotherhood on the team.”

Tampa Bay’s defense could use a little more brotherhood. Who are we kidding? Make it a lot more brotherhood.

A community that appreciates stellar defense longs for the good, old days when big-time players made big-time plays and shook Raymond James Stadium to the rafters.

For 13 seasons, beginning in 1996, the Bucs featured a Top 10 scoring defense 12 times. They were Top 10 in total defense 11 times in that glorious span, led at various stages by Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, John Lynch and Ronde Barber.

Brooks was the glue throughout those 13 seasons, never missing a single start.

In Denver, it was Miller’s defense and everyone knew it.

“He took up the leadership role … I learned a lot from him,” Barrett said.

Lost Decade, Proper Crib

That top-rated defense of the 2015 Broncos was stacked everywhere you looked — Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, T.J. Ward, Malik Jackson.

Barrett contributed 5 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles in an important reserve role as Denver rolled to a championship in Peyton Manning’s final game, with Miller capturing the Super Bowl MVP award.

Bad Bucs memories

Those Broncos played the kind of smothering defense the Bucs were once famous for.

“Everybody wanted to make the play, everybody wanted to be the guy,” said Barrett. “It might be Von this game, Talib that game, Chris, T.J. We had a lot of guys stepping up making plays. It was because of the chemistry we had, on and off the field.”

When pride mattered, the Bucs gang-tackled. When pride mattered, the Bucs defense told the Buc quarterback: give us 17 points and we’ll do the rest.

And they did.

What about the last decade? Not so much.

Since Brooks was released in 2009, the Bucs have been better than 15th in scoring defense only once (2010). They’ve been better than 17th in total defense only once (2015).

So here comes Shaq Barrett, fresh off five years in Denver, looking for the same kind of defensive camaraderie that once defined the Broncos. Von Miller’s not here. Neither is Talib in his prime or a proven safety as disruptive as Ward.

After last year’s debacle, this Buc defense is relying on Bowles and a new staff to return the glory. You need talent, of course, but talent alone isn’t enough. You need a strong sense of playing for each other, a refusal to let your teammate down.

And on Tuesday nights in season, you need a proper crib.

16 Responses to “Brotherhood Lessons From The New Guy”

  1. BetterBucFan Says:

    If he wanted camaraderie (or a good defense!) he chose the wrong place to go to.

  2. Darin Says:

    Wont be Geralds crib it appears. I dont care if they do taco tuesdays or not, theyd better show up on Sundays. And it wasnt Brooks crib they were all at back in the day.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Generally the most talented guys get to be the team leaders…especially on defense where there is no QB position.

    Our two most talented defenders…JPP and Lavonte are both just “do your job” kind of guys. Not a lot of rah rah in their personalities. Not a knock just an observation.

    I think this is one of the reasons so many people are so anxious to draft White. He is a firebrand and put him in the middle of the defense calling the plays and there is hope….hard to imagine a DL doing that…Sapp came close but in reality it was Brooks team and there were so many other leaders on that defense from Lynch to Ronde and more. Simeon was a super talented contributor….AND A GREAT EDGE RUSHER… but thankfully he didn’t need to provide leadership. Folks always wondered what planet he was from. LMAO

  4. K2 Says:

    Maybe it would help if fans didn’t beat the sh— out of their players. Call them loser and worthless even if they go to the pro bowl. Maybe when you guys go to work every day somebody to tell you your a loser…and you don’t deserve to live. After 10 year you might believe it. I hope this team gets close because they get nothing from fans. But honestly, they haven’t given fans a reasons to cheer for a long time.

  5. Maze Says:

    I agree with Ira. Its time to let McCoy go and bring in some game time leaders to build that brotherhood.

  6. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Nice read, Ira!

    Go Bucs!

  7. SB Says:

    NOSBOS, whether he is the original or a fake is singing this kid’s Praises at a high note!

  8. Mike Johnson Says:

    Great trump ism there maze. Ira said absolutely nothing about GMC. We know
    what kinda score you got on the SAT’s reading comprehension section.

  9. tmaxcon Says:


    pro bowls are as worthless and meaningless as cancer93’s decade with the bucs…. results matter feelings are irrelevant. any way you slice it cancer93 is a career loser and the face of the basement years…. post season results are all that matter if you can’t win in the post season you are worthless…

  10. tmaxcon Says:


    maybe if your hero was not such a mentally weak pansy arse he would be able to ignore the fans and do his damn job which in turn shuts up the fans… you lowering your standards out of concern for her feelings is cute but winners win and losers make excuses or lower their standards.

  11. BringBucsBack Says:

    …but we are Family!?

  12. NOSBOS Says:

    People are asleep on the level game this man actually has. He graded out the last few season’s over 70 in run stop and pass rushing. The edge rusher guy so many here hunger for was purchased for 5mill a week or so ago. Watch his film no one in the class has more tools on the ready than Shaq Barret. Best acquisition of the off season.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    K2 is right.

  14. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I have come to REALLY like this signing. I just really wish that it was for more than 1 year. If the guy turns out to be who we hope he will… would hate to lose him right away.

  15. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    K2 Says:
    “Maybe it would help if fans didn’t beat the sh— out of their players.”


    No doubt, man.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    st. pete making a whole lot of sense, as usual!