“He’s Savvy”

July 8th, 2019

Teammate talks up JPP in great detail

Joe has this gnawing feeling the Bucs will miss a whole lot more than just Jason Pierre-Paul’s sacks this season.

JPP, as we all know, suffered a fractured neck on May 4. As of this writing, speculation about JPP says he could return, at best, in October from his injury. But that’s if all the stars align.

JPP recently uploaded photos to his Instagram account showing himself wearing a neckbrace. JPP, a workout warrior, likely hasn’t been in a gym since his accident; it just seems a stretch to Joe that a guy wearing a neckbrace is going to be pumping weights.

If the Bucs don’t get any good news concerning JPP’s rehab, the team could release him and save some $7 million. That very well could happen if JPP isn’t expected back until December. So Joe is anything but confident JPP will be on the Bucs’ roster prior to Halloween.

To hear Donovan Smith talk, it is likely JPP was a big reason why Vita Vea broke out in the second half of last season. In a recent edition of “The MMQB Podcast,” with co-hosts Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling, the duo interviewed the Bucs’ left tackle.

Smith goes really, really deep on the X’s and O’s and intricacies of blocking and what the Bucs’ blocking schemes since he was drafted, and who his toughest battles have come against.

No, Smith didn’t shed any light on JPP’s health status, but he described JPP as sort of an assistant coach.

“He’s savvy,” Smith said of JPP. “He knows how to set you up. He knows how to read you.”

On why JPP is such a good pass rusher, Smith said JPP reads opponents’ body language to decipher offensive formations to give himself an extra step. And Smith discussed how most of the time in practice, JPP works inside, not as a defensive end.

Benoit and Gramling seemed confused and asked Smith why JPP practices so much working inside when he rarely played inside in games.

“Help out the young guys,” Smith said of why JPP practices so much inside. “He gets up there. He rushes. Then he beats somebody. He [goes back to young linemen] and said, ‘What did you see? Why do you do that?’ He will go back and explain it and help those guys out.”

Now it is one thing for a coach to instruct players. But when a skilled veteran like JPP takes the bull by the horns like that and demonstrates how to get after quarterbacks, that’s a whole different thing.

Unless Ndamukong Suh picks up on the practice field where JPP left off, that will be missing from the Bucs for at least a few months. Maybe for good.

18 Responses to ““He’s Savvy””

  1. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Why won’t JPP be at Bucs training camp to help coach?

    If he can’t workout or play, he’s still under contract, get his ass in here to help coach.

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    EXACTLY BucNuts!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Fabulous article Joe. I think that it’s great that JPP took Vea (and likely others) under his wing in practice, but it’s also concerning that JPP had to do the job that coaches got paid to do and should’ve been doing.

    Personally don’t expect JPP back on the field this season. By the time his neck is healed satisfactorily to allow him to start weight-lifting again AND THEN to get back into excellent football shape, the season will be too far along. Much better to let him heal completely & be ready for the 2020 season.

    JPP won’t be released I’m convinced. Neither will he get paid that last $7.4 mil however. He’ll spend the season on the NFI list & be content with making his meager $7.5 mil for watching others play. But he is a warrior, and he will be back.

  4. adam from ny Says:

    dude is a boss…hang onto him thru 2020…


  5. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Why are the Bucs so stupid to even think about bringing this entitled fool back?

    He has a broken neck! And you want him back to smash with his neck on every play?

    Move on! Use the money for cut vetern lineman without a broken neck

    JPP knows this is his last check from any NFL team and his only hope is praying that the Bucs is this stupid

    This entited repeat fool has a BROKEN NECK!”

    Kobe Faker

  6. BucFan76 Says:

    I love JPP as much as any fellow Buc fans (I’m also a USF alumni, like JPP), but unless he has miracle healing powers, he won’t be under contract after Labor Day – forget Halloween.

    He’s not ideal for the 3-4 defense scheme anyhow. The reason he’s not been waived yet is there is no OLB/DE in JPP’s skill set available YET. No doubt he will be missed, on and off the field.

    If not for some bad luck offseason incidents, we might be talking about JPP as a HOF candidate. This latest one is every bit as serious & damaging as the fireworks incident…..

  7. George Rauh Says:

    “If the Bucs don’t get any good news concerning JPP’s rehab, the team could release him and save some $7 million. That very well could happen if JPP isn’t expected back until December. ”

    Joe why not put him on non-football injury list. Then his salary dosen’t count against the cap. Plus you can see if he can play in 2020.

  8. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Love that take…it brightens my Monday. Yep JPP is a warrior and he’s also smart about his career.

    I think your ideas are spot on…give him his 7.5 million…keep him tied up..and let him rest and return next year.

    Only HE really knows how this should work out. If he can truly get past the fear of paralysis, the ambition killing great career already in the bank…he has little left to prove. But as you suggest he is a warrior. And if HE decides he want’s to prove something I surely would not bet against him.

  9. Hodad Says:

    Suh will do more for Vea then JPP could ever do. It’s a whole new defense, one JPP couldn’t be bothered learning during OTA’s because he was to busy breaking his neck in the wee hours of the morning away from his teams work outs. How does one miss his savvy leadership, when he doesn’t even show up? The Bucs will miss JPP like a hound dog misses fleas.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    JPP has already proven that he has amazing recuperative power.

    How quickly we forget. It was only 4 years ago – almost exactly – that JPP blew his hand up in a fireworks accident on July 4th 2015.

    Literally blew his hand apart. Lost his index finger and most of his middle finger and thumb. Stayed in the hospital for 2 1/2 straight weeks – enduring 10 surgeries and unimaginable pain. His finely tuned muscles went into atrophy. He lost 30 lbs by the time he left the hospital….

    JPP was back on an NFL field playing again by week 9 of that season (vs the Bucs) – just 4 months after he literally blew his hand apart….

    Those who are convinced this little non-displaced cervical fracture is going to keep JPP out for all or even most of this coming season are in for a surprise.

    Dude will be back on the field giving his all to the game and the process sooner than later – Bet on it!

    “When I hear guys talk about being hurt – I think – Man, you don’t know what hurt IS…” – Jason Pierre-Paul

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Good post Pickgren,
    Most here would agree that if JPP is in any way entitled ,then it is because he
    has earned it through hard work and dedication.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    Well said DR and pickgrin.

    We will miss him, but I do not expect him back this season. This is the Bucs- I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a player back healthy earlier than expected.

  13. bucnole Says:

    Personally I think you have to NFI the man and use his 2019 salary (7.4m) to try to find another player that can help the team this year. Probably cut him after the season because he will be on the wrong side of 30 while coming in cold after sitting out an entire year. His potential cap hit of 12.5m (with incentives) is just too much for a guy who may take time to work back into the rotation – there is no dead cap for him after this year.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    its sad that JPP had to do the coaches job…..

    he’ll be missed….him and SUH are the 2 dogs that we need on defense…they both bring that attitude and leadership that we’ve been missing….

    i think SUH will teach the dline a ton….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  15. BucEmUp Says:

    he will be back in october

  16. Jean Lafitte Says:

    So prior to JPP the linemen were never schooled? What does that say about the venerable Gerald McCoy? An outsider had to come in and provide veteran leadership that evidently McCoy couldn’t provide. I’m so glad McCoy is gone.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting. What makes folks think that Suh will be a Buc next year? He’s on a 1-year contract. Either he or the Bucs MAY decide that one is enough.

    Personally view JPP as being a DE comparable in many ways to Simeon Rice. LOTS of great DEs like that have played superbly into their mid-30s. None of us have any idea at this point in time how bad his neck injury really is nor how long (or even IF) it’ll be before he can make it back. Because it was a NFI injury, Bucs have options we wouldn’t have if it occurred on the football field. Let’s just let it play out and see where the road takes us.

  18. Allbuccedup Says:

    Suh will teach Vea how to stomp on players the proper way. How to stomp on their passing hand or their right foot they use to plant with.HAHAHAHA.