December 6th, 2019

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

Earlier in the season, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians admitted no one who works inside the walls of One Buc Palace expected outside linebacker Shaq Barrett to blow up the way he has.

Barrett currently leads the NFL in sacks (14.5) through 12 games, and is toying with the Bucs’ season-sack franchise mark (16.5).

Yesterday during his weekly presser, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles confessed he didn’t know if Barrett could sack the quarterback when the Bucs first signed him. Bowles sort of lifted the curtain into the scouting of Barrett, who was not a full-time starter with the Broncos — he started nine games in the past three years in Denver.

“I mean we knew he was a solid player,” Bowles said. “I didn’t know how much of a pass rusher he was. I knew he could do a lot of things for us and he was versatile in that way.”

Even during underwear football season, nothing Barrett showed to coaches and staff suggested he would be this season’s breakout star and elite pass rusher.

“It was definitely [when the] pads [came] on,” Bowles said. “It was a progression as he went on going forward as you saw more and more, and the more comfortable he got, the more he started to show.”

Remember, no contact in underwear football — so when pads came on coaches saw first-hand what they had on their hands.

“When we got him in [pads], with his array of pass rush moves and understanding of the game, he probably surprised us a little bit having heavy hands and being able to play the run as well from that aspect,” Bowles said.

“He’s got on roll and when he smells blood in the water he’s hungry.”

So now Barrett is two sacks away, two plays away in four games, of trying a franchise record. Oh, and since he’s scheduled to be a free agent after the season, Barrett is just weeks away from being a very wealthy young man.

Not bad for a guy stuck on the bench only months ago.

35 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Franchise him and see if this can be carried for more than one season and the guy is not a younger player

  2. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Dont be surprised with lack of sacks and QB pressure by the Bucs vs Indy this week

    HC Frank Reich play calls quick-quick pass routes

    Brissett wont be holding the ball long

    containing Marlon Mack/TE will be the key to the game”

    Kobe faker

  3. Slugglife Says:

    Good for him. He’s earned it.

    Been a good time watching him play. Looking for a few big plays this weekend.

  4. WestChap Says:

    We have to be smart… like the Patriots were last year with their 1-year LT. We don’t have the $13M pay raise that a franchise tag would require given all the other needs we have… if we had a low enough draft pick to get a QB on a rookie wage, maybe. We need to keep JPP, Nassib and Suh if at all possible and wish Shaq all the best for his pay day. Well deserved!

  5. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    I have seen enough of drive and speed from this guy that it’s worth locking him up to a long term deal. He plays great because he understands leverage in football and is on top of that snap count. Two things that can make an average football player great! He gets it and I believe he will have continued success. Oh and 27 is still young. Go Bucs!

  6. miken Says:

    Shaq seems like a good and hungry dude. Pay the man!

  7. Mitch Says:

    This is awesome. Shaq should be a Bucs for life. His demeanor, work ethic, and team first attitude is what we need to build off of. Of course we will need JPP to stay too. I would like for both of them to retire as Bucs.

    On another note, is anyone bummed TJ Logan broke his thumb? Will really miss his punt returns.

  8. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    You franchise Jameis or sign to a two year deal to see how he plays with an actual defense for once in his career. If he has success then you have your guy and know what it takes to win if not then you blow it all up but have an oline ready for the next guy.

  9. Todd Says:

    I’ll take him over James lol

  10. Pewter power Says:

    You dont franchise this guy the whole year because it means we couldn’t get a deal done and he will leave afterwards. He was given a one year prove it deal and he exceeded expectations, not signing him sends the wrong message to others.

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    If you could only pay one guy who would it be? JPP or Barrett? It’s a fun question I think.

    I’ve gone back and forth. And every time I hear a JPP qoute or see a interview or read about him I think its gotta be him. It’s very apparent he is the heart and soul….Not just of the defense but this whole team.

    This guy brings intangables that are so rare to find. He’s irreplaceable. You just cannot win without guys leaders like JPP who will demand accountability from eachan in that lockerroom.

    We must keep JPP above all else!!!

    Luckily the Bucs do not have to choose. We got enough cash to keep both and that’s what has to be done. On top of that we still got enough to resign Winston long-term & keep Suh here…….After that we may have to make a tough choice on Nassib. I will hate to see him go and hope we can avoid it but we can only stretch a nickle so far.

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    What Mitch? Didn’t hear about TJ…..Dang he has an important role here and has been a spark plug. That sucks.

    On a unrelated note have heard no news about the health status of Dean or of Miller…… Come-on Joe I know you write about what’s interesting to you but them are important things for you readers to be up to date on……And some of us(mainly me) are too lazy to search the web for the info………What ever happened to the articles with the red Cross insignia?

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    I still can’t believe that so many don’t seem to appreciate what THIS Bucs’ defense has grown into this year. And even more, why folks are so reluctant to ANTE UP for a quality defense.

    Look at just the Top 25% of the NFL teams this year in terms of what they pay for defense AND what the results look like. All 8 of those teams have winning records thus far this year, and every one of them has a payroll for defense OVER $70 mil. The Bucs in contrast are sitting at $59 mil (#20 on the list), BUT … we got several big-time players on a 1-year try-before-buy contract. In terms of most costly defense from a salary Cap perspective …

    #1 – Vikings … Won 8 Lost 4 … Cost: $91.6 mil … Ranking: #10 defense
    #2 – Patriots … Won 10 Lost 2 … Cost: $79.0 mil … Ranking: #1 defense
    #3 – Bills … Won 9 Lost 3 … Cost: $74.7 mil … Ranking: #3 defense
    #4 – 49ers … Won 10 Lost 2 … Cost: $72.8 mil … Ranking: #2 defense
    #5 – Steelers … Won 7 Lost 5 … Cost: $72.3 mil … Ranking: #6 defense
    #6 – Ravens … Won 10 Lost 2 … Cost: $72.0 mil … Ranking: #5 defense
    #7 – Rams … Won 7 Lost 5 … Cost: $71.3 mil … Ranking: #13 defense
    #8 – Bears … Won 7 Lost 6 … Cost: $70.2 mil … Ranking: #4 defense

    That’s a COMBINED record of 68 wins & 29 losses. All but the Rams have a Top-10 defense, indicating to me at least that there is some correlation between the COST of a defense (for quality playmakers), the PERFORMANCE of the defense (as demonstrated by defensive ranking based on POINTS ALLOWED), and ultimately with the team’s won-loss RECORD.

    Bucs are still WAY DOWN the list in terms of having the #30 ranked defense. For a team that’s started FOUR rookies on defense at times, that should be probably have been expected UNTIL such time as our young Secondary matures. Which they’re doing nicely it appears. NOT re-signing JPP, Suh, Barrett & Nassib … all four … leaves a gaping hole in our defense. Depending on a less expensive player to generate the same performance is beyond risky since those 4 are seasoned vets who’ve been playing at a very high level for quite awhile and show no signs of letting up.

    Signing all 4 FAs will require that we spend about $85 mil on our defense next year. Our salary Cap should be close to $210 mil (with carryover from 2019 included). It’s got nothing to do with being able to afford it. We can’t afford to NOT do it.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules……I don’t understand your hangup on money? Your post comes across as saying that spending X amount of dollars will equal X amount of production. Like it’s some kind of blueprint.

    It all kinda sounds ridiculous. Are you telling me there aren’t teams spending 70M+ on their defense and still struggling? Is 70M some kind of magic number that if you hit it you will get a top defensive unit?

    I just do not understand why CAP money is used as an indicator…….for example Shaq Barrett? He will be a bigger CAP hit next year. Does this make him a better player now? Same for Nassib? CAP dollar don’t indicate future success it indicates past success………If not Vin Curry and Chris Baker would be players who had actual impacts here.

    If you ask me you don’t buy a good defense you build one. Your comment makes it seem like you can just spend more and it’ll be good…….Im not seeing the logic.

    Should we buy Barrett? Absolutely. He knows this team and his teammates. They know how to work together. We know what to expect if we pay for his services as a Buc…….That don’t mean the money we spend on him is equal no matter how we spend it. If it was Darell Revis would have been Revis Island here and Albert Hanseworth would be a Ring of Honor inductee in both Tampa Bay and Washington……..Unfortunately it’s not nearly that simple.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Yet if Shaq Barrett goes to some new team with a 4-3 defense that don’t know how to use him and he has teammates he don’t work well with he will be seen as an overpaid bust in his new city.

    And it won’t have nothing to do with how much his CAP hit is……It will be because his new team tryed to buy a passrush instead of build one.

    Rarely do you see teams buy their way to greatness. Most always they are built from the ground up.

  16. Adrnagy Says:

    Vita vea. Suh.and heavy blitz Helped with his results. But if he can dominate this game with the good colts oline I should be onboard of resign. Otherwise transition tag. Not franchise.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack … Apparently you just don’t see what I see. And that’s fine. Those 8 teams that I listed are the ONLY teams putting $70 mil plus into their DEFENSE. QUALITY PERFORMERS COST MONEY. JPP, Suh, Barrett & Nassib have ALL shown that they’re QUALITY PERFORMERS. Keeping them in 2020 is gonna cost a LOT more money than we paid out this year for our defense, primarily because of Barrett & Nassib. but if we DON’T KEEP THEM and we go cheap so that we can put even more money into our league’s most expensive OFFENSE then we’ll pay a price … a HIGH price. This offense can score a bunch, but it NEEDS a strong defense to clean up its’ messes.

    Call that a hangup with money if you want, but it’s a substantiated indication that DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. If we don’t achieve better BALANCE between our offense & our defense in 2020 then there ain’t gonna be no playoffs. We’ll get the SAME RESULTS that we’re getting this year … a break even team. And yes JimmyJack, it really is that simple.

  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    A killer shutdown defense shuts down a prolific offense nearly every time. The Bucs have been defensive bigshots since their inception in successful years. The defense is and will continue to be the spark that lights the Bucs fire.

  19. Bucsfanman Says:


    There it is folks! Coming from the namesake himself!
    In order for the Bucs to be competitive, they will have to spend money locking up defensive talent. We’ve been “weapon-ing for Winston” for too long. It’s time to break some bread on the other side of the ball.
    Shaq should be priority #1! See what JPP wants to do, and sign Nassib so that we can avoid having to deal with any uncertainty at the position.
    JPP is the ONLY question mark considering his potential salary. And THAT would be the only reason not to keep him, salary.

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules……That is defientally intrestring that all of them teams are the only ones who are spending 70M+ for their defenses.

    But it is defientally not that simple. No franchise can just up and decide they want to spend 70 for their defense……then just go out and spend it……and think that’s how to get a winning defense.

    Just look at that list DR.None of them teams on there bought their defense(possible exception 49ers maybe). Those defenses were built from the ground up.

    What I’m saying is it’s not a simple process. You can’t decide one day you are just going to be a defensive team one day then just bump the salary’s up to….let’s say……70M and think you are ready to contend.

    A big time defense takes a ton of work. It’s takes an organization direction….and maybe even a little luck too. It takes years to build. You can’t just bump a salary up overnight and think you got it figured. You gotta draft and develope…..establish leadership and build it. There’s no way it’s simple. Cause just when you think you got it all the players that CAP comes right back at you. That’s when it’s about more then the big salary guys cause you better have guys ready to step right in!! It’s their tine to make REAL contributions after tough decisions.

    The good news about your post is that you are talking about the Bucs building something. You are talking about homegrown talent & homegrown leadership. But it’s not about building a 70M salary for next year and high fiving yourself. It’s about building leaders for the future. And about developing players behind the 70M. If you don’t have players that can carry the torch once CAP problems arise then you really don’t have no defense……All’s you got is a flash in the pan in 2020 and a #31 ranked defense in 2022 once all those CAP hits get used up with nothing behind them.

    Forget that 70M bro…..I’ll take 50 all day long if it mean we actually building something that can sustain.

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    Bucsfanman …..JPP the only question mark? How in the world do you figure that?

    He is the leader of this defense…..Maybe you disagree.

    But to me he is the unheralded leader. And it’s rough to build anything without your leader.

    So I’d gotta ask you since JPP is a question mark. Who is your leader for this defense?

  22. PSL Bob Says:

    Joe has been harping ever since I can remember about how badly the Bucs need a pass rush. Well, we finally have one! So pay Sack Barrett what he’s worth. Make tough decisions elsewhere. Period!!!

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    A guy who should be just as important as Nassib is A.Nelson. He is one piece of the top 53 just like Nassib. And Nassib may not be here one day. Or he might be back and go down. Then what do ya got? Can Nelson take the role and help you win? Or will he leave you scrambling wishing for a trade at the deadline.

    A properly built defense doesn’t take a step back and it has nothing to do with money.

    That’s why the Eagles won a title with a backup QB and backup LT. That’s what it takes to win a Championship. Otherwise you eventually fizzle out.

  24. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Great pitching beats great hitting any day it’s just the same with defense. Ask Kansas City what all that offense got them last and this year. If you don’t have a good enough defense you won’t go to the big show.

    As with Shaqkilla he tried out and knocked it out of the park. The man deserves a long term deal. I think he really like playing with these guys. Though I like Jameis his turn overs the way they put the defense behind the 8 ball constantly might be a reason he bounces.

  25. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If we traded Brate, it will free up a considerable amount of money, maybe allowing us to keep our defensive guys intact.
    I would hate to see this line split up, because we gave too much money to a seldom used tight end.
    We barely use our tight ends, and we have Howard, who has way more upside than Brate does.

  26. Joe Says:

    Great pitching beats great hitting any day it’s just the same with defense. Ask Kansas City what all that offense got them last and this year.

    Please! The Chiefs were an offsides penalty away from going to the Super Bowl. By a defensive lineman!

  27. Bucamania Says:

    PAY THE MAN!!!! Keep him and JPP. Anthony Nelson can replace Nassib. You don’t let a proven pass rusher in his prime walk.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    JimmyJack- I am in full agreement about JPP’s leadership, AND toughness for that matter. The issue becomes about the FUTURE of the team. By all means, if we can afford him and he wants to be here, you SIGN HIM ASAP! But the argument is that if it’s Shaq vs. JPP, as you alluded to above, Shaq is younger and can be a cornerstone for years to come. JPP, as much as I love him, is not going to be here, let alone the NFL, in 2 years(?) maybe.
    This argument may even be moot with regards to either one even being here. Lose Shaq, sign JPP. Lose JPP, sign Shaq. If you can afford both?
    The variable in this is Nassib. He’s another they may want to keep. Do you sign Shaq and Nassib, future cogs OR JPP and Nassib or Shaq, partial future considerations?
    It’s a predicament, UNLESS….you can afford all three, win/win/win!

  29. Touchdown, Tampa Bay Says:

    Joe I would like to report a name jacker. I’ve been cloned! Touchdown. Tampa Bay, I’m the original folks.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    @JimmyJack … “You can’t just bump a salary up overnight and think you got it figured. You gotta draft and develope…..establish leadership and build it. There’s no way it’s simple.”

    Actually it is that simple JimmyJack. It’s that simple because we’ve ALREADY GOT what we need. We just have to fork out the money to KEEP IT. I totally agree with you about ‘draft and develop’ but don’t you think that’s what we’ve done with LVD? What we’re doing with Vea & Davis & Whitehead & yes Ryan Smith? With White & SMB & Dean & Edwards & Nelson?

    We ARE drafting & developing, BUT … we let the defense go for several years & paying FAs to ‘fill in the holes’ is the cost of that neglect. In JPP & Suh we’ve got TWO 1st-Rounders who we DIDN’T have to draft & who we’d have to replace with high draft picks. In Barrett & Nassib we’ve got TWO top performers who are BOTH still young & who we’d have to replace with high draft picks. And guess what THEN happens after 4 years … you gotta pay THEM (assuming that they excel). QUALITY DEFENSES COST MONEY, eventually. You can’t have an entire defense made up of low-cost performers drafted by you in the late rounds and STILL expect them to get you to the Super Bowl.

    Every single one of those four … JPP, Suh, Barrett & Nassib … is performing at a high level for us. Expecting a rookie drafted in anything other than the 1st round to come in and perform at their level is unrealistic. The FOUR of them are beasts, and they’re playing for us right now. All four seem to really enjoy playing in Todd Bowles’ defense because it showcases their talents. PAY THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE and keep ’em here.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack … Oh and BTW, Anthony Nelson MAY one day replace Carl Nassib, but today’s not the day. Tomorrow’s not looking so good either.

    Nelson has played in EIGHT of our 12 games this year. His production? Start with ZERO sacks, ONE solo tackle, 0 TFLs, 0 QB Hits, 1 PD, 1 FF. He’s now getting FEWER defensive snaps, not more … a total of 135 on the year (Nassib gets that in 2-3 games).

    He’s a ROOKIE, and what he’s got going for him is good size (6’7″ & 271 lbs). Beyond that, he’s green as they come. Think twice before letting Nassib and his 489 defensive snaps in 10 games walk. It’s hard to find iron-men in today’s NFL. JPP is one. Suh is another. Barrett’s another & so is Nassib.

  32. BucHead588 Says:

    He is 26 how is that not a young player
    Seriously you’re gonna try and play games and lock this guy up I’m not even worried Jason gets a long-term deal done Jameis gets the tag before Shaq does. I

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    OK Defense Rules. I think we are both on the same page actually. Just with a different way of saying it kinda. Yes it is simple right now to resign all the guys we got. I just don’t think it was simple to get to this point. It took quite a few years to aquire all that talent we now got on defense. And we must do a good job of continuing to replenish that talent or it will fall apart quickly……….This is where a guy like Nelson comes into play. If this guy is not going to be good enough to play someday. Get him out & replace him ASAP. Otherwise you wind up in a situation like we did with Benechot. That was an awful job by the orginazation to keep developing a guy for years who just can’t hack it.

    So as good as JPP & Suh & Barrett are they are still just a piece to the problem. The guys around them have to compliment them well. Sorta like the beginning of the year when our young guys were still learning and we were giving up 30 per game. It all has to work together …..all 53 not just the top salary guys. Especially since it’s football and guys get hurt all the time.

    So I can see what your saying about it being simple right now. But the process is anything but simple.

    Either way it was a good back and forth Defense Rules.

  34. geno711 Says:

    Great points by Defense Rules. Thanks!

  35. Buczilla Says:

    Good article and this kid has an awesome story. We need more hungry players like him and less like Donovan Smith.