The Evolution Of Shaq

December 19th, 2019

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

Easily the best story for the Bucs this year is how they signed a backup linebacker to a prove-it contract, and the guy blew up to lead the NFL in sacks.

That would be Shaq Barrett, who in a matter of a few months has gone to a virtual unknown to, in a few weeks from now, a very rich young man. Oh, and a Pro Bowl player, too.

Yesterday, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was asked about Barrett’s evolution and if he sensed what Barrett has become.

“You knew he could rush the passer and you knew he had heavy hands,” Bowles said. “You can never equate the number of sacks because quarterbacks getting rid of the ball, scrambles and the whole nine yards.

“But you knew once he gets going and he got on a roll, and you saw it happening every week, you got more and more encouraged. Nine in four weeks – that was pretty special right there, but I didn’t know how many he’d get before the season [ended].”

Now Bowles is about as stoic is they come. Good guy but rarely does he even display the slightest hint of emotion, positive or negative.

The guy is as even-keeled as anyone Joe has met. In other words, Joe guesses Bowles would be an excellent poker player.

But yesterday, for the first time, not only did Joe see Bowles display emotion but it was a roar of a laugh that made you think Bowles has been hiding his personality from the Tampa public for quite a while.

Bowles was asked when he thought Barrett would be a double-digit sack artist and like a good comedian, couldn’t pass up a good fastball down the middle. It was the perfect set up.

“Probably when he got nine sacks in a short amount of time [laughs],” Bowles said as he shook with laughter.

So the guy has a pulse. Good to see.

17 Responses to “The Evolution Of Shaq”

  1. bucsfaninchina Says:

    I like this story but my favorite is the one about the guy who this fanbase hated cementing himself as the franchise quarterback of the future.

  2. RawDog Says:

    bucsfaninchina, I don’t think the fanbase hates that guy, but a few negative voices will always be louder than the majority of the fanbase that are content.

  3. Brandon Says:

    Might be newsworthy, Joe. But I’ve been on the couch for the last two days after surgery and I’m not nodding. NFLN has literally been the Buccaneer/Jameis News Network. I know they’re pumping the NFLN game on Saturday but everybody has Jameis and Bucs on the tips of their tongues.

  4. Brandon Says:

    Not counting the NINE sacks Shaq had in the first four games, Shaq has 6.5 in the last 10 games. Which over 16 games is still a double digit sacker. Even if we write the hot start as a fluke, Shaq has still been very good. I think if we give him a multi year deal in the $1_ mil range he would take it.

  5. Joe Says:


    Not just the NFL Network, but yeah, the NFL Network is hyping their broadcast of the Texans-Bucs game.

    For those interested: Kay Adams will be broadcasting a pregame show from the pirate ship Saturday.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    PAY HIM….and not with the TAG….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. Brandon Says:

    Off topic but I Joe loves to state that he writes about stuff that interests. I’ve been waiting for him to get interested in the development of our young CBs but it hasn’t happened yet so I will point it out.

    Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean are doing something exceptional. Remember when Lovie’s D gave up a 70% rate? Well, according to numbers from profootballreference, both of these guys are allowing opposing QBs to complete less than 50% of the passes thrown at them.

    Additionally, Carlton Davis leads the league in passes defensed and Dean is not far behind (4th or so) despite not playing in about half the games.

    The fun doesn’t stop there. Our nickelback is only guv hmmm g up 63.6% rate and only has 8 total pass breakups but he’s the one with the THREE INTs and the game saving plays. That’s two rookies and a 2nd year guy that are absolutely on fire right now. These three young CBs might be truly special as doing as next season. Between cutting back on the penalties and catching the ball, Davis and Dean have the makings of a shutdown duo and if SMB can play with confidence, he’ll be a stud in the slot.

    Like I’ve said before. Keep the vets away from these young CBs, they’ve got the future covered. This is a great young trio.

  8. Brandon Says:

    Not sure if this link will post but according to these numbers, Dean and Davis are 9th and 11th in the league in opposing QB completion percentage, both giving up less than 48%. These rankings didn’t take position in to account so they are likely best CB duo in league.

  9. Brandon Says:

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    Pay the man! Franchise tag Winston. Improve the offensive line via the draft. Re-sign the 7-8 core free agents to solid deals. I hope we don’t lose any coaches this offseason because I want this whole team back next year.

  11. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    Bowles said I think when Jason gets up here yall will have a great conversation about that. Lol he pit a hard pass on that with a little bit of that yall remind Licht I need that DLine back next year. Lmmfao get it done Licht GO BUCS

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Your right Brandon and SMB is tied for the lead in rookie int’s. Future is looking better for the back end. still would try and sign a vet.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    SACK Barrett, not Shaq Barrett.

    Don’t know why my suggested moniker won’t stick. Too clever? Too corny? Come on, I can take it!

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Joe Says:
    December 19th, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    For those interested: Kay Adams will be broadcasting a pregame show from the pirate ship Saturday.


    Damn I would Consider flying across the country just for that!

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    Image the Joe Broncos Fan articles rolling out daily flaming the organization for letting Shaq walk in free agency.

  16. Sport Says:

    Brandon – 100% agree. The secondary has climbed out of the abyss. It’s just one of glaring improvements this coaching staff has accomplished. Terrible player development this decade.

    Band of Brother (18 & 19 Draftees)

    In BA I Trust!

  17. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    PSL someone already said that after there 4 thg game and 9th sack.

    The fact his sacks fell off once teams adjusted to him tells Bowles needs to adjust his gameplan to get him to the qb more like some good stunts or twists. Need more blitzing from the left to force them over to his side