JPP/Shaq Position Switch Explained

December 2nd, 2020

Change explained

Astute Buccaneers fans noticed that edge-rush linebackers Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett switched sides of the field against the Chiefs.

Joe has an official reason why it happened.

Outside linebackers coach Larry Foote joined Buccaneers Radio this week and was asked about the flip-flop. What made the change especially interesting is Shaq played the left side much of last season and led the NFL in sacks. This season, he moved right while JPP moved to the left. On Sunday, they went back to their respective spots when they played together last season.

Foote said the Sunday shakeup was about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and JPP being more likely to contain him.

“It was just more Jason is more of a power of a rusher,” Foote said. “So he’ll keep Mahomes, you don’t want him scrambling to the right; he’s more dangerous scrambling to the right. Everybody knows he can scramble anywhere, but you want him going to his left as opposed to his right. So we just mixed around the front a little bit.”

Interestingly, Foote noted that Shaq flashed his “signature” move on his great and critical strip-sack of Mahomes when the Chiefs were about to put the game away at the Bucs’ 7 yard line. (video below)

Listening to Foote, though, it doesn’t sound like the JPP-Shaq switch will last.

Remember, per Shaq, he and JPP were the ones that asked for the switch this season because they felt Shaq on the left side and JPP on the right was a better fit for the strength of each player.

16 Responses to “JPP/Shaq Position Switch Explained”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Great coaching. You have a guy who led the league in sacks, then switch him to a different side, and have him play coverage more. Wonder why he’s not doing as good this year. The old saying, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Well the genius Bowles broke it, and now is trying to fix it. Took him 12 games to wake up.

  2. Clean House Says:

    A better strength according to them, but what do the numbers and results say?
    Maybe switch them back to last years front?

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    Buc logic.
    Well, who needs 19 sacks from Shaq?

  4. All lives matter Says:

    That switch could haunt Shaq for a long term contract. You don’t fix what is not broken.

  5. Davenport Buc Says:

    Barrett’s contract demands this off-season will be interesting. He’ll no doubt have take a pay cut but how much?

    The salary cap will be signicantly lower in 2021 but its not a dire situation.

    – give Barrett a long term deal at 12.5 in 2021 (same as JPP). That saves 5 mil

    – Move on from Gronkowski, give that 9mil to Godwin so he’s making 12 in total

    – Re-sign David for the 10mil he’s making now

    – Draft a LT or move Wirfs, and chop/negotiate Smith’s 14,000,000

    – Draft or sign a center and chop/negotiate Jensen’s 10,000,000

  6. gotbbucs Says:

    The guy got 19 sacks last year playing predominantly the right right side. If you’re the coaching staff, you don’t let them switch.
    If you want to play around a little bit and switch back and forth during the game to keep the opposing OC off balance, fine, but Shaq should spend 75% of the game on the right side.

    Biggest coaching staff in the league just keeps outsmarting themselves.

  7. Nick2 Says:

    OMG why would they put them back to where they arent as effective??????? Please say this is not true!!! I thought they were going to say yes we need to switch back the results bear it out but nooooooooooo.

  8. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    Coaching staff is too big. We have a bloated bureaucracy. And lounge all bloated beauracrcies it’s inefficient. Sure things get fixed eventually bit my god it could be so much more efficent.

  9. TOM Says:

    There’s no negotiating with Smith. Just cut his lazy ass & be done with it. #1 pick should be a OT preferrable LT. It might even be wise to draft a OT or at least OL in 2nd rd. Oh no the dreaded 2nd rd.

  10. Rico 210 Says:

    I gotta say that’s disappointing to hear it’s just temp. Damn, just damn
    Go Bucs

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Top single season sack leaders, and the season after:

    Michael Strahan, 22.5 next season, 11.0 = -11.5
    Jared Allen, 22 next season, 12 = -10
    Justin Houston, 22 next season, 7.5= -14.5
    Chris Doleman, 21 next season, 11= -10
    Reggie White, 21 next season, 18= -3
    Aaron Donald, 20.5 next season, 12.5= -8
    Lawrence Taylor, 20.5 next season, 12= -8.5
    JJ Watt, 20.5 next season, 10.5= -10
    JJ Watt, 20.5 next season, 17.5= -3
    Derrick Thomas, 20 next season, 13.5= -6.5
    DeMarcus Ware, 20 next season, 11= -9

    Some of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history, and the season after a huge sack total they had less, some significantly less. My point is there was a high probability of Shaq having his sack numbers regress this year. Did switching sides add to the regression? Probably so.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Good work Joe in Michigan. I suspected as much. We’ll see where he’s ends up, probably in the 10 range I’m guessing.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Thanks, Steven007.

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    Shaq played that side last season. They never should have switched sides to begin with.

  15. Bucs dude Says:

    Pass d has really regressed. They have really changed philosophy, at the beginning of the season it was blitz with press man . We were a top 5 defense . This off-man and zone is getting us torched. I did not see any Winfield/whitehead blitzes . The blitzes they do Call are predictable no guessing for the qb. If it’s not broke don’t fix it ! We gave up the most yards Mahomes Has thrown for this season 460 , prior to, his highest total was 416 against the stinking 0-10 jets

  16. SOEbuc Says:

    Kick smiths 14 million to the curb the minute after our season ends. Draft an OT in the first or second round. Could have two awesome young OT for the next decade. Not to mention the pro bowler vote for Cappa, lol. He’s looked better this year but that was too funny.