Shaq Barrett A “Difference-Maker”

March 7th, 2021

Simple football horse sense.

Why does Joe go on and on about a pass rush? Nothing changes a game more defensively. Nothing hides holes on a defense like getting after a quarterback.

During the Lost Decade, the Bucs couldn’t buy a pass rush and their defense was often lousy as hell. The team sucked. A mathematical illiterate can connect the dots.

Is there any wonder why and how the Bucs turned around the organization the past two years? Sure, Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians and his staff made a real difference. But the Bucs also found a pass rush led by Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett.

Joe continues to type that without Shaq, the Bucs likely don’t even make the Super Bowl much less win the Super Bowl. A pass rush is that critical in a passing league.

A former Bucs offensive lineman agrees with Joe. So much so that retired Bucs guard and popular local sports radio personality Ian Beckles all but said if the Bucs don’t find a way to keep Shaq, it’s a fail of a free agency season, so he said on his podcast, “In the Trenches.”

“You gotta get Shaq Barrett back, OK?” Beckles said. “If you give me a choice between Shaq Barrett and Chris Godwin, I go Shaq Barrett. The most important thing in the NFL right now is rushing the passer, running the football and stopping the run. If you can do that you can win. Buccaneers were very good at that at the end of the year. Very good.

“Without Chris Godwin, we still would have won the Super Bowl. And I’m a Chris Godwin fan, don’t get me wrong. But if you took Chris Godwin out and put Scotty Miller in or one of the young kids, we still would have won the Super Bowl. We were still good enough for that.

“We have to find a way to bring Shaq Barrett back. Period.

“J.J. Watt is a good to very good football player. Shaq Barrett is a difference-maker. There’s not a lot of difference-makers dangling out here. You’ve got to figure out a way to bring Shaq Barrett back.”

Joe just cannot figure out why some people are trying to prove — failing to prove, actually — that Shaq is some second-class player? These people apparently think the Bucs are better off without Shaq. What’s the matter with these people?

Beckles continued, saying he believes if Shaq hits the open market, he will be pulling $20 million a year from someone.

The sad thing about that? Shaq’s representative, superagent oily Drew Rosenhaus, probably knows that too.

Please enjoy The Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

25 Responses to “Shaq Barrett A “Difference-Maker””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Posted this earlier….I think the NFL will extend their tag deadline due to the late decision on cap space…..their delay is hurting negotiations for all of the higher-paid FAs…..ones who could be tag candidates.

  2. EA Says:

    Can’t argue with that, barret is the #1 FA priority

  3. Bird Says:

    I agree joes

    Gotta keep the defense together if possible. If shaq wants 20 plus a year then they can only tag him. Hopefully shaq understands the situation and bucs having a bigger window to win again and he stays. Would be nice to finalize brady deal first and i feel like others will fall in line

    Maybe bucs can offer some of these guys a lower number in first year with cap in limbo and more favorable numbers in continuing years.

  4. Buczilla Says:

    Beckles is a smart dude. I don’t think that Shaq is worth 20 million per year, but if that’s the going rate for damn good pass rushers in their prime, then you gotta pay the man his money. Other than JPP and Devin, we have zero players other than Shaq that can threaten to get double digit sacks. Pay him!

    Also, considering how important pass rushers are, why the hell aren’t we picking at least one within the first four rounds of the draft every single year?

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    Beckles states the obvious.

  6. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    Don’t over-rate it though. The Bucs had a great pass rush in 2019 (4th in sacks), but I don’t think people felt it was a great defense or anything.

    It took competence in the secondary and continued phenom play of the middle linebackers to make the Bucs defense such a force to be reckoned with late in the season.

    If you sign Shaq, but David gets away, how comfortable are you with that?

  7. DaBux Says:

    If we don’t keep Shaq, we will have another “Bennett” moment where we regret it for years. Tag Shaq to keep the negotiations going if necessary, but do not lose him.

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    @Sesteprenelicus: The defense after the bye played exceptionally well and peaked by the SB, like a lightbulb went off.

    I’m not sure if there was a defense the last quarter of the season + playoffs that was better.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    I posted this yesterday…..TAG YOUR IT SHAQ!!!! Thanks DR for just stating the facts. No time to fix something that is not broke. Keep the defensive front 7 intact. The pass rush the Bucs HAVE is a massive difference-maker. It is why Green Bay and Buffalo were spectators and not playing in the Super Bowl, and why KC got beat. Without the pass rush they would not have beaten Green Bay or KC. The pass rush is why the Bucs were the first team to seal club the Mahome boys. It was the first blowout- stomping- beatdown taken by KC in the Mahomes era. The pass rush caused the best young QB the NFL has ever seen to look very human. Watching Mahome boy running 497 yards for his life was a beautiful sight. lol This is why the NFL pays huge money for feared pass rushers that can wreck games. TAG YOUR IT SHAQ!!!

  10. SOEbuc Says:


    “If you sign Shaq, but David gets away, how comfortable are you with that?“

    I’ll tell you what happens. When they’re not playing an oline missing three starters, the new age TE like Kelce (shut down by LVD in Super Bowl LV) with hands and speed already has the ball 20 yards down field before Shaq gets close. By far the best ILB duo in the NFL. How can you split that up?

    Joe when I say I don’t want Shaq back it’s a money situation. He’s great but not $80M great. Don’t lie to yourself that the double team decision of Vea and Suh and JPP still balling on the right. Don’t lie to yourself that Shaq had a “meh” regular season until Vea returned against GB and destroyed a back up KC oline.

    It’s a team game and this defense and team does not revolve around Shaq.

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    Lol.Scotty at #2 spot? You gonna run deep all day? Guy can’t see over the line of scrimmage within 15 yards.

    Other than the Bucs FO, no one knows nothing about nothing at this point. Not even Joe,lol. But sadly it seems Godwin might be the odd man out. We have the ultimate setup and outside WR depth with Godwin, AB, and Evans for the injury prone group. Joe I loved the idea to bring Perriman back. AB,TJ/Perriman, and Evans is a sick ass line up also.

  12. Mike C Says:

    He had 4 sacks in the first 4 games W/Vita, had 4 sacks the rest of the way without him. Not saying the guy is terrible Joe, just think you believe he is better than he is.

  13. chris L Says:

    it seems more like a minority of people think shaq is second class. were making it seem like youre the only one who values a pass rush. some people are just haters or have a difference of opinion i guess but lumping in everybody? come on. it’s like people out there who say vaccines are bad and covid is a hoax….although that seems to be far too many…

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Okay for the 4h time now.

    They’re not keeping Godwin….he’s going to be a Lion or something else.

    Which means Shaq is back…

    Free agency needs to get here soon. So Beckles and the like will stop talking about all this.

  15. Bucanero Says:

    Tag him again. He ain’t going nowhere. CG can take 3 year 45M or walk

  16. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Without Vita in the mix up the middle he was not so great, once he returned in the playoffs look what happened to the entire pass rush. He’s the reason our DL started to eat because Vita was collapsing the middle of the pocket not allowing qbs to step up instead having to scramble to the less protection of the outer edges where JPP and Shack live. I would rather guarantee JPP is back before Shackman

  17. LongSeason Says:

    To the salary cap, “Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”
    Yeah. Who do we keep on this long list?

    Unrestricted Free Agents

    S Andrew Adams
    TE Antony Auclair
    RB Kenjon Barner
    OLB Shaquil Barrett *****
    WR Antonio Brown ****
    ILB Deone Bucannon
    CB Ross Cockrell
    LB Lavonte David *****
    RB Leonard Fournette ***
    QB Blaine Gabbert
    WR Chris Godwin ****
    QB Ryan Griffin
    TE Rob Gronkowski ****
    T Joe Haeg **
    RB T.J. Logan
    RB LeSean McCoy
    DL Steve McLendon
    LB Kevin Minter **
    DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches ***
    C A.Q. Shipley ***
    CB Ryan Smith
    K Ryan Succop ****
    DL Ndamukong Suh ****
    T Josh Wells

    Restricted Free Agents

    ILB Jack Cichy
    G Aaron Stinnie ****

    Exclusive Rights Free Agents

    TE Tanner Hudson
    DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
    DL Patrick O’Connor ***
    LS Zach Triner ***


    Make sure you get Bolton in draft, he is a stud from Missouri , and tag David , and let Shaq try his luck in the market , Vea made Shaq , without Vea Shaq played well , case closed , but when Vea came back he stepped up . So taf David and get Bolton in draft.

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    “popular local sports radio personality Ian Beckles”

    Ugh, that makes me ill, to know what a great radio market this used to be and to now have ‘hot take’ slobs like Beckles being the top guy. Really douchey.


    I do not think they sign both Shaq and David , unless Lytch can work some magic
    if they let 1 of them go , I think he can get all the others signed.
    Goodwin, Gronk, Suh, Brown, Lenny and Ryan. Not bad.

  21. Darin Says:

    All i know is I’d prefer shaq back but if he cant take what Bucs can afford then adios. If you think the team did anything with shaq getting 19.5 last season check again. What you dont seem to talk about is If Shaq leaves and his replacement is a difference maker. And dont say there’s nobody out there. You havnt seen them in this D and there’s a whole draft pool. All about the cap first. If he wants to stay he will. If not I can guarantee Brady isnt gona retire cuz shaq left town😂😂😂. They can still win it all without shaq. The same shaq who may dang well go back to 5 sacks a year without these teammates. And I’m a Shaq fan. I’ve seen much much better players walk outa here tho. Just business

  22. BillMFL Says:

    Shaq sacks were down because of double teaming. He makes the other pass rushers more effective. And not enough blockers left to stop White on the blitz.

  23. Beej Says:

    “Nothing hides holes on a defense like getting after a quarterback”

    Efffin A

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    All Bucs fans should be hoping that Shaq AND Godwin are back. Let’s see what kind of cap room the Bucs FO can come up with before we push any good players out of Tampa.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Beckle’s theory of throwing any WR out there and the Bucs being just as good without Godwin is ridiculous. This is like saying the Bucs would be just as good with Tanner Hudson over Gronk, Nacho over Vea, or Cam Gill over JPP. No, they wouldn’t be.