“It’s What You Do On The Field”

May 27th, 2021

Lots of snaps on the line

Perhaps it’s been a rough four weeks for third-year edge rusher/outside linebacker Anthony Nelson.

Yeah, he’s surely still glowing from winning a Super Bowl, but Nelson was the one Buccaneer likely left a little queasy after Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Why? Because the Bucs drafted Joe Tryon, who plays the same position, one where Nelson is clawing for playing time behind two stars of the game.

Joe asked Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles about Nelson today.

“It’s going to be competitive. I mean, if you’re in the NFL, there’s going to be a draft pick probably every year at your position. or a free agent, or a high-priced free agent, or somebody coming in. That’s part of the business right there,” Bowles said. “We have a job to do. And if you go out and do your job, like Nelson always does, he’s a tough player. He’s playing behind two great players, but he’s a tough player, and he has a first-round pick coming in. But once you come in, the first-round pick and the free agents are out the window. It’s what you do on the field. We know Nelson competes. We know he plays good football. And I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Joe loves hearing coaches stay who plays is all about who is playing best. Joe wouldn’t wager that’s how it works most of the time, but Joe suspects that’s exactly how it will be this year in Tampa Bay’s win-now, nothing-else-matters world.

If Nelson steps up his game and is a shred better than Tryon, then Joe expects to see plenty of Nelson in 2021.

If not, well, it’s clear there are very few snaps for the No. 4 outside linebacker on this team.

Believe it or not, Nelson played 30 percent of the Bucs’ defensive snaps last season, plus about 23 percent — with one sack — in the playoffs.

21 Responses to ““It’s What You Do On The Field””

  1. sasquatch Says:

    JPP will need some breaks, there will be injuries. Tryon and Nelson will both see snaps, I’m sure. Nelson better play special teams though!

  2. SB~LV Says:

    Don’t forget K Davis

  3. BA4President Says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if we lose some dudes during the 53-man cuts that get picked up quickly by other teams, and therefore can’t sign them to our own practice squad.

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Nelson is going to surprise some people. Him and Tryon have the potential to start on a dozen teams. For second stringers, the Bucs are solid at the Edge rusher position.

    I believe Khalil Davis plays DT or DE in a 34 defensive. He showed great potential during the end of the season. His ceiling is also high given that fact he ran a 4.75 at 300 lbs.

  5. sasquatch Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    May 27th, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Don’t forget K Davis

    Khalil Davis is an inside D-lineman. Nelson, Tryon, JPP, and Shaq are OLB/Edge players. Totally different positions.

  6. Flying Dutchman Says:

    Tryon will get snaps over Nelson all day. That’s all folks.

  7. webster Says:

    Nelson has shown nothing for any of us to think he would start on a dozen teams. Stop the foolishness

  8. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Dutchman, you are absolutely correct sir. Tryon > Nelson.

  9. 6throundpick Says:

    Pre-season can be so judgemental and off the mark. Rosters change, as the season winds. Keep improving and be ready. Make it simple. Yeah, it’s a business, but it’s also a game.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Think I’ll wait until Tryon plays in at least 1 game before anointing him as our #3 OLB/Edge. Nelson has the advantage of playing 2 years under Todd Bowles. And getting 30% of the snaps on a SB team when playing behind JPP & Shaq actually says quite a lot about what Bowles thinks of him (especially since those 2 hate to come off the field?).

    In any event, it should be an interesting competition for time on the field. Both players have great size (Tryon 6’5″ & 262 lbs to Nelson’s 6’7″ & 271 lbs). Competition brings out the best in everyone.

  11. Mitch Says:

    Nelson was a fourth round pick. He has taken a little longer to develop but also has the ability to go inside with his size Bucs will keep five OLB. Shaq, JPP, Nelson, Tryon, Gil.

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As usual agree with D.R.

    Also agree with the suggestion of Joe’s that this will be a true competition based on player production and not the team’s investment.

    When a team is coming off an SB nobody is going to question a GM’s draft pick if he doesn’t play as much as expected, nor is BA under any pressure to use him.

    One of those sometimes seemingly rare moments when it’s just pure unbiased competition.

  13. Greg Says:

    Totally agree with @ Defense Rules lets see on the field play before making crazy statements! Nice problem!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone heard from NPuppy? It’s been quite a long time since I’ve seen him on this board

  15. gp Says:

    Keep in mind that Shaq was a back-up that we picked up from a “better” team.

  16. SOEbuc Says:

    Winning teams have depth. Nelson is a strong, young backup that will be needed when JPP is likely out and Tryon moves to starter in 2022.

  17. Hope springs eternal Says:

    For a team that wants another super bowl in a 17 game season an extra guy with a good motor is an important asset.

  18. lambeau Says:

    He’s not much of a pass rusher, but Nelson was graded Top 12 outside linebacker against the run last year, grouped with JJ Watt, Chase Young, Arik Armstead, and Demarcus Lawrence! So a very useful rotational piece on running downs?

  19. TOM Says:

    Tryon has a long way to go to beat out Nelson. Wasn’t thrilled with the Tryon pick. Hope he proves me wrong. Have to wait & see.

  20. SlyPirate Says:

    Wish we still had Carl Nassib

  21. Mike Says:

    Nelson is more in the mold of a run stuffer than a pass rusher, but I epect he will continue to develop this year. He does play hard.