“Different Ballgame, Brother”

December 2nd, 2021

Play of backups make him smile.

The Bucs seem to be getting healthy at the perfect time: December.

Yesterday Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians was talking about all the reserves the Bucs had to lean on this season. How the Bucs have kept winning is pretty special.

One guy in particular was reserve guard Nick Leverett. He was on the scout team not long ago. Then Ali Marpet gets hurt and Aaron Stinnie replaced Marpet so Leverett was promoted. Then, roughly 10 Bucs offensive plays into the Indianapolis game, Stinnie goes down with a knee injury. All of a sudden, Leverett was the proverbial next man up.

The Rice product didn’t do too badly at all. He wasn’t Marpet but he was far from Garrett Gilkey.

“Our guys, they believe in if you’re on this roster there’s an expectation of the level of play,” Arians said. “You step in, you step up, just like Nick Leverett – practice squad guy that’s on the roster now and he’s playing against DeForest Buckner.”

Of course, Buckner was an All-Pro defensive tackle last season with 9 1/2 sacks. Arians then paused briefly, began laughing and said, “Different ballgame, brother.”

Indeed! Buckner is on a way higher level than practice squad/camp meat dudes.

The Bucs have had great success with reserves. Even at cornerback, the Bucs did OK for a while despite all the injuries, until Sean Payton exposed them. Then, the book was open for all to read.

Joe doesn’t know if all of these backups playing well is as simple as savvy talent evaluation or just damn good coaching. Or maybe both?

11 Responses to ““Different Ballgame, Brother””

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    #FunFact Nick Leverett has his Master’s Degree (so he’s not destined to be a delivery driver like “certain” people think).

  2. Jason Says:

    Well said Pete. Well said.

  3. Beeej Says:

    Status of Marpet?

  4. JimBuc2 Says:

    Arthur Blank signs coaches. The Glazers sign players. Not taking anything away from BA, he surely righted the ship, but Arians himself was a Jason Light signing. McKay not looking so swuft right now after signing has been Matt Ryan, although I smell some ownership override on that decision. I like the Glazers handsoff approach better. The Bucs have displaced handsy Jerry Jones Cowpukes as America’s Team, reinforcing my point that what matters is who is, and who isn’t touching the ball. The Glazers got it right, Arthur Blank did not. Blank should stick with selling lumber, nails, and hammers. He’s good at that. Football, not so much.
    Go Bucs!

  5. Tampaabaybucfan Says:

    I’m wondering why Hainsey wasn’t brought in as center, moving Jensen to guard…..guess he’s not ready….

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    The last person that wanted to get the call in that game is a third string lineman. He had a few shakey moments but overall he did great. No doubt the oline coach does his job and does it well. BA on the other hand, REALLY??? DAMN GOOD COACHING! I just vomited in my mouth. After a loss it’s all on the players.After a big win it’s DAMN GOOD COACHING! He’s tough to listen to. Get back on your golf cart, each your dinner at 3pm and nighty nighty before the street lights come on. I am now convinced he’s gone senile.

  7. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Cocktails aren’t until 5…

  8. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Jmark, not for Bruce, Happy Hour ALL day long.

  9. Joe Says:

    Status of Marpet?

    Limited in practice yesterday.

  10. VA Tom Says:

    Brady makes the line better. I’m not saying these backups and starters aren’t talented… not at all. But you put a confused, doubting qb behind a decent line and the line looks awful. You put a fantastic qb behind a decent line and they look like studs. Lotta reasons why Pat’s players never did particularly outstanding when they transitioned away from the Brady shadow.

  11. Ed Says:

    Brady knows where to go with the ball, and gets it out quick. That helps the line. OTOH, he can’t really scramble and at his age can’t afford to get hit, so that puts pressure on the line.