Keanu Neal’s Impact Could Be Felt

October 8th, 2022

More playing time Sunday.

The Bucs won’t have the services of veteran safety Logan Ryan when they host the Dixie Chicks tomorrow. That doesn’t mean they will be playing a green rookie in his place.

Last week against the Chiefs, former starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting took the field as did veteran safety Keanu Neal.

Joe thinks Antoine Winfield will bounce between nickel corner and safety depending on if SMB or Neal is on the field. Winfield has had a lot of snaps at nickel this season. But to hear Bucs coach Todd Bowles speak, Neal, a former Pro Bowl safety, might be very busy.

Until Sunday against the Chiefs, Neal had just three snaps on defense through three games. In 46 snaps on defense Sunday, Neal had six solo tackles and was hitting hard.

Speaking yesterday to the local pen and mic club, Bowles didn’t seem to have any reservations about giving Neal a major role.

“He’s patiently waited his turn,” Bowles said of Neal. “He’s been tough for us when he gets in there.

“He’s a heck of a hitter but he has a good knowledge of the game. He communicates well with the guys and he fits right in.”

Teams can always use a guy who rocks ballcarriers. And even better, knows how to wrap up and put guys on the ground.

Nothing against Ryan whatsoever, he may be the most overlooked signing for the Bucs this past offseason, but playing a guy on defense like Neal, who is a known physical presence, well, teammates feed off that.

Mr. Mariota, Joe would like to introduce you to Mr. Neal.

22 Responses to “Keanu Neal’s Impact Could Be Felt”

  1. Tony1775 Says:

    Can he play DE?

  2. Dooley Says:

    $Moneybacker, the sequel to the Deone Bucannon signing back in 2019. Let’s see how he and SMB do tomorrow.

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    He was the only one playing defense against the Chiefs who played with any pride. He was a heat seeking missile, but he can’t do it alone.

  4. Eckwood Says:

    Only guy on D with the Suh mentality that is missing ,,,will Todd have the plumbs to pull White on third down and let Neal do what White just can’t !! The opposite of Tackling high,poor coverage, can’t get of blocks, guessing gaps, complete whiffs, poor body control and talk less play more.

  5. dmatt Says:

    I’ve always been big on Neal since his days with the gatorscn falcons. He’s a beat of a hitter n tackler. Don’t get too caught up with SMB because he’s a one hit wonder n poor tackler. I watched Sunday nite Bucs vs chiefs game several times n boy did they bully our front line. Vita Vea was steamed rolled by the chiefs ok. Vea played weak, slow, n soft. Chiefs ol reminded me of the line hogs from the Washington football team of the 80’s. Will JTS be another Noah Spence bust? He’s done nothing but swiped at the rb n qb. Please let’s put miller n Darden on the back burner n give practice squad wr Deven Thompkins a chance to ignite the kr/pr game, n run some gaget plays with him. He’s small but is fearless n has reliable hands.

  6. D-Rok Says:

    Neal looks like an assassin in that pic above. Good, we’ll need him to be one in this game to stop that vaunted Fowlcons run game.

    Wouldn’t it be something if the 3 ex-Birds players of Neal, Gage, and Jones just went Buc-wild on the Fowlcons? That’d be sweet.

    GO BUCS!!!

  7. Bucsalltheway Says:

    Defense won’t return to dominance until hicks is back is the formula for what we do…if your missing 300 some odds pounds on the line your gonna get manhandled. Real fans know what’s up..

  8. Goatfarmer Says:

    Anyone thinking Hicks is some kind of answer is eating mushrooms. The run game was just as bad with him in there, just that the Cows and Aints inexplicably didn’t run very much because the narrative was our secondary sucked.

    Kicks is washed and should be put on IR for the rest of the season.


  9. Kentucky Buc Says:

    What’s wrong with eating mushrooms ?

  10. Steven007 Says:

    Matt, Vita had a poor game no doubt. But we didn’t just resign him for big money because he has a habit of having poor games. Certainly to mention him and Spence in the same sentence is ridiculous. Looking for a big comeback game from him. And hopefully Neal has the attitude of giving his former team the business.

    Sorry Matt, just saw that you were comparing JTS and Spence. That may be a bit closer, but I hope you’re wrong. JTS has been very active but he needs to learn how to get home and not be fooled during run plays.

  11. PassingThru Says:

    And now Gage has been added to the Injury Report as “questionable” due to a back injury.

    How will we ever replace those 24 yards (14 in garbage time) from last week?

  12. Eckwood Says:

    Even at 20 pounds lighter Spence was way more physical than JT else’s and that’s even with a bad shoulder……. As I’ve said before JTS is a very good athlete but just not a good football player……….. She looks more like he’s at dancing with the stars than playing football

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Neal is competent….we have depth….need JTS & Hall to step up.

  14. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Love seeing 22 lay the hits on em

  15. lambchop Says:

    I noticed this dude’s thwap! when hitting the ball carrier. It was reminiscent of John Lynch. And he didn’t get hurt, which is a plus.

    A bygone era of dudes nailing guys, finishing the game strong, and being available the following Sunday.

  16. Tony Says:

    Well I guess now we all know why Brady decided to come out of retirement.


  17. teacherman777 Says:


    I’ve been saying the same thing since last year.

    We need to pull White or David on obvious passing downs.

    I’d rather have a big safety playing MLB on obvious passing downs.

    I wanted to convert MJ Stewart to a backup ILB / Safety his rookie year.

    I even called to convert Mark Barron to a linebacker. Check the archives Joe.

    I want 1 ILB either White or David on the field on passing downs.. Sometimes David. Sometimes White. Let them rotate. Let them blitz. Sometimes neither of them. And by rotating them, we would also rest them. And keep them fresh for the playoffs.

    Neal is a nasty hitter. I’m very excited to see him play. We are playing a running team. He will have his chance to put good film on. He signed a one year deal. He wants to get paid next year. This is his chance to up his stock for next season.

    I hope we draft and create more “money backers.” And I also hope we play more 1 ILB and even 0 ILB dime packages.

    Go Bucs!

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    Good idea teacherman.

  19. Eckwood Says:

    I’ve watched White for four games and not once have I said , man that guy is fluid, that guy is talented, that guy is a stud, that guy can flat out tackle ….. 4 games not once ……….. I watch Hall one game I see a potential stud , I say Winfield can flat out tackle , I say man David is good in traffic and can make some plays , I say ,Finally a Gator in the NFL that can flat out make plays ………… W White, I say he came free on a stunt and is fast but he got the sack because the QB didn’t see him because he has terrible change of direction ….. I don’t really know if he’s tight hipped or heavy footed or both but the guy can literally only go one direction and is like a cruise ship trying to alter its coarse !!! How do people and coaches not see this !!! He reminds me of a decent Bucs player way back , Irvin Randle . He’s a lil faster , Randle missed less tackles !! Randle could go over and through a ball carrier , White has to take a ride !!
    Ok I’m through with the Devin White Truth Serum !!

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He was the number one draft pick of the Falcons in 2016, so hopefully he plays with a chip on his shoulder against them ?
    He is a nasty hitter, and a good tackler, and came here on a one year contract.
    Look for him to play lights out against his former team!

  21. garro Says:

    Teams can always use a guy who rocks ballcarriers. And even better, knows how to wrap up and put guys on the ground.

    Please read …This is for you White and JTS!

  22. garro Says:

    BTW Mr Bowles… The time to let Players know they need to learn to tackle is in the off season/trainng camp not during the season.