Can Calijah Kancey Bring His Pitt Mentality To Tampa Bay?

May 2nd, 2023

Rookie first-round pick Calijah Kancey.

So Bucs first-round draft pick defensive tackle Calijah Kancey wasn’t quite finished with his media obligations from the weekend. They continued Monday.

Kancey made an appearance on Mark Packer’s show on the ACC Network. As you can imagine from the network’s name, the interview had a college football slant.

Packer asked Kancey why Pitt has become an NFL factory for defensive players. Packer noted in the past three years, Pitt had 14 defensive players drafted, the most in the ACC.

Kancey gave Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi the credit and then explained how Narduzzi molded him to become the Bucs’ top draft pick this year.

It got Joe’s mouth watering.

“He wants to get after the quarterback,” Kancey said of his Pitt head coach. “He wants to get TFLs (tackles for loss).

“He wants to get sacks. He wants us to get turnovers. And that’s where the fun begins.”

With that mentality about punishing the quarterback, no wonder Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafted two Pitt defenders, linebacker SirVocea Dennis and Kancey.

23 Responses to “Can Calijah Kancey Bring His Pitt Mentality To Tampa Bay?”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Man it would be awesome if we would have kept Whitehead. I miss that dude. 3 Pitt boys with that attitude? What could have been.

  2. FrontFour Says:

    Losing Whitehead still stings.

  3. garro Says:

    Yup, Ditto, Absolutely

  4. garro Says:

    The Pitt defense certainly is aggressive. Hope here is its not just scheme and these guys can play for the Bucs scheme. Or Bowles can scheme for these guys? Maybe Bowles can learn a thing or two from Coach Narduzzi.

  5. Hodad Says:

    Won’t it be nice if he becomes defensive rookie of the year. That happens our D would be cooking, and we would be winning.

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    This team is, sadly, two years away from being decent again.

    Last year was appalling with the talent they had. Bowles was feckless. Has he changed? Is he going to inspire guys? Motivate? I don’t see it. He kept that abysmal special teams coach. He plans to run first with the 2 best WRs in team history. Two mediocre CBs. A whiny, girlish MLB. No veteran leaders on Defense. Everyone always talks about his great Defenses. Sure. Here and there. But not like under Dungy, when the team identity was Defense and you knew every game they’d show up.

    You get one more chance, Bowles. Anything less than a winning record, and you should be Grudened and Dungied out of here.

    I have little confidence in him.

  7. Beej Says:

    I hope this guy blows up, we haven’t had a truly great defensive player since the great teams of the late 90’s early 2ks

  8. Tony Says:

    I’d still consider going D even in next year’s draft, too! Especially with the way the division seems to be improving on both sides of the ball now.

  9. ATLBuc Says:

    The worst thing about Whitehead leaving is that he’s disappeared on the Jets!

  10. Deemo Says:

    Kancy is a STUD! I am a huge Pitt Panther fan as I grew up in Pittsburgh and watched Pitt play every time they were on TV. Kancy has a motor, quick on his feet, awesome on stunts, and knows how to get to the QB. He is a bit undersized but uses that to his advantage. From what I saw of his play in the Pitt defense he reminds me of the way Sapp played but quicker. What a great pick for the Bucs and can’t believe he was still on the board at 19.

  11. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    The Jets recently traded for Chuck Clark to compete with Jordon Whitehead. The Jets might cut Whitehead and his two year $14.5 mil contract. If so, the Bucs may be able to pick up Whitehead on the cheap.

  12. Geno711 Says:

    Coach Pat Narduzzi may be a great guy and it is apparent that Calijah Kancey exceled these last two years in Pitt.

    Narduzzi’s best streak as defensive coordinator was when he was at Michigan State. He had some very good years there and some average years. His best years at Michigan State as a defensive coordinator was when he focused on stopping the run first.

    However, when he switched to head coach his defenses have just been average giving up 27 points a game. Very Bowles like as a head coach when he did not focus on the defense.

  13. Stormy Says:

    Being compared to Sapp and McCoy, I hope his attitude is more Sapp, less McCoy.

    More ‘Put a Jersey on’ and less “are you ok, Ben”.

  14. TDTB2022 Says:

    Hopefully he wears #93!!!!

  15. TDTB2022 Says:

    I’m sure the real#93 Suh won’t mind.

  16. Dooley Says:

    Kancey can be a Geno Atkins type 3-tech in this defense, but I feel he’s a better athlete than Atkins.

  17. Steven007 Says:

    Dooley, yes. Atkins is also a good comp. Similar size-wise and Atkins is also a very strong lineman. Let’s hope he’s some combination of all of these guys he’s been compared to. His own version of course.

  18. Dooley Says:


    Same, I think Kancey will be asked to and can do more in our defense in 2023 than those players he’s being compared to from different eras of the game were asked to do. Atkins was arguably one of the better DTs in all of football for a pretty good stretch having notched >70 sacks in his career and anchoring several iterations of Marvin Lewis’ Bengals defenses.

  19. DJB Says:

    Bucs doubled down and got another Pitt defender (“Sir”). He and Kancey seemed to complement each other well from the film I have seen.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    ModHairKen Says
    “Last year was appalling with the talent they had.”

    except they didn’t have all that talent. Everyone was injured.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Beej Says:
    May 2nd, 2023 at 7:15 am
    “I hope this guy blows up, we haven’t had a truly great defensive player since the great teams of the late 90’s early 2ks”

    2019. Shaw Barrett had 19.5 sacks, most in Bucs history.

    I would say that makes him great.makes

    But he’s 30 coming off injury now, so those days may be gone.

  22. Tony Says:

    Hopefully Kancey makes the QBs to where they CAN’T SEE!

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Whitehead was one of the best 4th round picks ever.