Player To Watch In Underwear Football

May 20th, 2024

Path to starting Week 1?

Just the premise of this screams: “Some editor who hasn’t been to a football game since a dude tried to pick her up as a sophomore at Cornell and who spends the first week of the football season at the U.S. Tennis Open wants me to type about how a player can win a starting job in underwear football.”

Given that The Athletic is now run, operated and directed by the New York Times, the above paragraph may not be far-fetched.

(Joe knew a sports editor with a local fishwrap who once claimed the Lightning were as popular as the Bucs. Joe also knew of a local news director of a network affiliate who swore the Yankees were more important to the local Tampa sports scene than the Bucs and thus deserved more coverage than any Tampa Bay sports team. Can you say, “Out of touch?” And people wonder why newspapers are on their deathbeds and local TV news has shrinking ad revenue.)

So, even though underwear football practices are closed to the public and there is no legitimate way to judge defensive players who are not allowed to hit, Mike Jones of The Athletic believes Bucs fans should be watching these underwear football practices. He also thinks they should comfort themselves believing a certain Bucs rookie could win a starting job in the next three weeks.

This, even though that rookie, outside linebacker Chris Braswell, is not allowed to tackle anyone much less breathe on a quarterback.

The Bucs lost Shaq Barrett to free agency, so in free agency, they chose to roll the dice with Randy Gregory. He’s the well-traveled, oft-suspended and yet talented pass rusher who spent time with Denver and San Francisco last season. A month later, they drafted Braswell out of Alabama in the second round. The opportunity for a key pass-rushing role is available for the rookie. Gregory recorded just 3 1/2 sacks last season and with the inconsistent Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (13 sacks in three seasons) also penciled in as a starter, Braswell has a shot to force his way into the mix. He had eight sacks last season for the Crimson Tide.

Alright, Joe has seen this all over and is tired of it. There is a reason why the Bucs let Shaq Barrett loose. Hell, Barrett all but predicted this the day after the loss to the Lions.

Randy Gregory with 3 1/2 sacks? He’ll fit right in with the Bucs, won’t he?

Now, if Jones wanted to type that Braswell could win a starting job if he balls out this summer, Joe would agree.

If anything, it is Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s job that is vulnerable. Joe is confident that the Bucs are going to let YaYa Diaby have the other starting outside linebacker gig unless he completely breaks down and blows chunks this summer.

Interesting that Jones didn’t mention Diaby, who started the last nine games for the Bucs last year including the playoffs.

19 Responses to “Player To Watch In Underwear Football”

  1. Booger Says:

    He is quite the specimen. 💯

  2. Booger Says:

    The guy has prob never even heard of YaYa… Prob didn’t watch a Bucs game from start to finish. That’s how most of these clowns are. Exact same as with most political “journalists.” They never do any REAL research or reporting and ONLY push a narrative (&/or) go off of what they read on twitter.

  3. Dude Says:

    Tykee Smith is going to have a and more immediate impact as a rookie. I like Braswell, but he won’t be able to fully prove himself until the pads come on at the position he plays.

    Smith on the other hand, can display his intelligence, athleticism and show how deep he is into his playbook as he learns the nuances of both safety positions AND nickel back duties.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    Tomorrow, another few days of underwear football

  5. SlyPirate Says:


    CB didn’t have 8 sacks. He had 11. The NCAA didn’t report 3 of CB’s sacks. PFF and other sites have verified he had 11 sacks.

    This is a HUGE STORY for a few reasons!

    1) Braswell had the same number of sacks and his counterpart in 100 less snaps. His counterpart was drafted 17th. This gaff cost CB $3M – $30M!

    2) Had CB played the same number of snaps as Dallas Turner, he would have likely led the NCAA’s Big 5 in sacks.

    3) His adjusted pass rusher rating is the same or better than every first-round edge. There is a very good chance the Bucs got the best pass rusher in the draft!

    WATCH HIS TAPE. He’s got super long arms and he knows how to use them to create space. Really impressive.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Braswell turns out to be a stud, this could be one of Licht’s best drafts….I’m counting on JMac & Bucky to be winners….* Smith could also be a very good pick.

  7. Hodad Says:

    If JTS starts over Braswell, then Braswell is already a bust. It’s not going to happen. Braswell will beat out JTS. Barton will beat out Hainsey, or any other of the back up O lineman we signed. Smith will be the starting Nickel. The players being replaced will make for good depth. Next year McMillan will be our full time slot, and Godwin will not be resigned. Licht nailed this draft.

  8. Show Me the TDs Says:

    “The opportunity for a key pass-rushing role is available for the rookie.” Opportunity is the key word. Could have done without the prior 2,000 words.

  9. Bucben61 Says:

    SlyPirate thanks for that clarification…I was truly confused myself

    He could very well be the steal of the draft and we had a great draft !!!

    Go Bucs !!!!!!!!

  10. SlyPirate Says:

    Hodad Says:

    If JTS starts over Braswell, then Braswell is already a bust.


    Now, that’s the type of rookie insanity I’ve come to expect from Joe Bucs Fans. Before game 1, he’s a bust. Only here. BTW, JTS is going to start …
    1) JTS has 4 years in Bowles system. He knows terminology, assignments, etc.
    2. JTS knows the score. He is playing for a contract. He’s putting in the work.
    3) CB has a million things to do … finding a home, setting up a home, setting up a bank account, attending rookie onboarding, etc. JTS has one thing to do (football).

    Also, don’t kid yourself. JTS is a better athlete than CB. He just needs to learn how to close. He led the team in sacks for half the season. If he puts together two halves and he’s a 10 sack guy. That’s my expectation for JTS.

  11. Eckwood Says:

    Jts is soft, super soft , really really soft , Downey two full cups SOFT !!

  12. firethecannons Says:

    Hi Joe what about Anthony Nelso–he is one of our best pass rushers right?

  13. Usfbuc Says:

    Bowles likes players and will stick with them. I expect JTS to start and perhaps we see Braswell get more snaps in the second half of the season.

  14. Hodad Says: point is he won’t be a bust duh.

  15. LouisFriend Says:

    Some of you people never fail to make me laugh. I’d dare any of you to call JTS soft to his face. Because a guy doesn’t turn out to be a sack master doesn’t make him soft. You can make the same statement about each and every member of the Bucs defense. None of them get a lot of sacks.

    Keep focusing on one of them and you’ll forget all of them are in the same boat.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    I’m confused Joe, what did the guy say that have you such an issue with (besides not mentioning Diaby)? I know you gotta take swipes at the NYT and newspapers in general any chance you get, but I don’t really see the issue with what he said. He didn’t say that the Bucs let Shaq go for no reason, he just said they lost him in FA, which is true.

    Braswell does have a huge opportunity, as no one who is currently ahead of him has shown much of anything in terms of a consistent pass rusher… Obviously his learning curve will be way steeper as a rookie, but that’s always the case.

  17. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Slypirate, I read that CB had 12 sacks in his senior year and I thought it was a typo. This is something worth doing research into. CB is my favorite pick of this draft I hope he turns out to be a 15 sack a year guy.

  18. Joe Says:

    Hi Joe what about Anthony Nelso–he is one of our best pass rushers right?

    🤷‍♂️ Backup.

  19. firethecannons Says:

    I always thought Nellie was very good and if he got more playing time then his numbers would be better, well he is a good backup and I think he is better than JTS even if he was a late round pick. JTS gets benefit of doubt because he was a 1st round pick. Useless! I think Play more Nellie, YaaYa and then plug in the rest–look forward to Braswsell getting reps too.