TAMPA, Fla – With 16 seconds on the clock in the first half, one time out remaining and the Tennessee Titans trying to get close to goals in the second preseason game, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka s’ is rushed forward – swiftly slipping right tackle Dillon Radunz’s arm with a cross chop – before diving down to the waist of quarterback Matt Barkley.
It was his first NFL sack – resulting in a 10-yard loss, but it really should have happened in the opening preseason game the week before, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Officials admitted they missed an unnecessary roughness call when he beat Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen.
But Tryon-Shoyinka’s job wasn’t done against Tennessee. At the third and 13 seconds, with 13 seconds on the clock, he put his hand in the dirt, burst from the line of scrimmage in just 0.46 seconds and threw Radunz flat on his back, holding the Titans to a very long 58 – yard end.
Coach Bruce Arians later joked, “I don’t need to say more about Joe. He does what he does.
And what he’s doing right now in his first NFL action turns the Buccaneers on, a team that at times last season had a fierce run with Devin White, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea. but also struggled with consistent pressure on every snap and gave up big downline plays, which happened in losses to the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bucs had 48 sacks last season (tied for fourth in the NFL) and their rush win rate was 49%, the fifth in the NFL. But they also ceded a 69% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks (fourth in the NFL) and their pressure percentage was 31.1%, 11th in the NFL.
“Joe is going to be amazing. He does stuff that I watch and think, “Dude, I wish I knew that when I was a rookie,” Pierre-Paul said. “He’s doing amazing stuff there. … I said to Shaq: ‘He’s going to make a difference for us.’ He’s been moving since the first day he arrived here. From there to now, he has moved a lot. He just has to stand. I had this problem myself.
They didn’t bring him to start right away, but to be part of a rotation with Barrett, 28, and Pierre-Paul, 32. He will enter especially in overtaking situations, which is his strength at this stage. He’s also going, as Arians puts it, “playing his ass on special teams” – an area the Bucs have promised to improve for in 2021.
“The game will depend. If it’s a racing game, a racing team, maybe not so much. If it is a passing situation, he will play a group. There are situations where I might see in the future, on the road, where we have all three of them there, ”Arians said, referring to Barrett, Pierre-Paul and Tryon-Shoyinka.
In college, Tryon-Shoyinka is said to be linked with blockers in the running game. But defensive end Will Gholston believes Tryon-Shoyinka is more than capable of stopping the race.
“With that size, that versatility, that speed, you see the movement, you see the crease like his knees touching the ground when he runs. So I think he can be versatile either way, ”Gholston said. “I wouldn’t just call it a sleight of hand, that’s for sure. “
Defensive end Pat O’Connor added, “He’s a beast. It’s a monster. I think he will be a great asset to our team in all aspects.
Tryon-Shoyinka has an extensive toolbox of moves – a bull rush, a cross chop he used on both of his bags, an inside swim move, a dip / rip, and a long arm move. , and already having success with them to the next level.
Clashes will also play an important role in its use. Tryon-Shoyinka’s 6-foot-5 frame with 34-inch arms gives it good leverage on blockers (in comparison, Pierre-Paul’s arms are 34 3/4) and stays clean – even against guys like right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who established himself as one of the best right tackles in the league last season as a rookie.
“Joe is a really good player – he’s got a lot of juice, a lot of energy, plays with a lot of influence,” Wirfs said. “I mean he’s got long arms, he’s quick – you don’t see a lot of people who are built like him. It is sometimes difficult to manage.
“He comes out of the ball so fast,” Wirfs said. “In some situations, like I’m watching him late – if I’m on a shift or something – he gets a hold of me first, you really have to throw your feet back and sit down, and sometimes he gets a hold of me first. It’s harder to get over it. Like Anthony Nelson, he also has very long arms – it’s always difficult to deal with. “
Tight end OJ Howard, who faced Tryon-Shoyinka in training, saw it too.
“[He’s] explosive, very athletic. We’ve seen what he can do in the game, ”Howard said. “It will be very difficult to stop on the edge. I think he’s going to make a lot of noise.
Right now, Tryon-Shoyinka has a lot of work going on kicking and punting. Defensively the majority of his reps came with the second team defense and he worked mostly on the left side, but he is able to play on both sides. He continues to refine his technique after being away from football for a year as he chose to retire for 2020, choosing instead to focus on training, which has served him well, according to his teammates.
“He’s fast… have you seen him?” O’Connor said. “He’s like a 12-pack. He’s got a really good instinct for the game. He’s able to grab things, see things other people can’t see and focus on that. passing is excellent He’s good at stopping the run, a physical player Yeah… look at him Most people can’t look like that.