Denial and Sabby Piscitelli


Head-scratching. Vessel-popping. Throat-clearing. Hand washing.

Sabby Piscitelli wasn't the only one sporting this pose last season.
Sabby Piscitelli wasn't the only one sporting this pose last season. /

These are the physical stages of denial experienced by every sports fan that’s stuck watching a player severely lacking in skill, comprehension or a combination of the two. The same stages exhibited by Buc fans that watched Sabby Piscitelli playing in the secondary last season.

Unfortunately, courtesy of Tanard Jackson, it may be time to hit the rewind button and start the process all over again.

“Or, it could be…”

These are powerful words for those of us clinging to hope. Let’s look at the options are left in the wake of Jackson’s latest foray into Suspensionville. Keep in mind that the waiver wire is awfully thin.

“Or it could be…”

Option A: “…Cody Grimm’s chance to shine.” (Preseason: 11 tackles, 1 pass deflection)

If the team were to go by its depth chart, rookie Cody Grimm starts from here on out. Grimm played linebacker in his tenure at Virginia Tech, forcing his way up the charts from freshman walk-on to senior starter in his four years as a Hokie. For him to emerge as the viable replacement would be just another chapter in his underdog career.

While intangibles and pedigree (his father was NFL great Russ Grimm) are on his side, Grimm’s 4.6 forty-yard dash and position change leave some pretty large question marks. As much as mistakes by way of inexperience are tolerable, starting Grimm will test more than his experience. They will test his capability.

Likelihood: coin-flip between him and Sabby.

Option B: “…that Corey Lynch emerges.” (Preseason: 14 tackles, 4 pass deflections)

Lynch racked up a lot of playing time in the preseason and sits behind Grimm on the free safety depth chart. His likelihood of getting a shot will only increase if Grimm or Sabby falter, but he does have a knack for the big play. If he comes in, chances are nobody will be in a good mood at the time.

Likelihood: remote

Option C: “…that Sabby fixed his game.”

This may be inconceivable after the bad memories pile fairly high, but free safety is a different position. Piscitelli was caught around the line of scrimmage and with his eyes in the backfield because that is sometimes what he was actually supposed to do. Maybe if he plays in a spot where that is never his responsibility, it won’t be so mad. Maybe I’m kidding myself. One thing is for sure, if Morris calls Piscitelli’s name when he makes his final decision in a couple of days, cue denial’s first stage.

Likelihood: pleasant surprise anyone? Anyone?

Whatever the contingency plan is, all Buc fans will be feeling two things Sunday morning: anger directed toward Tanard Jackson and dread for whomever takes his place.