As the veterans have now reported to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp, Jordan Whitehead is starting to turn some heads with his size.
One of the best parts of training camp is seeing players return to the team after an offseason of working out. In Jordan Whitehead‘s case, it appears as though he did little else other than workout from the day that the season ended.
Whitehead looks like he is ready to line up at inside linebacker this year if Devin White or Lavonte David needs a break. The Bucs may not use their strong safeties in the box like other teams, but they can do so here with Whitehead.
This size difference is going to pay massive dividends for the third-year safety. Whitehead started 14 games last year (every week that he was healthy), and the Bucs will look for him to continue growing alongside rookie free safety Antoine Winfield Jr.
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Whitehead made a convincing case to remain one of the starting safeties for 2020 with his 2019 play, but the size shows that he was also willing to continue putting in the work and not growing complacent.
This type of mentality will be pivotal for the Buccaneers moving forward. Young players stepping up is the name of the game, and Tampa Bay would be left in a tough situation if the team relies solely on its more seasoned veterans.
Whitehead has shown a good season, but he does need to build alongside the rest of the Buccaneer secondary. Tampa Bay’s secondary was one of the worst in the NFL to start the 2019 season, and massive improvements need to happen if the team has any hopes of making a deeper playoff push.
This size transformation also helps show how criminally underrated Jordan Whitehead and his work ethic are. Whitehead has been absent in many written analyses of the Buccaneer defense and the players to watch, even though he played 100% of the defensive snaps for eight games and at least 89% in five more.
The days of dismissing Jordan Whitehead are clearly coming to an abrupt close. He may not have received all of the credit that he was due in 2019, but much like this picture, Whitehead will be impossible to ignore in 2020.
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