Trading for Steve McLendon after Vita Vea‘s injury was one of the Buccaneers’ best decisions so far this season. Despite mostly serving as the backup to Rakeem Nunez-Roches, McLendon has been the best nose tackle on the roster, and it hasn’t been very close.
McLendon has played fewer minutes than Nunez-Roches and has received no starts, yet he has the same number of tackles as the current starter and more tackles for loss.
It made sense that the Buccaneers took their time easing McLendon in, as Nunez-Roches was more familiar with the system, but it is time to let the best player start.
Tampa Bay has to keep the best players possible on the field in their hopes to win their first matchup this year, and McLendon is the clear choice.
McLendon has the better track record, experience, and he has the better season as a Buccaneer, so it’s fair that he starts to receive more playing time in a pivotal moment.
This wouldn’t be a dramatic change for the Buccaneers, as their line has still maintained its success in Vea’s absence, but any improvement helps when it comes to the playoffs.
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