The Buccaneers aren’t used to getting positive attention, but after their recent win in the Super Bowl, more lists like the following will come.
Typically, every Buccaneers fan can rightfully bemoan the lack of recognition the team gets year in and year out. Lavonte Davie is a perfect example. Beat out of for Rookie of the Year by Luke Kuechly with nearly the same statistics.
Perhaps last season’s run to the Super Bowl has caused some prognosticators to take another look, or perhaps, a longer look at some of the Buccaneers on this squad. And, just maybe, Bleacher Report would put together a projected list of who they think the best players at each position will be for 2021. And, in doing so, let’s say they picked two Tampa darlings for such a notice. Which two do you think they might have chosen?
So, this really isn’t a trick question. And, it probably isn’t a tough one to answer, especially for any one of our readers who keeps their nose in the Buccaneers news that seems to be proliferating in the NFL garden like a bunch of dandelions gone wild. So, let’s take five minutes to divine who those two might possibly be, based on last year’s performance.
Ok, that’s enough time: BR writer Brad Gagnon picked these two, and most fans would heartily agree:
At offensive tackle, Gagnon likes Tristan Wirfs. It’s nice to get some recognition, but after Wirfs didn’t get some love at the end of last season, the rest of the media is just starting to catch up.
As fans, we Buccos have known for a whole year what a great tackle Tristan Wirfs is. While some might have had doubts about trading up one spot to nab Wirfs, his production for the Buccaneers shows that he should have been selected much higher in the order than 13. For a rookie to give up only one sack, considering the gantlet of defensive ends all of whom deserved to be in the discussion about all-pro selections, is nothing short of special.
But, maybe Wirfs had something that the other tackles don’t get day in and day out. Yes, Wirfs gets to practice against two of the best pass rushers in the league, Jason Pierre Paul and Shaquil Barrett. And, while Wirfs certainly came into the league with plenty of talent, it’s for certain that those two pass rushers had a lot of lessons for the 21-year old.
Any way you look at it, Wirfs is a stellar tackle. Will that translate into the first of what ought to be many pro bowl invites? Only time will tell. But he set the bar pretty high in his first season. Nudging it the rest of the way to All-Pro status seems to be in the cards. Gordon seems to have a secure pick here.
If that was a simple choice, then the next one is a real no-brainer. Any fan who watched the final eight games that the Buccaneers stacked together on their way to SB LV victory should have no doubt that Gordon spotted Devin White. The big deal about great players seems to lean toward whether they can wrest control of a game. White, in last season’s run to the Lombardi, was able to take control of several of the games.
If you watched, he seemed to be all over the field. And, while he is an off ball linebacker, he totally tore up the stat sheet. He also defied his critics. He defied all his critics. You need the ball back? Ok, White recovers the fumble. You need the ball back again? White picks off Aaron Rogers. You need to make a stop, White is on the spot. You need to stop the quarterback? White blasts into the backfield and wrestles him down.
There seems to be a perception among the prognosticators that while White is good, he lacks certain aspects of the game that keep him one step below great. And, perhaps, they had enough evidence to stake that claim. But at the end of last season, White played like a linebacker on fire.
The Buccaneers fans ought to agree with Gordon’s choice of White. We in Buccoland already knew both of those players. It would be hard to disagree, but 2021 will prove just how insightful Gordon is and just how great those two players are.
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