The Buccaneers didn’t have all of their starters from 2020 on the field last Thursday against the Cowboys. Jordan Whitehead could make his return this week.
The most obvious issue with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys wasn’t the “inevitable” Tom Brady drop-off that people have predicted was coming since he was 30, but instead it was shockingly the defense.
Unlike the Bucs offense, which spent most of last season struggling to consistently excel, the Buccaneer defense was great nearly every game of the postseason, most importantly in the Super Bowl against an all-time great offensive team in the Kansas City Chiefs.
So it was slightly bewildering to see the Bucs, who returned the same defense from last year, get handed their lunch by Dak Prescott, who threw for over 400 yards in his first game back in nearly a year.
The reason for the Bucs’ inability to prevent Prescott from succeeding over and over again could be chalked up to a lot of things, however the absence of starting safety Jordan Whitehead could have played a role in it.
While most fans already know that Whitehead’s biggest strength is against the run and delivering punishing hits, his absence still shakes things up. Defenses and their players are all about consistency, so shaking the unit up has a way of derailing progress at times.
Thankfully, come their Week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, Whitehead is finally cleared to play after being out with a hamstring injury the last few weeks.
This is a major addition to the Buccaneers secondary, and Tampa could see a benefit immediately when Whitehead returns, even if their other safeties already play at a very high level.
Whitehead’s talent, experience, and chemistry with fellow safety Antoine Winfield Jr. cannot be overstated, and this connection was vital to the team’s success last year.
Come Sunday, look for Whitehead to make an immediate impact in the confidence and effectiveness of the Bucs secondary, as well as defense as a whole.
Also, check out a trade the Bucs could make to keep the defense alive here!
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