Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ reserve defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches has always been one of the unsung heroes of the team. That trend seems to be continuing in 2021, and he’s emerged a leader of the Buccaneers.
Nunez-Roches, the man they call “Nacho”, has always been reliable veteran presence in the Bucs’ locker room. When Vita Vea went down a season ago, Nacho filled in and performed well. It’s earned him some more snaps in 2021, and both he and the team are benefiting.
Nunez-Roches is known as a great locker room guy due to his high energy, and last Sunday against the Falcons, that energy carried over to the field. Early in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers needed a spark from their defense to put their division rivals away. Nacho gave a speech in the huddle to his fellow defenders. Shortly after, he stuffed Cordarrelle Patterson for a three yard loss in a pivotal moment of the game, and a real turning point. Soon after, Mike Edwards would do his thing and the game was over resulting in a solid Buccaneers victory. Pass-rushing extraordinaire Shaq Barrett credited Nunez-Roches for getting the rest of the defense fired up in order to perform the way that they did in the fourth quarter of the game.
Bruce Arians also knew the importance of Nacho’s play and influence, calling the tackle of Patterson “huge”. He also went on to say how Nacho brings energy to the team “every single day, all day long”. The proof is certainly in the Nacho pudding.
It’s clear to the players and coaches of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, and the fans, that Rakeem Nunez-Roches is an important part of this team, and it’s time he starts getting more national recognition.