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Since early in the 2021 season, a popular refrain amongst fans and media has been for the Bucs to play outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka more often. That cry has only grown louder after Tryon-Shoyinka impressed in two starts while Jason Pierre-Paul was injured. The rookie picked up two sacks against New England in Week 4, often winning one-on-one.

But since Pierre-Paul has returned to the lineup in Week 5, Tryon-Shoyinka’s role has diminished significantly. Some decrease was expected, but the Bucs’ first round pick has played 17 and 19 snaps over the past two games. That would make more sense if Pierre-Paul was healthy, but that isn’t the case either. The veteran has played with a club on his injured right hand, which has severely impacted his level of play.

Against Miami, Pierre-Paul missed three tackles and struggled to get off blocks. In Week 6, Pierre-Paul managed a sack, but it was more a product of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts than anything the outside linebacker did. Through six games, Tryon-Shoyinka has 12 pressures to Pierre-Paul’s eight. The Washington product has the edge in sacks too, with two takedowns to one. The disparity exists despite Tryon-Shoyinka receiving 46 less pass rush snaps.

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Listening to head coach Bruce Arians, don’t expect anything to change.

“He’s playing plenty,” Arians said of Tryon-Shoyinka. “He had 20 snaps (technically, 19). JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) has got a bigger résumé, and a better one. Joe just keeps growing as a player. He played well last night, he had 20 opportunities.”

There has been some conversation that Tryon-Shoyinka’s run defense is keeping him off the field. There were one or two negative run defense reps in Week 5 against Miami, but how much have those really impacted the team? Also, Tryon-Shoyinka has grown significantly as a run defender since the preseason. And Pierre-Paul has been a shell of himself in run defense since returning from injury. The struggle to get off blocks with one functioning hand is very real.

In addition, Tryon-Shoyinka gives the Bucs a more athletic defender to chase down more mobile quarterbacks. That was helpful against Hurts a few times, and it’ll be helpful against Justin Fields in Week 7. However, Arians doesn’t seem to agree.

“Not really,” Arians said when asked if Tryon-Shoyinka gives the Bucs a more athletic option than Pierre-Paul. “Jason’s pretty strong. There’s a lot more than just rushing the passer.”

Per Pro Football Focus, Pierre-Paul is having by far the worst season of his career. He’s carrying a 46.2 overall grade (out of 100) into Week 7. By contrast, Tryon-Shoyinka has a more respectable 60 grade, which would be much higher if not for four missed tackles. Both outside linebackers can play better, but only one of them has the upside and the health to be a smart bet to do so moving forward.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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fredster
fredster(@fredster)
1 month ago

Not sure who is more stubborn JPP or Arians. He needs to sit him until healthy and playing at high level again period. He was terrible Thursday night. Couldn’t even stay in his gap. Also Next time Bucs decide to go for it on 4th and 2 hope they run it or High percent short pass instead of low percentage deep balls. That allowed Eagles back Into a game they were being dominated in. Totally stupid call by Leftwhich or Arians.they really need to stop with the low percent stuff 3rd and short or 4th and short. Move the chains… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

I wouldn’t call it deep ball but I woul say it was a difficult pass to throw and complete. My thoughts were the same though, why not try something a little more easier.

compewterpirate
compewterpirate(@compewterpirate)
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Agreed. A dubious play call I thought, although Arians blamed it on ‘execution’. Either way the play called was clearly not the highest percentage completion play that could have been dialed up.

Having said all of that, given the 14 point lead and the time left on the clock, I personally thought we should have punted and tried to pin them back deep inside their own 10 yard line.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
Reply to  compewterpirate
1 month ago

I was ok punting there too but really didn’t think the 4th and 2 going for it was bad call either. The play call though I mean come on! We are running great. Eagles have poor run d. It just doesn’t make sense. Others will say I’m stupid because we made the super bowl last year. Whatever. Mark my words it will come back to bite in close game if they keep doing that crap over and over.

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

I though the play call was suspect as well. I liked the Godwin handoff we used last year to close out the Packers game or the pass to Lenny to get the first before the end of the first half in the same game to get the same aount of yardage. Oh well.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

I guess your right poor choice words by me maybe not deep ball, but was deeper than needed to be and approaching end zone stuff is hard and low percent.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

Completely agree fredster! Every now and then the stupidity of Arians/Leftwich gets sprinkled in with Brady’s greatest. There’s a bit of an art to closing out a game and towards the end there I will give them credit for figuring it out. Cheers!

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  Captain Sly
1 month ago

How do you people call Arians and Leftwich “stupid” with the coaching staffs we’ve had here in the past? I too questioned the play, but had that “kill shot” succeeded, we would have all been fist pumping.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

Every one of these couch-sitters who declares Arians to be “stupid” and “stubborn” is a blithering idiot. They deserve no respect for their stupid criticisms.

WVBuc
WVBuc(@wvbuc)
Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

With a shocked look on my face, you simply can’t claim something hasn’t worked since he got here. Checks to be sure, yes, won the Super Bowl. Snarky reply over, here’s more thoughtful rebuttal. I have had those moments where I thought, you only needed two why did you throw it twenty. I have to remind myself that it is about philosophy. The threat that Arians’ coached teams will throw long on any down and distance helps setup the offense. Forcing the defense to be aware of and account for all quarters and depth is what opens up many other… Read more »

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
Reply to  WVBuc
1 month ago

Yes, we were in the super bowl. So that means nothing could have been done better? Missing plays like that won’t matter this time? You get my point. It hasn’t worked as far as completions bro. Your rebuttal was dumb imo but that’s why we are here to share our dumb comments I guess.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

There you go again with your stupid “Arians is stubborn” schtick And then you compound your stupid criticism by blaming JPP for being too “stubborn” – what, is JPP supposed to tell his coaches, “No I don’t wanna be on the field? WTF? Arians knows his players far better than any of us fans do, and the guy deserves massive respect for winning a Super Bowl earlier this year, instead of the massive disrespect you and your fellow dumb critics keep throwing his way. And finally, Arians is not the defensive coordinator, he does not determine which individual players get… Read more »

Action Jackson 72
Action Jackson 72(@pwilly13)
1 month ago

JTS looks a little lost when he’s out there to me. When he rushes the QB he’s fine but on run plays he doesn’t appear to be sure of himself or what his assignment is. I’m sure he’ll develop over the course of the season but let’s not put him in a gold jacket after 6 games and 2 sacks.

compewterpirate
compewterpirate(@compewterpirate)
1 month ago

A good point John and a hard one to understand with JPP so obviously ‘banged up’ and inhibited by the club on his arm, that he appears to be playing with one hand at times. I have all the admiration in the world for JPP as a leader and a talisman for this defence, but frankly we should sit the guy until he’s healthy and plug in JTS. A fully fit JPP will be needed down the road come the play-offs and like Gronk, it makes much more sense to rehabilitate a key injured veteran back into genuinely effective game… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by compewterpirate
surferdudes
surferdudes(@surferdudes)
1 month ago

Who cares about his run defense, no one runs on us anyway. I’ll say it, father time has caught up to JPP. What bothered me more than his physical play, was his mental play. He basically gave Hurts a bunny T.D. on 4th down when he rushed inside taking out White. I couldn’t believe he was so assignment unsound on that play. But why ask Arains about his playing time, ask Bowles. Hard for me to believe Arains tells Todd who should play more, who should be on the field, what packages to deploy.

WVBuc
WVBuc(@wvbuc)
Reply to  surferdudes
1 month ago

Has there been any commentary from the team about who was out of position on that play? JPP will typically be expected to set the edge but not every time. Bowles runs a lot of stuff. It probably was JPP but it could have been White who blew the assignment. In other words, I am not easily accepting a veteran like JPP suddenly forgot his assignments because of a mental decline.

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
Reply to  WVBuc
1 month ago

Very true. JPP is the mastermind of that Dline. Last year during the playoffs they showed JPP telling Barrett to go high or low and he was gonna do the opposite. You got a glimpse into how things worked and it’s JPP that has the expertise. He is the conductor. I find it hard to believe he would be the one out of position because as good as White can be, he can also be a bit of a lost puppy out there at times. Who knows. They are playing their Heart out while half the starters are hurt. I’m… Read more »

MichaelMyersIsABucsFan
MichaelMyersIsABucsFan(@michaelmyersisabucsfan)
Reply to  WVBuc
1 month ago

Devin gave that TD up by trying to play hero ball.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
1 month ago

I disagree. JTS should be playing more. Give JPP fewer reps, more quality reps until he gets completely healthy. That’s why we drafted JTS. To come in and be a relief pitcher for JPP. The only way the kid learns is by putting him in the fire. JTS is beginning to be very much an equal of JPP now that he’s getting older and has the nagging injuries. BA is just a bit stubborn and loyal. JTS will get more reps as he starts to get tackles, sacks. Then it will become obvious that u want him on the field… Read more »

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan(@stlbucsfan)
1 month ago

I think we all have to realize that Tryon missed a full year of football last year. Playing him a ton of reps early could lead to injury. Ease him into it so that he’s peaking late in the season when we will really need him. We are expecting to play 20 games this year, getting to the end of the season with our best players peaking is the goal. JPP is injured and is used to fighting through it. He looks bad but will be fine, Tryon-Shoyinka reps should gradually increase and form more of a 50/50 split as… Read more »

WVBuc
WVBuc(@wvbuc)
Reply to  stlbucsfan
1 month ago

Whether that is the plan the staff is following or not, it’s reasonable and sounds good.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
Reply to  stlbucsfan
1 month ago

You’re 100% right about the team limiting Tryon’s reps for fear of injury, he’s the future and there’s no benefit in rushing his development. They took the opposite approach with Richard Sherman and look what’s happened to him. Private workouts can never supplant live action

76Buc
76Buc(@76buc)
1 month ago

Darn, I just read on that despicable e-rag Twitter that Brady is homesick for the fall change of seasons. Was hoping he would finish out his career and then settle in the Tampa Bay area.

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
1 month ago

I think until JPP gets his club off, he should be in only when he moves inside and Tryon is on the field. Tryon is the future, but JPP is still a leader on this team. I would actually respect JPP more if he suggested splitting more time with Tryon to help him develop while JPP is hurt instead of pushing through with the club while he struggles. I Love JPP on the field but Tryon provides the older Dline a boost of youth and energy and speed. I Love our coaches but their stubbornness got them what? 7-5 to… Read more »

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  Spitfire
1 month ago

Amazing how some use the term, “stubborn” simply because the coach doesn’t do what they think he should do. Perhaps the coach has greater knowledge of the situation. Guess the next step will be “the game has passed him by”. Of course, unlike the coach, who has to make a decision in real time, we get to look in the rear view mirror before offering our “woulda, coulda, shoulda” remarks.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

These idiots are the same jerks who declared that Brady was a has been with a noodle arm … that Gronk was a has been and “lost a step” … that Antonio Bryant was a has been and would quickly flame out … that Leonard Fournette was a has been who was way worse than RoJo … and on and on and on. Ledyard, by the way, is the leader of that gang of self-appointed critics amongst the current crop of PR writers. I don’t like most of his writing because he and Matt Materra are just nit-pickers and crabby… Read more »

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg