The 2021 Bucs mandatory mini-camp just ended, but outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett is just getting started.
A few months off recording a sack and multiple pressures in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV win, Barrett addressed the media on Thursday and was in mid-season form.
“I’m coming with a vengeance this year – even though we won the Super Bowl,” Barrett said. “I’m still hungry. I want to show my supporters that they’re right to support me and show the doubters that they were wrong for doubting me.”
After playing on the franchise tag in 2020, Barrett was rewarded with a four-year, $68.5-million contract this offseason. The deal included $34.75 million of guaranteed money for the 28-year old pass rusher.
In Barrett’s first season in Tampa Bay he broke Warren Sapp’s single-season Bucs sack record. He recorded 19.5 sacks along with six forced fumbles. That helped him make his first Pro Bowl.
Barrett’s sack numbers dipped last year to just eight along with two forced fumbles. But he erupted for four in the postseason, including three at Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game.
“This upcoming year I’m working on being consistent game in, game out,” Barrett said. “There were some games where I might have played good, but in my head I didn’t play the way I was supposed to play. I want to improve on that. I want to have the best season possible that you all have ever seen from a defensive end/outside linebacker.”
Barrett wants to top his own sack record and lead the league in sacks once again in 2021. In fact, he wants to make more than just another Pro Bowl while helping the Bucs repeat as Super Bowl champions.
“I want to be individually the Defensive Player of the Year,” Barrett said. “If they want to give me the MVP because my season that I’ll have should be MVP level – I’m coming, man. I won’t be denied this year. I’m so excited to have this time off so when we get back I’ll be ready to go. This year is going to be real big for me.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.