Many have called for Bucs rookie first round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to get more snaps at outside linebacker. Part of it is because he is a talented player that deserves an opportunity to carve out a niche on this team. But the more vocal reasoning is that starter Jason Pierre-Paul isn’t 100 percent right now. The veteran is playing with a torn rotator cuff and fractured finger this season.
Tryon-Shoyinka got a career-low eight snaps in the Bucs loss to the Saints, and just 19 on Sunday. Yet it was he and Anthony Nelson who combined for five tackles and two sacks at Washington, while Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett combined for one tackle.
Tryon-Shoyinka is tied for second on the team with three sacks. That’s a half-sack better than Pierre-Paul despite starting in two games compared to Pierre-Paul’s seven. So why is the rookie getting so little playing time? Outside linebackers coach Larry Foote said it comes down to dollars and cents.
Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“You got to start with the paychecks first,” Foote said. “The guys with the biggest paychecks, they play the most. It’s fortunate to get drafted with two guys like that, speaking of Tryon-Shoyinka. And it’s going to pay off in the long haul as far as his career.”
Pierre-Paul is getting paid $12.8 million this season. Barrett is in the first campaign of a four-year, $72 million deal he signed last offseason. Meanwhile, Tryon-Shoyinka and Nelson are on rookie contracts.
Foote is right about Tryon-Shoyinka growing under the tutelage of Pierre-Paul and Barrett. It may have paid off when he got the chance to start in place of Pierre-Paul during Weeks 3 and 4. The first rounder recorded six tackles, four quarterback hits, two sacks and a pass breakup in that run. It’s just a matter of time before Tryon-Shoyinka gets his moment, whether it comes this season or next.
“I’m quite sure on probably over half the other teams in the league he’d probably be a starter,” Foote said. “But he has to wait his turn like a lot of guys. His fault was being drafted 32 and not five or top 1o. We’re trying to get him a lot of snaps. He needs to just keep learning. When that opportunity calls, he’ll seize it, which he has earlier in the season when he played when Jason was out. So he’s doing a good job. I’m happy with his play.”