A 3-7 Bucs’ record isn’t going to stop Jason Pierre-Paul from bringing passion and energy to each game on Sunday. That energy is the type of trait that’s naturally instilled in a player, and Pierre-Paul wishes that everyone could have the characteristic that he has.
“I wish every guy could play like me,” Pierre-Paul said. “We all get paid different amounts of money, and everybody is not the same. Like I said, passion just comes from within, and hopefully if guys can see it, they’ll pick up the same way like, ‘okay that guys getting s**t done, maybe I got need to get on his way.’ I’m always just being me and everybody follows it at some point, or somebody else on the team can get passion from it.”
For all of their faults, the Bucs have kept games close against some good opponents, and it’s the effort from team leaders like Pierre-Paul that have made them a tough out.
“Regardless of if you win or lose, you give your best effort,” Pierre-Paul said. “That’s exactly what I bring to the table, I leave it all on the field, when the game is finished, hopefully it’s a “W” but sometimes it’s not, but when the game finishes I know that I left it all on the field and I have no complaints.”
It’s that type of demeanor that has carried Pierre-Paul throughout his career, including staying motivated to come back in Week 8 this year after suffering a fractured vertebra in the offseason.
The Bucs outside linebacker spoke on how difficult it was to get back to the field along with how he’s felt four games into returning.
“Major, it took a lot,” Pierre-Paul said. “I can go on and on but it took a lot just to get where I’m at, especially confidence, you have to have confidence at the end to start. This is basically still preseason for me, this is the fourth game so my body is feeling a lot from last week. I’m at stage now where I’m ready to roll and you’ll see a difference from last week and between four games from now. A lot of people forget me coming back to now and just jumping from the second game playing 60 something plays or 70 something plays, it’s a lot of work.”
Pierre-Paul wouldn’t be doing this at this stage of his career if it wasn’t for passion and work ethic. Pierre-Paul says he got all that from his parents, who have been together for over 30 years. Their story is one that has taught Pierre-Paul to never quit, which stills stays with him today.
“My father, my mom, those two really,” Pierre-Paul said. “My dad, he’s been blind for like 30-something years and my mom had to turn around and quickly had to find a job. She didn’t know how to drive. Thank God my dad taught her at the time. All that passion comes from that because they’ve been together 35 something years now, 35 years now, and my mom has not once left my dad or whatever. It takes a strong woman to stick with a blind man and stay with him the rest of his life until he passes away, so that’s where I get that passion from, that’s why I never quit.”