Football players face tons of adversity in their career.

From injuries –to being cut – to coaching changes – learning to adapt is part of most players’ careers.

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

Losing part of your hand to a fireworks injury is not normally one of the things players have to deal with, but for new Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul it was a reality, but one he bounced back from and taught him who he is as man.

“I’ll tell you what, being at your highest peak in the NFL, about to get a big contract and you think everybody is to the top and I’m at the top of my game, about to be a free agent and something like that happened – unfortunately it happened – it’s kind of sad,” Pierre-Paul said. “But, at the same time, like I always say, I never, ever doubted myself that I would not play football again. I returned back and I had one goal; one goal was, I’m not missing a season and I came back and actually finished that season. And then, coming back, this was actually my first game – I think Tampa Bay was my first game back and I did pretty well against y’all. Like I said, from that point I just knew that nobody can really touch me when it comes to this sport. In order for me to not play this sport, you’ve got to take both of my legs and even then I’ll still try to find a way to play.”

That ability to bounce back – and play at a high level – was something that attracted Bucs general manager Jason Licht to the former All-Pro and Super Bowl champ.

“One of the attributes that we’re looking for in players that we talked about this offseason, [Director of Player Personnel John] Spytek and myself and [Director of College Scouting] Mike Biehl and [Head Coach] Dirk [Koetter] is resiliency,” Licht said. “It’s one thing that’s been on our mind a lot, what we’re looking for as a quality in a player and Jason defines resiliency. To come back from what he did, it’s one of the things – it’s the main thing – that made him a big draw for us, why we would go after him.”

Resiliency wasn’t something Pierre-Paul had to learn, it came early from a daily example in his life.

“Sorry, I get emotional when I talk about my injury,” Pierre-Paul said. “Sorry. My injury, what I learned from my injury, was that I’m unstoppable, man. I thank my Dad for that because my Dad, he’s been blind for 29 years and he never complained, not once. From that, I know I’m unstoppable. It’s going to take a hell of a lot for me to get off that damn field…”

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

31 COMMENTS

  1. I am not directly comparing the two, but this signing brings to my mind the signing of Simeon Rice.

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    • Lol. I thought the same thing as I read the article.

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  2. Can’t wait to see him wreak havoc when we play the Giants this year.

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    • He had better wreak havoc every week at over a million a game. Bold move.

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  3. Maybe I just do not get it, JJP had 70 solo tackles with 16.5 sacks in 2011 16 games
    2017 he had 20 solo tackles 8.5 sacks 16 Games looks like his numbers have dropped a lot more than 50%
    Maybe Bucs fans and management have data that different than the NFL published stats.
    In no year since 2011 has he produced any big numbers. He has been on a steady line down and now 29 and I do not buy the sweet story, the fact is with hand hurt he is missing tackles that why he only had 20 solo tackles, better draft a good linebacker.
    HIt the negatives you all, but he only had 20 tackles in 16 games last year That is why he is not a Giant if he could tackle they would have in in a 3-4 someone has to call BS—- BS

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    • Per NFL.com and Pro Football Reference, he actually had 48 solo’s and 20 assists last year, with both the 48 solo and 68 combined being the 3rd highest totals of his career at age 28 (he turned 29 on Jan 1st). AND his 48 solo’s were also more than Ayers-20, Gholston-21 and Spence-5 (only 6 games) combined. AND he was 4th on the team in tackles, behind two safeties and their DT Harrison AND led the team in sacks. Understand you may not like the signing, but he’s a major upgrade on what we’ve had at DE in years. Have made mistakes myself in fact checking, might wanna re-check yours.

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    • sorry bro…u lost me at “better draft a good linebacker.”

      Like FLBoy84 said, he’s an upgrade over every DE on the roster. That’s a positive to me

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  4. There is no mercy in the NFL on 3 down and short the Running back is coming right straight at JJP and the chains move and punter stays on the bench. Giants know that and Bucs coaches soon will learn that.

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    • See above…

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  5. Here we go with the Negative Nancy’s. Were they the ones whp were also all over Licht for not getting Michael Bennet.
    I wonder how they feel now that Bennert was charged with battery on an elderly person.
    As for JPP, I can only tell you what one ardent Giant fan relayed to me on Thursday. He claimed the Giants has a terrible DL last year, much like the Bucs, except for JPP,
    Does that sound familiar.

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  6. It’s a move we had to make. JP is better then any D end we could get with a third round pick. At 29 he has plenty of gas left in the tank, in two years even if he doesn’t his contract is up. Complaining about this move is bitching for bitchings sake. I’ll crack on Licht when he screws up,but so far I have to give him credit for the new additions. Doesn’t lessen the fact he’s helped put us in areas of dire need, and there’s a ton of work to be done, but nice start.

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    • I think you’re absolutely right Surfer. Some of these folks just want to complain because they think doing so makes them look smarter than the rest of us. They claim to be “realists”. Their incessant intolerance just doesn’t equate to the intelligence they think exhibit. I am left to believe that they spend their day humming the song, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” to themselves while always looking down. When looking at Cindy Crawford, they’d only see the mole on her face. Any positive viewpoint they hear is sure to be followed by the “yeah but” retort of negativity. They’re the same “fans” who even like to put an asterisk beside what they conclude was an undeserved victory. They try to turn our “glad we won” to “should have lost”.

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      • I honestly only see the “mole” on Cindy Crawford’s face but I get your point and agree….lol. But I also liken here to “horse face” Sara Jessica Parker…not a fan of either.
        But I absolutely agree and think folks like Mike.Seven aren’t truly fans of the Bucs just fans of the bitching and being adversarialists (if that’s even a word).

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      • Hey scubog I just see them losing, no moles just losing for years, Speak all the positive you want end result is just losing. And no changes to drastically improve this team . Team at the bottom need drastic improvements!!!!

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  7. I agree with sufer and Scu. I know nothing about who JPP had as teammates in NY but I do here. GMC is still a very good player Allen seem to be also and Curry so opposing QBS will not have as much time to find an open receiver.

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  8. Its just great to see and hear a DE for the Bucs speak with confidence and a little swag. No not..Swaggy! Pierre Knows he’s got juice and uses it!! I get this feeling he will turn our DE play around 360. This in turn will motivate others on the line much like warren Sapp’s play use to do. I can guaratee you all this… A great pass rush almost ensures you more wins if your Offense is halfway decent. We lost like what? 5 games because we could not stop anybody last season. So we are on the right tract. Now if only..we can get DC Smitty to get off his butt, put down them ninoculars and come down off of his perch in the pressbox and coach.

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    • maybe smitty is embarrassed by the players he has. lol

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      • When questioned about the constant stunts and games they were running, McCoy came out and said ” we’re just running what they’re calling”. Think there might be a bit of embarrassment on both sides. No excuses now on the talent side, just hoping Smith lets them loose to hunt. Really hoping we have a solid year on D and Smith gets a HC opportunity elsewhere next year. Believe his contract might be up after this season as well. Anxious to see what Buckner could do designing his own D as Bucs DC.

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  9. Wasn’t the other guy involved in the firework mishap with JPP, a former buccaneer? where is he now? Didn’t the bucs cut him?

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  10. So every time he sacks someone we can say they got Pee Pee’d on?

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  11. So glad we got JPP. I just hope wearing #90 is not a curse for him. The last d-line players to wear #90 here(C. Baker, H. Melton, M. Johnson, R. Miller, G. Adams, D. White).

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    • WOW gibsonmx, I didn’t realize that! Oh boy, maybe he needs to find a new number for his new start in TB! HaHa. Either that, or he can turn around the #90 curse.

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      • Makski, I really hope it is the latter!! We desperately need a DE that can consistently rush the passer

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  12. Best use of a 3rd round pick since Ronde Barber. Proven pass rusher with a 3rd round pick? It’s an easy decision. We also moved up a little in the fourth.

    The guy also has a redwood sized chip on his shoulder and has a good 3-5 years of high level play left in his career. Great trade!

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  13. I had a couple drinks tonight and will spill my feelings, Mr Glazer would roll over in his grave if he knows how bad a job his moron kids were running this team, The head coach the OC the DC the GM and QB are total jokes the Bucs are more than this BS team is producing. Nothing has been done to bring this team out of the cellar. No major coaching changing no big players picked up in free agency, no moves on draft, Yes they improved center and 2 defence lineman a small percent, they gave raises to most players of a losing team. I have watched other teams make huge big moves and nothing from Bucs, they picked up 3 players not wanted by their current teams and that is it……….. Go ahead and hit the negatives, I will wait till season to tell you fools I told you so. Bye for now. Mike Seven P.S. I love Bucs but despise the way it is run!!!!!!

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    • You know Mike, if you were married to a girl about whom you complained and found fault with virtually everything about her, I’d think a divorce would be in order. Perhaps you should consider becoming a Patriots errrrrr, now Eagles fan and save yourself having to walk around with a frown on your face by simply becoming a fan of the current champion. That way you can thump your chest and look down at the entire football world.

      My guess is that your perpetual doom and gloom outlook is to protect yourself from the disappointment that you’ve convinced yourself is sure to follow this or any other off-season.

      None of us “fools” are “foolish” or naive enough to think what most “experts” would judge a successful off-season roster upgrade, guarantees a play-off run. Likewise, your bathing in the cesspool of despair while “poo-pooing” anything and everything, isn’t a forecast of things to come either.

      It’s obvious, you have taken on a cyber persona that you appear to enjoy more than the long time disappointed Bucs fan you probably are in the real world. One thing this 40 plus year season ticket holder has enjoyed this time of year for the past 4 decades, is “hope”. No need to make yourself miserable before misery has entered the room.

      We Bucs fans have always been in the “Basket of Miserables”. It’s part of the rite of passage being a fan of this team.

      Cheer up or should I say, “Cheers!”

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    • Wow, first he suggests we need good linebackers and now our QB is a total joke…I can’t even with this guy

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  14. Mike we hear you buddy, come off the ledge. The rest of us are trying to feel a little positive, we all know what a shit show it’s been at One Buc. I wasn’t stumping my foot to bring Licht, and Koetter back, the owners are idiot trust fund babies, I get it, most of us are with you, and get it. However we see a little glimmer of hope that’s all, not ready to line up at the parade route. For the first time in awhile to me anyway, Licht made some moves that might help out, take some joy in that.

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  15. I have been a fan of NFL for a lot of years, been to games in many different Stadiums many years ago I came to first Bucs game, There was something special about the Bucs orr , not the performance of the team but the orr of the theme or particular setting or ambience. I made it my team.
    History of successful NFL teams shows that a team does not make slow climbs from the bottom without major shakeups When you see them give raises to 2017 roster and the price of medium level players coming in as the cap closes it is frustrating.
    Hope is great and I understand that, but deep down you know it based on good wishes only.
    I do not want to become Patriots fan Eagles or anyone else I would like to see a major shake-up at BUC 1 and real hope based on numbers changed and a coaching staff that has been a part of winning brought in. Dirk as OC won the 1 pick in NFL does that say anything about him being OC for the worst team in all NFL does that qualify him to be HC? I am not a Jamies fan but is it fair to him to have the other team know what play is coming before the ball is snapped? How would you like to be QB and watch the other team linebackers call out you play to them selfs pin their ears back and come for you might cause you INT to go up! and shoulder to hurt.

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  16. I believe the stars are aligning for us to pick a CB at No. 7, and I hope it is the Ohio State prospect Ward. He has great speed and great football instincts. Adding speed to our secondary is a must. If we can’t make this guy into a star, shame on us.

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  17. we need derwin james.

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