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Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

Dirk Koetter says sometimes players with Pierre-Paul's credentials might be looking for a way out of drills, instead he's pushing the Bucs to get better
Rookies like defensive tackle Vita Vea, right, get to carry extra helmets in training camp, here with Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul.
(CHRIS URSO | Times)
Rookies like defensive tackle Vita Vea, right, get to carry extra helmets in training camp, here with Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul. (CHRIS URSO | Times)
Published Aug. 15, 2018
Updated Aug. 15, 2018

NASHVILLE — The Bucs didn't know what they were getting when they traded for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They believed he would be a good pass rusher to help the league's worst defense.

But they got so much more.

The Bucs have been impressed with the leadership and work ethic demonstrated by Pierre-Paul, so much so that after Wednesday's joint workout with the Titans, they had him break down the huddle.

Pierre-Paul also put on a show Wednesday, routinely beating Titans two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan.

In fact, Lewan got frustrated during the pass rush drill and JPP talked smack to him.

"Very pleasant surprise," Koetter said of JPP's leadership. "I guess I wasn't expecting JPP to be the practice player and the leader that he's been so far. Really fired up about it. Sometimes a guy that's got his pedigree comes in and is looking for way out of drills and that's not him at all."

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston says players have benefited from Pierre-Paul's enthusiasm.

"Especially him being in Tampa where he grew up is really important to him," Winston said. "You can tell that he really loves football and being a great veteran guy, we look up to guys like that and we love his tenacity and enthusiasm, bringing it from the Giants."