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Bruce Arians expects Joe Tryon to contribute right away on special teams

The Bucs’ first-round draft choice, meantime, can learn edge-rush nuances from the veterans.
Published Apr. 30
Updated Apr. 30

Bereft of a Bucs cap upon being drafted around midnight, Tampa Bay first-round draft choice Joe Tryon rectified that wardrobe deficiency at a local mall Friday morning in his native Washington.

“I’ve got videos to take, man,” Tryon said.

In terms of his new job, don’t be surprised if the 22-year-old edge rusher wears more than one hat.

Speaking publicly for the first time since helping select the Washington redshirt junior with the NFL draft’s 32nd overall pick, coach Bruce Arians said his newest rookie will play special teams while learning the nuances of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme from elder statesmen Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.

“Smart, intelligent, passionate player who loves to play the game,” Arians said of Tryon, who opted out of the 2020 season after earning second-team all-Pac 12 honors the year before. “Obviously he has all the skills in the world, but the passion and energy that he plays with is something that really, really excites us.”

Related: Getting to know Bucs first-round pick Joe Tryon

In addition to Tryon’s length (6-foot-5) and full-throttle approach, Arians said he was taken with the player’s sheer power, improved drops in pass coverage and closing speed.

“Power’s something you can’t teach, you either have it or you don’t,” added Arians, whose team is set to make second- and third-round selections Friday night.

“A lot of edge-rush speed guys, tackles in this league just knock those guys down. If you can’t basically bull-rush and have power and turn ... speed to power, you’re going to struggle. And Joe has shown that he has that ability, and he’s obviously going to be a huge contributor on special teams right away as he continues to improve that tool box. But he has the main ingredients.”

Those ingredients really began coalescing down the stretch of his redshirt sophomore season in 2019. Six of Tryon’s eight sacks, and 10 of his 12.5 tackles for loss, came in the final four regular season games.

“I definitely kept the momentum going, and I finished the season strong,” Tryon said. “I’m ready to build off of that. It’s been a long time, but I’m ready to get going again.”

Tryon and his fellow rookies will participate in a rookie mini-camp later this month, followed by organized team activities, Arians indicated. It would be Tryon’s first action in a conventional team-practice setting since December 2019.

“It’s been a long time, but I’m ready to get going again,” Tryon said.

“It’s one thing to run and do drills, it’s another thing to have an assignment and play that fast,” Arians added. “So it’s learning your assignments, getting all that stuff down. The pass-rush stuff, we’ll have to wait until we put the pads on, but we still get after it pretty good in (organized team activities).”

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