TAMPA — The Bucs got better by drafting Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon.
With 22 starters returning, they don’t need Tryon to win a starting job. But he can add depth at one of the highest-valued positions on the football team.
Not unlike Shaquil Barrett, who was mentored in Denver by DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, the 6-foot-5, 259-pound Tryon gets to learn his craft from Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett in Todd Bowles’ defense.
“I’m going to be a sponge,” Tryon said just past midnight Friday. “Those dudes are some really big-time players, they’ve been doing it, playing at a high level for the past decade so I can’t wait to soak all that in and just learn from them. It’s a big-time opportunity.”
Bucs general manager Jason Licht said while Pierre-Paul and Barrett will be good mentors for Tryon, he will make a contribution in 2021.
“Those guys, including our entire locker room, but those guys in particular since we’re talking about that position, are awesome,” Licht said. “They’re going to do whatever they can to make this team better. If that means taking him under their wing to show them the ropes, I’m sure they will. They’re in no danger of losing their starting job, I can tell you that. But like I said, there’s injuries, there’s a lot of things that happen throughout the course of a season, so it’s nice to stockpile especially at that position getting after the quarterback.”
Here’s some other highlights from the Zoom discussion with Tryon.
On how he would describe himself as a player:
“My strengths are getting after the quarterback and I don’t have to come off the field. I can play the run on first and second down and then get after the quarterback on third down. My versatility, my scheme, it doesn’t really matter. I fit any scheme. Drop me in coverage or anything. I’m an all-around player and I’ve been doing all the things that I’ve been doing since I opted out. I’ve been working out, getting my body right, eating right and just getting ahead of the game. I definitely took the time while I opted out and took advantage of it so I’m ready to get going now.”
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On who he patterns his game after:
“I would definitely say (Arizona’s) Chandler Jones, he’s one of them. I really enjoy his game, a long-lever dude. But I’ve got some dudes that I can learn from. Jason Pierre-Paul, a long dude, athletic dude. So I can’t wait to be a sponge and just really soak it all in.”
On what he did during the opt-out season:
“I’ve been doing a lot of work with my position coaches out in California since I opted out. I wasn’t just working out and lifting weights, I was definitely doing football-related activities. I really got to train with some dudes who are in the NFL. I got to train with (former defensive end) Cliff Avril, he taught me a lot of things. I got to pick his brain and he was a great pass rusher in the NFL, so just developing my whole pass rush repertoire has been a plan and I just can’t wait to get back out on the field and show that.”
On competing against Tom Brady every day in training camp:
“Just being around greatness really motivates me so I just can’t wait to get in that locker room and, like I said, soak it all in, get started. We’ve got games to win and I’m just looking to help the part.”
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