Barrett ready to renew Shaq attack on QBs

by Gary Shelton on July 27, 2021

in general

Shaquil Barrett likes to make Arians uneasy./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Shaquille Barrett likes making coaches feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes, his own.

Barrett, the Bucs' pass-rushing demon, made plenty of coaches uneasy in the Bucs' drive to the Super Bowl. Counting the post-season, after all, Barrett has 31.5 sacks in the last two seasons and 61 quarterback hits.

Still, he likes to get to Bucs' head coach Bruce Arians, too.

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Barrett was talking Monday about the traditional competition between the team's offense and defense at training camp.

"We’re always coming out trying to make B.A upset a little," Barrett said. "Because if we make him upset that means our defense did good and the offense didn’t have the good day that he was expecting them to have. We’re always competing. We always want to have every play; they always want to make every play, so it just makes us a better team.

"With Tom [Brady] calling the calls and running the show, he can pick up on our defense and it helps us get better at that. He can scheme up anything and it’s helpful. It’s like power against power. We are going to be ready for whatever is thrown at us because of the level of talent we have on the team and play callers we have on the team.”

For all the attention given to Tom Brady and the Bucs' offense, it was the improvement of the defense down the stretch that was the marked difference in the Bucs. In the playoffs, the Bucs beat Washington, New Orleans, Green Bay and Kansas City. In particular, Barrett and Devin White were impressive.

This season, however, it's back to the starting line.

“First, our coaches, they come from the top down relaying on a message that we need to hear," Barrett said. "Then, leaders on the team take care of our group and make sure that we’re putting in that same work because it’s going to be different from last year. Nothing is guaranteed like B.A [Bruce Arians] always said. We had the same team last year and we started out 7-5. There’re no guarantees of what we can be so we have to put the work in so at the end of the season we can be [playing] the championships. We can’t be complacent. We haven’t done anything yet.

“You just have to be consistent for all four quarters. In the first half or first quarter, we usually struggle when we are trying to get our feet wet. We have to come out, hair on fire, and just full speed on the field effort so that we’re making the right plays and smart decisions so we can be better in the first half.”  

Barrett said the heat won't hurt his preparation.

“I most definitely have to be mentally strong," Barrett said. "I always think that the guy I’m going up against is more tired than me so it’s my opportunity to make a play. I’ll always want to be the guy who makes the play at the right time. That also motivates me. It's probably too late now. They just have to come out here and work as hard as they can in practice and try to get accustomed to it. If you weren’t down here in this heat getting the work in, it’s probably too late to adjust now.”

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