Bucs’ Barrett wants big numbers once again

by Gary Shelton on August 4, 2020

in general

Barrett wants another good season./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

Nice number, 12. Nice thought, a dozen.

Unless you're Bucs' defensive end Shaquil Barrett, whose aim is much higher than that.

Granted, 12 sacks is a solid number for a defensive end. A lot of great ends have had had less than that.

But for Barrett, 12 means something else is wrong. After all, he had 19.5 last year.

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“I mean, that’s a good start." Barrett said. "We might be cancelling the season if I’m only getting 12.0, though – it must be half of a season. No, but whatever helps the team out – if it’s 12.0, 12.0 would be a good number, but I’m always striving to be better than I was last year. Whatever that number would be, I’m just excited that my plays potentially help the team get a couple wins.”

For all the attention on the Bucs' offense additions this off-season -- Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Tristan Wirfs -- the Bucs have to be better on defense to compete in the NFC South.

Barrett, for one, never considered opting out.

"Nah. I told (my wife) if there’s some football being played that I’m going to play," Barrett said. "I’m a competitor. I love football and that’s the way that I feed my family. That’s the way that we have the life we have now, so there was pretty much no option for us to opt out as long as we were doing it the safest way possible. I feel as though we are doing it the safest way possible.”

The Bucs will not play a preseason game, but will open their season against the division favorite Saints.

“I really enjoy that we get to play the Saints first because that’s the team last year that I thought really beat us convincingly," Barrett said. "We didn’t have a chance in the games and I didn’t like that at all. I still hate losing regardless, but at least be in the game and be competitive. We didn’t feel like we were competitive, so to be able to start off with that game is a good chance to come out and start the season the right way and we’re looking forward to that for sure. I’m looking forward to that for sure.”

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