-The NFL announced the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters on Monday night. Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul with his 9.5 sacks and two interceptions this season made it for the third time in his career. At the age of 31. Especially considering the major injuries he's overcome, it's quite the feat.
"It's been a long road, but the reality is it just made it more fun for me," Pierre-Paul said. "The challenges weren't really challenging – it's just the fact that you have to have a mental state of mind that you can do whatever you put your mind to. That's what I did. Still, now I'm catching picks, I'm in the 3-4 defense, dropping, rushing the passer like I never did before, playing the run great – I'm just doing everything I can [and] I'm just having fun with the game. That's basically what I'm doing."
The only problem is that JPP is the only Buccaneer to have been selected. And no, I don't get it either. Guys like right guard Alex Cappa and cornerback Carlton Davis were leading fan voting at their respective positions. Davis currently leads the league in passes defensed.
And while offensive line stats are harder to quantify, Cappa was far from the only deserving Buccaneer offensive linemen.
"I think missing the time that he missed with the concussion hurt him in that [regard] because he was playing lights out and he's still playing great," Head Coach Bruce Arians said about left guard Ali Marpet. "I think he has had that type of season, as has Devin [White], Lavonte [David] and a couple of other guys. Only so many guys can go, and I'm not a big fan of it, so it's a shame for them."
Yeah. Not only did Lavonte David not make the Pro Bowl… neither did Devin White. Considering White has the third-most tackles in the league and the most sacks of any inside linebacker and is the only player in at least the last two decades to have multiple games with three sacks and 10 or more tackles, I can't for the life of me figure out what the missing criteria was there. Don't look at who did make it either. Not that Bobby Wagner and Fred Warner are bad players, but David and White are better and it's not a question. White has 130 tackles this year. Bobby Wagner has 126. David has 104. Fred Warner has 101. White leads inside linebackers with 13 quarterback hits. Wagner sits at 11. White and David are third and fourth among inside linebackers in tackles for loss with 14 and 13, respectively. Wagner has seven. Warner has four.
Like. Come on. With the spotlight on the Buccaneers this year, I know I wasn't alone in hoping that it would finally get David some recognition especially. I guess we'll have to wait for the All-Pro lists to come out.
And settle for a postseason berth for the first time since 2007…
-Moving on, wide receiver Chris Godwin said something that stuck out today. He was asked about what it means to be able to continue playing football – good football at that – to give Bucs fans something to root for in a year that has been so incredibly challenging for so many. This is what he said, and it could not make me love him more.
"It does feel really good," said Godwin. "Like you said, it's been a tough year for all of us and it's been a really tough year for a lot of people. To be able to be in a position where – even if it's just for four hours on a Sunday afternoon – that we can kind of take everyone's attention off the bad things that are going on or the problems they may be dealing with and they can just have some joy in watching what we do, that means a lot for us to be able to help people escape in that way."
-Also in the holiday spirit was Pierre-Paul. He gave nearly 150 bikes and signed jerseys to the Boys and Girls Club of Deerfield Beach, where he grew up. Just call him Santa Pierre-Paul.
"Growing up for me, I barely had Christmas," he said. "We didn't really have a Christmas tree and [didn't] put a whole bunch of presents underneath the tree. There's a lot of things going on in this world, especially COVID-19 – that's the [biggest] thing we have to worry about. Just giving back to the kids at the Deerfield Beach Boys & Girls Club – that was a start. I know they're going to enjoy it because I know the feeling. Being young and playing ball in the streets and seeing the big fire trucks come in with the Christmas lights honking and giving out bikes – some kids weren't able to get bikes. I was one of those kids. I'm just paying it forward and just giving back. Hopefully those kids can recognize that one day they'll do the same. They'll probably be in the position that I'm in one day and recognize [it]. They probably don't know who I am – maybe [they] do – but one day they'll say, 'I remember this person gave me a great Christmas, so why not [do that] for somebody else?' That's what I'm doing."
Bucs Tweet of the Day: