When Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March, much was made about the supporting cast he’d have around him.
Most of that focus was on the skill players in Tampa, and rightfully so. The Bucs have two terrific wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, plus they had O.J. Howard and Cam Brate at tight end at the time of the signing and have now added Rob Gronkowski to that mix.
But all that talent on the perimeter doesn’t mean anything without stout protection in the trenches. That’s why the Bucs spent a first-round pick on Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs in April.
The Big Ten Lineman of the Year in 2019, Wirfs was a multi-year starter for the Hawkeyes. He is expected to step right in and start at right tackle in Tampa, which is why NFL analyst Bucky Brooks highlighted Wirfs as a vital component to the Bucs’ success this upcoming season.
On a recent episode of the “Move The Sticks” podcast, Brooks provided his thoughts on Wirfs and how he fits in with his new team.
“I was a big Tristan Wirfs fan,” Brooks said. “I like his combination of size, strength and athleticism. I like his technical savvy. He is really a high-level athlete. This is a guy who was dominant in high school as a wrestler, shot and disc thrower, state championship level. You see those traits when he plays. For Tom Brady to play well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to protect him. I would like to see an upgraded running game. They don’t necessarily have the running back to do that, so Tristan Wirfs is going to have to be on his game as a pass protector.”
Wirfs takes his spot on what appears to be an ascending offensive line in Tampa. The Bucs have veterans Donovam Smith at left tackle and Ali Marpet as an anchor at left guard. Center Ryan Jensen had a strong 2019 season, and there’s hope for a big leap from third-year right guard Alex Cappa this fall.
These men up front will have to keep Brady upright, or Tampa Bay’s big offseason acquisition will have gone for naught.
[ 247Sports ]
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