The Buccaneers introduced their new prize veteran defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul on Friday to the local media. This after Tampa Bay acquired Pierre-Paul earlier in the week in a huge trade for the Bucs giving up a 3rd round pick.
As we wrote Thursday, Tampa Bay is in desperate need of pass-rush help and Pierre-Paul, even off of a horrible fireworks injury that almost cost him his right hand, has been a steady pass rushing machine for the Giants.
Pierre-Paul was also emotional Friday, not only about the fireworks accident, but coming back to play in Tampa, where he played college ball at USF in 2009. And, he was one of the most feared defensive ends in America. However, it was after his formal press conference was over that he said something to a local television station that has us perked up.
Pierre-Paul was being interviewed by WTVT-TV Fox 13 sports director, Scott Smith, after the presser and apparently, revealed a portion of the Buccaneers upcoming 2018 schedule. And, it involves playing his former team.
Look and listen for yourself.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSmithFOX13) March 23, 2018
The Bucs are in fact playing the Giants on the road as part of the divisional rotation this season. This year they have the NFC East opponents, including also playing at Dallas. The Redskins and the Eagles will come to play at Raymond James Stadium.
It’s also interesting that the NFL usually reserves the final season game for division match-ups trying to decide playoff spots. For example, the Buccaneers have closed with an NFC South opponent in each of their last six seasons.
In 2016, the Bucs hosted the Carolina Panthers week 17 and last season the Bucs finished at home with a dramatic win over the New Orleans Saints in their final game.
Pierre-Paul also makes reference to getting after Eli Manning, but you have to wonder with the Giants struggles a year ago and Manning’s age, will they draft a quarterback with the number two overall pick or at least at the top of the second round?
And, if the Giants are having a bad 2018, will that quarterback be given the reins at the end of the season?
Still, it’s also entirely possible that both teams will be in the playoff hunt and may very much need to win that game
Definitely a juicy tidbit. The NFL will officially release the entire schedule later in April
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