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If T.J. Ward wants more playing time, he should play better

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The first cracks in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season are starting to show. I mean, aside from the 2-4 record and horrendous defensive performance. Apparently, T.J. Ward is unhappy with his playing time. Here’s what the former Pro Bowler told the Tampa Bay Times.

“I mean, that’s not why I came here. I did not come here to rotate. I did not come here to be a part-time player. I came here to make this defense better. Be on the field 100 percent of the time. I destruct offenses. That’s what I do. I need to be out there. You got me in one minute, one minute. Last week, I didn’t even play the first half.’’

On the one hand, I can get his frustration. Ward can be an impact player, especially against the run, and he’s shown that on occasion when he’s been on the field this year. The Bucs certainly didn’t sign him to post him on the bench for what’s now almost half the season

On the other hand, Ward hasn’t exactly earned this playing time. He was responsible for one touchdown yesterday, when he got picked off on a rub route, and he appeared responsible for at least one more coverage bust against the Arizona Cardinals, when he got sucked in on play action. Those mistakes make it hard to justify keeping him on the field constantly.

So, sure, play Ward some more. It’s not like Chris Conte is blowing people away with his play. But eh....make sure not to blow coverages for touchdowns, okay?