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Shaq Barrett Feels Like He “Can’t Be Denied” In 2019

Tampa Bay’s newest outside linebacker is ready for his chance to step into the forefront

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

From ‘Charm City’ to Nebraska to Colorado and on to Florida with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2019 free-agent pick-up Shaq Barrett is ready for his opportunity to emerge from the mile-high shadows he was playing under with the Denver Broncos.

We all heard from Barrett after the first day of the team’s organized training activities (OTAs) as he spoke to the media along with wide receiver Mike Evans and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. But, on the Locked On Bucs Podcast this week, Barrett got a little more in-depth with his decision to sign with Tampa Bay and about life and football in general.

During the interview, the former Broncos linebacker revealed he and his agents had considered the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins as potential landing spots for him in 2019 before ultimately deciding to play in Tampa Bay.

The NFC South is arguably the toughest division in the NFL these days, and when asked about facing the teams in his new division Barret said, “...I’m just looking forward to playing. They all pass a lot, so I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to get a lot of sacks.”

Sacks are an area the Buccaneers will certainly hope to get better at in the coming season. Even though the team improved on their 2018 sack totals and had their first double-digit sack man in Jason Pierre-Paul since Simeon Rice was playing in Ray-Jay, they still finished 19th in the league in the category.

Meanwhile, in 2018, the Denver Broncos tallied 44 sacks and finished eighth in the league. Barrett contributed three to the cause with limited play coming in behind Von Miller and Bradley Chubb on the depth chart.

This year though, he’s looking to step out and step up, “I’m confident in my skill and my ability and I just got the attitude that I can’t be denied this year. This is my time to finally show everybody, show myself that I can do it and I could be the guy. And I’m just ready to take that opportunity.”

In fact, the opportunity to fight for a starting job is one of the biggest factors which lured Barrett to the Bucs. That and the fact he already has a Buccaneers tattoo, a reminder of his days playing youth football in Baltimore.

Fans of the team have been mostly positive about the signing and Broncos fans have been sad to see him leaving. The fact is though, Bucs fans really don’t know what to expect. So we asked him how he would describe himself to the fans.

“I’m a playmaker. I’m going to make plays. It don’t matter when it is in a game. I’m making plays, first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter”, is what Barrett said in response.

Check out the full conversation with Shaquil Barrett on the Locked On Bucs Podcast, and stay here with us at Bucs Nation for even more news, notes and more on your Tampa Bay Buccaneers!