Out of Miller’s shadow, Barrett aims to follow his footsteps

Out of Miller's shadow, Barrett aims to follow his footsteps

With some contemporary however acquainted recommendation from his mentor, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett goals to wreck Patrick Mahomes’ prospects for an additional Tremendous Bowl parade the identical method Von Miller destroyed Cam Newton’s occasion plans 5 years in the past.

Barrett remembers Miller gathering his fellow Denver Broncos move rushers on the crew lodge on the eve of Tremendous Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, and telling them the championship was theirs for the taking if they might simply get to the Carolina quarterback.

Miller knocked each the soccer and the Lombardi Trophy from Newton’s grasp with a pair of strip-sacks within the Broncos’ 24-10 victory the following evening.

“He was decided to get it by any means, wouldn’t let failure be an choice,” Barrett recounted. “And that’s what I’m on proper now. We got here too shut to start out subsequent yr with no ring. So, we’ve set to work for it this week, maintain everybody … with excessive power after which simply execute.”


Barrett performed 49 snaps in Tremendous Bowl 50, about half on particular groups, the opposite half spelling Miller and DeMarcus Ware.

Barrett may have a beginning — and possibly starring — function in Tremendous Bowl 55 when the Buccaneers (14-5) face Mahomes and the reigning champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (16-2) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, who gained a hoop with the New York Giants 9 years in the past, are the bookends on the Bucs’ pesky protection, veteran outdoors linebackers who meshed right into a quarterback’s nightmare in Tampa with 50½ mixed sacks of their two seasons collectively.

That features 5 takedowns of Aaron Rodgers within the NFC championship sport at Lambeau Area the place Pierre-Paul had his first profession multi-sack playoff sport and Barrett joined Corridor of Famer Warren Sapp as the one Bucs with three sacks in a playoff sport.


The influences of Miller’s velocity and Ware’s handwork shine by way of Barrett’s play.

“He’s acquired fairly an arsenal,” Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles mentioned. “He can go energy, he can go velocity and he can beat you with method.”

Typically all three without delay.

Barrett readily admits he gleaned the perfect elements of his sport from the lads whom he backed up in Denver after beginning out as an undrafted rookie on the observe squad out of Colorado State, however who shortly made a reputation for himself in an unparalleled move rush rotation that additionally included Shane Ray.

“I do have a few of that DNA in me,” Barrett mentioned. “I realized lots from these guys in Denver and it simply helped form me into the move rusher I’m at present.”

Barrett shared begins with Ray reverse Miller following Ware’s retirement in 2016. However John Elway’s fateful choice of Bradley Chubb as a substitute of Josh Allen with the fifth total decide within the 2018 draft meant Barrett’s days in Denver had been numbered.


He hit free company in 2019 decided to discover a beginning job and long-term safety, and Cincinnati supplied each earlier than pulling a two-year provide, citing a shoulder harm that Barrett referred to as nonexistent.

In stepped the Bucs, who supplied him a one-year, prove-it deal value $5 million, which represented some $53,000 greater than he’d earned in 4 seasons in Denver.

Barrett had a monster debut in Tampa, gathering an NFL-best 19½ sacks, forcing six fumbles and incomes his first Professional Bowl nod in 2019. He parlayed that breakout season into the $15.88 million franchise tag he performed on in 2020, when he had eight sacks within the common season because the Bucs ended a 13-year playoff drought.

Set to change into a free agent once more this spring, Barrett trusts he’ll be signing a long-term deal to remain in Tampa and at last construct his dream home after renting for 2 years.

“We’re simply excited to have the ability to begin laying roots,” he mentioned.


Barrett can additional set up his bona fides with an enormous sport Sunday.

Mahomes remembers Barrett in Denver as a participant who by no means let quarterbacks exhale each time Miller or Chubb tapped out for a breather.

“You might see how a lot expertise he had despite the fact that he was backing up these guys,” mentioned Mahomes, who referred to as Barrett “proper up there on the prime” of the league’s elite move rushers.

“Final time we performed them he strip-sacked me. So, I’ve to know the place he’s at on every play.”

Left sort out Eric Fisher’s Achilles harm means Barrett will principally line up in opposition to Andrew Wylie as a substitute of Mike Remmers, who was Carolina’s proper sort out in Tremendous Bowl 50.

Remmers sees shades of Miller in Barrett’s sport.

“He’s a heck of a participant. He’s a really good soccer participant. He’s acquired nice velocity, he’s acquired nice energy, he’s acquired a ton of strikes,” Remmers mentioned. “You’re by no means fairly positive what he’s going to do and he makes performs, that’s the principle factor. He’s positively going to be a problem for us up entrance and I can’t wait to go on the market and play him on Sunday.”


For Barrett, watching Remmers on movie brings again extra recollections of Miller and his pregame recommendation to grab the second.

“And that’s the plan,” Barrett mentioned. “Simply are available all power, all effort and get the job achieved.”


Comply with Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton


Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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