Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has overcome so much to get to this point, the results of football games can’t intimidate him.
So while it would take six straight wins to get his team to 9-7 and have a shot at the postseason, Pierre-Paul isn’t ready to rule it out.
“We can’t lose no more,” Pierre-Paul said, via Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s short and easy and simple. Win every game out. It’s not impossible to me. The year we went to the Super Bowl with the Giants we were 9-7. All those guys on that team rallied up. Everybody came as one and connected. No matter what the call was, we just got to beat the guy in front of us.”
Of course, when he was with the Giants in 2011, they were 6-4 at this point, which made getting to 9-7 a simpler proposition.
“You gotta trust,” he said, “It takes a lot to trust somebody. . . . That’s how you build. You have to trust everybody on the team. . . . You’re going to make mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you trust the guy next to you, then you know you’re going to do whatever it takes for y’all to get the same job done.
“That’s the difference between a Super Bowl and a playoff team. That’s why Tom Brady gets to the Super Bowl, because he trusts Bill Belichick and everybody trusts in Bill Belichick. That’s the same thing we’re got to do here. But everybody’s got to grasp it, not just me. Everybody.”
Pierre-Paul returned from blowing off part of his right hand in a 2015 fireworks accident, and this offseason came back from a broken neck suffered in a car accident. So when he tells the Bucs about resilience, they should listen — even if this goal can’t be achieved just by him.