Buccaneers edge rusher Shaq Barrett gave the Chiefs some significant bulletin-board material last week.
He told reporters that he didn’t see much difference in Kansas City’s offensive line from 2020 to now and that the Bucs had an opportunity to dominate the game with a sort of coming out party.
As we know by now, that did not happen. And it was clear after the game that the Chiefs heard Barrett’s comments and used them as motivation. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes even referenced them in his postgame on-field interview.
Barrett tried to walk back some of what he said on Wednesday. But there’s no use in trying to close Pandora’s box.
“I wasn’t trying to send any shots at anybody or anything like that. They came out and did what they were supposed to do to get the win,” Barrett said, via Greg Auman of TheAthletic.com. “The way I laughed a little bit gave it a bad little vibe.”
The problem is, saying you’re going to dominate somebody — while great material for sportswriters — is absolutely sending a shot. There’s no other way the Chiefs could have interpreted that. And not that they needed extra motivation after a bad loss to the Colts, but they got it.
“I would have never guessed we’d give up 41 points at any point this year,” Barrett said. “That hurts as a defense. As a team, we pride ourselves on good defense and wanting to be one of the best units in the league. Giving up 41 points diminishes that argument.”
The Buccaneers are still No. 5 in points allowed and No. 8 in yards allowed. The defensive unit should still be great in 2022.
But Barrett will probably think twice now before predicting that he’ll dominate another opponent.
That’s bad for us as a viewing public, but probably good for him and his teammates.