“Well, they’re high,” Bowles said, via Bucs Wire. “He’s very athletic. Obviously, we took him in the first round. Going into year two, we expect him to have the nuances down with a lot of the things he did last year and expect him to come into his own. I don’t expect him to be [Jason Pierre-Paul], I expect him to be Joe. He has a skill set all on his own that he could be a good player.”
Bucs LB Shaq Barrett believes the sky is the limit for Tryon-Shoyinka and shares Bowles’ expectations for him.
“I think Joe could be a double-digit sack guy every year,” Barrett said. “I’m excited for him. In practice, I’m seeing him put the work in so it’s just a matter of time for him to just get out there and get comfortable with it on a play-in, play-out basis, and then he’s going to take off. It could be the first game or the second game, but I have faith in him that he’s going to be making plays – not just sacks, but forced fumbles, tackles for loss, passing game – he’s going to really affect the game. It’s going to be fun to play with him.”
- Falcons HC Arthur Smith said LB Deion Jones (shoulder) will miss the entire offseason program as he rehabs from a cleanup operation. (ProFootballTalk)
- Smith announced that they are converting second-year Avery Williams from cornerback to running back. (Michael Rothstein)
- Smith added that CB Casey Hayward, RB Damian Williams, and RB Cordarrelle Patterson are not attending voluntary workouts but is staying in communication with them: “Those guys are great. They communicate. They are real pros.” (Josh Kendall)
Panthers RB D’Onta Foreman‘s career hit a snag due largely to injuries, including a torn Achilles which historically has been a career death knell for running backs. He went through times where he wondered if he was ever going to see the field again.
“For sure, I had a lot of moments like that. Even before I got the call to go back to Tennessee, I felt like it was coming to an end,” Foreman said, via the team’s official website. “I was honestly trying to figure out what I was going to do after football and what my next chapter was going to be.”
Foreman’s father played a role in him continuing to pursue his life-long goals, but also reiterated that he was proud of his son regardless of the outcome.
“I told him during that conversation, before that happened, that I would take any call for that year, but if I didn’t get a call that year, going into the next year, I’d be done,” Foreman said. “At that point, I felt like I wasn’t going to get any calls. So I was preparing my mind to be done. But once I got that call, that wasn’t one I was going to leave on the table.”
Foreman’s father died just days after he had that conversation with his son in a vehicle crash in Oklahoma.
“He told me that no matter what, he was proud of me for what I had been through, everything I’ve done and accomplished,” Foreman recalled. “He told me he loved me regardless of whether I was playing football or not. That gave me some peace in making my decision at the time. I knew I had to take advantage of any opportunity that might come.”
Foreman utilized what he had learned from his father as motivation to keep pushing forward. While he missed being able to talk with him after the games, he knew his dad would be proud and that was enough for him to keep going and doing everything he could to honor his name.
“It was about the teaching I had growing up, being able to be ready when your number is called, and being focused on the task at hand,” Foreman said. “It was tough not to have those conversations with my dad. He was one of my biggest fans and one of my biggest critics, so just not being able to talk to him was tough. But at the end of the day, everything he taught me my whole life, I tried to live that and be the best man I could be. Another thing that kept me grounded, I knew Dad would want me to be focused and to do everything I could with the opportunity. I think that held me over. I wanted to make him proud and my family proud.”
Panthers HC Matt Rhule remembered Foreman’s explosiveness and believed that he would be a good fit in the team’s running back room.
“You see the way he played last year, he ran with power, ran the wide zone game, but had long speed to get down the field,” Rhule said. “For us, in our situation when you have Christian McCaffrey, and you have Chuba [Hubbard], to add a big back like D’Onta, to me gives us a nice mix. He brings something the other guys don’t have, and he showed it last year playing for the Titans.”