Working his way onto the field
In order to make it in the NFL, you normally have to work your way onto the playing field. It hasn’t been that way for Ryan Griffin for his going on six seasons with the Bucs, but for most, it’s exactly that. Roches also came into the league the same season as Griffin. Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Rakeem Nunez-Roches spent three seasons in the BBQ Holy Land of our nation, playing in 34 games. His stats aren’t special, not even something that makes you say hmmm. He’s been in Sunny Tampa now going on his third season with not one sack, one tackle for a loss. He’s had no breakout game during that span just looking good enough in practices, camp, and OTAs, to hold down a spot.
Warren Sapp like size
With Warren Sapp dimensions of 6’2, 305 lbs, this could be his make or break season in Tampa. The Bucs re-signed Nunez-Roches at a price tag of 1.5 Million with a full million guaranteed! It’s a good thing to have confident backups, but as it goes, you are always wanting your second and third stringers to force a situation of giving them more playing time.
Competition stiff on the Line
Nunez-Roches’ biggest rivals for playing time are Anthony Nelson and my next topic William Gholston. Gholston was taken in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played through his rookie contract and was re-signed in 2017 to a five-year deal. So far, Gholston has had flashes of what could be but never been able to do much more than being a part of a rotation, although he did start in half of the games he’s played in Tampa. With career numbers of 12 sacks and 180 solo tackles, Golston is set to have a career season – not like that would be tough at all. He’s healthy entering this season and is ready for a rejuvenation of his college days at Michigan State, where he declared after his Junior year with 142 total tackles, 30 for a loss, and 10 sacks.
Time to make an impact
The NFL is full of players playing backup roles, with new ones coming in every season. At some point, these players have to make an impact in order to hold onto that high paying job; not necessarily becoming a starter, but at least obtaining the level as a trustable, and acceptable player that can come in and give you solid, impactful minutes. This could be the season that he comes out of his shell. When you have so much talent around you, it certainly can help your star shine brighter, make you, and help enable you to do your job better, because your team-mates are doing theirs so well. Both Nunez-Roches and Gholston are ready for this long-awaited season to begin. One thing is for sure, no matter how much the Bucs stadium crews spray Raymond James Stadium this season, they were going to have Nunez-Roches. Go Bucs!!