Photo: Larry Foote and Joe Tryon; Credit: Zach Goodall, AllBucs.com
It's unclear when Buccaneers rookie Joe Tryon will suit up and practice at One Buc Place as he recovers from a minor knee scope, but that hasn't stopped him from leaving a good first impression on his coaches.
“Well, he definitely passes the eye test," Buccaneers outside linebackers coach Larry Foote said on Thursday. "Just watching him on film, the guy is 6-[foot]-5, he can bend, he can move. He’s got a great motor, plays with high energy and just his DNA jumps off the tape."
Foote, who's found plenty of success as a young position coach with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett in his room, expressed plenty of excitement to add Tampa Bay's first round pick to his arsenal of edge rushers.
Although Tryon hasn't been able to participate in drills thus far, he's been by Foote's side consistently throughout the portions of rookie mini-camp and organized team activities open to the media, studying his position group and heeding advice.
"He's attentive, he's at every meeting, he's out there at practice and he's watching everything," defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said of Tryon. "He's pretty bright coming in [and] he learns fast. So, just eager [for] when he is able to get out on field to get him some reps and see where he goes."
At outside linebacker, Tryon will primarily set the edge against the run and rush the passer, but Foote is looking forward to utilizing the versatility that Tryon showed on tape in college. As a part of the Buccaneers' 3-4 defensive scheme, there will come times where Tryon has to drop into zone coverage or man tight ends up, which is something Foote recognized in his film from the University of Washington.
"Our mentality around here, the more you can do is the better," Foote explained.
"But that was one of his strengths in college, he did drop a little bit," he continued. "In the 3-4 system, you know, you make the bacon by getting after the quarterback. But if you can show some flexibility, dropping in coverages and even covering guys, sometimes, the more, the bigger our package gets."
The opportunities were limited for Tryon in coverage with the Huskies, but he showed improvement in that department from 2018 to 2019. Keep in mind, he opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft after posting eight sacks and 12.5 sacks as a sophomore.
According to Pro Football Focus, Tryon allowed four receptions on five targets on 39 coverage snaps in 2018, giving up 27 yards. Tryon posted a pass breakup that year, but that was a batted pass as he rushed the passer against Utah. In 2019, Tryon allowed one reception on two targets across 51 snaps, breaking up a pass in coverage while the lone reception ended in a tackle for loss.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians suggested Tryon will be ready for mandatory minicamp which begins on June 7, however, he shared at the time that Tryon had not yet passed his physical, which leaves his status up in the air.
One thing is for certain, though: Foote and Bowles are giddy to get their hands on their latest edge rushing project, whenever that time comes.
"He’s going to fit in with what we’re trying to build here [with] his mentality," said Foote. "He should have no problem fitting in. Just looking at his size, you can do a lot with him. He’s agile, so Todd Bowles is in the kitchen right now cooking up some stuff for him.”