Tampa’s Own Rudy
The movie “Rudy” that shows us that heart, determination, and a strong will can get you where you want to go in life. Here is an undersized kid that wants to attend Notre Dame and play for the Fighting Irish. The movie grabbed viewers’ attention all over the world. Every person that watched the movie could somehow relate the idea that is Rudy. What does this have to do with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Well, it is easy, Riley Bullough.
The Michigan State Spartan was an instant fan favorite when HBO decided to make the Buccaneers their team of choice on Hard Knocks. This gave every viewer the chance to see practices and behind the scenes activity within the organization. Bullough is Tampa Bay’s version of Rudy. He stands 6’2 and weighs in at 228 lbs. This is relatively small for an NFL middle linebacker. Riley worked his tail off in the preseason and would eventually make the Buccaneers roster in 2017. He appeared in three games and had one tackle. Sound familiar?
In 2018, Bullough would be called back to the Buccaneers where he appeared in nine games. This time he would record nine solo tackles and assist on 5. Tampa Bay finds themselves in a little bit of a quandary right now when it comes to the linebacking core. They need to resign Kwon Alexander. They also have LaVonte David, Kendell Beckwith, Emmanuel Smith, Adarius Taylor, Cameron Lynch, Devante Bond, Kevin Minter, and Jack Cichy all trying to find themselves on the field in 2019. How do the Buccaneers keep Bullough on the roster with all of the other talent the posses with the other linebackers?
The answer is easy; Bullough never gives up on a play. He has a motor that we have not seen in several years. The guy is literally in or near every play. He reminds me of Troy Polamalu because of his ability to just keep going. Riley had a little hiccup with some PEDs, but has shown that he is clear-minded and ready to play football. He is a player that doesn’t jump out to you on paper, but just watching him there is something special. I hope he gets the chance to showcase his talent in the 2019 season, but it could be an uphill battle with everyone. We will keep an eye out for Tampa Bay’s Rudy this off-season and preseason. We are all rooting for Riley because in a way he is just like the rest of us watching on television.