Is 2016 Keith Tandy Here to Stay?

 

For most of his career he was known for being outstanding on special teams and a solid rotational safety but was never mentioned as a legit starter or even thought to be a starting caliber safety. Keith Tandy was always a afterthought when it came to the safety position as for whatever reason was never really taken serious as a player. Now again he was really good in his role along with the Bucs always having higher profiled players above him like Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson. When Tandy was on the field he would always find a way to make a big play whether it was a big tackle or interception.

Now Tandy is not the biggest or fastest but is very intelligent and has shown good football instincts in his career. With Mike Smith along with secondary coach Jon Hoke, Tandy finally had coaches in place who were going to find out what he does best as a player and try to bring that out of him. Tandy transformed in 2016 as he became better in his film study, a leader, and more sound fundamentally. For most of the 2016 season, it was looking a lot like past years for Tandy until he got an opportunity in week 13 against the Chargers. He went on to start the final 5 games in which he finished with 57 tackles, 9 pass defense, and 4 ints.  You take that kind of production over a full season and Tandy is instantly one of the top safeties in the league. Here is a quote from HC Dirk Koetter on Tandy after a big win vs the Saints in which Tandy made a game winning interception per buccaneers.com.

“It’s awesome to see a guy that gets his chance. Players get pigeonholed a lot in this league. They get pigeonholed as a special teams player or a third safety or as a fourth wideout. Some guys just need the chance and the right opportunity. Keith’s come up big two weeks in a row.’’

The question is was this just a flash in the pan or something that we can expect going forward with Tandy at safety? I am going to confidently say that this is what Tandy is going forward. I believe that Tandy has finally found the right situation for himself as a player where scheme and skillset are a perfect match. He is an aggressive read and react type player and was really good with his anticipation last year. The play that shows this the best is his interception to clinch the win against the Saints at Ray-Jay.

Here is Tandy talking about that big play against the Saints and how he was able to know what was coming before the play began per buccaneers.com.

“It’s a formation we’ve seen on film, and Bradley (McDougald) was just talking to me, ‘I’m coming to you so sit on it.’ We’ve been trying to get our scout team to run the route all week and they couldn’t run it right. You always know in crunch time situations that teams go to one of their favorite plays, and that was one of their favorite plays.”

This quote just shows how much Tandy cares about winning but also how hard he works throughout the week to be prepared for situations like these. Now I’m not sure if Tandy can reproduce what he did in the final 5 games of last season but I think he will become a dependable starter that this team can rely on week in week out. For some players it is all about timing and taking advantage of their opportunity, Keith Tandy has done just that.


 

 

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