It was September 2017 & the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were entering the NFL season with high hopes after finishing the previous year 9-7. HBO's Hard Knocks was leaving town as the season was about to begin. But before the official start of the 2017 season, the team decided it wanted another piece to help build on their previous season's winning record, which was the first since their 10-6 record in 2010. So General Manager Jason Licht signed former Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward, who was part of the 2015 Denver Broncos team that won a Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Bucs fans, Ward started just five games & played on a defense that allowed 25 points or more in five of the team's 16 games.
On Tuesday, with their secondary thin at the free safety position because of injuries to Justin Evans & rookie Mike Edwards, the Buccaneers tried dipping into the free agent pool again by signing free safety Darian Stewart, another former All-Pro that last played with the Broncos. The 31 year old spent the last four seasons as a starter in Denver & was a teammate of Ward's. He recorded 9 interceptions in 61 games played with the Broncos.
During his interview with the media on Tuesday, following the team's joint practices with the Miami Dolphins, Head Coach Bruce Arians stated that he expects Stewart to be able to get up to speed real quick.
Click below to hear the full interview with Arians