Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes Skip Start of Buccaneers' OTAs

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24:  Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants during the first half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Giants 23-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Veteran defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and cornerback Brent Grimes did not report to the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' voluntary organized team activities Tuesday, according to the PewterReport.

Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke on those absences, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times:

The Bucs acquired Pierre-Paul, 29, in March in exchange for a third-round pick and a swap of fourth-rounders in April's draft. His addition, alongside free-agent signing Vinny Curry, should help bolster a pass rush that only managed 22 sacks last season, worst in the NFL.

Pierre-Paul and Curry combined for 11.5 sacks last season. And Pierre-Paul has seven or more sacks in three of his past four campaigns.

Add in younger players like 24-year-old Noah Spence and 26-year-old William Gholston, and the Bucs will be hoping that pass rush shows major improvement in 2018.

As for Grimes, 34, he's fighting for a starting position at cornerback this season, with Carlton Davis, Vernon Hargreaves and M.J. Stewart also jockeying for playing time. The Bucs struggled against the pass in general, allowing 260.6 yards per game through the air last season, also worst in the NFL.

Pierre-Paul and Grimes will be two key factors as Tampa Bay seeks to improve against the pass. Their absence from OTAs isn't particularly worrisome, as they are voluntary, though they'll have less time to work with teammates and familiarize themselves with the team's 2018 schemes.

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