Just nine weeks removed from a closely contested 27-24 bout between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12, this year’s Super Bowl clubs are pretty familiar with each other’s recent body of work.
That rings especially true for a hobbled Chiefs offensive line tasked with protecting QB Patrick Mahomes from a Buccaneers pass rush that generated the fourth-most regular season sacks (48.0) and most postseason sacks (7.0) this year. Five of those playoff takedowns came against Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship alone — all at the hands of Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
When it comes to familiarity with his next opponent, the same can’t be said for Pierre-Paul, apparently.
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Jason Pierre-Paul Unfamiliar With Chiefs New Left Tackle
Down to just one Week 1 starter playing in his same position this coming weekend, the defending Super Bowl champions have had to get creative with their offensive front in recent weeks. After starting LT Eric Fisher was lost to a torn Achilles late in the AFC Championship, veteran RT Mike Remmers slid over to the left side with Andrew Wylie filling in on the right.
On Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave a pretty clear indication that Remmers would be sticking on Mahomes’ blindside on Super Bowl Sunday.
During his time on the virtual podium earlier on Monday, Pierre-Paul revealed that he didn’t know who Remmers was, despite taking multiple snaps against the nine-year veteran in Week 12.
“Man, I didn’t even know who that was, I ain’t going to lie to you,” Pierre-Paul told reporters, via The Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope. “This is the tackle that you’re talking about? I mean like I said, I don’t too much care about it. They’ve got to figure that out and I’m going to play some great football.”
Remmers: ‘I Don’t Really Care What His Opinion Is’
It’s highly unlikely an established veteran like Pierre-Paul, now on the NFL’s biggest stage, is unaware of his most likely counterpart just days away from his second Super Bowl appearance. That said, the Bucs leading pass rusher appears much more focused on perfecting his own approach, rather than worrying about which lineup Kansas City will trot out in front of him.
“I don’t care, it don’t matter,” Pierre-Paul continued on Monday. “This is the freaking Super Bowl. I don’t care if they have three offensive linemen, send two to block me, three to block me. I’m going to do what I need to do. Us boys are going to do what we need to do.
“That’s a you problem, that’s like — they gotta figure that out. I’m coming to play a football game, not any football game, but Super Bowl 55. I don’t got time to play any games, the only game I’m playing is football. To answer your question, I don’t care about their offensive linemen. I don’t care.”
Remmers, especially, is not without extra motivation this week. Like Pierre-Paul, the 31-year-old is also set to make his second Super Bowl appearance on February 7. The first time around as a starter for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 did not go as planned. Five years ago to the day, Remmers was on the hook for 3.0 sacks, including one that ended in a fumble recovery for a touchdown in a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.
When asked on Tuesday about his thoughts on Pierre-Paul’s dismissive commentary the day before, Remmers didn’t mince words.
Originally brought to Kansas City as a depth piece last offseason, Remmers will look to use the 10 starts made for his new club in 2020 as a building block for his latest chance at a Lombardi Trophy.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!