One of the key plays from Monday’s Tampa win was a Sydney Brown end zone pass break up against Mike Evans.

It was third and 9 from the Birds’ 15 when Baker Mayfield looked to have a surefire touchdown here:

Great play! Sean Desai was asked what he saw on that sequence.

“The ability to not panic,” the defensive coordinator said at his midweek press conference. “He lost his leverage early, but you’re playing against a Hall of Fame receiver, that sometimes happens. But, the ability to stay poised and not panic and finish the down, and that’s really what he’s about, right? I mean, late hands win, and he was able to get that thing out at the end and that was a big play in the game for us.”

Late hands win, indeed, and Desai is right – that was a big play at the time because the Eagles only mustered three points on their first three drives. Tampa answered with a 13-play, 69-yard drive in which the defense held, forcing a field goal to concede a 3-3 tie but preventing the Bucs from taking the lead. It was all downhill from there, and Tampa didn’t sniff the Red Zone again until the fourth quarter.

Brown played almost a dozen snaps in the slot, deputizing with James Bradberry in the absence of Avonte Maddox.

“He’s obviously gotten some reps for us at safety as well through camp and practicing,” Desai said of Brown. “The way the DB coaches with Coach McDonald, Coach Williams, and Coach Johnson prepare those guys – there is a certain standard that if you’re in this room you better learn some different spots. He has a really good football mind. He’s hungry. There is an opening and an opportunity for him to take some reps and learn that position, and there is a lot of carryover for some of the things we require of him at safety. So, we thought there was a good correlation for him to learn it, and he did it. He did a good job in that game in the role that he was in.”

They really mixed and matched in the secondary on Monday night. Bradberry got the bulk of the looks at nickel corner, but did play on the outside as well. Brown got those slot snaps behind him, and they also showed some three-safety nickel as well. Something to definitely keep an eye on as we head into the Commanders game this Sunday.

Here’s another great photo of the play, from USA Today photographer Kim Klement Neitzel –