TAMPA (FOX 13) - Even after two hours of practice in the excessive heat, Jason Pierre-Paul can still bring it.
His tireless energy has been a surprise to the Bucs and JPP feeds off bringing a smile to those around him.
"Just giving back to the kids, Special Olympic kids," said Pierre-Paul after spending about 30-minutes running a group through football drills. "You have to embrace it, make them feel like they're doing something because that's all they got."
After nine years in the league, the Bucs weren't sure what version of JPP they were getting. Dirk Koetter admitted he's been "pleasantly surprised" at the work ethic and leadership JPP has shown.
"I lead by example," said Pierre-Paul. "That's just me, period. It might be a bad day, but at the end of the day, I have to find somebody to pick me up. Like, I just found somebody down, I pick them up because we're all human."
Some Buccaneer players admitted they knew Jason Pierre-Paul, the name, but didn't know JPP, the person.
Before the Tennessee Titans game, Pierre-Paul addressed the team in an effort to motivate the team, opening himself up and telling his lifelong story.
"It all came from the heart," said Pierre-Paul. "I told my story and told them what it took for me to get back [from the fireworks accident that disfigured my hand.] Without quitting, all the doubts in the world, but at the end of the day, it's all about what's in [my heart]."
"Just to see him open up and kind of let himself be vulnerable in front of the team is something I'll probably always remember," said Bucs tight end Cameron Brate.
JPP wants to make a difference and is showing the willingness and effort to make a change with a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs in over a decade.
"This is not the old Bucs 2017," said Pierre-Paul. "This is 2018 and we're planning on doing something special."