First, let me say this. I post quite a few of my own articles in the FanShots. I blog for another site called NFLTouchdown.Com as a "Fan Voice." However, my intention is never to take away from this site. Buc Wild and Niko do a great job with and write some fantastic articles. However, I just got done writting an article about 10 predictions for the TB season. They are mostly positive (well, maybe not, depending on how you look at them). Instead of posting a link, I will just throw out the 10 predictions here as well so we can have soome good 'ole debate about them (keeping in mind it's written for the average NFL fan to get a perspective of the Bucs. Not as much for in-depth Bucs People like YOU).
10 Predictions about Tampa Bay
With as often as I am wrong, there is no reason you should take these predictions with much value. However, Here are some Official (and you can hold me to as many of these as you want) predictions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1. Byron Leftwich WILL remain the starter the entire season. Josh Freeman simply isn’t ready. Nor do I forecast that he will be by week 7 or 8. While Leftwich will make some mistakes, none of them will cost his job. I could see Morris buckling to fan and media pressure if he made some crucial mistakes, but I just don’t see that happening. Mistakes? Yes, of course he will make some and he may do nothing special to win games, but they will be minimal.
2. Jermaine Phillips gets benched. Tanard Jackson is a better free safety. While I have criticized TJack in the past for making poor decisions, he is an exceptional athlete. Jackson will be suspended for the first four games, allowing Phillips to start in his place. Sabby Piscatelli played well in the preseason, and he will surprise even me in the regular season. Sabby has limited coverage abilities, but so does Phillips. It will be hard to bench either one, but Phillips will see more of a backup LB/S Role in week 5 or 6. The decision to move him to linebacker for the preseason will ultimately be the decision that keeps him from starting an entire season.
3. Nobody Reaches 1000 Yards Receiving this season. Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow should see a good split in receptions, however, this also presumes that both stay healthy. Honestly, I just don’t see Tampa passing enough for one of them to get to that plateau. Antonio Bryant may lead the team with 75 or 80 receptions. I also anticipate Brian Clark and Sammie Stroughter to see a few balls, which further decreases Bryant and Winslow touches (who by the way, one of them will also VOICE his frustration through the media.
4. We will have only one 1000 Yard Back. Many people think with the depth at running back we could look like the Giants of a year ago. Not so fast. We may have too much depth for more than one of them to achieve a 1000 yard season. I think Ward will set himself apart from the rest, earning slightly more carries. However, right now it is just too hard to tell.
5. Roy Miller WILL start by week 7. He is just too good to keep off the field.
6. Gaines Adams will have 8 sacks this year: It’s not a wild prediction. He had 6.5 last year. So why then is it important? Many people touted Bates as a guy who would allow Adams to reach his potential. I don’t think it’s poor coaching but a much more limited ceiling on Adams. He isn’t BAD, but he just not great.
7. Jeff Faine, Barrett Ruud and Derrick Ward get selected to the Pro Bowl. Ruud deserves it as long as he keeps his production up, and there is no reason to believe he won’t. Faine is one of the best centers in the game and Derrick Ward will have more fans and get more publicity this season than most NFC RB’s (outside of AP)…only because hes from NY
8. Aqib Talib gets suspended. This is the easiest prediction I have made. Still, no suspension has come down on Aqib Talib from his arrest where he “allegedly” beat a cabbie in the back of the head while other teammates sat and watched. This prediction is almost certain, and may be the only one I get right.
9. Raheem Morris will be the head-coach AFTER this season. Regardless of how bad we do, Morris is re-building. I believe the management and ownership will grant him some mercy this year and give him at least another year to show us what he can accomplish in Tampa.
10. The Bucs will finish their season 4-12. Folks, the Bucs schedule is brutal. NFC East, New England, Seattle, Miami, Bills, Jets, Packers round out our Non-Divisonal opponents. There isn’t a single game against a team that I forsee going under .500 except maybe the Fins and Jets and thats unlikely. According to ESPN.Com the Bucs have the 5th hardest schedule. I would take issue with that and say we have a much harder schedule than New England, Atlanta and the Miami Dolphins. I think we are only 2nd to the Carolina Panthers. The NFC Souths schedule is just an absolute nightmare. There will NOT be two teams to make the playoffs from the South, not with this schedule.