Hey Bucem readers! I haven’t done a big post on here, but I wanted to get one out as the past week or two I have read enough comments bashing the Bucs to get under my skin (not really on here but on all the other sites I am sure you all have seen). So here is my feel good post, which helps me keep my spirits high for our great Bucs team. It’s a long one so I apologize for that.
We also have Caddy back this year, and he will finally have an entire offseason to get the smaller details of his game on par, rather than an entire offseason hoping he can run on the football field again. Studies show that the 2 surgeries he had should make his knees stronger than they were before, and I think that was apparent when he ran for almost 900 yards last season in an offense that changed twice, and with almost no offseason preparation. I am going to project now that I think Caddy will have a 1000 yard or greater season in 2010. Especially with EG having all offseason to fully learn the Fullback position.
As for our receivers, I can only expect better things than last year. AB could not get in the flow last year between injuries and the offense change, and I won’t even mention our no. 2 receiver’s name. But with the additions of Benn and Williams, I have a feeling that they are going to be the big surprise of this offense this year. I know they are rookies, and all the flashes they are showing right now could be because they aren’t wearing pads, but the motivation and especially the skills that Williams is showing just gives me such a better feeling about our receiving core. Add Stroughter coming back with a year under his belt and the beast we know as K2, we could end up with a very nice receiving core.
Our O-Line was supposed to be our strength of our offense last year, but they fell short in many ways. Though this is the case, I feel that they are going to play a lot better this year. They had to learn an entirely different scheme last year, that wasn’t even fit to their playing style. Our O-Line was supposed to be the strength of our offense if they were going to be playing the same style as they did the year before. I think they are talented enough to go back to their roots and get back into the momentum of being a top tier O-Line like they were ending the 2008 season.
Though I love the offense, and I haven’t felt we have had a better squad on that side of the ball in a long time, the defense is what is really getting me excited this year. Our biggest mistake last year was trying to switch from the Tampa 2 defense last year. The majority of our line was asked to put on a lot of weight, and most of the players ended up putting it on incorrectly. This was apparent, and they were sluggish most of the year. To top that off, these players were signed/drafted to play in the Tampa 2 style defense. We need speed and power, and that is what we had (for the most part) until a certain Defensive Coordinator messed that up. Going back to the Tampa 2 this year, I think we are going to have a top 10 defense again.
Starting with the men up front, we got Price and McCoy in the draft. Both of these players are upgrades over Simms and Hovan of last year. Those 2 (even though they were both vets which counts for a lot) were on the ground quite a bit last year. Between their age and the beatings their bodies have taken over the years, they just didn’t have the gas anymore to play last year. The trio of Miller, Price, and McCoy though inexperienced in the NFL, should still make up for a lot of that with their never ending motors.
A lot of people are down on our DE’s, but I am actually pretty high on White. He had 6 ½ sacks last year starting only 10 games. To top that off, he had to gain 20 pounds for Bates defense, and that is not the type of player he was. Like others he has been working all offseason to get back to his original weight, and he looks like a beast now. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got double digit sacks this year if our DT’s play even remotely better than the others did last year. This is one of the few area’s that I still have a question about though, as I still have to see what Moore can do on the left end if he ends up winning that position. But from what I have read so far, Moore has been a Gym rat all offseason, and has his body in much better shape than it was last year.
I think our Safeties will be just fine, and I see Jones beating out Sabby this year. T-Jack has already been working with Jones to make a good chemistry between them, and hopefully we can have another hard hitting duo like T-Jack and Phillips were when they played together. T-Jack also seems to have his head in the game this year, and not in the streets, and he wants a pro-bowl appearance. If he keeps his head in the game, I can easily see that happening.
Our LB core is good with Hayes and Black coming back for a second year. They showed lots of promise the last ½ of the year, and with a full offseason playing under Morris’s defense, this should help them out quite a bit. Also, with Rudd back in OTA’s this year and wanting to prove that he deserves a good contract, LB’s should be a good core on our team.
Besides LDE, I feel that the CB’s are the only point that worries me in the slightest. We have Talib, who is an amazing DB and I doubt anyone will go against that, but the other 2 spots need an upgrade. The only benefit I see with this season is that we are going back to the Tampa 2. Ronde knows this defense like the back of his hand, and even though he is getting up there in age, he should still be able perform as an above average CB. My hope is that Myron Lewis steps up, and shows that he can take over Ronde’s position. He is one of the few I don’t know too much about yet, so hopefully he can be a sleeper and make this years draft class better than it already is.
This is the way I feel about our team, and though there are plenty that probably have arguments for everything I wrote, it won’t change the way I feel about this year coming in. I know a lot of people are saying it will be good if we get 6 wins this year, but between the schedules, a full offseason of and offense and defense that we will be keeping all year, and the way our players are preparing them selves this year, I think we will get at least 9 – 10 wins this year. I know it was a long read, and if you sat through this you have my thanks, but I had to get it off my chest.