I understand that the Bucs went through an easy schedule in 2010, and some on Bucsnation believe that is the reason why the Bucs did so well this past season. That can be true, the Bengals had an easy schedule in 2009 and they struggled this year, but I think how the Bucs players improve themselves is what will determine how they will do next year.
I have seen many guys come in this league, have a good year and then fall off the face of the earth. Anthony Thomas the 2001 rookie of the year came in and was dubbed Anthony A-Train Thomas, he never looked special to me and after that season he never really produced in this league either. That same year Jim Miller had a good year as the Chicago QB and many looked at him as the answer at that position for the Bears, after 2001 he really never did anything in this league.I've seen a balanced running back in Travis Henry come in an so some dominance and then fade away. We all know about the Michael Clayton experiment who looked like the answer to our wideout problems, and he just proved to be a problem instead of an answer.
The Bucs had a great season and for the first time ever they were very fun to watch on offense. But in this league nothing stays the same, if you show that you can play the league will attempt to dismantle everything you do, and leave you high and dry with your hands in your pocket. If you have any kind of talent when you first come into this league or add an new wrinkle to your game you almost have an advantage when you first show case that talent, until of course the league picks you apart. At the beginning of the 2010-2011 NBA season the New Orleans Hornets looked like the best team in the league but as of right now they have fall out of the top 10, 1 NBA expert noted that they had brought in an new unique style that the league had no tape on, once the league studied the Hornets style they were average at best. This almost goes hand and hand with what I am talking about.
Mike Williams, LeGarrette Blount, and Cody Grimm are 3 rookies who had stellar rookie seasons. They showed that they can play in this league while being effective at what they do. My thing is what will they do when the league attack their weakness and take away what they do best. Williams and Blount plays a big part on our offense take them away and that will reduce our production on offense dramatically, and if QBs can exploit Grimm weakness it will be like the Sabby experiment all over again.
The next guy can make or break our whole team. Josh Freeman who just capped off a wonderful year, throwing for 25 TDs and only 6 picks. He showed what he can do and where he is strong at. In 2009 Josh just showed that he can play QB in this league. Now that the league will have time to look over the tape and take away what Josh is good at how will he respond.
If there is 1 thing I like about Josh it's how he came in this offseason added new wrinkles to his game and got better. 1 key reason why Rah said he wanted Josh so bad is that Josh is always trying to get better, and that other guys on the team also gravitate towards getting better. I think Josh will continue to work hard and get better, but what about the other guys? WIlliams,Blount, and Grimm will need to make their weakness their strength and add new wrinkles plus continue to get better. While it seems that should be every player goal on the offseason, as I mentioned earlier I have seen talented players fall off the face of the earth. I don't think an harder schedule would stop this team from producing, I think it will be our players inability to get better as a unit that will stop us from producing. If we do forget about the NFC south we can be the best in the league.