During the glory days when the Bucs had the most dominate defense, there were 3 guys who stood out as leaders, those guys were Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch. There were other guys who emerged as leaders and or play makers like Ronde Barber, Shelton Quarles, Booger Macfarland and so on, but Sapp, Brooks, and Lynch were the main guys. When that group started to split up our team slowly started to go down hill, Warren Sapp and Lynch were released in 04 and we struggled, after that we did some rebuilding made some playoffs runs but we were slowly losing our respect. Once we released Brooks in 09 we were officially rebuilding, and looking for some new leaders like Sapp, Brooks, and Lynch.
2 years into the rebuilding process our team has put together a talented group of players. But who in this group will step out and lead this new era of BucBall? There are some of our young guys who are already is picking up the pieces the legends left behind. 1 guy a leftover from the glory days is Ronde Barber, not only is he a leader on the field still, but he is instrumental to the success of our young guys on both sides of the ball. Ronde is also a guy Rah can turn to for pointers on how to run this team. But since Ronde is a left over sort to speak lets focus on the young guys.
Aqib Talib is definitely becoming a leader in the secondary. It seems he brings great energy to the locker room and he is guy we can lean on to make big plays to swing momentum. Talib is a player who can rally the troops when the chips are down definitely a key quality in being a leader. In our you linebacking core there is only 1 guy I see as stepping out as a leader, his name is Geno Hayes. In 09 Geno led the defense in what you can call factor points, this year he will come close to that again with 4 sacks 1 int and 1 fumble he was also 2nd on the team in tackles. Ever since Geno came to Tampa he has been scoring defensive touchdowns and making splash plays to give us momentum. Geno has made more stops for lost this year playing his role as the WILL, but he can be more consistent at controlling his Gap, once he gets that under control he will definitely emerge as the leader in that linebacking core. The only potential leader we have on our D-Line is obvious his name is Gerald Mccoy. Mccoy was born to be a Buccaneer but not only that he was born to be a leader. He was the leader of a Sooner team that is always loaded with raw talent, he took the lead when the 2011 draft prospects were nervous to meet Mr. Goddell, and before he got injured he was taking the lead on our D-line. Mccoy finished he rookie year with 22 tackles 2 fumbles and 3 sacks very similar to Sapps rookie year 17 tackles 1 fumble and 3 sacks. Talib, Hayes, and Mccoy are 3 guys I see who will eventually develop into leaders for our team. But by the way this team is being built there will be leaders who emerge on the offense side of the ball unlike in the previous era.
During the glory years Tampa had a few guys on offense who were leaders on the team. The A-Train, Dunn, Keyshawn, and Brad Johnson. But those guys got overshadowed by the guys on the defense side of the ball. That will not be the case with this group. There is a mix of young guys who can emerge as leaders on this team Like Blount, Zuttah, and Williams, but there are 3 who have already hands down stepped up as leaders.
Kellen Winslow Jr. a vocal leader who also lets his play do the talking on the field, he is a physical presence who will lead this young group of receivers into this new era. Donald Penn has stepped out as a leader along the offensive line, he is 1 of those guys who makes it easy on young players who have to come in due to injury. Penn also gives us that intimidation factor as many guys due no look forward to facing him on sunday, Penn dues a great job at keeping Freeman upright while watching his blindside. Josh Freeman what do i haft to say about him. Freeman is a clear cut leader on our team and he has become mister 4th quarter, our team will still be rebuilding if Rah had listen to some of the experts and drafted a DT in the 09 draft.
When our young potential leaders like Hayes, Mccoy, Talib, Williams, and Blount, catch up to our guys who are already established as leaders on our Buc team, we will be invincible. Thats right Bucnation, the key is in the ignition, we have a full tank of gas, and a brand new engine, all we got to do is drive the car. The question is who will be the ones driving it?