Don't know what everybody else thinks, but I really don't think we're that far away. We just got rid of an incompetent Defensive Coordinator (if I saw one more play with Roy Miller or Tim Crowder in coverage & Dekoda Watson or Quincy Black getting swallowed up by an OT, I was gonna need a new TV)---& an OC who was demoted *mid-season* in his last try @ the gig by Scott Linehan & the Rams.
TB---Legarrette Blount. I think Graham is gone, so the Bucs need a new back-up. Looking @ the free agent class, I really don't see too much talent out there willing to be a #2 or even 1A, so I think this is a draft need (post 1st round). Why did Kareen Huggins seem to disintegrate & blow away as an option?
FB---Lorig seems competent, & is growing into the job. Remember, he spent his 1st couple yeats @ Stanford as a TE.
WR---Williams, Benn, Briscoe, Parker. Williams may be overrated (he seemed to get no separation this year, & if you're gonna strictly be a possession, ya gotta catch *everything*)---I still think Benn is a player with good coaching---I have no idea why Briscoe was freezed out this year when he was supposed to be a strong 3, & really played well the last game---& Parker is above serviceable. I'd be all over DeSean Jackson in a heartbeat. I think the Eagles are ready to move on, & hearing recent comments, he seems to know he messed up this year, & having gone to Cal, the guy probably isn't dumb. He can be who Gruden stupidly thought Dexter Jackson was gonna be.
TE---I think Winslow is gone. He's way too strong of a personality to be a fading player, & we need a new backup for Stocker.
OL---Penn, Larsen, Zuttah, Joseph, Trueblood---I think Penn will get his sh*t together, & I think Faine is gone. & what the hell happened to our up-&-comer RT James Lee? Yikes. I'd make a play for Carl Nicks (will the Saints pay for *2* premium guards?), & he might be the 2nd best guard in the league. Ben Grubbs is intriguing, though I doubt the Ravens let him get away. & Vernon Carey (from the Dolphins) is a nice LG candidate.
DL---Bowers, Price, McCoy, Clayborn---The future of the team, & maybe the biggest question mark, because of all the injury concerns. Bowers is so young, I see him outliving his injury history, but looking @ Price's *Stay-Puff Marshmellow* man physique, & McCoy's *Big Mama's House/Tyler Perry* lower body, I kinda wondered about them when they 1st came in. & even though Sapp was a bit of a thug off-field, I might take that over McCoy's admitted preference for listening to children's gospel music (or *something* to that effect, which I read in some Times fluff piece. I personally found that horrifying).
LB---Black, Foster, Watson (?!)---I suspect the new coach will jettison Mr. Black soon, just a guess. Mason Foster probably isn't a MLB, & might not be fast enough for OLB ("He can play all 3 positions" we were told @ draft time. Right, any of them well?). I think Dekoda Watson is a player, & either the last coaching staff was too stupid to try him @ Geno's role, or he's too stupid to get on the field. Want the next Hardy/free agent MLB to spark the next run of greatness? How 'bout D'Qwell Jackson?
DB---Talib, Grimm, Jackson, Morris Claiborne. Yes, I think we pick Claiborne @ 5, & I think he might be there. I think Cody moves to his natural SS (he was a LB in college, & even though he doesn't look it, he's 6-0, 205). I'm not counting on Talib in the least, btw. & maybe now that the Bucs front office knows they won't be playing man when they drafted for Tampa 2, maybe Myron Lewis will be better. Don't count on it. I think Biggers is fine as the nickel, but nothing more.
As for coach, of the candidates we've heard of, I go Mularkey. Gator, Buc, Steeler, did a fine job as Buffalo's coach before bailing, because he saw what a morass it is up there organizationally (a decision I've always respected in a way), offensively very good, & it hurts a main division rival.
Wow, you made it this far?