How Glazers and Dominik can win this year

Offense first:

QB -
Freeman showed in 2010 that he can be good enough. Except for 14 sacks in less than half a season, Orlovsky's stats per game last year were better than Freeman's. If called upon, Orlovsky should do fine behind the line the Bucs have now.

FB - Lorig is not enough. Graham is if he is healthy. Try Hughes and guys like him until you get one who works.

*** RB - This is a critical position if the Bucs really are going to run the ball this year. Blount is good at what he does, but he doesn't do it all. Thomas Jones does. Jones is older, so sign him for two years. Let Blount carry the load, but use Jones as the "go to" back on passing downs and when Blount needs a breather. And, if Blount is injured again this year, Jones is a still a legitimate power runner. If the Bucs invest a number one pick in Richardson, a great player, they should not waste it with a college "bell cow" scheme. Even with Richardson on the team, a guy like Blount should get half of the carries. A guy like Richardson should be used as the "go to" back on second and long, third down and fourth down. A first round pick at RB should not be expended playing "bell cow" for four years and then retiring washed up. This is not college football. Using a top ten pick for a running back only makes sense if they are special and if you use them like they are special so that you get 8 or 10 years out of them. In any event, draft a RB in the second or third round next year.

WR - Jackson, Williams, Benn, Briscoe and Parker - this ought to be a postion of stregth. (I still want to see what Raymond Webber can do. The Bucs picked him up as a FA last year from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He injured his hamstring before he got to play with the pros. He lit up FCS competition. If he is fully recovered, he might be the next HBCU alum to light up the NFL. Or not.)

TE - Between Winslow, Stockman, Pianalto and Coffman, they do not seem to have found a Gronkowsk so far. But, they are trying. If they really run it this year as much as they say they want to, start Ingersoll or Dotson at tight end. Many teams win without a tight end who is both a very good blocker and a very good receiver, TE is not a draft or major free agent priority. Treat it like FB and keep looking.

OL - If the Bucs can't run behind the blocking of this line, they may as well just hang it up. Trueblood may or may not be a liability this year when they pass the ball. Either way, a first round OT would be a good pick next year if only for depth and development.

Offense Summary - FB must be addressed, but there is no shortage of at least adequate FB's. TE is a spot where the Bucs will probably have to make do with players who can catch well or block well, but not do both well. RB is the biggy. Jones just finished a 2 year, $5 million contract with Kansas City. It is worth every bit of that to have him as a Buc for two years. Would that make Blount a bit unhappy - yep! Go ahead and offer Blount a deal with small guarantees and big incentives. If he doesn't take it, he better play well this year because he will be looking for a new team next year and the Bucs will still have Jones while they look for the next Blount. Jones could be a critical element for success for the Bucs for the next two years. RB is the only postion of critical need which the Bucs can still address with a viable target in free agency. Before the draft would be the best time to negotiate with Jones as there are several good RB's in the draft; the Bucs just need all of their high value picks for defense.


DT -
Miller is a solid player. But, two years ago, Dominik was right to try to get two IMPACT players to start at DT. McCoy and Price were highly rated prospects. But, as Dominik said Friday, because of injuries, the results have been disappointing, The pair could have combined for 64 games by now. The total for the pair is actually 39. That is actually not so remarkable. In a given year, 40% of DT's can have their season ended by injury. To keep two IMPACT DT's on the field, you need three on the roster. Okoye is solid and may get better, but he only signed a one year deal. The greatest need the Bucs have is for another IMPACT DT. With their first round pick, they need to take Dontari Poe. There are some knocks on Poe, but his gifts are unquestioned. If Schiano is at all the coach the Bucs think they hired, he ought to be able to coach Poe into the a remarkable IMPACT player who will bring success to the Bucs for years to come.

DE - Bennett was a good find. Clayborn was a good pick, and Bowers may prove to be a gift.

LB - Well, there were free agents to choose from; no one very appealing is left, but that could change when the roster cuts come. If the Bucs feel comfortable at CB or safety, they could take a LB in the second or third round. Otherwise, the Bucs should use their fifth and sixth round picks for LB's. The Bucs do not have a fourth round pick this year, but OLB Emmanuel Acho would be worth a fourth round pick if the Bucs can trade for one. OLB Travis Lewis and ILB Tank Carder should be available in the fifth round. OLB Audie Cole may be available in the sixth. With the LB's the Bucs already have, fifth a sixth round picks give them a shot at finding an adequate group to put on the field.

CB - Claiborne would be great to have. But, to take him out of the game, the other team only has to run their best receiver deep every play and Clairborne runs with him. Yeah, that takes away their best receiver, but it takes your number one draft pick out of every play. That does not happen if a DT is your number one pick. If you have IMPACT DT's collapsing the pocket, you do not have to have shutdown corners; you have to have corners with qucik feet who can deliver a good punch at the line and hold position to divert the receiver from his route. And, you need help over the top in case the corner gets beat. The corners the Bucs have can probably get the job done. But, Barber has to retire someday, and who knows what will happen to Talib. There are a lot of good corners in this draft. A case could be made for taking one in the third round (the Barber round), but it would be better to wait until next year.

SS/FS - a real position of need both for depth and because of the importance of the position in the new scheme. The Bucs really need a solid safety. This should get a second round draft pick. FS George Iloka will probably be the best available as the selection is limited. There has been talk that OLB Lavonte David might make a good NFL strong safety. Could the Bucs CB Myron Lewis play FS?

Defense summary - Dominik was right to give priority to getting IMPACT players at DT. He needs to give it one more shot. If he succeeds, it immediately makes the rest of the defense better. A CB, no matter how good, cannot do that. Depending on the evaluations of the players the Bucs have and the players available when they pick, taking a CB or LB second round and a safety third round might be okay. But, the selection of safeties is so limited that the second round pick should probably be the safety. As to LB, there are teams with extra fourth round picks; maybe someone will part with one for a reasonable price. If not, LB help may have to come from fifth and sixth rounders,

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