The Bucs will have a top 10 offense. Looking carefully at the roster(Thanks to position review on Bucs Nation), this isn't just fantasy, there is lots of potential on this team. It is time for us Bucs fans to really get excited.
The matchup problems the Bucs offense can create is scary. I was watching the Saints and the Patriots on NFL Replay. Former Buccaneer Aqib Talib played man on man against Jimmy Graham who is known to be the best receiving Tight End in the game. I can't believe I'm saying this but he was arguably their best defensive player last year. Talib did a great job shutting down Graham. Even when he got hurt, credit to the other corners, they did a great job holding Graham to zero catches. I couldn't stop thinking of what could have happened if the Saints had two very good wide receivers that are deep threats like Evans and Jackson or another good receiving Tight End added to the group of shifty receivers they already have. No disrespect, Benjamin Watson doesn't scare defensive coordinators like he once did.
Sproles, Moore, Stills, and Thomas are known for working underneath, yards after catch and their speed in space. They are all similar payers too me. I saw the game and there are lot of stats to prove the patriots didn't really bother Drew Brees from a pass rush persepective. They had one sack the whole game and 3 QB hits. What the saints had in the game was their shifty wide receivers making plays underneath. They also ran the ball well(26 carries for 131 yards). Colston the other deep threat wasn't a factor in the game. He had 1 catch for 11 yards. The Patriots were VERY HAPPY to give them the short passes. It might be because the Pats had a good RED ZONE DEFENSE and counted on it to stop the Saints in the Red Zone. Sproles had 6 reception which was game high for the Saints. Darren Sproles is not a deep threat. The plan was simply no deep balls and Graham out of the game.
Saints were successful on the deep ball when Kenny Stills caught a 34 yard laser from Brees for a score. That didn't happen on many occasions. The Play is drawn below.
On this play the Patriots played Graham man on man(Left side of formation), Cover 2 coverage on the right side. Colston, Robinson, and Stills were on the right side in a bunch formation( Colston and Stills ran deep routes into the end zone while Robinson leaked to flat). Mayo and another Linebacker covered the flats. I don't know if Brees recognized the coverage pre snap because I think he could have motioned either Stills or Colston to the other side of the formation. I know it's never a good idea to have two safeties plus two corners on the same side you throwing the ball to. It is a numbers game.
Also It wasn't a double move that could have drawn the safety in.They both ran a straight route to end zone. Though it was an outstanding throw and catch from Brees and Stills but it should have been and interception. I'm sure Belichick was not happy with the safety Gregory because no way should you allow that touchdown.
The play above shows how teams prefer not to give up the big plays. But with playmakers everywhere on the field, it is hard to cover all, and teams definitely pick their poison. Just Like the Chicago Bears, if the Bucs are able to go downfield consistently, Tim Wright and other Tight Ends will have a lot of opportunities to make plays. Not Just that, the Bucs have a balanced Offense with Charles Simms(Pass catching back), Doug Martin(Power Runner) Robert Herron( Slot Receiver),Tim Wright( Pass catcher), Sefarian-Jenkins /(Pass catcher/Blocker), Brandon Myers(pass Catcher), Evans/Jackson(Deep Threat). Also at this point we have couple of fast slot receivers who can work the middle.
Here we have 2 TIght Ends. Tim Wright Flexed out to the right running a go/deep post, and Sefarian-Jenkins running an out/dig. I think only few teams in the league have the personnel to play man concept all the way comfortably (Seattle,Patriots, still thinking of the 3rd). Even if other teams play man, it will be hard to stay with these receivers and I see mismatch everywhere on the field. Man on Man on either Jackson or Evans is a risky game to play. And If it is Cover 2 coverage on both receivers, the middle of the field based on match up problems is where the Bucs will exploit with their Tight Ends. Simms or whoever is in the line up.
Baring no injuries, some players live up to expectation(Wright, Evans, Sefarian-Jenkins, Myers, Simms), pass protection hold up plus Jeff Tedford running a great offense, Bucs will be Top Ten.