The Tampa Bay Buccaneers changed nearly everything about their front office over the offseason, hiring a new GM, a new head coach, and several new front office assistants. They also made quite a few changes to the player personnel, with multiple positions seeing new starters or key additions for depth.
But has the net result been positive? Over the past couple of weeks, we've been profiling every position, one-by-one, and having reached the end, we now have a conclusion. The members of the Bucs Nation community voted on every article, letting their voice be heard as to whether or not the team is better off now than it was at this time last year.
Here are the results. (Percentages in parenthesis indicate the number of voters who chose the answer listed at last check.)
Quarterback Fan Verdict: Better than last year (90%)
Running Back Fan Verdict: Better than last year (98%)
Wide Receiver Fan Verdict: Better than last year (86%)
Tight End Fan Verdict: Better than last year (99%)
Tackle Fan Verdict: Better than last year (82%)
Guard Fan Verdict: Worse than last year (74%)
Center Fan Verdict: Better than last year (66%)
Defensive End Fan Verdict: Better than last year (99%)
Defensive Tackle Fan Verdict: Better than last year (99%)
Linebacker Fan Verdict: Better than last year (71%)
Cornerback Fan Verdict: Better than last year (78%)
Safety Fan Verdict: Better than last year (94%)
That means the readers and members of the Bucs Nation community nearly unanimously believe the Buccaneers are better at four positions (RB, TE, DE, DT), and a strong majority see improvement in another six positions. Center is the only spot close to the middle of the road, while guard stands out as the only position you feel has failed to improve since this time last year.
This contrasts with my assessments, which saw eight position groups as better than last year, with four (WR, G, C, CB) as not better than they were at this point last year. The readers are obviously more optimistic than I am about the state of the roster.
But now that we have everything in front of us, and we've considered every spot on the depth chart, it's time for the big question. Are the Buccaneers a better football team than they were at this time last season?
There's a nearly unanimous agreement among fans that the coaching staff has improved, but are the players actually more talented than they were in 2013, when the Bucs were poised to build off of a decent season under Greg Schiano?
That's for you to decide. There's only one more poll left to vote in, and one more comment section left to debate in (in this series, at least). Ignore coaching. Ignore off-the-field. Just focus on the talent. Are the Buccaneers a more talented team overall in 2014 than they were a year ago?
Vote in the poll, and stop by the comments to say why (especially if you say no, as I'm sure you'll be in the minority, if the earlier previews are any indication).