Winning a football game seems pretty easy when you think about it. All you have to do is put up more points than the other team. Of course, you could also say that you have to allow less than the other team to win. Both arguments essentially mean the same thing, but they go about it in different ways. One discussed the ability to put points on the board, to be an offensive powerhouse, and to outscore anyone and everyone that wanders onto a team's schedule. The other method is about being a stingy defense, taking no prisoners, and stonewalling your opponent at the line of scrimmage.
I don't pull any punches when I talk about my favored side. I'm a defensive guy all the way. In a well-played game (emphasis on well-played), I love watching the 9-7 games where every first down is a major victory, a well executed punt that pins a team is celebrated, and a touchdown is viewed as the penultimate triumph. In the Bucs heyday (hard to believe we have to use that phrase), that's what our defense was. A stingy unit that just beat teams into submission with speed, precision, and purpose. Our offense was average at best, and we relied on the defense holding opponents under 13 points to win.
Some people enjoy higher scoring games, and there is a certain thrill to them. Last year's Cardinals-Packers game in the playoffs was one that people will remember with all the firepower on display. I enjoyed the game, but it soon became a matter of who would have the ball last. I didn't feel that either team was making plays more than they were being given plays. Now, that's my prerogative of course, but I'll take the defensive game any day of the week.
But which way are the 2010 Bucs going? Well we've got Josh Freeman, who we all hope develops into a top 5 QB. We have Cadillac and Ward to man the ground game and some new toys in Williams and Benn to compliment K2 in the passing game. Sure seems like this has the making of an offensive juggernaut if all the pieces pan out. On the other side of the ball, we seem to be building a defense that will get us back to the late 90's early 00's. Two new defensive tackles to shore up the line with a playmaking WLB in the fold. Only catch is, he wears #54, not #55. With Jackson, Talib and the old man in the bunch, Ronde Barber manning the secondary, it's easy to see why fans are or at least should be somewhat excited by the potential for our defense down the road. Of course, not every player pans out and not all of these guys will be Bucs for their entire career, but it;s interesting to look at the current team and think of what could be built.
Based on Raheem's comments, it seems he wants to build an offensive team (build around Freeman), but he just can't help himself by tweaking the defense. Given his roots as a DB coach, who can blame him? I'm not so blinded to think that 2010 will mean a Super Bowl run for the Bucs or that we will be top 5 in total offense and defense, but I think it's a fair game to start the speculation on what kind of team we will be.
With that, what do you think Buc 'Em. How do you see this team being built in terms of offense or defense, and what do you prefer? Are you an offensive person who likes the 30+ points on the board, or the defensive minded guy/gal who enjoys the 14-6 victories?