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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Report

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SB Nation has its offseason report for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up, including a rather lengthy piece written by me on the Bucs' offseason.

I'll excerpt a bit of it, but go read the whole thing!The NFC South is suddenly very competitive. Atlanta and New Orleans are reliably good, and Carolina is on its way up for obvious reasons. Tampa Bay improved considerably this offseason, but it is still fair to ask whether or not it was enough to keep pace with the arms race in the division.

For the Bucs, the most essential part of this season is finding the form they had in 2010, which means putting Josh Freeman back on track. Entering his fourth season in the league, Freeman finally has some talent around him. Tampa also needs to see big strides from the young core of players on its defensive line, especially Gerald McCoy. Contributions from that unit will be key to contending against three very good quarterbacks in their division.

The good news for the Bucs is that they beat both Atlanta and New Orleans last season, before everything fell apart. They have to do that again this season, adding to that wins over Carolina, if they are going to have a shot at making the playoffs.