When we last visited these NFL Power Rankings at the end of last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had just finished their 10-week streak of playing the most godawful football that has ever been visited on this earth. At that point, though, the Bucs still weren't seen as the worst team in the NFL, with an aggregate ranking of 30th overall. The team did everything it could to improve this offseason, however: they hired a new coach who is essentially the exact opposite of the previous coach. They signed two of the biggest free agents in the NFL, got three starters in the draft, purged the team of bad apples and poor players and looked much improved in the preseason. Still, the national media is not convinced: the Bucs are ranked 25th on average this week. A win against the Carolina Panthers would undoubtedly increase that number - but can the Bucs do that?
Too low? I can't get a read on this team. Let us know in the comments where they should be ranked.
Josh Freeman is facing a pivotal year after the Bucs spent big on Vincent Jackson and the offense.
The Bucs had the most impressive offseason by signing WR Vincent Jackson, G Carl Nicks and CB Eric Wright, but we saw with the Eagles last season that there has to be an acclimation period. Doug Martin has the potential to be special in this offense, but Josh Freeman needs to be the Josh Freeman of 2010 for this team to keep pace with the Falcons and Saints. I just don't see it this year.
Greg Schiano's rigid ways will make this team compete each and every week. But they don't have enough yet. Josh Freeman needs a bounce-back season.
A year ago, there was plenty of hope in Tampa. At least they now have an excuse for being unable to sell tickets.
Greg Schiano coached this team hard in camp-and they needed it after packing it in to end the 2011 season.