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Buccaneers Offseason Grades: ESPN thinks Bucs are treading water

The Buccaneers have plenty of question marks, but they're certainly a better team now than they were last year.


Now you've done it, Matt Williamson. You've lost it. You have gone insane. You give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a C for their off-season, which you say means they are treading water. Really?

While the Bucs were very aggressive to bolster their pass defense on the back end, they got weaker on the defensive line and I have serious concerns about their ability to rush the passer now. Counting on William Gholston and/or Steven Means to fill Bennett's shoes seems very unwise to me, even though Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers are a talented pair when healthy.

The selection of Mike Glennon puts Josh Freeman rightfully on notice, but the Bucs did nothing else of note to improve the offensive side of the ball, which could be a decision they end up regretting. I also felt that they gave up on Benn too soon. In the end, this offseason was all about Revis for Tampa Bay.

It always comes down to the defensive line. Admittedly, it's not overly impressive right now, but let us be realistic here: the only pass rusher they lost was Michael Bennett, while they're getting back a healthy Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers. The pass rush is an area of concern, sure, but is that really enough to negate the massive additions on defense?

Because that's my takeaway from this off-season: two All-Pros and a second-round draft pick added to the weakest secondary in the NFL. Even with the loss of Bennett, in what world is this defense now worse than it was at the end of last season?

We can't know whether these additions are enough to get the Bucs to the playoff, and there are plenty of questions they need to answer. But treading water? That's insane.