What defines the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Right now? Incompetence.
But that's not where Lovie Smith wants to go, of course. He wants his team defined by a dominant, Tampa-2-based defense, and an offense that is productive but primarily just doesn't turn the ball over. An offense that can run the ball consistently, preferably.
Hey, you know who that sounds like? The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The team that has built its consistent success on a suffocating, bend-don't-break, turnover-heavy defense, a run-based offense and a quarterback who is so reluctant to throw interceptions that he regularly scrambles around for 10+ seconds before throwing the ball. So what do the Bucs need to do to get there?
They need to get better on defense. They don't necessarily need to find better pass rusher, because the key to the Seahawks' defense is the secondary, and especially safety Earl Thomas -- the best free safety in the game. If the Bucs can find a safety even remotely approaching Earl Thomas' quality and range, the defense will immediately get much better.
The other thing they need to do: get a quarterback who can manage the game, and find a way to run the ball. The Seahawks don't actually have a very good offensive line, nor do they have all that much at wide receiver. Or even at tight end, at least in receiving terms. But their offense functions as a whole because they can run the ball with Marshawn Lynch, and because Russell Wilson produces some ridiculous plays every game while still never turning the ball over.
Somehow, the Bucs have to copy that.
Join the #GMCPlaybook discussion at sbnation.com/sponsored-gmc-playbook and on Twitter by following @thisisgmc & @marshallfaulk.