The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are once again subject of offseason hype, as they seem to be every year. In 2011, the defense was going to improve, and the offense would continue to be great, because the Bucs had Josh Freeman coming off his great season. In 2012, the team should do well under a new coach who could finally introduce some discipline, and some expensive free agent additions. In 2013, that discipline should pay off, as the defense should improve and Josh Freeman in a contract year should improve.
None of that happened. But it's another offseason, so it's time to be positive again.
Herm Edwards Super Bowl XLIX prediction (May 2014 version) @TBBuccaneers vs @Steelers— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 27, 2014
That's...optimistic. It's notoriously impossible to call Super Bowl winners this far ahead of time, and the NFL is pretty volatile year-to-year. But for the Bucs to go from one of the worst teams in the NFL to the Super Bowl would be fairly extreme. Fun, but extreme.
Of course, Edwards is probably being a bit of a homer, here. He coached alongside Lovie Smith for five seasons in Tampa, so that's part of it. But another part of it may be the fact that Lovie Smith has demonstrated the ability to produce swift turnarounds: he took the 2005 Chicago Bears to a division win and an 11-5 season just one year after finishing 5-11 -- and that was with a team that had significantly less talent when he came in than the current Bucs.
The quarterback is going to be the X factor in all of this, though. The defense should be good, given the amount of talent and the quality coaching staff. The offense certainly has talent, but it has more question marks. The offensive line is a bit of a mess, especially at guard, but the quarterback position is more of an issue. Will Josh McCown be able to even approach his All-Pro form of last season? Probably not. But if he can produce at least solid play, a Super Bowl really shouldn't be as insane as it seems right now.