While we wait for the NFL regular season to start, we need some new things to talk about. So one thing outlets do over and over again: rank all the offseasons, and pretend that winning the offseason is a thing that matters.
See, for instance, Pro Football Focus, who just ranked the eight teams that improved the most in their division. In the NFC South, that would be our very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Over the last two drafts, the Buccaneers had been largely ignoring their defense. This year they drafted four defensive players and added key defensive free agents. Robert Ayers and Noah Spence will seriously increase the Buccaneers' edge-rush production. The Buccaneers also upgraded their pass coverage with two free-agent cornerbacks (Brent Grimes and Josh Robinson) and two cornerbacks in the draft (Vernon Hargreaves III and Ryan Smith). Hargreaves was one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the draft, only allowing a passer rating of 82.3 when targeted, and will instantly make the Buccaneers' secondary better.
The Bucs addressed all their biggest needs in multiple ways, managed to replace every big personnel loss, seemingly upgraded their coaching staff and managed to inject some enthusiasm into a cynical fanbase. That seems like a pretty big win, overall.
For his part, USA Today's Nate Davis wasn't particularly impressed with the Bucs' offseason -- though he doesn't think they did particularly poorly, either. He ranks the Bucs right in the middle of the pack at number 17, which suggests they'll pretty much remain stagnant. Not exactly what Tampa Bay was looking for this year.
Of course, years of getting good reviews for offseasons only to see the Bucs fail during the regular season may have made me slightly skeptical of offseason evaluations. Just a little.