I always listen when Greg Cosell talks, the NFL Films guru who says a lot of sensible things about football and has been watching film for decades. Cosell appeared on the Fantasy Guru Podcast to discuss every team’s offensive additions, which means he also talked about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means I get to write about that.
Mostly, Cosell is really impressed with the Bucs’ potential passing game.
“Talking about dimensions, this team has everything you’d want from a receiving standpoint. This is quote the group. And everybody’s now forgetting about Cameron Brate because of O.J. Howard, but Cameron Brate is a pretty darn good player.”
The Bucs want to run a lot of two-tight-end sets this year, so Brate and Howard will be on the field together a lot.
But what Cosell said about dimensions is really true: Mike Evans is the massive guy with speed who can make some amazing catches. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL. Adam Humphries gives them a shifty slot guy, Brate a receiving tight end who’s perfect for finding space in zone defenses, and Howard an all-around right end who can threaten the deep middle of the field. Plus, the Bucs have several good receiving backs.
There’s not much more a quarterback could want, other than a solid running game. Whether that materializes will largely depend on Doug Martin, with the Bucs only running back addition being fifth-round pick Jeremy McNichols, who Cosell thinks is mostly a receiving back.
“McNichols is an interesting pick to me, because now it tells me I’m not sure what they think of Charles Sims. Because I think Sims when healthy fits that second-back role really really well, but maybe they think otherwise.”
Of course, McNichols is just a fifth-round pick, so perhaps this doesn’t say too much about Sims. But the latter back has struggled with injuries in every season, and is in the final season of his contract, and turns 27 in September. Planning for a future without him seems pretty wise.
One interesting note: Cosell did not think that Chris Godwin looked that great on tape, mostly because he did not play to his measurables, and especially his speed. The Bucs may see him more as a complementary player next to Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, someone who can make contested catches and maybe operate in the slot.
The Bucs saw Godwin as a massive steal, but Cosell does not. And given the team’s depth and versatility, it may take a while for Godwin to get a lot of playing time. That doesn’t matter that much, given all of the dimensions they have in the passing game now, though.