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The Buccaneers are very young and very old

Depending on which part of the team you look at.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For years on end, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used to be one of the youngest teams in the league. Starting in 2009, when Raheem Morris came in with the youth movement, the Bucs barely had any players over 30 on the roster—it led to lots of speculation on the team’s future potential, and very few wins.

Being young is good for the future, but not for the now—and the future carries lots of uncertainty. I guess what NFL teams most need is some kind of balance. You know, age for the experience and solidity, youth for the potential and explosive plays that come with inconsistency.

This year, though, the Bucs are both very young and very old. It depends on where we look. ESPN’s Mike Rodak did the work, and came to the conclusion that the Bucs have the third-youngest offensive lineup, and the fifth-oldest defensive lineup. That’s...quite a contrast.

That contrast is easily explained by the lack of draft picks on defense over the past years, especially along the defensive line. The Bucs have tried to reverse that trend a little recently, but it’s still making an impact.

It also explains why the Bucs defense feels so much more vulnerable than the offense. The latter is filled with potential and a step forward should lead to very good results this year. The former, though, had a very strong late-season performance last year, but has a lot of potential points of failure and players just past their prime.

In the best-case scenario, the Bucs offense matures a little and the defense holds on for one or two more seasons while the team goes through a rejuvenation effort on that side of the ball. In the worst-case scenario, though....nah, let’s not talk about that.