We’ve already seen several outlets believing in the Buccaneers to break their playoff drought this year. Despite a dismal 5-11 record in 2017, there are some that feel their offseason moves and a good draft is enough to help take them back into the playoffs.
You can now include NFL.com’s Adam Rank in that discussion as well.
In his latest piece, Rank ranks (yes, I know that sounds funny) teams with the best chances of reaching the postseason after a long drought. He believes the Bucs will be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and like most, feels it is because of the offseason they’ve had.
I really believed Tampa Bay would be in the thick of things last year. But, for the second time in my life, Dirk Koetter hurt me greatly. (Arizona State fan? Check!) Apparently, I just can’t quit him, because I’m kinda right back in again.
The Bucs’ defense was a sieve last year, ranking dead last in yards allowed. One way to fix that: overhaul the defensive front. Which is exactly what Tampa Bay did, bringing in five new D-linemen, including Jason Pierre-Paul and first-round pick Vita Vea. On the other side of the ball, running back was a huge question mark. Not anymore! Ronald Jones II was a great second-round selection. The only downside is playing in the best division in the NFL from top to bottom. Oh, and Koetter. But alas, for whatever reason, I’m still in.
Rank admits he fell into the trap of believing last season, like many of us, that the Bucs would be successful. But this offseason feels different that last because they only true free agency hype was the signing of DeSean Jackson. This year, the team revamped the defensive line and made a big splash on the offensive line with signing Ryan Jenson at center. That allows the team to move Ali Marpet back to guard — essentially making two moves in one. And not to discredit last year’s draft, but this year’s seems much better.
So, yeah, there’s more reason to feel good this year. However, it’s understandable that people are a bit reserved, too.