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Still room to grow as Buccaneers look to win back-to-back Super Bowls

Tampa Bay’s senior writer and editor identifies three areas team can grow in

Super Bowl LV Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nowhere to go but down when you’re sitting at the top of the NFL like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are after winning Super Bowl LV, right?

Some might think so, but there are plenty of areas to grow for a team that already grew so much in one year with the greatest quarterback of all-time under center.

Tom Brady brought winning back to Tampa’s NFL franchise, but it’s going to take digging deep to stay humble in pursuit of a second straight title.

Fortunately for the team, their quarterback knows this more than most. On his recent appearance on HBO’s ‘The Shop’, Brady commented on winning, and his ten-year gap between championships at one point in his career.

So where can the team improve? Buccaneers.com’s senior writer and editor Scott Smith was asked this very question, and he came up with three areas.

  • Rushing offense
  • Punt and kickoff returns and coverage
  • Passing defense

In doing so, he quoted the team’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles who said earlier this offseason,

“Looking at the tape, we have a lot of things that we can do better that we’re going to look at. We want to do better at all facets – front, middle and back end. We’re going to get to those tapes, we’re going to look at them when they get in here and get to work. We’ve got a lot to take care of.”

I’ve been vocal about my opinion pertaining to the Tampa Bay running back room and how underrated I believe they are. I’m not saying Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette lead the best backfield in the league, but I don’t think they’re as bad as their near the bottom of the league ranking would have many believe.

Still, if you are what your record says you are, then I suppose you are what your stats say you are as well. Especially a 28th place ranking in yards per carry.

Adding Giovanni Bernard should do much more than the presence of LeSean McCoy did in 2020, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn coming into his second year provides him a chance to grow within his NFL experience as well.

As for the special teams; losing Ryan Smith is going to hurt of course, but the Bucs have done well bringing in plenty of potential for a replacement who may also be able to contribute in the secondary on the field. Hello, third area to improve.

So the team seems to agree with Smith’s diagnosis, and so do I. The return of O.J. Howard and another year of age added on to Tom Brady should help inspire the Bucs to run the ball a bit more. And we can all bet ‘Lombardi Lenny’ would love to become ‘Regular Season Lenny’ - even if it isn’t as sexy a nickname, and Jones is going to want to recapture his Top-5 NFL rushing back status he held for a solid portion of 2020.

It may seem strange to discuss improvements a team can make after dominating Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs just months ago, but improving is how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will withstand the onslaught awaiting them in the 2021 NFL Season.

So bring on the self-scouting.