The fear many analysts, writers, and fans alike have about the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers is that they are better constructed on paper than they are on the football field. A fear that is completely understandable as the NFL has seen numerous examples of teams many thought would be fantastic that fall flat on their faces (see 2011-12 Eagles).
However, I’m here to assure you, this is not the case for your Buccaneers. The Bucs have really been built from the ground up over an extended period of time. They started with a quarterback, then added pieces around him on both sides of the ball in a slow and methodic matter. They’ve seen hits (Jackson, Martin, David, etc) and misses (Price, Talib, Ruud), but they’ve continued to grow not as a collection of talent, but as a team.
Analysts are quick to point out that the Buccaneers got better by adding Revis and Goldson, but that the defense was still so bad that two elite talents may still not be enough. And while this could very well be the case, the fact is the Bucs are not relying on the defense to be lock down.
The better side of the football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the offense. With five Pro-Bowlers in the 11 man starting lineup, and a year in which they return all 11 players, the offense should be able to build on what they started last year and become a real powerful unit.
The Bucs have also spent a lot of time and money constructing a defense that finally looks like it has a chance to succeed. Of course they have purchased or traded for two huge name players, but the other nine have been around (assuming Casillas doesn’t start). The team has been built-in a way where they were seemingly just a piece or two from becoming solid. Well, Mark Dominik went out and found two fantastic pieces to fit in.
The whole idea of adding all of these players hasn’t been to simply get the most talent and stockpile it all together. The idea has been to identify the greatest areas of need and locate the best player to fill them. Dominik has done that, and now he has a team that many believe has a great shot at double-digit wins.
Only time will tell how Revis and Goldson fit and affect the defense as a whole, but it’s important to understand that the Buccaneers are not a collection of talent, they are a team with a lot of talent. It’s a major distinction that can be the difference between disappointment and jubilation.
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