June 22, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; The American Flag flies prior to the game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

July 4th Declarations: Four Bold Statements About the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


In honor of the Fourth of July (and an idea created by ESPN’s NFL Live) I’m here to give you four declarations for the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Josh Freeman will be the Buccaneers undisputed star

This is the year for #5. We’ve heard time after time on this site, others sites, TV, and at the water cooler that this is a big year for Freeman. He’s coming off of four inconsistent seasons, he’s on a contract year, and the Bucs have drafted a QB in the third round who could become his replacement. This is his time to shine. And I’ll declare loud and proud that he will have the best season of his career, and will surprise Bucs fans in the best way possible. Everything is aligned for Freeman to have a big season. This will be the year that he finally puts together a true complete season. He has the weapons at the skill positions, and he has the support of a start studded offensive line. Freeman is about to make a lot of money, and he’s going to make Mark Dominik wish he hadn’t waited so long to lock him down.

 

Apr 22, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis throws out the first pitch prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Darrelle Revis will play in 16 games

ACL injuries scare everyone. And they are especially concerning for a player whose position demands a lot of backpedaling and changing direction. But I declare that Darrelle Revis will be able to overcome the injury and be out of the field each and every Sunday this year. ACL injuries used to end people’s careers. They used to be a year-long injury that then took another year to get over. It’s not that way anymore. The new surgeries that are available to these athletes have them not only back on the field quickly, but often at the same or better strength than before. Revis has had plenty of time to recover, and based on all of the videos we’ve seen of him working out, he’s not holding anything back. Expect to see the new #24 on the field on September 8th and on December 29th, and hopefully his presence propels the Bucs to game in January as well.

Buccaneers vs. Rams on December 22nd will be a gigantic game in the NFL playoff picture

I’ve made myself clear on this website many times that I believe the Buccaneers will be much improved and will be in the middle of the playoff picture come late December. But I haven’t had a chance to express my opinions on the Rams and their upgrades. The Rams are starting to look like a complete team and have a very similar situation stacked against them as our Bucs. They are clearly a better team but the division they play in is incredibly difficult. However, don’t be surprised if the Seahawks or 49ers take a step back this year and the Rams take advantage. Buccaneers vs. Rams is not exactly the glamour game as it stands here on Independence Day, but I declare you and all NFC fans will care deeply about this game when it rolls around in five and a half months. I’m also declaring the Buccaneers win that game, but I’ll hold that article back until a little closer to game day.

Tampa Bay will fall in love with Kevin Ogletree

You may be sitting in front of your BBQ watching fireworks explode in the sky and reading this on your FanSided iPhone app thinking to yourself, Kevin Ogle-who? Well, in my final declaration I declare that in a few months you will not only know who Kevin Ogletree is but you will start wondering why they don’t offer his jersey at your local Buccaneers shop. Ogletree emerged onto the scene last year when he scored four TD’s and racked up 436 yards in a crowded Dallas Cowboy wide receiving corps. The Bucs brought Ogletree in and are expecting him to be the third WR option for Josh Freeman this season. Ogletree will be your classic Joe Jurevicius or Ike Hilliard. The go to guy when we need a tough 3rd down conversion. The guy who has 25 catches and 22 of them are for first downs. That’s who Kevin Ogletree will become. He’s not going to score 10 TD’s or rack up 1000 yards, but he’s going to be important, and he’s going to make a catch or two that have huge impacts on a few games. And unless you already have a Bert Emanuel jersey hanging in your closet, there’s not likely to be an Ogletree one joining your collection, but believe me, we are all going to like this guy… a lot.

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