Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, historically, have won on defense.
Lovie Smith, historically, has won with his teams of defense.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers made an effort to change history.
By grabbing two wide receivers, two offensive linemen, one tight end, and one running back, the days of “Buc ball” are being challenged. No, the offense probably won’t be outperforming the defense this year. But that doesn’t mean progress hasn’t been made.
Tampa Bay has nowhere to go but up.
Last year’s offense was ranked dead last in the entire league. Despite a few good outings from a slew of running backs, and rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, the Bucs’ offense was riding the struggle bus all the way to a 4-12 record. And with those struggles came lots of changes.
Mike “Cave Man Gang” Williams? Bye bye.
Tiquan Underwood: also out.
Donald Penn? Out of here.
Davin Joseph? Sayonara.
Jeremy Zuttah? So long.
Lovie Smith and Bucs GM Jason Licht were not comfortable with staying the same. They knew they needed to get OC Jeff Tedford some new toys to play with, and they did. They started by grabbing TE Brandon Myers, C Eric Dietrich-Smith, WR Louis Murphy and newly-minted starting LT Anthony Collins.
While all of those moves served the purpose of adding depth and getting better, none of them made a splash.
But on the three days of the NFL Draft, the Buccaneers cannonballed themselves into the deep end of the offensive draft pool.
Mike Evans, the replacement (and likely upgrade) to Mike Williams, has the size to win battles against defensive backs, and race right past them to the end zone.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins provides the Bucs with an all-around tight end who is a threat in the passing game, but also has the skills to block.
Charles Sims, the shocking third round running back, will also shock you with his quickness. He can run, catch, and return kicks, giving the offense a multi-purpose weapon.
Kadeem Edwards and Kevin Pamphile help bolster the offensive line’s depth, as they can both play at guard or tackle.
And last, but certainly not least, there is Robert Herron. The speedy WR out of Wyoming will leave defenders in the dust once he gets his hands on the football.
These new additions to the Buccaneers make a huge statement: Tampa Bay will not stay put and try to win games on defense alone. They’re going to (try to) put points on the scoreboard.
While that’s a promising sign, the draft also said one more thing, although it was said silently.
Tampa Bay thinks their defense will be pretty good.
They have so much confidence in their defense that they didn’t even bother adding another player to the equation. Even with questions about who our backup linebackers will be, and if there is enough depth at DT, the team of Lovie and Licht said “no thanks” to even attempting to improve the defense. Most of that was done during free agency, although some depth questions still loom.
Apparently, that’s not worrying Lovie Smith.
He’s had a year to sit back and watch a lot of football.
He drew out his blueprints for what he would want his new squad to look like when he returned to the game.
And now that he has, he is executing that plan. Hopefully, for Tampa, it’s to perfection.
Get your popcorn ready, Bucs fans! Josh McCown and Mike Glennon have a new offensive coordinator, some new weapons at their disposal, and new guys up front to help protect them.
The statement has been made that the Bucs aren’t going to sit by idly and let opposing defenses push them around anymore.
Let’s see if it all leads to another new concept for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: points on the scoreboard.
Tags: Tampa Bay Buccaneers