Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans hold up a “Fire Schiano” sign at the end of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played eight of their 16 games this season, so it’s a perfect time to look back and evaluate how the Bucs have done so far on a position-by-position basis.
Here are my grades for the Buccaneers at every major position, considering all eight games and every player who played at that position so far this season (including those no longer with the team).
Quarterback: D –
Notes: This position would be a resounding F based on the performances of Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon through the first couple of months of the season, but Glennon has done just enough to avoid a failing grade for the position.
That said, the rookie from NC State has a lot of work to do to get a passing grade at the end of the season. The only quarterback in the NFL with fewer yards per attempt is Josh Freeman, and he remains too hesitant and incapable of stretching the field to be a franchise quarterback.
Running back: C
Notes: It’s hard to discredit the running backs for the Buccaneers this season, because they have been without either their best guard or fullback for almost every game this year. And without a passing game to keep defenses honest, they have been running into a brick wall on virtually every play.
Erik Lorig has been a key contributor for the running game, as he’s helped pave the way for both Doug Martin and Mike James. But a lack of statistics and production from the running game keeps the grade at an average “C.”
Wide Receiver: D
Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) looks up against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Notes: Vincent Jackson has been the best player on offense for the Buccaneers in 2013, but he has not been without his mistakes. Dropped passes have been an issue for the leading receiver for Tampa Bay, and those drops aren’t helping his shaky quarterback situation.
Apart from Jackson, the Tampa Bay WR depth chart has been a carousel of mediocrity. Mike Williams seemed to never be healthy, and wasn’t playing his best football this season when he was on the field. Tiquan Underwood remains an inconsistent receiver who is occasionally in the right place at the right time, and no other receiver has made an impact.
Tight End: D
Notes: Before we get too carried away about how good Tim Wright has looked in recent weeks, let’s not forget about his flailing armed attempt to catch a pass while wide open in the end zone earlier in the season.
And apart from Wright, the tight end position has been awful. Luke Stocker was woeful before being placed on injured reserve, and Tom Crabtree has yet to make a meaningful contribution.
Offensive Line: D
Notes: Davin Joseph has returned from injury and been very disappointing. Carl Nicks has been unable to play often due to various injuries and infections.
In other words, the interior of the Tampa Bay offensive line has been poor.
Five different left guards have attempted to pave the way for the running game and protect the passer this year, and none of them have been particular
Demar Dotson and Donald Penn have proven to be the stable players on the line, with Dotson emerging as a very valuable member of the offense despite his relative unknown status.
Click over to the next page for grades for the defense and coaching staff.