Jun 10, 2014; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith during minicamp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Power rankings of any sort are just silly.
They don’t mean anything. They are just one man’s opinion of “who-would-beat-who” in a game.
During the season, they constantly change.
Before the season, they fail to do any honorable research; only rehash what they have heard in headlines.
Before the preseason, it is a guessing game. No one knows how each team’s roster will actually look before final cuts.
And before training camp, a power ranking of any sort is just idiotic. NFL players, for the most part, are still on vacation in late June and early July. So to try and predict anything about how the NFL season will shape up when even the players themselves aren’t even close to game shape is preposterous.
But here we are.
In a day and age when the news really isn’t news anymore, and anyone has the ability to get behind a computer screen and start typing away, the wonderful people over at FOX Sports 1 have began releasing their team rankings for the 2014 NFL season.
And guess what, folks? They don’t think too fondly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They think so little of the Bucs, in fact, that the team comes in ranked dead last, at No. 32 overall.
I’m sorry, but I must be missing something here.
Is Greg Schiano still the head coach? Did Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David both get arrested for being too nice, and now face suspension from the league? Has Mike Evans been kidnapped by Johnny Manziel to ensure he has someone to throw to in Cleveland? Was Doug Martin performing an offseason science experiment that actually turned him into a hamster with muscles?
None of those things happened?
Well swash my buckles and shiver me timbers, Batman!
After everything we’ve seen happen this offseason, and the team making brilliant move after brilliant move, how am I supposed to believe that this year’s Bucs will be the league’s worst team?
Even if Josh McCown goes down and Mike Glennon has to take over, Glennon still squeezed four wins out of the most poorly-coached team in pro sports last year.
To say Tampa Bay will be the worst NFL team is pretty much saying that the injury bug will bite us even harder this season.
That’s damn near impossible (knock on wood), because of four letters: M-R-S-A.
Last year, the Bucs were destined for failure, and they still managed four wins. Translation: they were bad, but not the worst.
I do see the flaws in this Buccaneer squad, though. The LG position is one giant question mark. Will the Bucs be getting above-average quarterback play from either man? Will the pass rush be enough to defend the NFC South’s passing attacks? And to that point, will cornerback play suffer after the exit of Darrelle Revis?
But here is the one thing that a lot of pundits aren’t taking into account: with good coaching, comes player development. We’re not used to that, as we’ve seen almost all of our draft picks over the last five years stay stagnant and play at a rookie level (with a few obvious exceptions). With Lovie Smith in town, we can expect the talent to be infused with smarts; something that was rarely seen in the Morris or Schiano eras.
Write it down. Tweet it out. Take a picture and Instagram it. Share it with your friends and family on Facebook. This is my guarantee:
The 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not, and will not finish as the worst team in football.
I’m inclined to say they will be far from it, but a lot can happen between now and January. So for now, I will just say that they will not be the worst, and that this FOX Sports 1 article is just a lazy attempt at a power ranking.
Apparently, whoever runs the team’s social media accounts feels the same way that I do.
That’s all, folks. Don’t forget to comment below, talk to us on Twitter (@ThePewterPlank), and tip your waiters and waitresses.