Five Storylines to Follow Entering Buccaneers’ Training Camp
By Bailey Adams
There is something about the Buccaneers and penalty yards that has frustratingly gone hand-in-hand for way too long. Tampa Bay committed 143 penalties a year ago, which was tied for the most in the NFL. The team’s 1,195 penalty yards were the second-highest in the league, as was its penalty yards per game average of 74.7. Those are unacceptable marks for the Bucs if they want to contend this year.
Dirk Koetter talked about eliminating penalties as soon as he was hired to be the team’s head coach. Once Mike Smith was brought in as the defensive coordinator, he also talked about Tampa Bay’s need to play smarter football. The talk is there, but will the Bucs fix their penalty issues in 2016?
The process of playing smarter can start with simple drills in training camp, carry over into the preseason and on into the regular season. It gets said every year that the Bucs need to be more disciplined, yet it never seems to happen. Will it happen this year under a new coaching staff? Tampa Bay better hope so if it wants to compete for a playoff spot.
Obviously, false start, encroachment and holding calls will happen. That’s just part of the game. The Bucs still need to cut down on them, but they have to completely refrain from drawing the foolish personal foul calls that can kill drives on offense and extend them on defense. Those are the calls that are completely avoidable if the team plays smart. If Tampa Bay cuts down on the number of foolish penalties it commits, things will go much better for the team in 2016.
Next: Gerald McCoy Talks Jameis, Lavonte, 2016 Season
Which storyline are you most looking forward to following in training camp, Bucs fans?