The Buccaneers special teams may finally be on the right track.
The Buccaneers have been a lopsided team for the majority of their history. The early great teams were built on their defense. The recent years have been dominated by offensive success. The team that took the field and won the Super Bowl last season was good on offense and defense, but it fell short on special teams.
After a full offseason retooling the unit, the Buccaneer special teams were able to look much closer to their offensive and defensive counterparts in the opener versus the Cowboys.
From great punting and kicking to better coverage than has been seen in recent years, the “defensive” side of the special teams was lightyears beyond where they were at last season.
Hopefully, the days of blowing coverage and letting off huge returns to shift momentum are a thing of the past, and they should be after Tampa invested so much in these units through the draft and free agency.
Jaydon Mickens is another major bright spot for the Bucs after an opener that was a little too close for comfort. Mickens was always the best returner on the team last season, so it makes sense that he stayed in the featured role, but it was still surprising to see how well he did.
For the first time in years, the Buccaneer kick return looked dangerous. Mickens looked confident with the ball, and each time he got a chance, he made the most of it.
If there was one area the Bucs had to get better in, the return game is high up on that list. A great returner is an easy way to win the special teams battle, and Mickens is emerging as the best threat to end the kick return touchdown drought plaguing Tampa.
One way or another, the Buccaneers special teams got better this offseason, and that will just make them that much more difficult to deal with this year.
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