Buccaneers biggest need to address now clear

Tom Brady, Alex Cappa, Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady, Alex Cappa, Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Tom Brady has returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making the biggest need to address this offseason now clear for the Buccaneers.

Tom Brady shocked the world when he hijacked Selection Sunday for March Madness by announcing his retirement via social media, which which one swoop skyrocketed the morale of Buccaneers fans, and the Super Bowl odds for the Bucs in an absolutely gutted NFC.

It also helps that the team was able to retain some of his favorites like Chris Godwin and Ryan Jensen, the latter of which appeared to be a package deal in the return of the lovable quarterback-center combo.

While the Bucs have been able to miraculously back much of their Super Bowl core, Jason Licht and company could not bat 1.000 this time around. It was impossible. The most notable loss has been guard Alex Cappa who secured the bag with the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in an admittedly great signing.

It is now clear the Buccaneers need to address their guard spots the rest of this offseason.

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Brady’s un-retirement announcement for his age 45 season was shocking, and Ali Marpet’s retirement announcement at age 28 coming off of his first Pro Bowl season was stunning. Now, the Bucs are without both guards. This should be the only thing  to still be addressed.

Football teams have different approaches on offense when it comes to run vs. pass, but no matter what the scheme is games are won and lost in the trenches, and that was quite evident during Super Bowl LVI.

Joe Burrow became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to a Super Bowl appearance while also being the most sacked quarterback in the league. His greatness was able to overcome it, but sooner or later it was going to come back to bite the Bengals. Burrow was unable to escape Aaron Donald when the game was on the line, and on the final play had J’Marr Chase wide open down the sidelines which would have given them the lead. Instead, the Bengals are settling for second place and the Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions.

The point of this is, while the quarterback is the most important position, it doesn’t matter how great your quarterback is if he can’t stay upright. Try this stat on for size, Tom Brady was sacked 22 times the entire regular season while Burrow was sacked 19 during the Bengals’ four playoff games. However, when the Buccaneers found themselves without Tristan Wirfs, and the entire unit having an off day regardless of who was playing right tackle against the Rams, it essentially ended Brady’s career (for about a month and a half).

Another historical nugget not pertaining to 2021 is how in the 1980s when the passing game first started exploding on the trajectory we’re at now, Washington was able to win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. How? Well, their strong offensive line was just about as consistent as it could be as far as personnel went, for the most part. In the offseason, offensive line moves are never going to move the needle to fans, but they will move the football in the regular season to the delight of fans.

Look, fortunately the Buccaneers still have a FANTASTIC foundation on their offensive line in Jensen at center, and Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs at the two tackles. If you’re gonna have a weak-spot in the unit, guard is probably the safest bet. We also don’t know what the versatile Aaron Stinnie can potentially bring in his second year, but that’s just one guard spot. Tom Brady is back, now it’s time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to address their guard spots.