5 important takeaways from Bucs unexpected and exciting season

There are many things that can be gleaned from Tampa's success.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Calijah Kancey lived up to his first round billing

The No. 19 pick in this past year's NFL Draft, Kancey took a little bit of time to get rolling but once he did, it was clear to see how much talent he has in him.

He formed a frightening pair with Vita Vea that will cause offensive coordinators around the league all the headaches. Kancey showed an ability to shut down the run and get to the passer, He had 1.5 sacks during the Bucs two playoff games.

Another off-season of growth and getting comfortable in Todd Bowles' system and we could see him really take the next leap in 2024.

Mike Evans deserves to be paid, and Tampa Bay has to be the one to do it

The greatest wide reciever in franchise history balled out once again for Tampa Bay. He was the most dynamic weapon in the offense and proved he still has plenty of miles left in the tank.

More than that, the Bucs offense flowed so much better when he was being fed on a regular basis. Week 1 against the Vikings was a case where Evans helped spark the offense when it got off to a sluggish start, and you could argue that kickstarted the season as a whole.

When Evans is being forgotten about, like in the game against Houston, things don’t end so well. Tampa Bay scored (at the time) a season-high in points but still lost, largely because the offense started going to Evans too late.

The fact that the Bucs have let him reach free agency is a poor reflection on the organization. 79 catches. 1,255 yards. 13 touchdowns. PAY. THE. MAN.

Antoine Winfield Jr is one of the two best safeties in the NFL

122 tackles (6 TFL). 6 sacks. 6 forced fumbles. 4 fumble recoveries. 3 interceptions. Winfield is an absolute game wreaker and he is the secret weapon in Bowles' defense as he can be lined up all over the football field.

He is a playmaker in every sense of the word and the Bucs defense benefits from his greatness on a weekly basis. There are some questions that need to be answered about pending free agents, but there should be nothing other than a blank check when it comes to Winfield.

If the Bucs do only one thing this offseason (don’t worry, they’ll do plenty more), it should be bringing back Winfield on a long term deal that ensures he’s a key piece of the team’s core moving forward.

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