Former NFL GM says Buccaneers will be a 'surprise' team in 2023

  • Ex-NFL GM visited Bucs camp and raved about the team
  • His praise comes amid generally negative predictions from the media
New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Try counting the number of positive things that have been said about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. It's okay, we'll wait -- and the wait won't be very long. Fans can count on one hand the number of times the Bucs haven't been absolutely trashed, and it's starting to get old.

Despite a roster that still has multiple Pro Bowlers on it, the narrative around the Bucs is that they'll once again be bottom-feeders.

Not everyone is blinded by the glare of the anti-Bucs agenda, though. A few brave souls have broken rank and admitted that the team might be better than some are expecting this season. Jeremy Fowler over at ESPN is among those folks, as is former NFL General Manager Rick Spielman.

Ex-Vikings GM says Buccaneers will surprise doubters this season

We already covered how Spielman sang the praise of Baker Mayfield, going as far as to reveal that the quarterback signed in Tampa Bay with the intent of hopefully finishing his career there.

His praise extended beyond Baker, though as Spielman thinks the entire team has what it takes to be a surprise this season.

“Now I know Baker Mayfield’s gotta prove it, but I think Tampa’s defense is pretty good,” Spielman said. “And if they can establish the run game and do offensively what they were able to do in Seattle – if Canales can replicate that – they’re going to surprise some people. I was surprised when I went down there and watched; I’ll just say that.”

Fowler didn't go as deep as Spielman did in his praise, but the two are speaking the same language. Even though Tom Brady is gone, there's a considerable amount of talent still on the roster in Tampa Bay, and enough to deem it foolish to bury them before the season even begins.

Training Camp hasn't even started, yet experts like Peter King and others have dismissed the Bucs. Doing this completely overlooks guys like Vita Vea, Tristan Wirfs, Mike Evans, and Lavonte David who are all still on the roster and very much at the top of their game.

Arguing that the team is better without Brady is misguided because it misses the point. Brady is gone, but there's still a ton of Pro Bowl talent on the roster that would have to try very hard to repeat the disappointing performance of last season.

To think that guys like David, Evans, Vea, and others like Antoine Winfield Jr.,, Chris Godwin, and Devin White are going to phone it in next year and not play like they have a chip on their shoulder is perhaps the laziest take cooked up so far this offseason.