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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Preview and Predictions

Last Years Record: 3-13

Wins: Packers, Seahawks, Saints

Losses: Cowboys, Bills, Giants, Redskins, Eagles, Panthers (2x), Patriots, Dolphins, Saints, Falcons (2x), Jets

Biggest Playmaker: Kellen Winslow Jr.

TE, U of Miami, Drafted #6, seven years

The Buccaneers did not have a lot of playmakers on their roster last year, but Winslow is one guy on their roster that played really well last year. Winslow led the team in receptions, yards and touchdown receptions. His 884 yard receiving was better than any running back had rushing. It is safe to say that the Buccaneers are going to once again rely heavily on Winslow this year.

Impact Player: Aqib Talib

CB, Kansas, Drafted #20, three years

There is no doubt that Talib has a lot of natural talent and could soon be a top corner in the NFL. Last year he had five interceptions, 15 pass defenses, to go along with 64 tackles. Buccaneers fans are hoping that this year will be Talib’s break-out year. They will have to wait until game two to see him, however, as he has been suspended for the first game because of an altercation with a cab driver last year.

Biggest Off-season Addition: Gerald McCoy

DT, Oklahoma, Drafted #3, Rookie

McCoy is an extremely talented player well worth the 3rd overall pick, he should help out right away and be the disruptive force in the middle just like he was in college.

Biggest Offseason Loss: Aaron Sears

G, Tennessee, Drafted #35 ,three years

In his first two seasons Sears started 31 games and was a great player for the Buccaneers. Unfortunately he missed last year with personal issues and was released before the start of the season. No one is quite sure what Sears’ personal issues are, but the Buccaneers will certainly miss him.

Biggest Draft Steal: Mike Williams

WR, Syracuse, Drafted #101, Rookie

Williams fell into the fourth round because of character issues. Williams off the field problems at Syracuse were well publicized, but no one ever doubted his talent. He won the starting job in training camp and has gotten some high praises from a lot of people. He may be a guy you want to draft on your fantasy team this year; he should be a main target in the Buccaneers offense.

Biggest Draft Mistake: Arrelious Benn

WR, Illinois, Drafted #39, Rookie

I was not a big fan of Benn in college. He was a big receiver that was not real fluid; he had one great year but only found the end zone seven times in his three year career. Guys that are his size should be making a killing in the red zone. Benn is a good player with good talent, but selecting him early second round seemed like a reach to me. He should be able to get on the field this year because the Buccaneers have a pretty week receiving core.

Offseason Grade: A-

The Buccaneers had a lot of holes to fill in the offseason, but I think they did a great job. Getting McCoy and DT Brian Price for their defensive line will make them very strong up the middle. They also added Sean Jones at safety and G Keydrick Vincent, both will be starting this year. Overall, they got younger and added some talent and got rid of some guys that were hurting the team salary.

X-Factor: Cadillac Williams

RB, Auburn, Drafted #5, six years

Williams was one of my favorite players in the 2005 draft and had a great rookie season, but since then injuries have really slowed him down. Now in his sixth season, it is time for Williams to step up and produce. Williams is a very hard runner and if healthy could really help the Buccaneers offense.

Name You Should Know: Barrett Ruud

LB, Nebraska, Drafted #36, 12 years

Not a guy that is going to ‘wow’ you on the field but is just an all around good linebacker. Has had 100+ tackles the last three years, and a career high 142 tackles last season. At only 27 Ruud should be a very reliable guy in the middle of the Buccaneers defense for a long time.

Rising Star: Josh Freeman

QB, Kansas St., Drafted #17, two years

As a young QB in the NFL, Freeman probably has the least amount of talent around him on offense. Freeman definitely made his share of mistakes last year, but has shown some flashes of his ability. Freeman is one of those guys that may take a few more years to develop, but has tons of potential and could be a star in this league.

Offensive Outlook: C-

It is hard to predict what you will see from the Buccaneers because they have a lot of young and unproven guys. They still have question marks at QB, RB, and WR. There offensive line has some good veteran player and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. can make plays. Still, I would be worried as a Buccaneer fan.

Defensive Outlook: C+

There secondary and linebacking core could be pretty solid, but their defensive line may be a little inexperienced. They have some veteran players and leaders like Ronde Barber and Barrett Ruud that should help some of the younger guys, I think the Buccaneers has the ability to surprise a lot of people if their younger guys can play well right away.

Special Teams Outlook: C

Michael Spurlock does not have a lot of experience returning punts or kicks but the Buccaneers like him. K Connor Barth does not have a lot of experience either but has a big leg, P Chris Bryan beat out sixth round draft pick P Brent Bowden. Overall, not a lot of history to base anything on.

Projected 2010 Record: 3-13

The Buccaneers have too many young players at vital positions. I would say that the hardest positions to come in and be good right away are at QB, Defensive line and receiver (linebacker and RB being the easiest). The Bucs have young players at all three of these positions. They should be a fun team to watch this year though. I think it will be really interesting to see how Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Gerald McCoy and many of the young guys on their team develop.

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