Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011 Season Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2010 Record: 10-6

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 19
Passing Offense - 17
Rushing Offense - 8
Scoring Offense - 20
Total Defense - 17
Pass Defense - 7
Rush Defense - 28
Scoring Defense - 9


The Buccaneers took a giant step forward last season, going from the bottom of the league to being a playoff contender. Mike Williams stepped up big-time as their #1 receiver after questions about his dedication when he left his team at Syracuse. Coach Raheem Morris has done a great job taking players with questionable backgrounds in college (from Williams to RB LeGarrette Blount) and turning them into NFL stars. Blount figures to be the feature back in the Bucs offense, and he's got a "smack them in the mouth" running style and he should benefit from more carries this season. He ran for over 1000 yards last season in just 200 carries. If he becomes the full-time feature back and gets over 300 carries, 1500 yards isn't out of the question. Quarterback Josh Freeman is starting to come into his own and may wind up being the best quarterback of the 2009 draft that included Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez. 


The Buccaneers addressed their front 7 in the draft, landing Iowa standout Adrian Clayborn and Clemson pass rusher Da'Quan Bowers. The secondary still remains a question after CB Aqib Talib was arrested during the offseason. The Bucs lost leading tackler MLB Barrett Ruud in free agency. Coupled with the loss of Talib, the Bucs run defense will suffer unless 3rd round pick Mason Foster can step in and be a tackling machine. The Bucs pass rush was 30th in the league last year with only 26 sacks, so you can hardly blame them for doing out and drafting pass rushers with their first two picks.


The Bucs have the tough challenge of playing in one of the hardest divisions in football, having to play the Falcons and Saints twice a year. This year there is the added challenge of playing the Super Bowl Champion Packers in the Bay of Pigs showdown. The one thing the Bucs have going for them is they always have the awesome creamsicle throwback uniforms they can bust out. Damn, we miss the creamsicles and Bucco Bruce. They should go back to those full time.

If the Buccaneers were a Beer, they would be:

Peak Organic Pomegranate Wheat

The Buccaneers are one of the hottest young teams in the league. Similarly, in beer the trend of brewing "organic" beers has become more and more popular in recent years. Beer snobs who only like IPAs that leave your mouth tasting like you ate kitty litter think Wheat beers are for weaklings. However, there is a lot of depth and possibility with wheat beers. It is common for wheat beers to be mixed with fruit, but Peak Organic Brewery is the only one I know of that has used Pomegranate in beer. It's a surprisingly excellent combination of a new trend and some unique/under-rated elements, much like the Bucs team, which is full of young players that were underrated/overlooked coming out of college.

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