As we’re all aware, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy with their OTA’s, and there have been some praises sung from both the coaching staff and the players themselves. Since draft night, hopes and expectations shot up for the upcoming season. After all, fortunes did turn around in 2015, thanks in large part to Jameis Winston. While a 6-10 record is underwhelming, it definite was a huge boost compared to the 2-14 2014 season. With the added weapons that the club picked up on both sides of the ball, its not hard to fathom a few more victories for Pewter Nation in 2016.
Let’s start with the defense, as new head coach Dirk Koetter has been raving about the new attitude and moxy that the unit has shown these last couple of weeks. The defensive line have high regard for coordinator Mike Smith, with Robert Ayers stating Smith “is all about winning…putting people in position to be successful” (Buccaneers.com). Furthermore, Ayers went on to say that he sees a lot of recent Super Bowl MVP Von Miller in rookie Noah Spence. In the backfield, its looking like Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner could be the starters at corner, but don’t rule out rookie Vernon Hargreaves III.
For the offense, QB Winston has steadily gained more respect from his unit. Per Buccaneers.com, his work ethic has only gotten better, and has rubbed off on the team as a whole. The offensive linemen are getting reps in all positions, in particular starting guard Ali Marpet taking snaps at center. Rookie fullback Danny Vitale looks to be a key weapon further down the road, but for now its looking as though Luke Stocker will have the top spot on the depth chart. WR Mike Evans has been improving over the past two weeks, as well as TE Cameron Brate, who just might be competing with Austin Sefarian-Jenkins for the starting job.
With two weeks under their belts, there’s no telling how much better the Buccaneers will get, or how versatile they will be. Considering the steady improvement of Winston and the added depth on defense, good things are on the horizon for Tampa Bay.
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