The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had some missing pieces within their ranks over the past few seasons. What if we could make some magic and bring a defensive and an offensive Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend back from the past to help this team now?
That’s exactly what we asked our staff this week. Which one of those players could really help the Bucs over the edge and become a competitor?
Offensively this season, blocking has been a major issue for the lineman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Marpet and Jensen have not been perfect, but their effort and production by far outweigh the likes of Smith, Benenoch, and Dotson. Running backs have struggled to find holes to run through. Jameis Winston has been forced to make plays with his legs because sometimes he does not have enough time to make plays with his arm.
This is whereBuccaneer legend Mike Alstott would be welcomed back. Alstott would find a role in a league where the fullback position has essentially been eliminated. He would help clear holes for Peyton Barber in the running game. Alstott was also a capable pass blocker, even though his run blocking was his biggest strength. His pass blocking would help give Winston time to read defenses and most importantly, his leadership would be helpful for the young Buccaneer running backs.
Alstott’s skills, experience, and knowledge about the game could help turn the current group of running backs into an elite group. Alstott was a three-time All-Pro and a six-time Pro-Bowler.
On defense, Ronde Barber would fill a major
Davis is two inches taller and a few pounds heavier, but Barber could still show him new things because they play similar physical styles. Barber’s experience would help mentor a young secondary and be someone who can match up with the other top tier receivers in the NFC South. Barber’sability to stay on the field would be important as well since the Tampa Bay cornerbacks have been banged up all season. He played 13 consecutive seasons without missing a start from 2000-2012.
If I could bring back any two legends on this team, it would be Ronde Barber and Warrick Dunn. On the defensive side, the secondary with cornerback, in particular, has been weak. Ronde would be an incredible leader and is a hall of fame cornerback. He could shut down the Vet (or Mercedes-Benz) all week, every week. Warrick Dunn was an incredible back in his time in the league. His shiftiness could get him out of trouble from the issues on the line. His ability to catch passes would also be an incredible outlet for Jameis, as Jacquizz Rodgers has been.
If I could bring back two Buccaneers legends to help the current Buccaneers win football games who would they be?
The First legend I’m going with is left tackle Paul Gruber. This team needs a physical left tackle that will give 100 % every play. One of the biggest knocks on Donovan Smith is he doesn’t give effort every play and he’s not consistent. imagine having Gruber, Marpet and Jensen on the left side of the OL.
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Since I already went offense I’ll go defense for my second legend. This is hard because I feel like they need play-makers in the secondary. I’ll stick with Licht’s plan and just keep adding to the defensive line. I will take Simeon Rice back any day of the week. Rice was unstoppable as a Buccaneer in both pass and run defense. Rice didn’t only go for sacks but he went for sack fumbles. Having Rice on one side and JPP on the other side, with McCoy and Vea in the middle this would be the best front four in the NFL and would harass the quarterbacks in the NFC South.
I wish I could have picked a third legend it would have been Mike Alstott Bucs are so bad at getting 1st downs in short yardage situations. He’d have no issues scoring in the red-zone.
Looking at this roster and the current situation who could I bring back on each side of the ball to help. I looked through
First, to shore up the offensive line, I would love to have offensive tackle Paul Gruber in the lineup. A steady presence through his 12 seasons in Tampa, Gruber was rock solid. Though he played on some of the worst teams we have had he was a stud. This is evident in his earning of two All-Pro selections during his career (1991 and 1992). He is also a Buccaneers Ring of Honor inductee. Imagine if he could replace CalebBenenoch. The run game would improve, pass protection would improve and the offense as an entire unit would improve. This one was a no-brainer.
Second, I wanted to aid the secondary and who better to bring back in his prime than John Lynch. The nine-time Pro-Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and Hall of Fame finalist were AMAZING! His attitude, tackling, and playmaking ability would give the boost this secondary has needed all year. Although he may be ejected a few times if he were hit like he did when he played. He lowered the boom on players and his reputation as a big hitter would be something that I would love to have on our defense again. He would also bring something this team has lacked on the defense until Jason Pierre-Paul arrived. Something that is not on a stats sheet. His leadership was outstanding. A young secondary would greatly benefit from his presence.
Bonus, I also contemplated another addition. Kicker Martin Gramática. His accuracy may have won the Buccaneers a few games we lost this year.
With the Bucs ailing secondary and youth at cornerback, imagine being able to bring back a guy like Ronde Barber? Ronde was one of my favorite Bucs and having him coach up this secondary would be phenomenal. Vernon Hargreaves reminds me, slightly, of Ronde Barber. They share a similar skill set at least. Ronde could really help Hargreaves improve. As for my second legend, I’m going to go a little bit outside of the ordinary. Warrick Dunn. Dunn would have been the perfect back with Peyton Barber to compliment him.
A menace in the passing game, Dunn could also run between the tackles as good as anyone in the league. Dunn and Barber would change the complexion of this team in a heartbeat.
Honorary mention: Donald Penn. With the offensive line struggling this year, Penn would’ve brought the same nasty that we see from Jensen. He would help solidify the offensive line and keep Jameis from running for his life every play.