The major decision that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made this offseason was to change the culture of the team. The changing of the head coach was the spearhead of these changes. We have not seen what else will happen, but we think, players will be released, and free agency will ensue. In my opinion, they have all the things it takes to make a run at a Super Bowl. A franchise quarterback in Jamies Winston, a top-five wide receiver in Mike Evans, and a young defense that under the right coaches, can be elite.
Jamies Winston will be going into his fifth season in 2019. With the coaching change, he will be in a new offense for the first time in his professional career. Bruce Arians was hired with one thing in mind; develop Winston into a top trier passer in the National Football League. Looking back at the first four years of his career, his numbers are comparable to Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. This will be an important year for the Buccaneers in deciding whether to sign Winston to a long-term contract or to let him go
The Wide Receiver
Mike Evans signed a long-term deal this past offseason, so he will be around for at least four more seasons. Evans has proven to be a top tier wide receiver by accumulating five consecutive 1000-yard seasons. Hall of Famer Randy Moss and Cincinnati Bengals receiver AJ Green are the only other players in NFL history to accomplish this feat. The offense that Coach Arians has brought with him is designed to throw the ball downfield. He continues to work on his craft and in my opinion, will become the NFL’s best receiver. In the 2018 Pro Bowl, Evans had an interception, while playing as a defensive back.
The Young Defense
The defense has been disappointing over the last few seasons. Last season the Buccaneers defense was decimated by injuries. It started with third-year defensive back in Vernon Hargreaves during the first game of the season. The Buccaneers also lost key players which included Kwon Alexander and Chris Conte. At one point in the season, the team was playing with only one of its starting linebackers. The lessons learned by the rookies that were thrown in the fire over the season will be a stepping stone for this season. Carlton Davis, in my opinion, is going to be special. His size and athleticism will be key in the aggressiveness of the defense. Vita Vea showed at the end of the season that he’s stout on the interior line.
Overall, the youth of the team should make an impact on the legacy of the team moving forward. As a fan, I look at the future success of the team riding on the ability of the coaching staff putting players in positions that they can work to their strengths. Over the last decade, the Buccaneers have been trying to recapture the days when the defense was the focal point of the team. Let’s see what the upcoming season will hold.