ATB State Of The Franchise: SPECIAL EDITION
From the years I played Football, Studying, Scouting and watching… I always have considered the sport of football “a game of chess”.
I say that as this game takes a lot of strategic brain power. Think of that. From Offense to Defense. It takes a collective team of coaches and 53 men, using their Mental and Physical attributes to achieve one common goal. Winning. Playbooks filled on different objectives. The bumps, the bruises, the adrenaline when Adversity comes into effect every game. Team strategist on all aspects from the playing field, to the office. Yeah, sort of like chess..
This off-season has been different than most. We aren’t hearing casual tweets and rumours, linking us to almost every star player like the last few years. Instead this year was more about filling certain holes that they believe will take our team to the next level. So far, the Buccaneers have acquired players such as: Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Ryan Jenson, Greg Urein, Beau Allen, Cam Lynch, and Chandler Catanzaro. They Re-Signed key players such as Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, Brent Grimes, Peyton Barber Evan Smith. Besides our new Kicker, its clear the Bucs were really focusing on one particular key piece we lacked in last season… Keeping their own and the trenches. (They really were soft last year). But now reflecting back after the past couple weeks…. Trusting Jason Licht is a must.
Last year the Buccaneers ranked the last in the NFL with an average of 378.1 YPG against us. Nonetheless, we all know how dreadful last year was comparing to a promising 2016 season. One thing our “Twitter GM Fans” know is what our clear team needs are: RB, SS, OL, DE & Depth. One thing I am going to say about WHY we haven’t done a complete roster/staff overhaul this year is because of one thing…. The Bucs HAVEN’T had this one specific thing in over a decade. Consistency.
We have fans know we are in a really good position for this years draft. We currently hold 8 picks in this years NFL Draft: Round 1 – No. 7 overall, Round 2 – No. 38 overall, Round 4 – No. 102 overall, Round 5 – No. 144 overall, Round 6 – No. 180 overall, Round 6 – No. 202nd (Trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers), Round 7 – No. 255 overall. A thing most fans do not know is most teams actually pick the player so most teams have an understanding on what will happen. With League intel, nobody wants to get screwed over in the Top-10. With the overall outlook of predictions and insiders, it seems like it will be another QB needy Top-10 this year.
As the Bucs hold the #7th Overall Pick and are in no need for a QB, it will be pretty interesting in what the Bucs will do with that pick. One thing ill say is flexibility… and lots of it. The Bucs can either give up a lot like the Jets have if they want to move up for a particular player. They could have the flexibility to move down a couple spots, gain some more picks/players if the the “guy” they want will be available. Or they can just stay put and get the best player available. As I go a bit into the Draft, I truly think the Bucs will take James, Nelson or Barkley if they are still available by #7. Sadly, there is still a strong chance Nelson and Barkley can get picked before us. If they get chosen, do the Bucs take the chance on a stud like Derwin James at #7? I think they would. We recently saw GM Jason Licht, first row at the FSU/Derwin James Pro-Day. He seemed to be drooling over the possibilities of James and Evans in a backfield IMO. Just speculation.
ATB BOLD PREDICTION: The Bucs will not take a Corner Back in the NFL Draft until the mid-late rounds. [(RDs 4-7) (Explanation Below)]
Talks around One Buc Place is they still really like VHII (although the video of him smoking just got release) & the teams still believes he is about to have a “Break-out Season”. They just re-signed Brent Grimes who is playing elite caliber Coverage in his 30s. One thing I know is… They trust their group & development. Truthfully they have a pretty talented youth. (VHIII, R. Smith, Elliot, Jude). Lets get real here again too, people were calling Xavier Rhodes a bust for his first 2-3 seasons until he really came out his shell the previous 2 seasons. It takes TIME to develop corner backs. That position is hard to develop and some DBs are in their late 20s before they actually start to peak.
“What are are you talking about ATB? The Bucs had the worst Secondary”
Before you say that. I am going to tell you all a MIND BLOWING Fact. That most “twitter GMs” don’t know: In order To complete A Secondary, you MUST have a pass-rush. Having smart CBs, and Fast LBs is necessary. So what the Bucs have set up for a foundation and what Jason Licht has been doing for years is finally leading up to now. This isn’t just him “bailing” on the star FA we usually tend to get. Re-signing Mike Evans and Cameron Brate shows they want to keep their own. We all know with a pass rush, it makes the QB have less time to throw the entire game. QBs cannot get the throw off, Limited plays, more rushes, shorter passes, different game plans, etc. The Buccaneers needed to address the trenches this year. Its part of chess. The Strategy. So they did.
We can never have too many skilled players, but the team would be stupid if they didn’t address both line positions. The Bucs trust their Secondary enough that maybe that was why we have not signed any new cornerback to our team. As I stated above, the Buccaneers ranked the last in the NFL with an average of 378.1 YPG against us.. so Jason Licht is given an A- for me as we Signed Viny Curry, Signed Urein, Signed Allen, traded for JPP to sack the QB, get pressure on the QB and stop the run. I complete think that stat line will change after next season drastically. Grimes is still playing amazing ball in his 30s, VHII has lots potential, and we hold 8 picks in the draft plus UDFA. The corner back position will consist of raw, young and old talent.
The Buccaneers have lacked consistency and they already have started to get rid of that with a new culture at One Buc Place, compared to the dreadful years past. (Do not forget this was the same type of team that just missed playoffs mathematically at 9-7 and they also had a Top-5 Defense in 2016). Note to everyone: Last year teams like Buffalo, Tennessee, LA Rams and the Jaguars all made the playoffs. All it takes is one year. Two-Three years ago we used to make fun of those teams on Thursday Night Football. The Bucs are a really good team and all teams know we have the potential to beat anybody in the NFL. Note to mention they did not have players such as Justin Evans, JPP, DeSean Jackson, Vinny Curry, Ryan Jenson, and Kendell Beckwith in 2016.
Every team in the NFL is looking to improve its team, but the best teams trust their core set of players. Jason Licht, Dirk Koetter and the rest of their staff TRUST in the talent they have. I know from being a long time fan that I am desperate to get out of this losing culture, I know you all want to win. But that shouldn’t be taken out on other fans.
It has been grateful on behalf of ATB by having this much support for this page by the Fans/Followers. It is about two years since I have started All Things Bucs. I have met & started relationships by interacting with so many of you. ATB is here to give what the fans want. We aren’t here to cause media competition, drama, bashing, etc. We are here for the fans, by the fans. So all in all, we have one of the youngest team in the league. One of the most Talented teams in the NFL. Relax, Don’t Fret, Have Faith.
Kell Pooles (ATB CEO/Founder)
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