Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aka Harley Race

Before entering the WWF in 1986, Harley Race had experienced a legendary wrestling career in the NWA. He was a 43 year old former champion who seemed to have his best days behind him. However, he unexpectedly won the King of the Ring tournament and was known as "The King" of wrestling. Race was an old former champion with just enough left in the tank to make some noise.

Tampa Bay had an awful season last year. They went 5-11 and Jon Gruden's magic seemed to have gone away. The Bucs won the Super Bowl just three seasons ago but most people expect this team to fall apart. I think the Bucs are a "former champ with just enough left in the tank to make some noise." The Bucs have a very deep and talented roster. After taking over the starting job in week 5 last year, Brian Griese had a 70% completion percentage and a 97.5 quarterback rating. His primary target was rookie phenom Michael Clayton who had one of the top seasons ever for a rookie wide receiver. Ike Hilliard and Joey Galloway are decent second and third options for Griese. The backfield has been significantly upgraded over the last two years. Michael Pittman was a punishing running back last season. The Bucs drafted Carnell "Cadillac" Williams in the first round. Mike Alstott is a dependable fullback. The Bucs also drafted TE Alex Smith who should be a legit receiving threat. The Bucs will have an offense similar to what Gruden had with Oakland.

The defense has lost big names like Warren Sapp and John Lynch over the last few season but the defense isn't anything to laugh at. Derrick Brooks is still one of the best linebackers in the league. Simeon Rice and Booger McFarland are dominating defensive lineman. Rhonde Barber is still holding things together in the secondary. I fully expect the Bucs to have a formidable defense.

I haven't heard anything good about Tampa Bay since the season ended. Everyone wants to talk about Atlanta and Carolina. To me, Tampa Bay is just as talented as both of those teams. I would not be surprised to see Tampa Bay make the playoffs. They have a good mix of youth and athleticism. They have a good coach. I think Tampa Bay has as good of a chance as anyone to win the NFC South. The Bucs get to play Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington. They really should go 4-0 against those teams but I'll give them 3-1 to be safe. I think they can go 3-3 in their division. That leaves Minnesota, Buffalo, Green Bay, Detroit, NY Jets, and New England on the schedule. They could go 3-3 in those games but I think 2-4 is more likely.

Predicted record: 8-8

No comments:


Powered by Blogger