Let me start by welcoming you to my first of hopefully many Blogs covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFL. Since the league is at a stand still, I think this is a good time to go ahead and take a look at the upcoming season. That is, if there is one.
QB- Josh Freeman showed the most improvement from his Rookie season to his Sophomore season than any other QB in recent memory. His rookie season he passed for 1,855 yards, 10tds, 18int, with a 59.8 QB rating. In only his second season, his numbers jumped to 3,451 yards, 25tds, 6int, and a QB rating of 95.9. Those are incredible increases, but most NFL executives and scouts say his leadership and other intangibles are his most impressive traits and gains of improvement. Backup QB Josh Johnson was very efficient in spot duty last season and proved worthy running the ball with a 9.8 yd average. Rudy Carpenter serves as the 3rd string QB and has been helpful already in player run off-season drills.
RB- Undrafted RB LeGarrette Blount had a unexpected rookie campaign. He notched 1,006 yards and 6 tds while starting only 7 games. He’s more of a 2 down running back as he isnt much of an asset in the passing game. His hands are rather stiff and he isnt that great picking up the blitz. He still has time and the tools to fix it so give him some patience. Veteran RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams isn’t what he once was, given he’s had 2 devastating knee injuries. He is a free agent, but I expect him to be back next season. He provides veteran leadership, and is one of the better 3rd down backs in the NFL. He helps out Freeman with audibles and is one of the best in the game in blitz pickup. His soft hands and knowledge of the game makes him a great receiver out of the backfield. Earnest Graham has been a real team player in picking up the FB position for most of the past 2 seasons. He is an excellent blocker, good in short yardage and at the goal line. He also provides great special teams play.
WR- Rookie wide receiver Mike Williams showed amazing talent and upside in his rookie season. He had character issues coming out of college, which caused him to slide to the 4th round in the 2010 draft. So far, none of these issues have come to light, and he showed he hopefully put all these problems behind him. He caught 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns, leading all rookie receivers in each category. Fellow rookie receiver Arrelious Benn showed promise catching 25 balls for almost 400 yards and 2 scores. He is almost fully recovered from the ACL tear in week 16 that ended his rookie campaign. Sammie Stroughter and Michael Spurlock also provide decent depth to a young receiver corps. Watch for 2nd year player Preston Parker to make some strides and get a little playing time.
TE- Tight End Kellen Winslow still showed pro bowl talent with 730 yards and 5tds. His knee didn’t allow much, if any, practice time during the season but he played in every game. He still has sure hands and is a great security blanket for Freeman. I was really excited when we drafted rookie TE Luke Stocker out of Tennessee. He should show his worth in both the blocking and receiving game immediately.
OL- The offensive line suffered several injuries during the season and still proved to be a solid unit. Donald Penn was at pro bowl form and is a absolute mauler in both the passing and running game. Jeff Faine is a good center who was injured for part of last season. Davin Joseph had a down season last year, but he is someone we should consider to resign. I was a little shocked we didn’t add any depth during the draft, which leads me to believe we will add through free agency.
Look for my defensive breakdown in the near future.
About the Author
Written by Mike Crocetto
Originally from connecticut, now living in florida since '09. I'm a huge sports fan. Football, Basketball, and Baseball are the main three, but i do branch out into others. I am a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Hawks, New York Yankees, Florida State for NCAAF, and UCONN for NCAAB.