Training camp is done. The terrible preseason games are over. Now it’s time for some real football.
This week the Bucs take on the incredible hype machine (for our purposes we’ll call them the Detroit Lions). No one is getting more love than the Lions and more specifically Matthew Stafford. I actually read a tweet (from an NFL Network analyst) this week about the top QBs in the league, the normal names (Rodgers, Brady, Brees) were there plus Stafford. Am I missing something with Stafford? He’s played 13 games in two years. Yes, he’s shown flashes, but zero consistency. Maybe after decades of mediocre to putrid play it’s the Lions season… then again we are talking about the Lions.
On the other end of the conversation is the Bucs. This is all I’ve heard this year, “They overachieved last year.” “They’re going to take a step back.” “They’re too young.” Why? Why does everyone think this?
Look, the Bucs got better as the season went on last year, and that’s with losing key players on both sides of the ball. And after a very short off-season the Bucs are bringing back pretty much the same team. You’d think that would be a plus.
Granted the preseason was not as smooth as Bucs fans would have liked. Josh Freeman looked shaky, the O-line looked terrible, but we saw improvement in the defensive line and LeGarrette Blount got involved in the passing game.
This week’s game is going to be all about something to prove. Gerald McCoy wants to prove he’s in the same class as Suh. Freeman wants to prove he should have been the first QB taken in 2009. Da’Quan Bowers wants to prove he shouldn’t have fallen to the 2nd round of the draft. Raheem Morris wants to prove he belongs in the best-coaches conversation. And the team wants to prove last year was not a fluke.
And if all that’s not enough… the team is playing in honor of the greatest Buc of all-time Lee Roy Selmon (I went to his restaurant twice while in Tampa a few years ago. He wasn’t there either time, sad I never got to meet him).
In the battle of “hype” versus “something to prove”, I think these Bucs come out on top.
follow me on twitter: @buc_wild
About the Author
Written by Justin Chechourka
Born and raised in California, I inexplicably became a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. Now I bleed red and pewter. The best part of being a Bucs fan in California... I never have to worry about blackouts.