Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed into a new direction in 2014 with the hiring of new head coach, Lovie Smith. The offense has some building blocks with running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. If Tampa Bay wants to have a consistent productive offense it will start with improving their offensive line play. Next thing on the -to do list- will be to find a starting franchise quarterback. Free agent acquisition Josh McCown (ex-Chicago Bears) and last year’s starter Mike Glennon battle for the starting job.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David are the key play makers on the defense. A legit pass rusher who can consistently get pressure on opposing quarterbacks is much needed. Also, with cornerback Darrelle Revis being traded to the New England Patriots a shut down cornerback would help the secondary. Overall, if Tampa Bay gets quality quarterback play, the offensive line elevates its performance, and the defense finds a consistent pass rush the Buccaneers should be able to compete with anyone. The problem is that might not be until next year. The 2015 NFL Draft will be huge for Tampa Bay. Tampa’s 2014 NFL Draft first round selection wide receiver Mike Evans should be a Vincent Jackson clone. Check out his video below.
Logan Mankins – offensive guard
Logan Mankins was acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots. Once he arrived he immediately became the best offensive lineman on the team. He has been to the Pro Bowl and on the All-Pro team multiple times. Tamap Bay needs his leadership and experience to help gel together a young inexperienced offensive line group. Results may not be felt until next year when more talent is added.
Josh McCown – quarterback
Josh McCown comes to Tampa Bay as a veteran free agent signee. He performed well last season for the Chicago Bears filling in for several games for starter Jay Cutler. He will be in a battle for the starting job with Mike Glennon. He had great chemistry with the big physical wide receivers in Chicago, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Tampa Bay is hoping for the same magic with wide out Vincent Jackson.
Alterraun Verner – cornerback
Alterraun Verner is another key free agent signing by Tampa Bay. He will replace Darrelle Revis as the number one cornerback. He plays bigger than his size and with an attitude. He is the start to the rebuilding of the secondary. Head coach Lovie Smith whose specialty is defense will continue to build the defense the way he wants it. Verner will be a key contributor in the near future.
Michael Johnson – defensive end
Michael Johnson was signed away from the Cincinnati Bengals to provide pass rushing pressure off the edges. He is long and athletic standing at 6’7″ with the speed to turn the corner and pressure the quarterback. This was probably the best free agent signing of all the players acquired. Tampa Bay was one of the worst at producing sacks from their defensive ends in 2013. Johnson fits Lovie Smith’s cover 2 scheme kind of like Simeon Rice did for the late 90’s early 2000’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2014 NFL Draft Player Profile: Mike Evans, WR
Take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Texas A&M Aggies receiver Mike Evans as he prepares to enter the NFL.