The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had the No.1 ranked defense many times in their 40+ year history. Twice in this franchises past, the Bucs were known for dominating defense.
The John McKay Bucs brought a 3-4 defense to fame with Lee Roy Selmon (a Hall of Fame player) and the Bucs were the No.1 defense in 1979 and had a top D many years from 77-82.
Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, two hall of fame players the Bucs picked in the first two rounds in 1995, made the Pewter Bucs into a defense for the ages. Not as famous as the 85 Bears or 2000 Ravens, the Bucs were a top 5 D from 1997-2005. In 1999, and 2005, the Bucs were NO.1, and a top D in 2002 as well. But Never a Bucs team in the top 10 in offense, until Dirk Koetter comes along and Lovie Smith’s 2 year stretch as Bucs HC drafting all Offense players (instead of all OFFENSIVE players like 40+ years past). Because of the Licht/Lovie drafting in 2014-15, Tampa Bay sits at NO.1 in offense for the first time EVER after two weeks of football in the NFL.
Consider this; The Bucs 4th string Wide Receiver Adam Humphries, How many NFL teams would he be a no.2 on? For over a decade and a half, Defenses that faced the Bucs did not really have to prepare for anyone. Even under the Dungy/Gruden Bucs, not really one Buc on offense made you game plan to stop them. Maybe FB Mike Alstott.
How would you like to face the Bucs now? Mike Evans catches everything, Deshawn Jackson can take a 15 yard pass 100 yards, and odds are your team can’t catch him. Then you have the young Godwin who is right up there as a NO.2 WR, who gets major yards after the catch and blocks. And then there is the no.4 Humphries, when and if a Bucs WR goes down, the offense will still click.
Maybe, if you can come up with a plan to cover these guys… OJ Howard is out there running routes. And some dude who scored 10 TDs for the Bucs a couple years ago, hasn’t even caught 20 yards of passes yet! Cameron Brate is WAY overdue for his TD. Safe to say your Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the deepest offense in the league, and if the cards are played right, could be remembered up there with the Buffalo Bills of the 80s, San Diego Chargers of the 70s. Imagine that; Air Koetter.
Meanwhile the Bucs are doing this with a QB who lit the NFL on fire a few years ago with the Jets, only to watch his weapons taken away and his ‘magic’ go at the same time. Imagine how that happens. We also have the smart drafting of the left side of the O line along with QB Jameis Winston. Along with some good pickups in free agency this year, the O line is pass protecting with a purpose.
As the Bucs have the magic this year, Bucs fans need to thank their lucky stars; consider the Packers, offensive firehouse for decades now… and last year when their QB went down, the Packers offense was in shambles.
Credit Bucs GM Licht for bringing in Fitzgerald and recognizing he hadn’t lost his ability, just his no.1 and no.2 WRs, FitzMagic is having a perfect couple of games and it won’t surprise anyone if that stretches to 3 or 4.
But don’t get used to it. Fitzmagic had a 6 TD game for the Texans, he is in the perfect situation at the perfect time. But he has his down games, you can bet that at some point, Bucs fans running out to get #14 Jerseys, will be cheering Jameis in a couple of weeks.
Winston is the future for the Bucs, Fitz is the present and the past. IN TWO YEARS, FITZ WILL RETIRE. With no Winston, BUCS fans will have a team that searches the waiver wire each year for castoff QBs, Matt Cassells, Sam Bradfords, settling for less than stellar QBs each year, because the rest of the team will be ready for a potential dynasty.
Hmm, sound like the Denver Broncos?