Last year: 4-12, everyone got MRSA
Acquisitions: Josh McCown, Alterraun Verner, Mike Evans, Brandon Myers, Michael Johnson
Departures: Darrelle Revis, Donald Penn, Joseph Davin, Erik Lorig
Billionaire who recently died: Malcolm Glazer
Vegas 2014 win total over/under: 7 wins
Five notable Lovie Smith challenges for the 2014 season:
— Challenges Mike Glennon to overcome his milk allergy and ask a girl on a date.
— Throws flag on stadium pirate ship for firing cannon before a score.
— Challenges whether Doug Martin was down by contact short on 4th down before fumbling the ball away for a difference in two yards in field position.
— Challenges holding penalty, is told that isn’t allowed under current NFL rules.
— Challenges NFL rule book, is called out for thinking he’s above the sport by dutiful NFL press corps.
Fan forecast by Grimey:
As it turns out, my prediction last year that the Bucs could start their season 2-6 was overly optimistic.
I am optimistic about this season for the Buccaneers, although not as optimistic as Herm Edwards back in May when he predicted the Bucs would go to the Super Bowl. Of course, Herm had previously worked with new head coach Lovie Smith on the Bucs defensive staff back in the 90’s, but that would have nothing to do with Herm’s prediction, right? He’s a professional analyst!
I am not a professional analyst, but I did attend Tampa Bay’s preseason game against the Dolphins this past weekend. Not only did I get a bunch of material for my “White Guys Wearing Cadillac Williams Jerseys” Tumblr, but I made a few observations based on the smallest, most insignificant sample size possible:
– Being outdoors in Tampa in August is a horrible idea.
– Time to update the media guides: Gerald McCoy has been upgraded to a Category 5 kaiju.
– Greg Schiano did a lot of terrible things during his two-year run as head coach, but his most underrated sin was letting Michael Bennett walk. The Bucs haven’t had a reliable pass rush to complement McCoy in the middle since. (As always, you’re welcome, Seahawks.)
– Even though Josh McCown is clearly going to be the Week 1 starter, the crowd was surprisingly pro-Mike Glennon. He received a big ovation when he entered the game in the second quarter.
– Raymond James Stadium now offers free wi-fi, so you can tweet about how god-awful the new uniforms are during the game as much as you want!
The big question for the Buccaneers this year is the offensive line. They didn’t really address their offensive line need during the draft, and then Carl Nicks ended up retiring due to his health. The Bucs have enough quality weapons on offense; whether or not McCown has enough time to get the ball to them will determine their success.
The schedule is not as daunting as last year’s, even though the Bucs have to play the NFC North and AFC North. I think the best early indicator for how the Bucs season will end up will be Week 5 at New Orleans. If they are 3-1 or 2-2, and they can pull out a big road win against the toughest opponent in their division, I think double digit wins and a playoff berth are highly likely. Otherwise, they will probably end up with anywhere from six to nine wins, with a Week 16 home loss to the Packers knocking them out of the playoff picture.
Other predictions: I believe Lavonte David finally gets the Pro Bowl invite that he deserved last year. I think Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans will challenge Roddy White and Julio Jones for best wide receiver combo in the league. And I think that somehow, someway, Greg Schiano will burn down an NFL Network set. (Don’t say we didn’t try to warn you, NFL Network.)