We love to make bold predictions in sports radio right??? Here’s one. That Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in the Super Bowl in 3 years.

Houston, we have a football team. And Houston will be hosting the Pewter Pirates in Super Bowl 51.

I, along with many other Bucs fans was disappointed when Lovie Smith and Jason Licht passed on Johnny Football last Thursday. After the initial shock set in and I started to think about the big picture, I started feeling better… A lot better.

Yes. I love Johnny Football too! I love him for different reasons though. I love him for the mega-star that he is and the Hollywood atmosphere that he brings. This is entertainment. While I like the X’s and O’s, I watch sports for the entertainment. I like Johnny Football. I like LeBron James. I like the Cowboys and the Heat and the Lakers (when they’re good). I like heroes and villains. Steak is good, but the sizzle makes it great.

While I like Johnny Football and I always will; my reasons for wanting him here were selfish. Let’s get real. Johnny Football would’ve made 98.7 The Fan a better radio station. He would’ve brought us higher ratings and he would’ve made me more money. Sorry. Being a fan is fun, but being rich is better.

Yes, I might not be rocking a Benz in 2017, but I will be flying (coach) to Houston to see my beloved Bucs fight for the Lombardi Trophy. Why do I believe this??? Because they are putting the pieces in place, starting with Lovie Smith. Smith brings stability that this organization hasn’t seen since Coach Dungy packed his car in the rain at One Buc Place that cold January morning. While it ain’t flashy, it gets results.

Smith and Licht were relentless in free agency this offseason and really put their stamp on the team. Alterraun Verner is a Pro Bowl Cover-2 corner. Michael Johnson has Pro Bowl potential and Anthony Collins can’t be any worse than Donald Penn was last year. Josh McCown was fantastic last year while filling in for Jay Cutler and many people in Chicago think the Bears let the wrong guy get away.

I was also very impressed with the Bucs’ draft strategy this year. SIZE MATTERS and we addressed that by grabbing big, physical players with hands. The NFC is a street-fight. The Seahawks and 49ers have set the tone on how football games will be won for the foreseeable future. Did you see how bad the Broncos got punked out in the Super Bowl??? If they make it back this year… they’ll get punked out again. The NFC is a different level man. Seattle and San Francisco play car-wreck football. So does Carolina, St. Louis and Arizona. If the Bucs want to get through this demolition derby, they better pack a punch. While “speed in space” is nice, speed doesn’t mean anything in that cold, wet, lime-green graveyard in Seattle. You need receivers and tight ends that can get in Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas’ faces. Guys who aren’t afraid of Kam Chancellor blasting them up the middle. With Mike Evans and Austin Seferian Jenkins the Bucs have added some much needed physicality to their down-field attack. You throw it up to these guys along with Vincent Jackson and I’ll bet a guy wearing pewter will come up with the ball more often than not. Tampa Bay also made strength stronger by drafting Charles Simms in the third round. The NFL is a 2-back league now and Simms, coupled with Doug Martin will be one of the top 3 duos in the league.

While the puzzle is coming together, there is still one piece missing… The quarterback. Josh McCown is a Band-Aid. We will need a franchise QB if we want to reach the promise land. The main reason why I’m okay with the Bucs passing on Johnny Football this year is because I don’t think there is a franchise QB in the 2014 class. NEXT YEAR IS A DIFFERENT STORY. There could be five QB’s drafted in the first round next year and all five of them have HUGE potential. Brett Hundley, Bryce Petty and Braxton Miller will all be good NFL quarterbacks. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota is VERY intriguing to me. At one point LAST year, many draft experts had him number 1 on their boards. With another year of college Mariota will only get better and more polished and I believe he can be every bit as good as Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick.

There is one name that I haven’t mentioned. Famous Jameis Winston. I have made no secret that I think this kid is special… Like LeBron James special. The first time I heard him speak, I knew that he would change football and I wanted him to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A lot of people say that Johnny Football has that “It” factor. Well Jameis Winston has more “It” than any athlete I have ever seen. He single-handedly elevated Florida State from a pretty good football team to the best team in the country. He beat the SEC! If he were eligible he would’ve been the number 1 pick in this year’s draft. With his charisma, leadership and all-world athletic ability, Jameis Winston will win a Super Bowl within 3 years of entering the NFL.

If Jameis is the top player on the board next year, which he should be, the Bucs might have to give up a king’s ransom to get him. I believe he’ll be worth every penny. Who knows…? Maybe he’ll try to steal some more crab legs and fall a few slots in the draft? We can only hope.

Meanwhile, I’ll be planning my trip to Houston.

For more #PantsRants follow @PantsRadio987 on Twitter


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