You bet I’m pumped about the return of football.
The Buccaneers will start their training camp on Friday afternoon, and it almost feels like the start of a whole new franchise.
Thinking about how much transpired this off-season for the Buccaneers could give one a headache, and with all the changes, comes renewed energy and optimism.
Of course none of these feelings come to fruition unless the Glazers make the tough, but right, decision to fire both head coach Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik. The steps taken backwards over the past couple of years had to end, and the hiring of Lovie Smith signaled to Bucs fans everywhere that steps forward were finally going to be taken for their favorite franchise.
Lovie Smith was joined by new GM Jason Licht to examine the Bucs current roster, and ultimately rip it to shreds.
The turnover on the Bucs roster from last season to this season would probably take 32,000 words in itself, so I’ll leave that to someone else. However, we can say goodbye to Darrelle Revis, Donald Penn, Davin Joseph, Mike Williams, and most guys who played for Rutgers in college.
Jason Licht turned Darrelle Revis’ $16 million into three potential impact players on the roster.
Michael Johnson was arguably the top defensive end on the open market. While his sack production was down in 2013, Johnson instantly becomes the Bucs best pass rushing defensive end since Simeon Rice danced to double-digit sacks while wearing the pewter and red. You know what I mean?
It could be debated that Alterraun Verner will be a better option at corner for this Bucs team than Revis would be. Verner is a young player coming off a pro bowl season, but with his best football ahead of him. Verner’s instincts are off the charts, and he should prove to be a turnover machine in Lovie Smith’s defense.
I plan on breaking down some other strengths for the Bucs throughout the week, but keep a close eye on DT Clinton McDonald and WR Louis Murphy as players who could have a much bigger impact than most think.
The main story-line for the Bucs now and until the position is settled will be the uncertainty at quarterback. I’m not breaking any news here. Josh McCown is a lifelong backup and Mike Glennon was a mediocre rookie who played like a 3rd round pick. The Bucs say that Glennon is their future QB, but all indications are that McCown won’t have much of a battle at camp.
Yep, training camp is starting and that means every franchise’s fan base believes that this is their year; their year to win a championship, their year to make the playoffs, or just their year to return to relevancy.