Published on: 13th September, 2009
2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Preview
The 2008 season was a winning one for the Bucs. However, a 9-7 record wasn’t quite good enough to make it to the post season. In an extremely competitive NFC South division, a 9-7 record isn’t quite good enough to get the job done. While it would have won other divisions in the NFL like the AFC West, you’ve got to do better than that here. As a result of the subpar season, management decided to blow the whole thing up and start over. They fired coach Jon Gruden and brought in Raheem Morris to right the ship. They got rid of efficient quarterback Jeff Garcia and decided to bring in some fresh blood. So did the Bucs make the right changes to get them back to the playoffs? If you’re looking for free football picks, I would say don’t expect them to do much.
The Good News: The good news this offseason came in the form of some key acquisitions. They brought in a free agent running back in Derrick Ward that led the league in yards-per-rush last season. He should instantly boost the running game in Tampa. According to reports out of camp, he is clearly the best running back on the field.
In addition to Ward, they also brought in Byron Leftwich at quarterback. In a heated competition with Luke McCown and rookie Josh Freeman, he emerged as the starter. He will bring veteran leadership to the offense and help in their transition. They also brought in another weapon for the offense in talented tight end Kellen Winslow. Although trouble has tended to follow him around, he is poised for a big year.
The Bad News: There are a lot of things that bring an unpleasant feeling when you think about what the Bucs have done this offseason. The biggest question mark is their new head coach. Two years ago, Raheem Morris was a college football assistant coach. Now he’s moved up the ranks to head coach? He’s pretty young and him and Josh McDaniels will probably provide several head-scratching moments this year as inexperienced coaches.
Another big question was why they soured on Jeff Garcia so quickly. He was just in the Pro Bowl before as recently as two years ago. He had a bit of an injury last year and lost his starting spot for a while. He has been a consistent quarterback throughout his career, which you would think would be a good asset to have for a first year coach. However, they cut him loose faster than you can imagine last year. They also got rid of Derrick Brooks, Phillip Buchanon, Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway, Cato June, Ike Hilliard, and Alex Smith. That is a lot of veteran players being shown the door.
Outlook: If you’re searching for free NFL picks, stay away from Tampa Bay this year. This has a terrible season written all over it. They tried to do way too much, too fast. They’re going to pay for their mistakes and probably have a losing record this year.