Special teams aces
The Tony Dungy era Bucs had a core group of guys led by a remarkable coach who consistently had his boys ranked in the top echelon of the NFL year in and year out.
The new Bucs under Raheem Morris are not much different; itís just that the defense takes a back seat to the top ranked unit of this squad. Its not coached by a Kiffin like the previous paragraph, nope this one is a unit coached by Rich Bisaccia and itís called Special Teams.
And make no mistake about it; the Bucs special teams units are ranked in the top each year, and going into 2010 is no exception. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News each year ranks the NFL teams and assigns points according to their standings.
The Bucs, yes YOUR 3-13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were the no.2 unit for the 2009 year, with 256.5 points coming in about 40 points behind the number one team which may sound familiar; we face them in 6 days- the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland finished first in Kickoff Coverage and Starting Point, while Jacksonville came in first for punt coverage. Our dubious distinction on the list is DEAD LAST place in FG Percentage with 61.5% thanks to Nugent and his nuggets being kicked all over the place except through the uprights last year. Connor Barth should help us recover in that area.
The Bucs did block 6 kicks last year, first place in the NFL. Interestingly enough, the Bucs got two victories out of three wins last year against two of the four worst special teams units in the league: New Orleans at 29th and Green Bay at 31.
Going back a couple of years, the Bucs show a knack for ranking high in this category. In 2008, Tampa Bay ranked 9th, while they came in 7th the year before; 2007.