So you want to throwback?
Ok, lets go all the way back to….2009, and it will be very easy to figure out why these 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 7-4. It’s the Talent Stupid!
Much like the message to daddy Bush, the message here is relatively simple, the Bucs are more talented across the board, at almost every position.
James Lee and Ted Larsen have really added some Thump to the line, and Zuttah is Mr. Utility lineman that has played all three interior positions. Last year the Bucs had only 5 good linemen, this year they have 8, and have depth. Advantage 2010
It is simple math; Derrick Ward is lesser than but not equal to LeGarrett Blount. Since Blount has come into the picture, Cadillac Williams is an even more effective runner now when he gets his touches. Advantage 2010
Without a doubt the biggest change from last year to this would be at the WR position. Last year Sammy Stroughter was a nice mild surprise as a 7th round pick. This year, 2nd round pick Arrelious Benn has contributed enough to excite everyone, but 4th round pick Mike Williams has emerged as a plain stud! If that wasn’t enough, Micheal Spurlock aside from his drop Sunday has emerged as a major double threat. This group as opposed to Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton, which were the starters at last years throwback game. Advantage: Not even funny - 2010.
Now there are a bunch of areas that are toss-ups and break-evens, sometimes because the same player is there. Josh Freeman is one example, but Freeman of 2010 is more like a 3rd or 4th year Quarterback. Last season the Bucs brought out Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson. Neither one could hold their own again 2010 Freeman.
The tight ends with Kellen Winslow and linebackers with Rudd, Black, and Hayes are a deat heat, but this year with the loss of Stevens, Ryan Purvis has added another Blocking Tight end, and John Gilmore is getting a chance to show he can catch the ball too. Dekoda Watson is a 2010 Linebacker addition from Florida State who is making a name for himself.
The secondary is minus Tanard Jackson, but you would have a hard time saying the DBs were better last season with the play of Cody Grimm, Ronde Barber, who has had a new lease on life, and Aqib Talib who is finally playing at that Pro Bowl level we expected of him.
The target area of the draft, the defensive line is starting to show up on the stat sheets as Gerald McCoy has come up with 3 sacks in the last 2 games, and is starting to get pressure on the opposing team with its penetration. Even the ends like Stylez White are starting to get some sacks not seen before these past weeks.
The players however are not the only difference between these two years. The front office with Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris deserve their share of blame for the ills of last season, but equally deserve their props for what they accomplished this year. The difference?
Raheem Morris has one year of Head Coaching experience behind him now, as does Dominik as a GM. He has made some unbelieveable moves this year with free agents and practice squad acquisitions. Both are in the running for their own respective “…of the year” awards. The biggest difference?
Both have a full year of experience in their rear view mirror. Now they both have some bigger goals in front of them that are a little more realistic than they were last year. You could even say, “Objectives before you may be closer than they appear”!