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NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Division: NFC SouthGM: Mark DominikHead Coach: Greg Schiano
2012: 7-9 (4th in South)vs. division 3-3
Points24.3 (13th)
Yards363.8(9th)
Pass Yards248.9 (10th)
Rush Yards114.8 (15th)

Improving The Defence

Key Additions

CB D.Revis, S D.Goldson,
T G.Carimi, LB J.Casillas

Key Subtractions

S R.Barber, DE M.Bennett,
DT R.Miller, LB Q.Black
TE D.Clark, RB L.Blount

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ off-season aim was to improve team defence.

After showing some promise last year, they’re going for the gusto in 2013 with some big name off-season additions to their defensive unit.

Darrelle Revis leads the way in that category as Tampa Bay is looking to totally revitalize the league’s worst secondary from a year ago.

The 28-year-old, who the Bucs acquired from the New York Jets for a first-round pick and conditional draft pick, was uniformly considered the league’s top cornerback before losing most of last year with a knee injury.

In the three years Revis was fully healthy he never allowed more than 50 catches against him per season (less than 45% of balls thrown his way were completed) and QBs averaged a dismal QB rating of 44.6 when targeting the four-time Pro Bowler.

After watching the recoveries of running backs Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles from similar injuries last season, there is optimism Revis can return full strength for this year.

The Bucs made another splash in the secondary, signing free agent safety Dashon Goldson, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers. Goldson was widely considered one of the top free agents on the market this off-season. At just 28, the tenacious hitter – he’s been fined by the NFL six times in his six-year career – should be able to give Tampa a strong few years as their last line of defence.

If the secondary makes strides, Tampa’s defence has a real shot at being a formidable unit. The defensive line should again be a team strength but, like the secondary, has some injury concerns attached to it. Fourth-year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, named to his first Pro Bowl last season, is solid up the middle and while defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn are intriguing talents, it’s only if they can stay on the field.

Clayborn missed all but three games last season with a torn ACL while injury concerns have followed the third-year Bowers since college.

The position group with the most questions heading into the season is the linebackers. Quincy Black’s retirement left a hole on the strong side which a handful of players will vie to fill. Mason Foster will man the middle and Lavonte David returns after a productive rookie season as the LB corps hopes to hold up their end of the bargain on what could be a very solid defence. (-Ben Fisher, TSN.ca)

Analysis: The Buccaneers moved defensive back Eric Wright to make room for Banks to start. Now the pressure is on the rookie corner to step up. Banks can play physical and has the size to match up well with anyone, but his speed is a concern, espcially covering deep routes... Glennon needs to work on his consistency, but he has a great arm. He will spend a year learning behind Josh Freeman. If Freeman falters, Glennon could see the field later in the year... Spence is a depth addition at defensive tackle, but could earn more playing time as the year goes on. (-TSN.ca)

Round 2 43rd overall Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
Round 3 73rd overall Mike Glennon QB N.C. State
Round 4 100th overall Akeem Spence DT Illinois
Round 4 126th overall William Gholston DE Michigan State
Round 5 147th overall Steven Means LB Buffalo
Round 6 189th overall Mike James RB Miami

Offensive Questions

If it seems mostly figured out on defence in Tampa Bay, there are still some unanswered questions on the offensive side of the ball, mainly at the quarterback position.

Incumbent starter Josh Freeman has been inconsistent through his four years in the NFL, but he hasn’t necessarily ever been bad. In 57 career games, the former first-rounder has thrown for nearly 13,000 yards, completing 58.8% of his passes, with 78 touchdowns to 63 interceptions.

NFC SOUTH PROJECTIONS

Buccaneers (11-5)

Surprising Division Winner


Falcons (11-5)

6th in NFC, wildcard berth


Saints (9-7)

Defence holds them back


Panthers (4-12)

Need more playmakers

His career numbers are slightly buoyed by a remarkable 2010, and he’s seen his stats dip each of the last two years. Freeman is still young and has shown he can get the job done at times but that he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract without an extension makes you think head coach Greg Schiano is planning for third-rounder Mike Glennon to take the reins in 2014.

If Freeman is to be given one more fair shot however, there is some offensive infrastructure in place this season to give him a fighter’s chance at a contract extension.

While the team’s tight end situation is mercurial at best, Freeman will have two established wide receivers catching his passes in three-time Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams; an offensive line that ranks among the best in the league; and a running back that figures to once again be a fantasy football player’s best friend.

In his rookie season, Doug Martin was fifth in league rushing 1,454 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry. The late first-rounder also hit pay dirt for the Buccaneers 11 times in 2012.

Take it for what it’s worth, but the Muscle Hamster is regularly projected to be a top five fantasy football producer this season, with several experts ranking as high as third.

The running game is strong and the defence could be too; the biggest question remains at the most important position.

Freeman has regressed since his very promising 2010 campaign, just his second year in the league, and all indications are he doesn’t have the full faith of Schiano. The 25-year-old has talent but isn’t in a situation conducive to success (he could be a classic change-of-scenery player) and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see Glennon starting games before the season is up. if that’s the case, expect the Bucs to fall short of the playoffs once again, regardless of how well the rest of the team plays. (-Ben Fisher, TSN.ca)

OFFENCE

DEFENCE

LT

D. Penn
M.Remmers
H. Barbieri

LG

C. Nicks
C. Wallace
R. Allen

C

J. Zuttah
T. Larsen
J. Daniels

RG

D. Joseph
J. Meredith
A. Smith

RT

D. Dotson
G. Carimi

WR1

V. Jackson
K. Ogletree
C. Owusu
D. Hagan

TE

L. Stocker
T. Crabtree
N. Byham
Z. Miller

WR2

M. Williams

T. Underwood
D. Douglas
E. Page

QB

J. Freeman
M.Glennon
D. Orlovsky
A. Weber

FB

E. Lorig
S. Larsen

RB

D. Martin
B. Leonard
M. James
M. Smith


Special Teams: K L. Tynes, P M. Koenen, KR M. Smith, PR E. Page

Fantasy - By The Numbers

Even though he collapsed in December, QB Josh Freeman still threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2012. That kind of production makes him a very good fantasy backup; he's just not proven enough yet to hitch your wagon to him as a fantasy starter.

Get ready for the fantasy season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2013 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: AFC | NFC

After a monster rookie season, in which he gained 1,926 yards from scrimmage, expectations will be high for RB Doug Martin; high enough that he will challenge the top three runners -- Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice -- and definitely high enough to warrant a first-round pick.

WR Vincent Jackson had a career-high 1,384 yards last season, the fourth time in the last five years that he's gone over 1,000 yards.

The Bucs' No. 2 receiver, Mike Williams, also had big numbers for a No. 2 receiver, putting up 996 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

OLB Lavonte David is a fantasy starter and safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson warrant consideration in deeper leagues. (-Scott Cullen)

WK AGAINST DATE WK AGAINST DATE
1 @ Sun, Sep 8, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 10 vs Mon, Nov 11, 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt
2 vs Sun, Sep. 15, 4:05pm et/1:05pm pt 11 vs Sun, Nov 17, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
3 @ Sun, Sep. 22, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 12 @ Sun, Nov 24, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
4 vs Sun, Sep. 29, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 13 @ Sun, Dec. 1, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
5   BYE WEEK 14 vs Sun, Dec 8, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
6 vs Sun, Oct. 13, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 15 vs Sun, Dec 15, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
7 @ Sun, Oct. 20, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 16 @ Sun, Dec 22, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
8 vs Thu, Oct. 24, 8:25pm et/5:25pm pt 17 @ Sun, Dec 29, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
9 @ Sun, Nov. 3, 4:05pm et/1:05pm pt      



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