The game is scheduled to be played on February 7, 2021. That date could change by then, but that is the date we have now. It is a date that looms large for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because on that date the Championship of the NFL will be decided. It’s a date that the Bucs could turn into a huge advantage for themselves. If they could do what has never been done before. If they could just find a way to end up in that February 7 game. They could become the first team to ever play for the Lombardi Trophy as Hosts, as the Home Team, in their own stadium. Sound difficult? You bet your favorite eye patch it is! Someday though, on a Super Sunday, it’s going to happen. It may not be very realistic to believe the Bucs could get there, but folks, It’s not impossible. Whoever thought we would go to a Super Bowl and blow out the other team when we did it? Oh, we all wanted it, but to believe it may have been a stretch. So getting into the position that we are able to do it in just two seasons with a new coach, is very much possible, just not probable.
What would have to happen for the Bucs to be in a position to accomplish such an unlikely feat?
The First thing that I would say is not negotiable: Mr. Jameis Winston has to take his fortunes into his own hands, rise up, and become a steady, consistent, and reliable force.
It’s time for him to become the player most envisioned, when he was drafted, to lead this team to the promised land. In doing so, he gets his big contract here in Tampa, and we move ahead with our Franchise guy. If he fails in his JW reboot, he leaves Tampa with his tail between his legs, and One Buc is left with the new assignment of finding a franchise QB. One that is legit, one that will take this team on his back and lead us to consistent success. It would almost certainly take us out of any sane person’s belief that they could make it to the Super Bowl with a Rookie QB, or any other QB on the roster at the time not named Jameis.
Another thing that must happen is that the Offensive Line has got to be strengthened. Apparently, the front office doesn’t believe that it needs help because not one thing has been done so far to help it. Your team’s Offense will only go as far as your line will allow it to. So many fans elude to the fact we were ranked up at the top in Offense last year. If you think that, well, you are wrong for doing it. Because that rank is for yardage, not scoring. I don’t care if you throw for 6 to 7 hundred yards a game, if your drives don’t end in touchdowns, the yards mean all of nothing. The Bucs were 19th in the Red Zone last year. That is a stat that pretty much says when you have to have points when you are in the best position to score points. You rank in the bottom half of the league. You just are not very good at running or passing when it matters most. It’s a freezing July 4th when you make it to the Championship game with such a poor red zone rank. I believe Bruce Almighty and crew can get more out of this line than Koetter ever did. I believe his offense will be faster paced with a scheme that will help the O-Line to be more efficient and successful. I do not see Arians performing some kind of Midnight spiritual moon dance with Leftwich and Dr. Paul Bearer to transform this line into something that it is not. It is not dominant on any level. It cannot impose its will with two minutes on the clock and shove defenders around to open holes or keep Winston from running for his life. These are of course my opinions, ones that I would love to be dead wrong about. So if the Line doesn’t get help, and I don’t know how many new faces it would take, but if that doesn’t happen on some level, I don’t see us being in Raymond James on Feb. 7, 2021, doing anything but watching.
The Defense appears to be well on it’s way to respectability again. We are loaded with guys with potential out the ying yang. They must continue going in the direction they are on. They also must avoid serious injuries to multiple players like they had last year. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if your starters aren’t on the field, you cannot be as good as expected. So, if the defense continues to improve and get some depth, especially on the front line. They should be good enough to get us to the game in February of 2021.
Lastly, we need to clearly define who are the best players at Running Back are in this new offense. This, of course, is intertwined with the Offensive Line getting better at run blocking. I really like Barber, and I think RoJo is going to show up this year. So we must get the most out of our backs and create some doubt in opposing defenses minds so that they will commit to stopping the run. That way Play Action will become a weapon for the Bucs again. At this date in time, nobody is worried about Winston handing a ball to one of our backs. They just play the pass, and then adjust as the play develops. Leftwich has got to get defenders to move up and account for our running backs. If the Bucs can do that, their chances of becoming Host to the Super Bowl increase substantially.
So there you go, my opinion on what must be done to make it to the big show in 2021. Time will tell. Watching it should be a blast. Go Bucs!