December 7, 2023

Bucs Life

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The NFL Mystery Men

3 min read

Honestly, I’m sick of it!

The “way too early record predictions” are way, way too early. They might still be early by the time that guy from Green Day wants to be woken up.

From highly paid analysts and talking heads to casual observers of football. I have read and heard everything from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers going anywhere between 2-14 and 14-2. So why am I so frustrated?

The honest truth is that we might not know what we have until September ends (now you get the Green Day reference, right?). So many people who don’t fully know the Bucs, or know just enough to know the team has had a lot of losing seasons, are predicting more of the same. The logic they provide is that if a team was bad one year, they probably won’t be great the next. A belief based on bad teams that don’t change much in personnel will still be bad. Despite the faulty logic used when assessing the Buccaneers win to loss record, these people are adamant in their assessment.

On the opposite side are those that predict big things for Tampa Bay next year. They rightly point out how much has changed. From a new coaching team and a new philosophy to changes to the roster. Nuances such as the coaches proclamations about making the playbook optimizing the strengths of the roster are quoted. The top 5 offense and increased chemistry and the new aggressive defense are pleaded. Many have been bold enough to say that the changes to player personnel have brought more talent and cohesion to the team.

All very good points.

Have you heard that Jameis is playing for a big contract? That he will surely improve under the “QB Whisperer?” Of course, you have!

The inescapable fact is that both sides of this argument are guessing. Wild guesses.

Until this team with its rookies and new free agent acquisitions take the field in real, meaningful games we won’t really know if the team is good or bad. There is a very real possibility that Coach Arians has brought in the perfect guys to fit on this team. Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles might have designed the perfect scheme for the players he has. Jameis might be cured of the inconsistency that has marred his career. Motivated by a big money deal he could even be a candidate for NFL MVP.

On the reverse of that argument; fans have seen this tree before. The rookies don’t get it or are outright busts. Those free agents turn into ghosts and don’t impact anything but the cap. The defense just doesn’t get the new playbook. The offense couldn’t finish a pot of yogurt, let alone a drive. Oh and Jameis? Let’s just not go there as yet another QB drafted by the Bucs doesn’t sign a second contract in Tampa.

The possibilities are endless and there are just too many variables to make an adequate prediction. Fans before have drunk the Koolaid and been let down.

Let’s be excited about the mystery ahead of us for once!