As reported by Bill Barnwell of ESPN, 3 Bucs personnel members would be up for awards if the season ended today.
Below is the award, the nominee, and my opinion.
Coordinator of the Year: Todd Bowles
The man hired by Bruce Arians back in January to oversee a Bucs defense that in 2018, was historically horrible. The Bucs were dead last in the league in DVOA(Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) allowing opposing quarterbacks a 110.9 rating. This was the 2nd worst defense in the franchise history since 2001, and this was before they lost Jason Pierre-Paul to a neck injury this offseason.
2019, may not be much better in the points allowed category (29.3), but they have very well taken strides moving forward in other categories. As of now, they’re ranked 7th in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and in drives faced with 46. They have done wonders on rush defense ranking them 2nd with 59.3 yards per game. They are also ranked 4th with 2 Defensive TD and 9 Takeaways. Pretty stout for a defense whose blitzing 41.8% of the time, allowing the 12th fewest yards per drop back.
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Godwin
Chosen by many experts as a sleeper this season, Godwin has done more than be the guy opposite of Mike Evans. He has become arguably the best receiver in the NFL, hauling in 26 receptions for 386 yards (3rd in the NFL) and 4 TD (T-1st NFL w/ Mike Evans). What’s even more impressive is that 70% of his catches have gone for either moved the chains or put 6 points on the scoreboard. Pretty savvy for a guy ranked 9th in targets. Guess that 100 catches and century mark in yards weren’t just hyped stats.
Defensive Player of the Year, Acquisition of the Year: Shaquil Barrett
Barrett has been playing like a man possessed racking up 9 sacks, 10 QB hits, 3 forced fumbles, 20 tackles (7 for a loss), 2 pass breakups, 1 INT, and a partridge in a pear tree. This man has been on fire seeing as the last time he started was in 2017 in Denver, where he only accumulated 4 sacks and 12 knockdowns.
Barrett has been in a limelight a lot recently due to these stats; but the man who spent his first 5 seasons in Denver learning from Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, has shown the hard work is paying off. If you were to attribute his play in 2019 and 2017, he would end the season with 11.5 sacks and 17 knockdowns. Pretty good stats for someone on a one-year, prove-it deal.
My projection though, is Barrett will walk away with 23-24 sacks this season, finally breaking the 18-year-old record held by former New York Giant, Michael Strahan.