This time last year, Bucs fans were prepping for a new start. Greg Schiano was set to begin his first year as an NFL head coach, taking over a team that had mutinied against “players’ coach” Raheem Morris the previous year.
Offseason news centered around the new stringent discipline in place and the promise of what a new coach might mean to the young team.
This offseason, there have been fewer story lines, and less hopeful ones at that. Luckily, though, the Bucs will face the Jets this Sunday, who prove that no matter what the Bucs have been through, it could have been worse.
Darrelle Revis May Still Have Knee Issues
The Bucs’ new star cornerback is a year removed from a torn ACL, and while he has been progressing slowly and steadily, he did not play at all in preseason, and his knee remains untested. The Bucs’ pass rush showed little improvement this preseason, after a miserable performance last season, putting more pressure on the revamped secondary–featuring Revis, Dashon Goldson, and rookie Johnthan Banks–to succeed. But whether the Bucs can count on the former Jets superstar to lead his current team on a recovering leg is yet to be determined.
It Could Be Worse! The Bucs could be playing against Revis tomorrow.
Josh Freeman is (Almost) Definitely NOT the Future of the Bucs
There’s no question that the play of starting QB Josh Freeman has been erratic, and in the final year of his contract, Freeman has more to play for than ever. But the relative silence in the team’s ranks elsewhere has meant a massive amount of press coverage regarding the future of the offensive leader. Not a day goes by in Tampa media without an article being written debating whether Freeman will remain the starting QB throughout the season. Adding fuel to the fire, the Bucs selected a QB in the third round of this year’s draft, North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon. And despite the fact that Glennon did not fare well in the preseason, many believe he will finish the year as the Bucs’ QB1. What’s worse, Freeman was not voted one of the team’s captains by the other players on the team. Heck, even Fran Tarkenton got in on the Freeman bashing this summer, saying, “Josh Freeman has proven to me that he can’t play.” (Dear Fran, Butt out. XOXO, Bucs Chick)
All eyes (and magnifying glasses) will be trained on Freeman this Sunday in New Jersey, who will be playing behind an offensive line without star Guard Carol Nicks.
It Could Be Worse! In 2009, the Bucs could have drafted Mark Sanchez instead of Freeman.
The Bucs Players Are Infected With MRSA
In one of the odder stories of the recent offseason, Guard Carl Nicks and Kicker Lawrence Tynes were diagnosed with MRSA, a form of staph infection. The Bucs organization never took responsibility for this outbreak, but they did perform a thorough cleaning of their facilities in response. As a result of the MRSA, Tynes was placed on non-football injury reserve. Nicks, as mentioned above, is not available for the first game, and the foot infection is just more trouble for the player who was placed on injured reserve in October last year after a serious toe injury.
It Could Be Worse! At least Greg Schiano isn’t making foot-related news. Ahem, Rex Ryan.
Thankfully, all the stories of the offseason fall by the wayside tomorrow, when the season begins.
Less than 24 hours to the game… Hey, it could be worse.