This is the last in a series of four articles in which I will analyze the the top 5 game changing moves that each NFC South team has made to date and how it will affect their chances at a Super Bowl run.
Last offseason, the Buccaneers decided to go into a rebuilding stage, releasing guys like Warrick Dunn, Derrick Brooks, and Jeff Garcia.
They drafted their new franchise quarterback, Josh Freeman, in last year’s NFL Draft. However, they failed to give him any weapons.
Antonio Bryant was an overrated receiver who could not get over the injuries.
Michael Clayton will be lucky to make the roster in 2010.
The Bucs did show signs of hope towards the end of the season, however, and it should give the fans something to cheer about this season.
These are the 5 game-changing moves that Bucs fans can celebrate over:
1. Drafting Gerald McCoy — With the Bucs returning to the vaunted Tampa-2 scheme they used to run under the renowned Monte Kiffin, they will need their defensive line to be quick enough to fight off blockers and reach the quarterback with limited blitzing.
By sacrificing size, the idea of the defense is to make plays in the backfield and cover deep downfield.
Gerald McCoy is the prototypical Tampa-2 three-technique tackle. He is 6’4″ and weighs 295 pounds, which is quite undersized for an NFL defensive tackle.
Size doesn’t mean everything, however.
He totaled 77 tackles and 14 sacks in three years with the Sooners. He also drew multiple double and triple teams that opened the door for other linemen to make plays against the opposing offense.
In ’09 the Bucs gave up a whopping 158.2 rush yds/game…good for last in the league and were also tied for 26th in the league with only 28 sacks last season, led by Stylez White’s 6.5.
The addition of Gerald McCoy adds a playmaking presence to the Bucs’ defensive line.
Their defensive tackle situation was bleak in 2009…heck, Chris Hovan was a starter. You wouldn’t see that on any other NFL team.
Now the Bucs have filled a position of need for years to come.