Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Preview
July 24, 2016
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a 6-10 season, which is serious progress given the franchise won a combined six games the previous two years. The Buccaneers have to be a confident bunch as they look to make their first playoff appearance since 2007.
Will this be the year the Bucs get over the hump and make some noise in the NFC South?
Here is your 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL preview.
Key Player Losses: The Buccaneers lost a few defensive contributors in Bruce Carter, Danny Lansanah and Sterling Moore. All three players were top-10 in tackles last season and Moore had six pass deflections. Offensively, guard Logan Mankins decided to retire after making the Pro Bowl seven times and starting 161 games.
Key Player Additions: The Buccaneers focused solely on the defensive side of the ball by adding cornerback Brent Grimes, linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive end Robert Ayers. The Buccaneers were 10th in total yards allowed last season, so those additions should just make the defense even stronger. The Bucs also strengthened their offensive line by adding guard J.R. Sweezy, who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks and has 49 starts under his belt.
Draft: The Buccaneers added the best cornerback in the draft in Vernon Hargreaves, a guy who has the potential to become a shutdown corner. Amari Cooper once said Hargreaves was the best corner he faced in college. Noah Spence was a former Ohio State defensive end and probably would have gone higher if it weren’t for off-the-field issues. Roberto Aguayo was the best college kicker I’ve ever seen and Ryan Smith is a super fast defensive back who can play cornerback or safety. Also, don’t sleep on fullback Dan Vitale, who can be used as a slot receiver and kind of be a swiss army knife in an offense. The Buccaneers had a nice draft overall with many guys who can be used this season.
Outlook: The Buccaneers are a young team that gained serious confidence last season and has the potential to be even better with another season under Jameis Winston’s belt. Remember, the Bucs could of been a playoff team last year if they didn’t lose five of their last six games. Tampa Bay has an above-average defense that got better in the draft and an offense that can stretch the field and put points up quickly. The Buccaneers may be a year away from really competing, but there’s enough here to make a push for a playoff spot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Schedule:
Sept. 11, at Atlanta Falcons, 1
Sept. 18, at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05
Sept. 25, Los Angeles Rams, 4:05
Oct. 2, Denver Broncos, 4:05
Oct. 10, at Carolina Panthers (Mon), 8:30
Oct. 23, at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05
Oct. 30, Oakland Raiders, 1
Nov. 3, Atlanta Falcons (Thu), 8:25
Nov. 13, Chicago Bears, 1
Nov. 20, at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Nov. 27, Seattle Seahawks, 4:05
Dec. 4, at San Diego Chargers, 4:25
Dec. 11, New Orleans Saints, 1
Dec. 18, at Dallas Cowboys, 1
Dec. 24, at New Orleans Saints (Sat), 1
Jan. 1, Carolina Panthers, 1