Now that the draft is over, it is time for a first outlook on the 2017 season. Clearly, the main focus of the draft was providing additional weapons for our quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bucs Front Office did a hell of a job at that, on paper, at least. As a matter of fact, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have all the tools necessary to be an elite offense in the NFL and here is why:
Jameis Winston: With another year under his belt in his young career, Winston should take another step forward, especially considering the new players he can now work with. Former Redskins WR Desean Jackson and the first-round pick O.J. Howard will make life a lot easier for Winston and provide valuable and efficient targets. Look for Winston to exceed the 30 Touchdown mark as well as 4400 Yards passing this year. His 17 interceptions from last year should decrease, as well. What is even more important than that is that Winston is a true leader, a player who really, REALLY wants to win! He reflects that desire and passion in all his speeches to the players and in interviews as well. I am happy and proud to say, “We have finally found our franchise Quarterback!”
Wide Receivers: Mike Evans should have a dynamite season! Even though it will be tough to exceed his outstanding numbers from last year (96 Receptions, 1321 Yards, 12 Touchdowns), expect him to come close to that, particularly since opposing defenses will not be able to focus on Evans as much as they used to. Our speedy new Receiver Desean Jackson will see a lot of deep balls thrown his way. Winston loves to throw the deep ball and therefore, the Winston-to-Jackson combo is poised to really gel. Last but not least, Tight Ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard will work out of two-Tight End-sets, which Dirk Koetter likes to use. Belichick has been using it for years, needless to say, how successful he has been with his system. Look for our Tight Ends to score a combined 15 Touchdowns this year. Not only will these two contribute in the passing game, especially in the Red Zone, but they will also provide blocking for Winston and open lanes in the Running game, which was not very good last year.
Doug Martin: Martin seems to be on the right track. According to the Front Office, he is looking as good as he ever has. The high quality receiving corps will certainly open up the running game and create holes for Martin. An efficient passing game should enable Martin to have a bounce back season from last year’s disappointment.
All in all, things are finally looking bright for the Buccaneers! I can’t wait for the season to start! My prediction is 10-6 and we are finally making the Playoffs again! What’s yours, Bucs fans?