Since 2003, the Bucs have not responded well to pre-season hype. The Bucs came into this season with high expectations with a lot of key players signed back in free agency and high draft picks. I remember after the Bucs won their very first Super Bowl coming into the 2003 season I wasn’t expecting the Bucs to repeat their world championship, but I thought they would at least be really good, they started that season with a 17-0 victory at Philadelphia, but after they blew a 35-0 lead the Colts that’s when I started scratching my head. The Bucs finished the season 7-9.
I also remember the 2006 season the year before the Bucs finished the 2005 season 11-5 and an NFC South championship, of course, the high expectations were there, but struggles at quarterback were there. The Bucs went back-n- forth with Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski as Simms battled injuries throughout the season as Gradkowski struggled as he took over the reins.
The Bucs did win the NFC South in the 2007 season but did finish the year on bad terms with a playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. The 2008 season started off really well at 9-3 as there were talks of Jon Gruden’s Bucs, making a Super Bowl run. Unfortunately, a loss at Carolina really seemed to change the momentum of the season and the Bucs lost the last four games of the season which resulted in the firing of Jon Gruden.
After the impressing 10-6 finish in the 2010 season, the Bucs came into 2011 season with talks of a Super Bowl run and finished the season 4-12. Of course this past season the Bucs also had high hopes of getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the Bucs are in serious danger of only a four-win season, but the struggles of injuries and being overhyped is the real issue in Tampa.