In 2017, the Bucs played downright dreadfully. The offensive line was a joke and the run game was nonexistent. The defense was soft, except for Gerald McCoy and the linebackers. After such an appalling season, fans catch themselves asking, “Can the Bucs go from worst to first in 2018?”
For that to happen, the Bucs must address several needs in the off-season. First off, players like TJ Ward and Chris Baker cannot return next season. Ward played horribly, nowhere worth the 5 million dollars he was paid last year. The Bucs grabbed Chris Baker as a free agent from Washington in the off-season and signed him to a 3 year $15,750,000 contract. For that much money, they got half a sack and 33 tackles from Baker. Towards the end of the season, he became what some would consider “a cancer” in the locker room.
The Bucs have several things they must accomplish in the 2018 draft. The number one priority is that they must get the best possible pass rusher available in the first round. All season, other than Gerald McCoy, the pass rush was awful. In the second round, they have to take the best RB still available. Other than a few good games out of Peyton Barber, the run game was ground to a halt all year. I’m afraid it’s time for Doug Martin to move on.
Finally, either through a trade or the draft, it is imperative that they get help for the defensive backfield. Brent Grimes played solidly for his age, but other than that the whole backfield was a train wreck. Who knows if Grimes will even return, and Vernon Hargreaves looks like he’ll never be more than a nickel CB. Rookie Justin Evans had a pretty decent year, but the rest of the safeties looked completely lost at times. They have to find a veteran to put alongside the rookie Evans.
If they can accomplish all of these things, this writer believes they have a chance. Can coach Koetter get the Bucs on track next season???
As fans, we just have to wait and see.
Edited by: Morgan Adele