With the 2018 season coming to an end without a playoff appearance, Bucs fans have turned to other topics.

Coaching Search
I have said on record since the Falcons debacle that John Harbaugh is going to be available at season’s end. That has been firmly established due to mutual agreement between the owner and John.

John is the best fit for the Bucs, period. The question is, has GM Licht or someone from the Buccaneers’ front office been in contact and can they seal the deal? Either way, barring some begging or some agreement between Harbaugh and the new GM, John Harbaugh won’t be in Baltimore next season, and he should be in our colors if the Glazers have any sense.

This team is in desperate need of experience in our secondary along with safety and linebacker help, but the most glaring need is at O-line. O-line players are extremely hard to come by. It’s the hardest position in football to fill. Teams with good linemen aren’t letting them go unless they are not working out or due to some other headache we don’t need here.

If there is a lineman where we pick in the draft, get him. I know you fans don’t want to hear that. But really, aren’t you just tired of not having a line capable of providing us with a run option? I certainly am. Barber got 69 yards on 16 carries against the stingiest run defense in the league behind a crappy line. Watch the game again. Barber is a good RB. Given a line capable of not only pass blocking but run blocking, he is quite capable at his job. You can’t invest in RB if you don’t invest highly in protection.

I have seen nothing but improvements in Winston this year. I honestly believe he will be a Buc next season. He will need a restructured contract, more team-friendly and incentive-laden. But after all is said, he will be behind center, whoever that may be next year.

This team has been judged from top to bottom this year. I believe the team is better than the record indicates, but not as good as some would lead us to believe. We were never going to be a playoff contender this year despite fan beliefs. I had us at 6-10 at best coming into the season. Those first 2 games were a mirage that had everyone scrambling for an imaginary oasis. But watching through the season (especially after firing Smith) I saw a team on the verge of being contenders. It wouldn’t shock me to see the team (depending on coaching changes and staff) play for a division title next year with a far easier schedule.

That’s my take on the state of the Bucs.

Tune into the Bucs Report Tuesdays at 8:30 PM for Tony’s Take.

Written by: Johnny Dean