Buccaneers’ Rookies Look to Change the Culture



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made numerous changes this offseason.

After finishing 5-11 for the second year in a row, something had to give. Dirk Koetter and his entire coaching staff were relieved of their duties almost immediately. This led to the hiring of head coach Bruce Arians who brought it arguably the best coaching staff this organization has seen. The house cleaning wasn’t done as the Buccaneers saw free agents leave in mass to pursue higher salaries and better opportunities. Gone were key players like Adam Humphries, Kwon Alexander and Gerald McCoy. DeSean Jackson and Brent Grimes moved on as well.

Moving forward, the Buccaneers drafted heavily on defense which was a smart move honestly when considering the way the defense had crumbled late in games throughout the last season.

The question is now, who will step up into the leadership roll for this team? Sure there are veterans still with the team that can lead, Lavonte David, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen and of course, Jameis Winston. But this team got significantly younger this offseason and with that comes the need for some of the young players to step into that leadership role.

Greg Auman of The Athletic talked with Buccaneers rookie linebacker Devin White about this,

“We’ve gotten close a lot,” White said. “I think that’s the main reason for the rookie player engagement. We’re just trying to be the team that helps change it around. Every year, you have a new set of rookies come in, and it’s all about the mindset they have. We’re focusing on getting better. We’re going to come back and try to be impact players for the Bucs.”

White understands that this rookie class needs to help lead which is a good sign for the future of the team.

The fact remains that the Buccaneers defense has a long way to go and alot of things to improve upon. First and foremost they have to improve from being the 27th ranked defense in yards given up. The addition of linebacker Devin White and Sean Murphy-Bunting combined with new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ aggressive defense should help this immensely. That same defense from last year was 31st in points given up. Just a slight improvement in those two categories will translate into more wins, but if they can get both of those rankings in the top 15 and the Buccaneers are a playoff team. PLAYOFF?

Sources: The Athletic, ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports