The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have come a long way since their all orange “creamsicle” uniforms. And the time has come for yet another transformation. Earlier this year, the Bucs started hinting at possible new jerseys. In March, they announced the rumors were true.
The Buccaneers officially revealed their “return to glory” on April 7th. The sleek new uniforms were a callback to their glory days with almost the same design. A modernized red pirate ship with black sails that dawns the sleeve was the only major difference. The red of the logo became darker, thus more of a blood red.
With these changes, the most exciting was an all-pewter jersey. The pewter uniform will most likely be their “color rush” jersey. They thrilled fans with the change. A return to form for the Buccaneers, and a modern take on the good ole’ days.
In this fourth and final part, we will look at the future and players who will make an impact, if they haven’t already. The Buccaneers have drafted well over the past four-years and filled the team with lots of young talent. With new uniforms and a talented group of athletes, the Buccaneers are ready for 2020 and beyond.
Chris Godwin (2017-), WR
They selected the Penn State alum, Chris Godwin, in the third round of the 2017 draft. In his rookie year, Godwin had 525 yards on 34 receptions. Godwin’s best year was in 2019 where he compiled 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. He also went to his first Pro Bowl.
Godwin is one of the best wide receivers in the league and is the perfect counterpart to Mike Evans. Buccaneers fans are eager to see the outlook of Godwin’s career and to watch him turn into a superstar.
So far in his young career, Godwin’s numbers in Tampa Bay are 179 receptions, 2,700 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Now that Tom Brady is running the Bucs’ offense, expect Godwin’s numbers to skyrocket.
Ronald Jones II (2018-), RB
The Buccaneers selected Ronald Jones II in the second round of the 2018 draft. Jones, who came out of USC, made a small impact in his rookie year, only rushing for 44 yards and one touchdown. The next year, Jones had his best season, running for 724 yards and six touchdowns.
Although his career is still getting started, Jones has the chance to be one of the best running backs in the league. Jones has been working hard this offseason, particularly with his receiving. In 2019, Jones caught for 309 yards, which isn’t bad.
Ronald Jones II has proved himself worthy of being the Bucs’ starting running back. This season will be a significant year for Jones and will attest to how elite he can be. In his brief career, Jones has 768 yards and seven touchdowns.
Vita Vea (2018-), DT
Like Jones, Vita Vea was selected in the 2018 draft. Vea became an immediate fan favorite because of his positive attitude and style of play. In his rookie year, Vea had three sacks and 21 solo tackles.
Vea in 2019 had 2.5 sacks and 19 solo tackles. He even scored an offensive touchdown at the goal line. Fans are excited to see Vea play alongside Ndamukong Suh for the second year in a row. Vea adds a lot of talent and strength to the Bucs’ front seven and helped the Bucs have the best run defense in the NFL.
At just 25 years old, Vita Vea is ready to take the next step in 2020. In his young career, Vea has 5.5 sacks and 40 solo tackles. He, along with other defensive stars, will help the Bucs keep their terrifying defense. Expect Vea to be a force for years to come.
Devin White (2019-), LB
Coming out of LSU, the Bucs selected White in the first round of the 2019 draft. Like the names above, White is a fan favorite for his drive and work ethic. His rookie year was one to remember. White collected one interception for five yards, four forced fumbles, which he ran back for 121 yards and scored two touchdowns. Add in 58 solo tackles.
Being lined up with veterans like Lavonte David and Shaquil Barrett, White has been learning from the Bucs pedigree. White has massive potential to be elite in the NFL and to lead this young defense to history.
Sean Murphy-Bunting (2019-), CB
Selected out of Central Michigan in the second round of the 2019 draft, this young cornerback is already making waves in Tampa Bay. During his rookie campaign, he amassed three interceptions, 88 yards, one touchdown, and 37 solo tackles.
The Buccaneers secondary has needed help for many years and drafting Murphy-Bunting filled that demand. Murphy-Bunting’s defensive awareness is incredible and makes his presence known on the field. From the way he disrupts passing plays, to his speed off the ball, his talents are obvious.
Sean Murphy-Bunting is going into 2020 looking to feed off his successful rookie year.
Antoine Winfield Jr. (2020-), DB
Drafted out of Minnesota in the second round of the 2020 draft, the Bucs added more depth to their defense. Winfield Jr. is an assassin on the football field, the human equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil. In 2019, Winfield Jr. accumulated seven interceptions for 98 yards, one touchdown, 58 solo tackles, and three sacks.
Although Winfield Jr. has yet to hit the NFL field, his talents cannot go unrecognized. Leading Minnesota to three bowl-game appearances, he is likely to lead the Bucs to a few playoff games in his career. Winfield Jr. has the potential to be this generation’s Ronde Barber.
Antoine Winfield Jr.’s college numbers are astonishing. 180 yards, nine interceptions, four sacks, and 122 solo tackles. He will be a dynamic player in this league and the Buccaneers should be happy to have him.
Over the past two weeks, we have looked at some of the best Buccaneer players for their respective uniforms. From Lee Roy Selmon to Warren Sapp, we’ve covered all the greats to play in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers will go down in history as being home to some of the best defensive players in the NFL.
The future is bright for the Buccaneers with an abundance of young talent on both sides of the ball just waiting to make a name for themselves. Bucs fans should be ready to see some of their names hanging above in the Ring of Honor.