The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the top defenses in the NFL over the past few seasons. With a nice blend of young talent and veterans, this defense looks to remain on of league’s best.
The NFL offseason brings out the yearly lists and rankings of best players and teams from most of the major outlets. This offseason is no different with this latest list by NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks. In this article, Brooks ranks the top duos on offense and defense.
As mentioned earlier, the Buccaneers have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Brooks names two Bucs duos that lead the pack in their categories. We’ll start with Brooks’ top defensive tackle duo of Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks.
Here’s His Breakdown of the Duo
“The Buccaneers’ defense is strong down the middle due to the presence of massive, disruptive tackles at the point of attack. Vea overwhelms opponents with his size, strength and power as a 347-pound super athlete. The 27-year-old routinely forklifts interior blockers into the backfield while registering tackles for loss and sacks. Plus, his ability to single-handedly create chaos at the line of scrimmage enables a fleet-footed set of linebackers to run to the ball unobstructed.”
“Hicks, who signed a one-year deal with the team this offseason, is nearing the twilight of his career, but the 32-year-old remains a disruptive player at the point of attack. The former Pro Bowler is capable of walking blockers into the quarterback’s lap on bull rushes or power maneuvers but also flashes enough athleticism to occasionally win with finesse. As a run defender, Hicks is an immovable object with the strength, power, balance and body control to hold the point against single blocks or double-teams.”
“With Vea and Hicks capable of dominating on their own, the Bucs’ version of the Wonder Twins should help Todd Bowles’ defense re-emerge as a top-five unit this season.”
David and White’s Breakdown
“If you covet heat-seeking missiles on the second level, it is hard to find a better tandem than White and David at linebacker. Each defender racks up a ton of tackles on sideline-to-sideline pursuits like playground kids playing cops and robbers at recess. The individual and collective speed and quickness of the Buccaneers’ second-level defenders is impressive to watch, and it is one of the key factors in the defense’s dominance over the past few years.
“White, 24, is a dynamic blitz rusher with an uncanny ability to slip through cracks on the way to the quarterback. Although David, 32, does not register as many splash plays as his counterpart, he is a disruptive defender with a nose for the ball. The Buccaneers’ linebacker tandem is the best in the business, and it shows up in film study and on the stat sheet.”
What? No Buccaneers Offensive Duos?
Brooks didn’t total ignore the Buccaneers offensive duos in these rankings. Starting with the wide receiver duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin coming in at third in their category. Ryan Jensen and Shaq Mason find themselves in the second position in the interior offensive linemen category. Finally the duo of Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith found themselves as the third ranked offensive tackle duos.
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