2006 record: 4-12
Head Coach: Jon Gruden
Offensive Coordinator: Bill Muir
Defensive Coordinator: Monte Kiffin
Pro-Bowl: Ronde Barber (CB)
Like alot of the years in the past, the Buc's offense was yet again, bad. Chris Simms ruptured his appendix in week 3 and it caused him to miss the rest of the season. But even before his injury he was off to horrible start, he had a QB rating of 46.3 and 7 ints to just 1 TD. His replacement was Bruce Gradkowski, rookie out of Toledo. Although he was a little better, it wasn't by much. Their running game wasn't nearly as good as it was last season. After his impressive rookie year, Carnell Williams had quit a sophomore slump gaining only 798 yards and just 1 touchdown. I also should mention that I drafted him in one of my fantasy leagues...yeah, that didn't turn out to well. The only player that had somewhat a good offensive year was 12-year veteran, Joey Galloway. He caught 62 balls for 1,057 yards and 7 touchdowns. They need help at quarterback, widereceiver and maybe even a little offensive line help.
Unlike the Buc's offense(which is usually bad) their defense is always at the top in the league. But not this year, they ranked 17th overall and gave up 22 ppg and 330 yards per game. Although their individual defensive stats are good, their are severely miss-leading. The Buc's had 4 different guys reach the 100 tackles mark, including Pro-Bowler Ronde Barber, who had 100 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. Their biggest need this draft on defense will be defensive end. Simeon Rice will most likely depart Tampa and test the free-agent market and they currently don't have anyone that can match his production. Even though he had a bit of an off season because of injuries. He missed the final 8 games.
They definitely don't need a kicker. Matt Bryant hit 77% of his field goals this year and included in that was a game winning 62 yard FG at the end of regulation. From the punter position, Josh Bidwell did a fine job, averaging almost 44 yards per punt. In the return game their is a some questions. Not necessarily lack of production, it's more like they have too many guys returning kicks/punts in stead of having a set group. Michael Pittman and Torrie Cox took care of the kick-off returns, both averaging 22 yards per return and Ike Hillard and Mark Jones shared punt return duties. Both of which were not affective. Ike and Mark both averaged less than 8 yards.
They could have either the 3rd pick or the 4th pick(depending on a coin flip with the Browns). The consensus is that they will take WR Calvin Johnson(GT) no matter where they are at. But if for some reason he isn't there than they will likely choose DE Gaines Adams(CLEM). Besides Defensive End and Widereceiver, other needs for Tampa Bay include Defensive Tackle. Ever since Warren Sapp and Anthony McFarland left they have struggled to fill that hole which resulted in failure to stop the run. They would also like to add a cornerback to go along side of Ronde.
Positions that need to be addressed:
2. Defensive End
3. Defensive Tackle
One of their biggest weaknesses was a big-time play-maker on offense. Calvin Johnson(GT) would fill that need no doubt. He is thought by many including Mel Kiper, the #1 overall player in this draft. He is big, strong, great hands, good speed and great understanding of the game. He will be a pro-bowler and instantly become TB's #1 target. In the later rounds they might want to look at getting a speed WR to add to more big plays, possibly someone like Chansi Stuckey(CLEM) or Yamon Figurs(KSU).
Like I said earlier, it is in all likely hood that Simeon Rice will be a free-agent. If that does happen, Tampa will have another big hole that will need to be filled with the draft. Obviously if Calvin Johnson, for some reason, isn't available at the 3rd or 4th pick, then the guy the Buc's will take is Gaines Adams(CLEM). Others to consider would be Charles Johnson(UGA) or Anthony Spencer(PUR).
Chris Hovan had a great year at DT and Ellis Wyms had a decent year. But Wyms could be a free-agent soon so they would have to find a replacement. I really think Marcus Thomas would be a great fit. He has all the talent in the world but he was kicked off the Florida Gators because he couldn't stay out of trouble, but if he can grow up and act like an adult, he could be a force to be reckoned with. Others that could draw some interest are Jay Alford(PSU), Derek Landri(ND) and Antonio Johnson(MSU).
Ronde Barber is still great, but he isn't getting any younger. They could use another good CB to play along side of Barber for then next couple of years. Some guys that draw some interest are Marcus McCauley(FRES), Daymeion Hughes(CAL) and Tarell Brown(TEX).
They did re-sign Chris Simms to "starter type" money but it is still uncertain that he can lead this team back to the playoffs. And it was proven that Bruce Gradkowski couldn't either. So to me that throws up some red flags. Possible guys that would improve them are Drew Stanton(MSU), Troy Smith(OSU) and Kevin Kolb(HOU).
If they have a good draft and barring more injuries, they Buc's could be set for a 7 or even 9 win season this year. But they must get healthy and Cadillac must snap out of his slump and return to his rookie season.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
2006 record: 4-12