Morris is out and new head coach Greg Schiano is left with a talented, yet lost team in 2012. He rebuilt the Rutgers football program when he was there and hopes to do the same with the Bucs. They got off to a nice start by adding some young players in key areas.
Josh Freeman looked like a future Pro Bowl quarterback in his rookie season. Can he regain that form and lead this team to a surprise playoff berth?
Key Additions: WR Vincent Jackson, TE Dallas Clark, QB Dan Orlovsky, CB Eric Wright, S Mark Barron, RB Doug Martin, LB Lavonte David, DT Amobi Okoye, OG Carl Nicks, WR Jordan Shipley, OT Jamon Meredith, DE Wallace Gilberry, OT Demar Dotson, LB Najee Goode, CB Keith Tandy, RB Michael Smith and FB Drake Dunsmore.
Key Losses: RB Earnest Graham, DT Albert Haynesworth, QB Josh Johnson, WR Michael Spurlock, CB Elbert Mack, S Corey Lynch, C Jeff Faine, DT Brian Brice, RB Kregg Lumpkin, S Sean Jones and LB Geno Hayes.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC West and NFC East
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Tiquan Underwood – Josh Freeman will have plenty of targets to throw to in 2012. Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Sammie Stroughter, and Dallas Clark will all be awaiting his passes. It is hard to pick a sleeper from this team since Doug Martin isn’t really a sleeper. He should get a lot of playing time by splitting carries with LaGarrette Blount. If I had to pick one, it would be Tiquan Underwood. He played for new head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers. The receiving corps is very full and he may not even make the squad. He is just a guy to be aware of in very, very deep leagues.
Team Analysis: Josh Freeman looked bad last season…really bad. His throws looked lazy and he came into the season out-of-shape. He has some new weapons this season (Dallas Clark, Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin), so he shouldn’t have to force throws. This offense will have some firepower, but their defense is still a work in progress. They drafted safety Mark Barron in the first-round and signed corner Eric Wright this off-season. Their secondary should be better off, but who is going to rush the passer? Adrian Clayborn was the only player on the defense who consistently put pressure on the opposing quarterback. The Buccaneers’ offense will have to put up a lot of points if they hope to win games. This is the reason why I think the Bucs will go 6-10 in 2012. They still need to improve their offensive line and most of the defense. Schiano is a good coach and they will win a few games they would have lost last season.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 5 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 6-10