This, the first post in the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason blog will focus on both new additions to and losses to the roster of a club that last year many had expected to contend. Raheem Morris was fired and former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was hired.
Panthers On The Prowl
By: Joe Catalano
Coach Schiano and his boys aren't getting much love from the NFL odds makers because, although Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is a rising star with several 400 yard passing games, his team wasn't a winning team. Newton will once again look to hookup with wide receiver Steve Smith as he resuscitated Smith's career last season. Look for Cam to only get better.
Schiano really made a boneheaded move in getting rid of Kellen Winslow Jr. for scraps. He'll live to regret that as he attempts to make his mark in Tampa. Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark are nice additions to the Bucs offense but this is the time where Cam Newton takes the next step into being one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Carolina will cover on the road in this game.
Pick: Carolina Panthers -2.5
Being that this is the first post, we'll go back to April and revisit the 2012 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay only had 7 overall picks, but made the most of them with their first 3 out of 4 picks being defensive players.
With the 7th overall pick in the 1st round, the Bucs took strong safety Mark Barron, who played at a high level in college coming from the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. This is a great pick for Tampa Bay, as their best defensive player over the last decade, Rondee Barber, will possibly play one or two more seasons before retiring.
With the 31st pick in the 1st round, the Buccaneers showed some confidence in choosing running back Doug Martin, who was on a predominantly passing oriented team in the Boise State Broncos. Even though Kellen Moore put up huge numbers, Martin also ran for 1,299 yards and 16 TDs.
I think this is a real steal, getting OLB LaVonte David in the 2nd round in the 26th spot. This is one of my favorite picks in the entire draft and there's no way that David is the 58th best player in the draft; this guy is a big-time superstar. Playing in a tough Big-Ten competition, David led the Nebraska Cornhuskers with 133 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 Interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. He should start right away; believe me, this guy is a future NFL star. At 6 foot 1, 225 pounds, David is slightly undersized, which is the only minor negative I see in his game.
Loss of Kellen Winslow Jr.
Sometimes a disgruntled team will trade a talented player for basically nothing in return simply because they're fed up with the player. This was the case with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as former Rutgers head coach and first year coach Greg Schiano made a statement by trading veteran Kellen Winslow Jr. to the Seattle Seahawks for just a 7th round draft pick in 2013.
Obviously, Seattle got the better of this trade as Tampa Bay is giving away a star for virtually nothing.
Winslow wasn't working out with the team in the offseason and didn't report for the team's OTA. Winslow claimed that he'd been working out in California and was about to report to the OTA. Either Winslow Jr. rubbed Schiano the wrong way or the new head coach wanted to make a statement to his team.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks and the Buccaneers don't meet each other this season or there would be fireworks.
Head coach Greg Schiano showed a great deal of concern regarding cornerback Aqib Talib's trial for assault with a deadly weapon. Evidently, the evidence didn't stand up as the case was dismissed. Don't expect the NFL to take any action against Talib.
The new coaching staff and some of the draft picks are intriguing. Let's wait for the next installment of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Blog and see what kind of progress this team has made in the interim.