Buccaneers Look To The Horizon For Answers
By Christopher Scali
With the Combine and NFL Draft just around the corner, fans around the league are itching for free agent signings and new rookie talent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been sailing in rough waters and must do everything within their power to pick up free agents and future contributors in the draft.
One of the biggest questions down in Tampa right now is the quarterback situation. The Buccaneers are concerned about whether Mike Glennon should remain the starting QB moving forward. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I believe that Glennon has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback for the Bucs. In his rookie season, Glennon passed for 2,608 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions and with Lovie Smith taking over as head coach, Glennon should be able to navigate this team into the playoffs. When Smith was the head coach in Chicago, he helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman lined up under center. That year, Grossman passed for 3,193 yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Glennon should have no problem reaching the postseason if Grossman could accomplish such a feat.
The Buccaneers better not waste money on a below-average back up QB. Just recently, Tampa Bay signed former Eagle Mike Kafka, who only played in four games during his four-year career.
What were the Bucs thinking with that signing?
Right now, there are no solid free agent QBs out there to be signed. The only two decent free agent signal callers available right now are Michael Vick and Chad Henne. The Buccaneers should look a little harder for a quarterback and keep their jittery hands in their pockets.
There are plenty of great quarterback prospects that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft, including Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Derek Carr. The Buccaneers hold the seventh overall pick in the first round and I do not think Manziel, Bridgewater or Bortles will be around that long. The Bucs should consider scooping up Carr before the Minnesota Vikings get a chance to.
Carr would be a great fit for Tampa. He and Glennon look like they have a very similar playing style and I would love to see them both fight for the starting job. The Buccaneers need to look at this draft with an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality.
If they do not go with a quarterback, I would like to see the Buccaneers add a strong offensive tackle. According to NFL.com media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, the Bucs are predicted to choose Taylor Lewan from Michigan. The 6-8, 309-pound tackle is considered to be a Top 10 pick in the draft and I hope the Buccaneers have a chance to pick him up. He is a very strong player to have, but he has had the tendency to play a little dirty at times so Smith better tell him to cool down. Tampa Bay needs to build up the offensive line and I think Lewan would be a great help.
The Buccaneers also need to add some depth at the wide receiver position and there are plenty of veteran free agents with experience to consider. I would love to see Anquan Boldin or Devin Hester don the red and gold in 2014. Tampa will have plenty of options to think about.
The Bucs have plenty of offseason work ahead of them and should not get ahead of themselves with their spending money. The team already dropped the ball by signing Kafka. The Buccaneers must avoid making mistakes this offseason. I want to see players with experience and skill brought in, not players who are all washed up!
The 2014 season will be the birth of the new and improved Buccaneers and I am filled with excitement to see them play.