Now I’m not one to stir the pot—oh, who am I kidding!?
Let’s go back to the hype machine known as the Bucs offseason. GM Jason Licht must’ve sold his soul to Satan; himself— and no, I don’t mean Bill Belicheat. I mean Diablo, Lucifer, Hellfire, and brimstone Satan! Licht worked magic in bringing back ALL 22 starters and some key role players from the championship season, all while staying under the salary cap! All 22 of them not a single position of need.
Nobody drafted would break the starting lineup. Even the first-round pick was a mere luxury pick “for the future.” My Lord! That was epic! Every other team in the league had to scramble to catch the Bucs. Every team had to do their due diligence to make their rosters better and improve. Not Licht’s Bucs; they had ALL 22 and the Lombardi to make 23. Every single team has improved, but not the Bucs. You read that right! All teams improved because they felt they had to catch Tampa.
Let’s roll the tape to week 1, first half, er; umm, actually first quarter. Sean Murphy-Bunting, the young, flashy, promising, ball-hawking corner of your Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers, is injured; BADLY! He could miss some significant time.
This! Ladies and gentlemen! This is where I feel the front office fumbled the ball with all those “luxury” picks.
Rewind back to the draft: With the first round, the Bucs select Joe Tryon, an edge rusher looking to be the heir apparent to JPP once he rides off into that Florida sun. “Big Joe” will be an asset to the Bucs this season. You will see Joe in rotation and on special teams, and now with JPP’s injury, he has been thrust into the starting role. With their second pick, the Bucs selected a clipboard holder for the foreseeable future. Trask will not play if TB gets injured; Gabbert will.
Will there not be any quarterbacks in the 2022 draft? Did they really leave 5 DBs that are playing now in the NFL on the board? Did they really believe that Cockrell and Delaney were better than second-round talent?
This is where I feel the secondary issues for the Bucs started.
You can mock if you want. You can claim that Trask is the future. You can pound your chest and say: “it’s not their fault there was an injury.” — And You’re right! The injury is not their fault; however, overvaluing your roster is their fault. With one injury the entire defense is scrambling—where is all that depth? With one injury, your secondary is getting torched for 400 a game! Where is that team you improved with your draft capital? Oh yeah, all the other teams improved. But, not the Bucs! I’m not saying the season is over by any means. I truly believe the Bucs have a shot to reclaim glory. I never thought Tampa would go undefeated. Like I started this whole spiel with, I’m just stirring the pot!
Written by — Michael SeDoris