Most Intriguing: Carl NicksJune 5th, 2014
Each team that turns fortunes around always has a key player in that mix. A rock. A core element to that foundation.
Many Bucs fans point to Hardy Nickerson, the current Bucs linebackers coach, who was a veteran on a young Bucs team that turned the corner from woeful to an eventual Super Bowl champion.
Such a guy isn’t always a skill position player or a guy that racks up sacks like Joe does empty beer bottles on a steamy Florida summer afternoon.
For good guy Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, he believes that most intriguing player for Tampa Bay is hobbled guard Carl Nicks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
G Carl Nicks: The Bucs overloaded their offensive line, which was aging and had many starters entering the final year of contracts. Nicks was a rare holdover, and at his best, he was perhaps the most dominant guard in the game. He is the kind of guy who can help set a physical tone and give this unit an identity … that is if he can play at all. Nicks was robbed of last season from MRSA, a potentially deadly infection, and it remains to be seen what he can do in 2014. If he can get close to his old form, then all the more reason why I believe the Bucs can be one of the surprise teams in the NFL (with rookie GM Jason Licht perhaps duplicating the first-year heroics of Arizona’s Steve Keim from 2013; Licht working under Keim at the time). This offense has no shortage of size and potential playmakers, but being stout up front is always a prerequisite.
Yes, the return of Nicks would be key on a suspect line. But for every day Nicks cannot do anything more at practice than hold a bottle of water and hand out towels and encouragement, that just adds to the doubt he can ever return.
Joe thinks it’s clear why the Bucs are hanging on to Nicks. If he can rebound, then all of a sudden the offensive line looks so much better. Yeah, Nicks is that good of a guard.
But we all know about that dirty word “hope,” don’t we?