“This Is Not A Rebuilding Year”September 22nd, 2013
Joe heard the above quote in the headline countless times from frustrated Bucs fans last week on sports radio. And Joe was at a party last night where fans earnestly told Joe the same thing.
They’re right. This is not a rebuilding year. Not a fan or analyst could legitimately make that claim.
The rightful expectations for the 2013 Bucs are what made this season — and offseason — so exciting.
The Bucs have eight former Pro Bowlers 30 years old and younger. And they are loaded with other talented players, like Lavonte David, Mark Barron, Adrian Clayborn, Mike Williams and, yes, Josh Freeman. Plus, it’s the second year of the regime. Team Glazer has invested heavily.
There is not one valid excuse for this Bucs team to not improve on last season. None! So Joe appreciates the passion.
Joe believes the Bucs, on paper, are more talented than their next three opponents — the banged up Patriots, Arizona and the Eagles.
But the presence of that talent is also why Joe can’t have an outright panic attack if the Bucs lose today in New England. Tampa Bay would still have the horses to rebound with home wins against the shaky Cardinals and Eagles, and head to Atlanta with confidence — and a 2-3 record – to a place they won in late December. And then it’s back home for shaky Carolina on a Thursday night.
The point is that hope is not gone, but there no excuse for the Bucs to not win at least three of their next five. If that doesn’t happen, look for Joe to freak out.