Bucs Can Contend In The NFC South

July 23rd, 2012

Can the leader of the New Schiano Order get the Bucs in contention for an NFC South run?

The acid reflux Joe gets from remembering last season, particularly the grotesque 10-game losing streak to end the season, is enough to render him prone on a leather couch groping a bottle of Bushmills.

To think how horrid the team played in the final weeks of the season, it seems a playoff run is seasons away.

But hold up, writes Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. Given the topsy-turvy history of the NFC South, don’t take anything for granted, so Cummings explained in a TBO Bucs Q&A.

Q: Being a 20-year Bucs fan I’m never too excited about a new year until after Week 4 and we see what they really have. Having said that, can they possibly compete for a division crown with two legit contenders and the up and coming Panthers in a tough NFC south?

Greg Minnick, Daytona Beach, FL

A: Of course they can. In my mind, the Bucs were never quite as bad as their 4-12 record and 10-game losing streak indicated last year and never quite as good as the 10-6 record in 2010 indicated. To me they are somewhere in the middle, which mean they’re about a seven-win team. Give or take a couple of wins and they could push for nine wins and a playoff spot. This is a far more talented team than it was a year ago at this time. If Greg Schiano can get them to play up to their potential and eliminated stupid mistakes, they have a chance to surprise some people.

— Woody Cummings

The key for Schiano will be getting the defense to play sound, fundamental football. Last year, in particular the final two months of the season, the Bucs defense played anything but fundamentally sound.

To contend for a playoff spot, the Bucs realistically would have to leapfrog at least two NFC South foes. Joe’s not confident that can happen, unless the Saints totally free fall amid their bounty mess, and Cam Newton comes back down to earth for the Panthers in his second NFL season.

15 Responses to “Bucs Can Contend In The NFC South”

  1. Andrewbucsfan Says:

    I’m a fan that hasn’t forgotten we went 10-6 then started the season 4-2, beating the saints and the falcons before colapsing. IMO were not far off

  2. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Were not far off at all, offensively all the pieces are in place… defensively they have some work to do but for the most part the talent is there. We just need to get the most out of them. I think we can content with the teams in our own division but im not expecting playoffs I would just like to see some exciting and competitive football through all 4 quarters this year

  3. Pete 422 Says:

    Offensively the Bucs should be able to score some points & sustain some long drives that will help out the defense.

    Woody hit the nail on the head. The Defense will struggle some, but fundamentals will help keeps games close.

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    There is too much speculation as to how well the these guys will play this year. Really only time will tell! We do know for a fact that the coaching staff could not motivate or lead this team to success. If not for some last minute heroics in 2010; this team would have a much worse record under Morris. When a team is behind almost every single game; it comes down to lack of coaching. Lets give all these guys a chance to play under different circumstances and see how they do before we judge too much. It will only take a couple of games to see who is for real and who is not.

  5. Oregano Says:

    We are in the midst of a 10 game losing streak, psychologically we are in a very bad place. A couple of years ago Rod Marinelli’s Detroit Lions were not that far off. RM was a proven NFL coach. They whiffed on a complete season. 0 dash 16!

    We need to win one game, break the streak and then build off of that.

  6. thomas two point two Says:

    What was so infuriating about the budget masqueraded as the Rahdom regime was not just incompetency and the 17-31 nightmare.

    It is also what it does to the players who survive after the new budget allows for a NFL staff to be brought in.

    These players have been conditioned that lazy, sloppy, unprofessional, jovial, careless preparation is not only acceptable but encouraged by the staff.

    Good football is the product of a hard work plan, many reps, more reps, conditioning and execution. Many of these players will be introduced to the pros for the first time by Schiano.

    There will be an adjustment that will likely last into the season.

  7. Eric Says:

    We don’t have a snowballs chance in hell, but it should be fun to watch.

    If this guy goes 6-10 we should be pleased.

  8. bucobruce Says:

    What are some of you thinking the bucs will go10-6 and make the playoffs so dont jump on the banwagon when we start winning.The bucs need true fans that have some confidence in the team until proven wrong!Ill see u true fans at new orleans for the super bowl.

  9. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Just love your optimism Eric

  10. FactsMatter Says:

    The Saints are missing their head coach for an entire year. That goes beyond missing the signal calling. It means missing his choosing the players to make the team, his gameplanning and analysis, and his leadership. The Saints could crash and crash hard.
    The Falcons will be the Falcons. Good. Not great.
    The Panthers only won 6 games last year. There is no reason to worry about Cam Newton at the level you keep doing so. Take away the Tamp difference from 2010 to 2011 of the 2 victories (when Tampa would have lost to the Washington Generals basketball team fielding only 5 men) and Cam and the Panthers improved all of ..drumroll… 2 games.
    If Tampa actually has a run defense, the Panthers will lose.
    The Panthers lost 10 games last year. Stop making them seem like a good team. They aren’t yet.
    Tampa isn’t a good team yet either. But they have a higher ceiling with more elements being replaced at an almost guaranteed improvement level from the previous year.

  11. Eric Says:

    Guaranteed improvement?

    Your obviously unfamiliar with Mr. Dominik’s work.

  12. Ladyz Says:

    The key for a turn around is for everyone to believe that we can be a good team. The first game will tell us what kind of season it will be. As Judge Joe Brown is know to say,” it time to man up “. Think positive, work hard and make good decisions. We stand today , in this session, undefeated ! Let’s build on that. Go Bucs!

  13. Scubog Says:

    I’m sure not going to write off the season before it has even started. There is enough talent on this team to at least compete. What has to happen is that the players who should be “stars” need to step up to that level. When that happens, the rest will follow.

  14. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    The only potential weal spots on the Bucs offense is on the offensive line, namely Zuttah and Penn.

    Zuttah has to prove he can play well as a full time center. Penn has to stay in shape and play like his old self…

    …of course, Penn is 29 this year…he’s approaching the age of injuries…actually he’s in it as of now. At 29 the potential for injury starts to increase.

    The only other potential weakness on offense is if Freeman is injured.

    As to defense, there are a LOT of unproven players that need to show improvement in a number of areas. Even though, as one example, Talib will likely be suspended to start the season, his gameplay slipped last year.

    Biggers will be filling in while he’s out too…huge weakness there. If Schiano straightens out Biggers he can be good, but part of his problem was a quiting, lazy attitude.

    Barber hold a place in all our hearts, but he is no longer a starting quality CB and he is playing a new position…and is unproven at that position.

    Bowers is out for the season…but Bennett was more proven anyway. Our DTs need to play welo and make it through a full season.

    Foster got a bum deal last year, but will have no excuses this year. He must also prove himself.

    Honestly, I feel most secure with Eric Wright and our future probowling DE than I do with and other members of the defense.

    And Eric Wright is going to be very solid…surprising plenty of naysaying fans.

  15. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    And here’s the surprise after my above post…I think we can win the division and make the playoffs.

    I’m not demanding it because it’s going to take time for the defense to gel, but I’m allowing for that glimmer of hope.