February 17th, 2016
Brian Billick types Bucs.

Brian Billick types about the Bucs.

So here it is in the middle of February: The NFL Scouting Combine begins in a week in Indianapolis (Joe prefers just “combine,” lowercase, because he sure as heck isn’t referencing six-figure machines used to harvest corn in central Indiana, sigh.) and fans can dream as they stare at their computer screens, trying to ignore work, thinking of actual football games being played.

So as we wonder who the Bucs will target in the draft, or who the Bucs fight to sign when the free agency dinner bell rings March 9, we can also wonder how the 2016 season plays out.

One guy who believes the Bucs will be worth watching is Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick, who labels the Bucs as “interesting” for the 2016 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)

This could be the most interesting team to watch in the offseason. Jameis Winston, like Mariota, showed that the game was not too big for him, and the organization reaffirmed that by firing Lovie Smith and promoting Dirk Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach. A healthy Doug Martin seems revived at running back — and both the Bucs and Martin appear motivated to reach a new deal — while Mike Evans is a true difference maker at wide receiver. The defense has always had potential, but that potential has yet to be realized, hence the firing of Smith. Outside of an upgrade at offensive tackle, the Bucs need to lock the offensive staff out of the draft room and let new defensive coordinator Mike Smith accumulate the needed talent at defensive end, safety and cornerback.

Well, first, Mike Evans, until he learns to catch better and stop his nonsense with defensive players, is a difference maker because he killed so many drives. Until Evans rids himself of his K-Y hands and knocks off yapping at officials, he’s just a fantasy football difference maker, not a real football difference maker, despite his immense talent.

As for offensive tackle, Joe wouldn’t be shocked if the Buc draft a tackle, a developmental player, with the goal of said player some day replacing the right tackle tandem of Godser Cherilus/Demar Dotson, both getting long in the tooth.

This doesn’t mean the Bucs will draft an offensive tackle in the first round, however.

25 Responses to ““Interesting””

  1. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Considering the depth at DE, drafting a primo OT at number 9, might be the smart way to go.

  2. Bill Byrne Says:

    Making the “play-offs” will be determined by the offense and the play of QB Winston. Keep him upright and healthy and the BUCS will be successful!!! Right tackle is clearly a priority to go along with Smith on the left side. Let’s all “grow up” together.

  3. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Interesting indeed. My belief is although the Buccs don’t currently get a whole lot of media attention privately many heads around the league are paying attention and can tell this is quickly on the rise. I don’t think Chris Carter saying Jamies Winston is going to lead this team to superbowl real soon was just feel good speech for the moment. Everytime you looked up last season Bill Polian was making a comment. He’s always hatin but even the cookie monster petey king always has something to say about this team which tells me people around this league can tell this team is soon to be recon wit.

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Some of my football friends think Tampa will not sign Martin, and will draft that big Alabama back instead, and/or sign Matt Forte.

  5. biff barker Says:

    BPA on D or trade down a couple of spots is our guy is going to be there.

    I trust Licht with draft pics.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe…..”difference maker” is a correct term……it doesn’t distinguish from a good difference or a bad difference…. with ME13…..I

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    With ME13….I think the word describes him perfectly,….

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    Sign Mitchell Schwartz away from Cleveland to be our bookend right tackle.

  9. James Walker Says:

    Either in free agency or the draft the Bucs need:
    1) More talent at DB, and better coaching of existing talent in the backfield
    2) A passrush
    3) More targets for Jameis
    4) Youth at offensive line since the entire league seems to be in need.

  10. JP4 Says:

    Actually, the capital ‘C’ in NFL Scouting Combine is correct, since it’s used as a proper noun for the event. Combine with a lowercase ‘c’ indicates the harvesting machine, not a proper noun.

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @chris Apple
    Lovie is Matt Forte silliness wont happen The two headed attack Martin and Sims is much better at this stage of their careers.

  12. JP4 Says:

    Completely agree the Bucs need more depth at OL, and none of the DEs worthy of a 1st round pick are likely to fall to Tampa. Maybe DB in the 1st round, then DE and OL in the 3rd.
    Moot point arguing this, though, until we see what kind of FAs the Bucs manage to sign (including Doug Martin).

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    meant Lovie is gone

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    You know…all this talk about depth at DE in the draft is great…but the truth is, more than 70% of those DEs will bust in the NFL. So drafting one in the first round, and another in round 2 or 3, would be common sense.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I would go DE, RT, DE, CB…in that order.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says
    “Some of my football friends think Tampa will not sign Martin, and will draft that big Alabama back instead, and/or sign Matt Forte.”

    Your friends may be half right. The Bucs may not sign Martin to a contract…they might franchise him instead.

    But they won’t be drafting a RB before the 6th round in this draft.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    gotbbucs Says
    “Sign Mitchell Schwartz away from Cleveland to be our bookend right tackle.”

    Talk about making headlines! That would be huge!

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    My comment is being moderated, but I liked your suggestion 🙂

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    none of the DEs worthy of a 1st round pick are likely to fall to Tampa.

    Actually JP Noah Spence will probably be available. In fact Walter Football’s mock draft has us picking him at #9. He’s an interesting pick. Because of problems with Ecstasy and other off field issues a top five talent has fallen. Some draft folks however think he’s moving back up and will be there for the Bucs.

    Now if you fear his “off field” issues then your statement is correct. But from a standpoint of sheer talent Spence looks like the real deal. In fact there are OSU fans who believe Spence was better than Bosa when they were both on the Buckeyes.

  20. feelthepewterpower Says:

    OT for an aging vet or two, a combo backup TE maybe as insurance to Jenkins, and a slot/stretch the field slot guy (Kenny Bell)…and another receiver for depth and/or a replacement for vjax if he we cut him…as per the offensive holes…

  21. feelthepewterpower Says:

    We didnt get Jim Schwartz…but for those that mentioned Marshall above…good read: http://www.scout.com/nfl/browns/story/1602650-schwartz-getting-noticed

  22. feelthepewterpower Says:

    held von miller to no sacks…

  23. feelthepewterpower Says:

    didnt miss a snap either…And Mitch not Marhsall, rather

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’d like to see us trade down and get more bang for our 9th pick. Bossa will be gone. We’d better patch up our Defense to play at least 50% better. Do this, and we win at least 3 or 4 more games.

  25. William Walls Says:

    I think we’ll win 3 or 4 more games, just from better scheme/coaching on the defensive side of the ball, and another 1 or 2 from the continued maturation of the offense under Koetter. That’s 4-6 more wins from coaching upgrades alone. Any improvement we make from a roster standpoint in FA and the draft will be a bonus. It truly is a new day in Tampa Bay. 🙂