I am probably too excited about this.
After dropping their last 10 games last year, and not really looking like they cared about it, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter the 2012 season looking for a bounce back season. I would be a lot less excited had they not made what appears to be all the right moves this offseason.
They dumped Raheem Morris in favor of the hard-nosed Greg Schiano. The drafted really well, including three new starters in the first two rounds with Mark Barron, Doug Martin and LaVonte David.
They massively upgraded the O-line and WR-corps with the additions of Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson.
They made and addition by subtraction by dumping Kellen Winslow.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of this will matter one bit if Josh Freeman is not able to return to his 2010 form, after amounted to a complete meltdown season last year. In his sophomore campaign, Freeman looked decisive, aggressive and ready to become the Buc’s franchise QB. In 2011, that all went to hell. Josh looked anxious in the pocket, inaccurate, and as if his pre-draft label of being in able to read a defense was going to stick with him.
It may be overly simplistic to say, but I believe as Josh Freeman goes, so goes the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I love the kid and want nothing more than for him to be successful. I think the Bucs will not hesitate to move in if he continues to regress. I am hopeful that he continues to improve. I do think that Kellen Winslow was part of the problem for Freeman. I think Josh felt a need to force the ball to Winslow to avoid drawing the ire of the former Soilder.
I know this is only one game, but I think we will know a lot more about the direction this team is heading at the end of today. I am hoping the Bucs force feed a large dose of the Muscle Hamster down the throat of the Panther’s defense.