By Joshua Casey

Finally, I guess this is the only word that can describe how nearly every man felt when the words finally came that the NFL lockout was over. I know that’s how I felt, I was jumping for joy, (I really was in fact I slammed my head on the roof of my house because I jumped up so quick when I finally heard of the end of the lockout, thus explaining the 5 inch bruise on the top of my head). Getting back on topic here, the new NFL season is literally just around the corner and  with the way the Tampa Bay Buccaners broke out last season, fans can’t help but be optimistic about the upcoming season, I know I sure am. The Bucs have a lot to be positive about, Josh Freeman is primed for a breakout season, (yes better than last season), LeGarrette Blount is determined to be an all around back, and Mike Williams is ready for another great year.

This season has high hopes, and seemingly fans can only hope that the Bucs can win the division and make the playoffs. In the last 3 or 4 years this idea would have made you the laughingstock of your respective conversation, but now, well now this is the standard for the Bucs. At least for this upcoming year it is, Raheem Morris is expecting his squad to overtake the NFC South this year and reach the playoffs. Raheem has outwardly expressed his confidence in this young squad, stating that he feels he has the team in place to make a run in the playoffs. And why shouldn’t he think that, the young receiving core of 9 WR whose NFL experience adds up to 9 NFL seasons, has shown poise well beyond their years. Mike Williams 2010-2011 breakout season was not that unexpected from within the Bucs organization as all who met him knew what he was capable of.

Now with every positive there always has to be a few negatives that tag along with it, as there are with this year’s team. The first of which being the fact that maybe Josh Freeman peaked last year and is due for a down year this year. Although I can’t see this happening because Freeman is such a talented Quarterback who had a weak receiving core, before the emergence of Mike Williams last year. Mike Williams also has a few questions lingering around him, the second year curse for wide receivers has been know to strike, and strike often. To most, Williams production last season was a major surprise, and although Williams does not feel the same way, he must know that achieving the same stats as last season will not be easy. In fact this will be a much steeper mountain than when he first came into the NFL, defensive coordinators are now targeting Williams and he will be the focal point of opposing defenses. This year will definitely show if last year’s Bucs were a flop or the real deal. But I do think this year Freeman and William’s skills will outweigh all odds against them. The Bucs will have a very productive season, similar to last, only this year the goal of making the playoffs will be achieved.




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