For years when you thought about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you thought about them as a defensive team. The legendary Tampa-2 is still used throughout the NFL today, but in 2012 the Bucs defense left much to be desired. The unit gave up an average of 379.9 yards of total offense, and 24.6 points per contest. Both averages put them in the bottom quarter of the league.
Injuries and age have led to the decline of the Tampa defense, but now it’s thought the team will refocus this offseason, and resurrect their once elite unit.
Of course, the entire fate of the defense could be determined by whether or not the team can make a deal for Darrelle Revis. If the league’s best corner gets traded to Tampa, then clearly it will limit the other moves they’re able to make. But that’s okay, getting Revis alone, is enough to upgrade the defense.
At this time, the rumored snag in the trade is Tampa’s unwillingness to give up their No. 13 pick in this year’s draft. Most project they will pick a defensive player there, with either a defensive lineman or cornerback. You’d think if they got Revis and were able to keep the pick, that they’d probably select a position other than CB with that spot.
It’s a tough call on whether the Bucs should give up this year’s first round pick for Revis. They’re trying to get their cake and eat it too, which I respect, but is it realistic? If I’m the New York Jets, I wouldn’t trade Revis without getting immediate help in the first round.
The Bucs have signed cornerback Dashon Goldson to help bolster their secondary, so help is already on the way.
With several key players in place on offense, the next several weeks in Tampa will all be about defense. If the right moves are made to improve the unit, the Bucs should easily find themselves back in the playoff hunt again in 2013.
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