Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Success In 2013 Will Hinge On These 5 Irreplaceable Players

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: How Far the Buccaneers Go Depends On 5 Players

Buccaneers
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been like a slinky the past couple of years, see-sawing back and forth from breakout year to underachievers. If the Buccaneers want finally become an “Elite” NFL team, they will need their five irreplaceable players to shine like stars in 2013.

Just like the Cincinnati Bengals of the past, the Buccaneers have now become an inconsistent team, where they are good or great in one year but follow that up with a very disappointing season.

From 2009 to 2010, the Buccaneers went from a 3-10 record to an astonishing 10-6 record. Transition mode was the theme for the Buccaneers, as they were trying to re-identify themselves and move on from one era to the next.

Many analysts and fans believed that the Buccaneers finally were ready to take off, and in 2010, they surprised the NFL with their youth and athleticism at skill positions. Since then, however, the Buccaneers went an embarrassing 4-11, and then rebounded somewhat in 2012 with a 7-9 record.

Instead of rising and becoming perennial playoff teams like the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens to name a few, the Buccaneers have declined and lost their way with complacency.

In 2013, however, the Buccaneers have every chance and should be a team to be reckoned with both in the regular season and in the playoffs, or they should consider their season as a huge bust.

After dishing out money to get arguably, when healthy, the best corner in the NFL and one of the greatest to ever play the game in Darrelle Revis and signing one of the best hitting safeties in Dashon Goldson, the Buccaneers without a doubt should be thinking playoffs and more.

In order for the Buccaneers to reach their goal in 2013, they will need these five irreplaceable players to not only stay healthy but to live up to their potential and rise up to the occasion.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+

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No. 5: Vincent Jackson

Buccaneers
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

In his first year with the Buccaneers, Vincent Jackson proved to be a very valuable asset, as he had a terrific year, recording 1,384 receiving yards and eight touchdowns with 19.2 yards per catch.

Josh Freeman keeps excelling, and again, the Buccaneers will need their top wideout to continue with his production in order for them to go where they want to be. There aren’t many receivers in the NFL with the size, speed and strength of Jackson.

Jackson plays a key role and will help the Buccaneers improve, as his mere presence on the outside impacts their offense in so many different ways.

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No. 4: Mark Barron

Buccaneers
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

If Revis and Gholdson didn’t seem scary enough, add in 6-foot-2 safety Mark Barron, who recorded 71 solo tackles and one interception in his rookie year, and the Buccaneers may have their own “Dream Team” secondary unit that has the potential to absolutely dominate on defense.

Barron is an exceptional player who flashed playmaking skills and is another young star that the Buccaneers have at their disposal. Barron is irreplaceable because of his speed, size and game-changing skills.

If the Buccaneers have one heck of a year, Barron will be one of the reasons why this team becomes great.

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No. 3: Doug Martin

Buccaneers
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

After rushing for 1,454 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns with an average of 4.6 yards per carry, it is safe to say that second-year running back Doug Martin is a star player in the making.

Last season, the Buccaneers ranked 15th in rushing yards with 114.8 yards per game. It’s not everyday that a team gets to draft a star running back who can be an asset in the passing game as well. The Buccaneers will be an explosive team because of Martin’s skill, and he will also help Freeman to shift into another gear.

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No. 2: Josh Freeman

Buccaneers
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers seemed to find their franchise quarterback in Freeman. Fast forward to 2013, and the front office still believes they made the right choice even though Freeman’s consistency has its concerns.

On stats alone, comparing Freeman to the 2009 quarterback class that includes New York Jets' Mark Sanchez and Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford, Freeman is right there.

In those three years, Freeman has thrown more passing yards and is only two touchdown passes short of Stafford, who is considered one of the better passers in the NFL.

This will be a make-or-break year for Freeman to showcase his potential and prove his critics that he is a franchise quarterback. Everything is lined up for Freeman to succeed, and even though the team drafted quarterback Mike Glennon, how far Freeman goes will determine where the Buccaneers end their 2013 season.

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No. 1: Darrelle Revis

Buccaneers
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

When the Buccaneers introduced their newest weapon on defense in Pro-Bowler Revis, the whole secondary for the Buccaneers changed in a heartbeat. Not to mention that they also signed safety Goldson, they will go from the 32nd-ranked passing defense to possibly one of the very best in 2013.

Yes, one player can change the dynamics, and assuming Revis is good to go, the Buccaneers’ defense may well be one of the most intimidating and athletic units in the NFL.

While they already possess the best rushing defense in the NFL from last year, teams will find it very hard to pass against the ruthless secondary, as “Revis Island” will be taking its place on the field soon.


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