With so many additions to the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ defense, they may be considered to have one of the best units in the NFL. Last season, the Buccaneers pass defense was ranked last in the league; to improve that, this offseason Tampa acquired Pro Bowl defensive backs Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson. These two players plus rookie Jonathan Banks and second-year safety Mark Barron will prove to be one of the best secondaries in the league.
With Gerald McCoy stepping into the leadership role of the defense, the defensive line should make an impact against the offense. McCoy had an excellent season getting several tackles for losses and even made an appearance at the Pro Bowl. McCoy will be a great leader for many years to come as he is stepping into the role Ronde Barber once held, who retired earlier this offseason.
Other players on the defensive line includes Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. Last season, Clayborn suffered from a torn ACL, but he has made a full recovery and is now participating at training camp. Bowers, on the other hand, had a remarkable college career, winning several awards in 2010, but his professional career has been sub-par to say the least, I think that this season will be very different for Bowers as I predict him to be a breakout player.
With the defensive secondary and line previewing to make an impact this year, my main concern is how the linebacking corps performs. This corps consists of Mason Foster, Dakota Watson, Adam Hayward and Lavonte David. Foster has been in the league for two years, and last year had a little over 100 combined tackles. I can see him as being a role player for the Buccaneers future.
Then Hayward and Watson have been battling between the other outside linebacker position as they combined for only 34 tackles. David is the leader of the linebackers for the foreseeable future as last year, his rookie season, he had over 110 total tackles and 20 were for a loss of yards.
This season, I do not feel too confident with a few of the current linebackers, but the Buccaneers will have to make do.