The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to go from worst-to-first in the NFC South and the organization will call on Lovie Smith to do so. After a rough 4-12 season that saw more MRSA infections than touchdowns — not really — Tampa Bay now has a great chance to finish atop the division in 2014.
Now, before that goal is accomplished the Buccaneers must prove that they can hang with the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and even Atlanta Falcons on the offensive side of the ball. Even though Smith is a defensive mastermind, Chicago fans will tell you all about his ineptitude on offense. With that being said, I fully expect Gerald McCoy, Darrelle Revis and even Mark Barorn to have major seasons in 2014.
Therefore, the aforementioned NFC South competitors must not take the Bucs lightly in the next few seasons. In fact, Drew Brees and Cam Newton might want to start taking a good look at a few of the Smith-led Chicago Bears defenses that wreaked havoc on the entire NFC North, because that’s the style of football that Smith is bringing to the South.
Perhaps the best part of Smith’s move to the Bucs is the fact that he will be pinned up against Ron Rivera of the Panthers, who coached alongside Smith for two seasons while with the Bears. I don’t know about you: but, I see the Buccaneers-Panthers rivalry kicking up a few notches in 2014.