5 Unheralded Tampa Bay Buccaneers Who Must Step Up in 2014

5 Unheralded Tampa Bay Buccaneers Who Must Step Up in 2014

Lovie Smith
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers underwent a major roster overhaul this offseason. Under the new management of HC Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht, they began to rebuild a roster in their vision for the team going forward. This vision included several players who fit into Smith's own defensive scheme, which is zone-based and a more smash mouth run approach under new OC Jeff Tedford. These five players need to step up if the Bucs want to make the playoffs.

5. William Gholston

William Gholston Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Kim Clement - USA TODAY Sports

5. William Gholston

William Gholston Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Kim Clement - USA TODAY Sports

You might not know Gholston's name just yet, but he has a great opportunity to change that in 2014. The Buccaneers' starting LDE position is up for grabs, and although Lovie Smith has said that Adrian Clayborn will get the first chance at it, he has struggled mightily in the past. Gholston, on the other hand, has performed admirably in limited opportunities. In just 320 snaps in 2013, he had three sacks and 14 total quarterback pressures.

4. Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The team brought in Mike Jenkins to compete with Jonathan Banks for the starting cornerback job next to free agent Alterraun Verner. It is likely that Lovie Smith saw something about Jenkins' game that makes him a great fit for his defensive scheme.

3. Brandon Myers

Brandon Myer
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

3. Brandon Myers

Brandon Myer
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Myers will have to showcase the skill-set on display during his 2012 season rather than his past season with the New York Giants. Myers has the ability to get open underneath, and the change in offensive system should help him. He is likely to be asked to block less than he was with the Giants and run routes more. This suits him well.

2. Mike James

James
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Mike James

James
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The new Buccaneers offensive attack will feature a strong foundation in the running game. This has been noted on numerous occasions by both Lovie Smith and OC Jeff Tedford, who are both seeking an offense that can run the ball effectively and hit the occasional big passing play. In order for this style to work, the team will need a capable second back to shoulder the load with Doug Martin. Lovie Smith recently said he views James as a "great" RB.

1. Josh McCown

Josh McCown Free Agency
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1. Josh McCown

Josh McCown Free Agency
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The Buccaneers will live and die by Josh McCown in 2014. They brought in the veteran QB with one goal in mind: to win now. McCown brings with him a quick release, high football IQ, along with a solid arm and the ability to make big throws. On the other hand, he has a spotty track record outside of a small sample size last season.


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