By Quinne Lowe @sports_qa on June 27, 2014
If Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are serious about a turnaround 2014 season, they can ill-afford to lose these five irreplaceable Bucs players during the season. Whether it be because there is no depth at their position or they play such a huge role in the growth of the team, the playoff dreams for Tampa Bay will be quickly dashed if any of these guys miss significant time.
Verner was brought in to be the replacement to Darrelle Revis, and while he isn't an "island", the Bucs will be depending on him in 2014 to match up with the likes of Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall. If he goes down at any point during the season, it severely weakens a position that doesn't have depth beyond the starters.
In past years McCoy would have been a lot higher on the list, but Tampa Bay has acquired some depth at the DT position that would ease the pain if he were to go down. What they would miss more than anything is the leadership qualities that the fifth-year starter out of Oklahoma provides. This is his unit, and as he goes so does the defense.
If McCoy is the general of the defense, David is the first in command. His play at the linebacker position has improved vastly in the first two seasons, and with the team having questions at the other outside linebacker position, it is important that he not only stays as healthy but also continues to refine his game.
Every team needs a go-to receiver that their quarterback can rely on, and for Tampa Bay that guy is Jackson. Even with taking Mike Evans in the 2014 draft, Jackson will be the primary option until Evans gets acclimated to the nuances of being a NFL wideout. You also have to consider the depth behind these two, or lack thereof, so if Jackson goes down for an extended period of time the position becomes completely depleted.
Collins was signed from Cincinnati to bring stability to an inconsistent unit and protect the blindside of their newly signed quarterback Josh McCown. They still have to address questions at three other line positions, so to have anything happen the guy they just signed for $ 30 million could be the tipping point for a fanbase that is already leery of high-priced lineman due to Carl Nicks.
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