Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 5 Biggest Red Flags Entering 2014

The 5 Biggest Red Flags Facing The Tampa Bay Buccaneers In 2014

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't made the playoffs in six seasons. They will look to buck that trend in 2014, as the organization starts anew with a new head coach and new starting quarterback. Lovie Smith takes over as the team's new head coach, while veteran quarterback Josh McCown takes over as the team's signal caller. The Buccaneers finished 4-12 as one of the league's worst teams in 2013. Here are the five biggest red flags for Tampa Bay.

5. Is Doug Martin The Real Deal?

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5. Is Doug Martin The Real Deal?

Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers copy
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As preposterous of a question as this may be, Doug Martin did suffer a bad sophomore season after earning a Pro Bowl berth as a rookie. In 2013, Martin ran for just 456 yards on 127 carries, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. Martin's season ended in Week 7 when he suffered a shoulder injury. The team is replacing three of its five starting offensive linemen from 2013. Martin may have his work cut out for him this season.

4. Lovie Smith As The Team's New Head Coach

Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

4. Lovie Smith As The Team's New Head Coach

Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Lovie Smith had a solid nine-season tenure coaching the Chicago Bears. He led the team to three NFC North division titles, while leading them to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season. However, will hiring a veteran head coach who had his greatest success during the previous decade ensure future success for the Buccaneers? Smith inherits a team that has suffered losing records in four of the past five seasons.

3. The Difficulty Of Playing In The NFC South

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3. The Difficulty Of Playing In The NFC South

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
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The NFC South may not be the NFC West, but it sure is a tough division. The Carolina Panthers won the division last season and finished as the NFC's No. 2 seed, while the New Orleans Saints clinched a Wild Card berth with an 11-5 record. The Atlanta Falcons had a down year last season due to injuries but are just two years removed from appearing in the NFC Championship Game. It's hard to imagine the Buccaneers competing for the playoffs in 2014.

2. The Anemic Offense

Mike Glennon
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2. The Anemic Offense

Mike Glennon
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What seems to be lost in all of the hoopla surrounding the Buccaneers' change in organizational personnel with the hiring of Smith as head coach and the signing of McCown as the franchise quarterback is the fact that the Bucs were the league's worst offense last season. The Bucs ranked No. 32 in total offense with 277 yards per game. They were dead last in passing with 176.2 yards per game and 30th in points per game with 18 per game.

1. Josh McCown As a 16-Game Starter

Josh McCown Free Agency
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1. Josh McCown As A 16-Game Starter

Josh McCown Free Agency
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With change comes new hope. That seems to be the belief now that 12-year veteran quarterback McCown has taken over the starting quarterback position. McCown was excellent as the Bears' starting quarterback for five games last season as he threw 13 touchdowns and just one interception. However, the veteran quarterback has been his team's starting QB entering the season just twice in his career with just a 16-22 career record.


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