The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made some impressive movements this offseason. After a disastrous 2013 season which they hope soon to forget, the Bucs made a momentous move right out the gate by hiring former Chicago Bear coach Lovie Smith on January 2, four days after their final game of 2013. Smith was also the Buccaneers’ linebacker coach from 1996-2000, during which the team made three-playoff appearances. Additionally, the team is starting fresh with new offensive and defensive coordinators. Jeff Tedford, who coached the Cal Bears for 11 seasons, twice being named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, will inherit the Bucs offense while defensive-minded Leslie Frazier, the former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, will lead their young but promising defense.
In May, Tampa Bay used all of their draft picks on offensive personnel, in hopes to improve an offense that was ranked last in total yards, last in passing yards and 30th in points scored, easily the worst offense in the league. After trading wide-out Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills for a sixth-round draft pick, the team was able to make up for that loss by snatching up Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, perhaps the best receiver in the draft, with the seventh overall pick. The Bucs also drafted an explosive runner to back up Doug Martin in West Virginia’s Charles Sims.
The roster improvements didn’t stop there. The Bucs dumped the suddenly-irrelevant Darrelle Revis and his monstrous contract, signed Revis’ replacement in Pro-Bowler Alterraun Verner, upgraded their defensive line by picking up DT Clinton McDonald (who played on last year’s Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl team), and signed quarterback Josh McCown to a two-year deal.
All these changes and improvements will surely give the Buccaneers a lot of confidence going into the 2014 season, and to put the cherry on top, the Bucs also have some impressive new uniforms to sport. What better way to start over with a clean slate and to give your players a sense of conviction than by having them wear some stylish gear?
Keep your eyes out for the new-and-improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because they might just be the league’s biggest surprise this year.