Yeah, yeah, we heard it all last year, too — and what they got was a 5-11 record.

The Buccaneers were sort of picked as the media darlings of the upcoming 2017 season back in August last year. It had been years since the Buccaneers had even fielded a roster that warranted any kind of hype, so whether or not you were a no nonsense person or not, that part was at least encouraging.

The actual results were not encouraging.

But, as much as Bucs fans might not want to hear it, many of the same things that gave this team hype are still around and those that aren’t have been massively upgraded — on paper.

Thus, ESPN’s Mike Clay says that, on paper, the Bucs are a Top 12 team in the league.

Clay goes on to say that the NFC is the conference with most of the good teams, so even if the Bucs are better than they were last year and, in fact, actually good, that still might not warrant a playoff spot in such a stacked conference.

But, Clay is saying there’s hope.

If the Bucs play up to their on paper potential, do you think the playoffs are a possibility with head coach Dirk Koetter and the rest of the coaching staff? Who are their biggest threats in the NFC?

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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IanKC
IanKC
4 years ago

The biggest threats in the NFC are of course the Eagles, the Vikings, and the Saints.

FLyBoy
FLyBoy
4 years ago

I would have to go with Eagles, GB, Vikes as the biggest threats. But my retired butt seems to always want to say the Bucs are going to be the biggest threats (I say it every year).

Trevor – 2 questions for you. Who do you think are the biggest NFC threats and Will you post a new photo of your newly styled haircut?

EricNV
EricNV
4 years ago

Of course the playoffs are a possibility! If we stay healthy and personnel play to their potential, anything is possible. This team has more talent than any Bucs team other than the Super Bowl team, on paper at least.

Darin
Darin
4 years ago

Flyboy…that’s what us fanatics do buddy. We see the bright side of the team every year. If it wasnt for hope we wouldnt be fans. Ive never gone into a season thinking below 500. As far as the top NFC teams I’d say Phi, Min and the Rams. I think this year the Rams go to the big one, unless the Bucs get them of course. McVay is one hell of an offensive mind, love what he’s doing out there. Add Talib, Peters and Suh to a Wade Phillips D and i’d be surprised if they dont go to the… Read more »

Ken - Kfromfla
Ken - Kfromfla
4 years ago

The Bucs win the NFC-South in 2018, and compete in December for 1st seed in the NFC. Winston is in the MVP conversation, but falls short due only to “Hater Resistance” in the media. Mark it down.

surferdudes
4 years ago

I can see for miles, and miles, but I won’t get fooled again. The Who.

jerseybucsfan
jerseybucsfan
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

Surferdudes, don’t stay Behind Blue Eyes. When they ask Who Are You, you’re not dwelling on Pictures of Lily at 5:15 or just some Pinball Wizard. Say I’m a Boy who roots for the champion Bucs! Trust me The Kids are Alright and this time it’s not an Eminence Front!

mark2001
mark2001
Reply to  jerseybucsfan
4 years ago

I’ll just be a Boris the spider on the wall in this discussion.

pinkstob
pinkstob
4 years ago

To answer your first question TS…no. It’s because of the players, Koetter and the coaching staff, not just Koetter and the coaching staff. Our players don’t throw, catch, block and tackle well enough relative to the other players in the league and those fundamentals are only loosely tied to NFL coaching. Those fundamentals you either have or you don’t by the time you leave college. To your second question, I would say every NFC team is a bigger threat than us besides the Redskins, Seahawks and Lions. Giants and Panthers are a toss up. That’s because we got better this… Read more »

76Buc
76Buc
4 years ago

?If the Bucs play up to their on paper potential….?” If a frog had a glass arse he couldn’t jump.

bEubanks11
bEubanks11
4 years ago

I’m just the opposite of Pink on this one. Coaching or schemes and using the talent to its greatest potential will have the biggest affect on this team’s success. More specifically, it is my opinion that this team only goes as far as Mike Smith pulls his head out of his butt!

Bucsfan1983
Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

Notice how he points out the secondary being an issue. Ugh! And Licht took Vea instead of James. SMH!

eac1029
eac1029
4 years ago

I mean I get why we are being doubted. We have had a rough decade or so and pretty much looked like the NFC Browns. Ever since we won the bowl, things have gone downhill. All the hype last year just to be let down again. It all makes sense. However, I think a lot of the pessimism is irrational. We are 2 years removed from a winning record. We have improved our biggest weakness (D Line) to what is now potentially a strength and maybe top 10. We picked up quality d backs to assist with that weakness from… Read more »

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  eac1029
4 years ago

The team is coming off of a 5-11 season and you think pessimism is irrational? I’m not sure what your definition of irrational is, but if a team goes 5-11 the previous year, averages 5.5 wins a year for the past four years under the current GM, averages 5.55 wins a year over the past 9 years (no playoffs) looking at the past two GM’s but you look at a 9 win season two years ago which is statistically an outlier as your base of argument and you ask any person who isn’t a die hard fan of this team… Read more »

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Devasher
4 years ago

What is with this fan base and reading comprehension? LOL I said a lot of it is irrational. I then proceeded to list reasons why, but for some reason you chose to cherry pick 7 words. There was a lot more substance in my post than that. SMH Now you’re saying that 2 seasons ago is an outlier. Well, you would be correct if you’re looking at the franchise in it’s entirety, however I was referring to Dirk Koetter’s tenure, which is only two years. You know, that was the whole context of my point? So no that is not… Read more »

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  eac1029
4 years ago

Your attempt to parse “a lot of the pessimism” is admirable eac. Between your attempts to save face and you’re frequent LOLs I can’t say which I find more annoying (but I’ll choose the former). You chose the word “irrational” to describe an view that you don’t share. A pessimistic view would actually be very rational if you look at anything other than one or two cherry picked non-playoff seasons in the past 11 years. The word “irrational” is either a poor choice of wording on your point, or a lack of understanding of what that word actually means, you… Read more »

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Devasher
4 years ago

Yet again, this is a new regime that is only 2 years in. MY CONTEXT was referring to THIS REGIME. Not the history of the franchise. LOL (Did those three letters on the internet get to you, bro?) Interesting you’re preaching to me the definition of words when you utilized the wrong version of “your”. But we all make mistakes and grammar Nazis are just as annoying as LOL. I won’t even mention the “an view”, oops too late. We just spent a lot of time on one sentence….on semantics. You must spend a lot more time on blogs than… Read more »

Buc-n-Philly Fan
Buc-n-Philly Fan
Reply to  Devasher
4 years ago

Devasher, we are soooooo lucky to have you here to point out our lack of knowledge of the english language. Let me personally say thank you…LOL.

Now you can critique my use of “lol” too!!!

You must not have much to do during the day…..

Ava'Jeno
Ava'Jeno
4 years ago

Nationally, people are out on Dirk…. I think us as a fan base are out on him as well, but nationally speaking most thought Dirk was a goner when you look at the talent vs the results… Some even picked apart his coaching style based on Hardknocks… No one believes in him so there will be no hype this year…. Name one team that is just head and shoulders above the rest in terms of pure talent??? Everyone is talented now a days as the sport is literally broken down to a science…What seperates teams now is legitimate coaching…. and… Read more »

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Ava'Jeno
4 years ago

That’s purely your opinon. LOL 1 year ago our coaches were lauded to be some of the best we ever had. #1 defense for 5 weeks straight and Koetter was a savior. To insinuate we have below average coaches because of last season is premature. Especially when it’s countered with a successful 2016 season.

You could vouch the Jags are more talented than nearly all of the teams in the NFL. I absolutely believe certain teams have a ton of more talent than others. The Dolphins are a great example of a team that lacks talent.

Ava'Jeno
Ava'Jeno
Reply to  eac1029
4 years ago

Now you’re the one with opinions…If you thought dirk was the best coach we ever had, particularly last year…thats your opinion…. Never heard or thought that!

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Ava'Jeno
4 years ago

LOL what? How did you comprehend that I said he was the best coach we have ever had? I said he was lauded, which means praise highly in a public context, as in numerous people. Evidently I was referring to the fan base. If you haven’t heard that then you must not get on the internet very often. I mean there was an entire stick carrier movement in which fans were preaching how he is going to be the GOAT. Comprehension is key. So no, it’s still just your opinion that he is going to fail. I will reserve judgment… Read more »

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  eac1029
4 years ago

Last year Dirk Koetter had one season of experience as a head coach of an NFL team. The previous time Dirk was the head coach of a football team he was fired at Arizona State after he lost to Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl in 2006. I’m not sure who was lauding Dirk to be “some of the best we ever had” at HC especially compared to the careers and NFL records of Tony Dungy or Jon Gruden, but i’d love for you to pull up those articles proclaiming such a thing. I have a feeling that you “people” who… Read more »

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Devasher
4 years ago

Oh wow, another response overflowing with condescension. Couldn’t you have at least included your opinion of Dirk Koetter instead of proceeding to, yet again, cherry pick a couple of words? Man, reading comprehension isn’t your thing. You would think it would be a strength of yours considering you spend a fair amount of time belittling other people’s opinions. It was clearly evident from training camp, podcasts, articles, facebook groups, blogs, etc. that there was a growing suspicion that Dirk Koetter COULD be one of the bucs best coaches considering his first season had a winning record. Not sure why I… Read more »

fredster
fredster
4 years ago

I’m a fan over 20 years but I ain’t sugar coating anything. Don’t like it call me negative don’t give a shit. Bucs still stink unless they prove otherwise. I’m done getting hopes up year after year only to be disappointed. We will see. They look better on paper and I’ve said that every year last few years. That said go Bucs! You irritate the hell out of me but I still buy season tickets. Lol

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
4 years ago

Injuries. Remember the 2016 Falcons and their Super Bowl run….lost one meaningful (a single) starter from their lineup all year (Trufant)…played the entire Oline from the first snap to the last…Julio sat out a game or two mid-season, but they were as injury-free as a team could go….and not coincidentally made the Super Bowl.

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

If we improve the pass rush; we make it to the playoffs. Hopefully we have improving the pass rush?

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

By that standard Horse, if the Bucs are the 31st ranked team in the league in sacks this year they are making the playoffs because the pass rush is improved?

Seems like a low bar with a high outcome.

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

Paper champs 2 years running! lol

On a serious note, we trimmed the fat and addressed our 2 biggest weaknesses (DL and Secondary.) So yes, I expect to be better than last year. We play in the toughest division in the league so playoffs will always be tough to make, but we definitely seem to be on the right track.

It’s time to take that paper and put it to work on the field.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  plopes808
4 years ago

My only concern is that I think we may have overdone the DL additions when some of that cap could’ve gone to addressing our new biggest weakness at SS. I’m still hoping we bring Reid in but not holding my breath.

I do understand though that we’ve swung and missed on D-Linemen in the past so we went for the quantity approach this year. I mean, out of all our additions there’s gotta be at least one hit right?

Dman
Dman
4 years ago

This is what’s great about summer – we’re Super Bowl contenders! That said, we may be in the toughest division in the NFL. And at least one potential fly in the ointment is the Uber thing with Jamies. No idea where the NFL is with this as its been all quiet on the northeastern front. This happened YEARS ago, but Goodell & Co. just drag it out. If the guy did something wrong, why is it taking so long to come to that conclusion. Or are they manufacturing something to suspend him. That’s the way it feels down here. I’d… Read more »

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  Dman
4 years ago

Well of course the Bucs are Super Bowl contenders Dman, this team has never lost a game in June, so naturally get ready for the ticker tape parade down Dale Mabry! Wait? The Bucs have to player other teams in their “division”? What is this? There are other teams in the NFL? I thought if we just solely focus on this team at the exclusion of all others, then, by definition the Bucs are the best team in the NFL because to some fans, Bucs players are the only ones in the NFL they are aware of. Isn’t that how… Read more »

eac1029
eac1029
Reply to  Devasher
4 years ago

It’s becoming more and more evident Devasher lives alone.