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    • michael89156

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      Post count: 3229

      Tampa Bay's Most Likely Postseason Award Candidates for 2014 SeasonBy Jason KannoJune 10  2014 award_zps4ce5873e.jpgNFL accolades have been scarce in Tampa Bay as of late.No Buccaneers player has been recognized in any individual category since Cadillac Williams won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2005. Before Williams, Hall-of-Fame-elect linebacker Derrick Brooks won Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, the season the Bucs won the Super Bowl.The glory days of the late '90s and early '00s whisper taunts in the ears of Bucs fans. It has been many years since any Buccaneers player has been worthy of just mention in a conversation of the top players at the end of the year.This shameful drought may soon come to an end.The Bucs' cupboard is no longer bare. Players like defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David and wide receiver Vincent Jackson can count themselves among the best on their respective sides of the football.The best the Bucs have to offer is now on par with the rest of the league, and they can now be recognized as such. Here are the most likely candidates for postseason honors in 2014.award2_zps3c22c012.pngMost Valuable PlayerIf there is one Buccaneer who could win Most Valuable Player, it's DT Gerald McCoy.McCoy is the heart and soul of the Bucs' roster. Lovie Smith's defense will revolve around McCoy's ability to disrupt the line of scrimmage and pressure the quarterback.As one of the best defensive players in the league, McCoy is a transformative force. He elevates the roster into contender status. If the Bucs make it into the playoffs, it will have started its journey on McCoy's back.McCoy is the driving force behind the Bucs' success. He may not be a shoo-in for the league MVP, but he is undoubtedly the MVP in Tampa Bay.award3_zps2fa49e8c.pngDefensive Player of the YearThe Buccaneers have a unique problem that any NFL team would envy: having two players worthy of Defensive Player of the Year honors.If Gerald McCoy is the core of the defense, then LB Lavonte David is its razor sharp edge. Anyone who comes his way is cut down with precision tackling and superb coverage.With Lovie Smith taking over the defense, David could join elite company of Tampa-2 linebacker linchpins like Derrick Brooks and Lance Briggs.The Tampa-2 is a system David was born to play. It appeals to all of David's strengths and might make him the best linebacker in the NFL.If David continues growing at the same pace he has over the past two years and takes to Smith's defense as is expected, it is by no means out of the question that David could be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.award4_zps9db41b5c.pngOffensive Rookie of the YearIs there really any other player that would be more appropriate here?The Bucs spent the seventh overall pick in this year's draft to take WR Mike Evans, a big man with a big future.Not long after he was drafted, the odds-setters in Las Vegas declared Evans the odds-on favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Even NFL pundits like Daniel Jeremiah are proclaiming Evans the top ROY candidate:awards_zps3e2d7eb5.gifPart of what separates Evans from the rest of the pack is the talent around him. He has the ideal mentor in Vincent Jackson, a player with similar athleticism and exceptional work ethic.Evans also has a solid veteran quarterback in Josh McCown who is no stranger to big receivers.Of all the players on the Bucs roster, Evans is the most likely to take home postseason accolades. The Bucs should hope that Evans' work earning those accolades also pushes them into playoffs.award5_zps35e79237.pngOffensive Player of the YearAs good as Mike Evans could be, WR Vincent Jackson is already that good.Of all the players on the Bucs' roster, Jackson is most likely to take home the Offensive Player of the Year award. He is by far the most experienced and accomplished weapon the Bucs have on offense.This could be Jackson's best year with the Bucs yet. He will have a veteran quarterback in Josh McCown with experience passing to big targets like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in Chicago.Jackson also has a superior coaching staff in Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, and it doesn't hurt that he has a new playmate in Evans who will draw significant attention from opposing defenses, opening more opportunities for Jackson downfield.Still, odds are long that Jackson will win Offensive Player of the Year. There is simply too much competition across the league and the Bucs offense may be limited by a new system and the surplus of options thanks to this year's draft.award6_zps3782ece2.pngComeback Player of the YearComeback Player of the Year is an unusual distinction as it acknowledges how poorly a player's season went the year prior.Running back Doug Martin's 2013 campaign came to an abrupt and premature end when he tore his labrum in Week 6. The Bucs hoped Martin could return but resigned themselves to his fate and placed him on injured reserve in November.Martin received clearance to return to the field at the end of March. Now Martin can get back to bouncing off tacklers and continue growing into one of the best tailbacks in the league.The biggest obstacle standing his way is actually his own team. Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Jeff Tedford plans on spreading the love between his running backs, including rookie Charles Sims.However, Adam Lefkoe asked Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune this week what sort of workload the Bucs have in mind for Martin, and Cummings seemed optimistic that Martin would still be "the bell cow."Only time will tell whether Martin will roar back to the field and contend for Comeback Player of the Year, or if he'll beg for carries in a crowded Bucs backfield.linkpoll_zps59d8deb9.gif

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3028

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 642

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Please wait…

    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3028

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Touche...lol.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1828

      I agree with the article for the most part, except I would say Doug Martin is a better candidate to win Offensive Player of the Year than Vincent Jackson

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 312

      If we have a good year then Lovie for Coach of the Year is a possibility too.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 9128

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Lol.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 424

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      +1

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 500

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Careful with that attitude, as I'm sure many francises probably feel the same way about us. Two 4-12 seasons in three years and a six year playoff drought dont add up to a whole lot of respect around the league.

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    • dzejms

      Participant
      Post count: 981

      I agree with the article for the most part, except I would say Doug Martin is a better candidate to win Offensive Player of the Year than Vincent Jackson

      You do realize that they drafted a running back who will take away a ton of carries and receptions from Martin don't you?

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 10626

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      They have a few nice players, and if Bortles can ball big time right out of the gate, they could surprise.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 424

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Careful with that attitude, as I'm sure many francises probably feel the same way about us. Two 4-12 seasons in three years and a six year playoff drought dont add up to a whole lot of respect around the league.

      BS. We actually have a large market when you factor in the Bay Area as a whole. Not to mention we have a SB trophy and 3 Hall of Famers. Not to mention we are under lease until 2027 because Hillsborough County bought and paid (still paying) for RayJ. Jax, on the other hand, is a large city with relatively nothing substantial in it. They had no business ever getting a franchise. Their football history is garbage compared to ours. Their history can be summed up like this: Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith and the Tarps. That's it.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3028

      Im still surprised Jacksonville had that many votes.

      I'm still surprised Jacksonville is considered an NFL franchise.

      Careful with that attitude, as I'm sure many francises probably feel the same way about us. Two 4-12 seasons in three years and a six year playoff drought dont add up to a whole lot of respect around the league.

      We could love every game from now until forever and we still have a trophy.  There probably are a few like that, but those are a very few of the blue bloods who have been around since the beginning and won multiple trophies.  As long as we are part of the "have a ring" club, we are better than everyone who isnt. 

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2962

      To me the most likely candidates are David for DPOY, Lovie for COTY (if we can get ourselves at least 9 wins) and Doug for Comeback POTY. Of course McCoy could be a DPOY candidate in this defense too, but I really think this year David will start to get more of the attention he deserves.

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