FOX Sports began the unveiling of their power rankings list this week but despite a complete overhaul of the front office, coaching staff and the roster, the network surprisingly listed the Buccaneers as the No. 32 team in the NFL.
The strangest aspect of the Bucs being the No. 32 team was the praise thrown the organizations way by a panel of former NFL players that included Brian Urlacher, Donovan McNabb and Randy Moss, along with NFL insider Jay Glazer.
Urlacher gave linebacker Lavonte David a ringing endorsement, and thinks the third-year linebacker from Nebraska has unlimited potential.
“Lavonte David at the Will linebacker, he could be the most athletic player to play that position – Lance [Briggs] was great, [Derrick] Brooks was great – but this guy athletically and speed wise, there hasn’t been a guy to play that position like him,” the former Bear All-Pro said.
Urlacher went on to talk about the importance of Gerald McCoy is Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense.
“Create havoc, get up the field, pick a gap and go,” Urlacher said. “They call him a crack head, just pick a crack and go, that is what his job is going to be. Every play is a passing down. That is what the defense is going to let him do. Just go up the field. If it is a run, react to the run, but every play is a pass. Get up the field, create havoc, take up two guys and let your linebackers run.”
The panel didn’t ignore the offense. They praised running back Doug Martin, wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The group also talked about quarterback Josh McCown.
“I think going into Lovie’s system I think that he can have a good season, I really do,” Moss said.
“I don’t see any reason why not,” Urlacher said. “He is more confident (and) has a good O.C. in Jeff Tedford. I don’t see why he can’t duplicate it and do better.”
“When you look at him, it is very comparable to what he had in Chicago. Matt Forte, a big tight end in [Martellus] Bennett, Alshon [Jefferies] and Brandon Marshall. Very comparable to what he had there. Except the offensive line. They had a very good offensive line in Chicago. I am not sure line (in Tampa Bay).”
Glazer summed up the discussion talking Smith and his staff bringing stability to the circus of last year.
“The bottom line is, they bring a good tradition back to Tampa,” Glazer said. “When [John] Lynch and [Ronde] Barber and [Derrick] Brooks and [Warren] Sapp were there. They bring it back, they bring a grownup in there. All the stuff that lost games for them last year – which was the carnival atmosphere – is gone.”
Click here to watch the full video discussion.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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