As the clock ticks down on the offseason, we are left patiently waiting to see how the Bucs will look under a new coaching staff.
With OTAs and minicamp giving a small window into seeing a Bruce Arians led team, albeit with no pads, it let’s us speculate until the start of a training camp.
The Bucs have went 5-11 in the last two seasons, leading to the hiring of Arians. It’s an important year for all sides of the ball. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has the challenge of improving a defense that was ranked 27th last year, which is in part as to why the Bucs spent five of their seven drafts picks on that unit.
Arians’ job along with being head coach is to get the best out of quarterback Jameis Winston. Known as the “quarterback whisperer” Arians will try to build on that repuation one more time.
There are also other storylines that include playing Chris Godwin in the slot, replacing Gerald McCoy with Ndamukong Suh, and seeing the continued development of O.J. Howard, Vita Vea, and the hope that running back Ronald Jones can put last season behind him, restore his confidence, and become a factor for the team this season.
On NFL.com, writer Adam Rank gave an entire overview of the Bucs, highlighting the most important areas to be looking for with the team. Included in that, Rank gave some predictions for team accolades and chose Jameis Winston as the team MVP in 2019, and O.J. Howard as the breakout star.
This was Rank’s reasoning for his selection of Winston.
“Projected 2019 MVP: Winston. You know me. I won’t typically take the easy way out on this. But to me, the entire season comes down to Winston. If he has a stellar season, the Bucs will go to the playoffs. I guess you could say that for a lot of NFL quarterbacks, but it feels weightier with Winston.”
Ranks also gave explanation for taking Howard as the breakout star.
“2019 breakout star: O.J. Howard, tight end. Coach Arians has said in the past that his tight ends are primarily used to block, and his receivers will catch the ball. Which is great, until you have a tight end like Howard, and then your attitude is certainly going to change. It’s like how you think fanny packs look ridiculous. And then you use one, and you’re like, “This might be the greatest invention of my generation. Why did I besmirch these things for so long?” And remember, Larry Fitzgerald had his greatest success with Arians when he was kicked into the slot. Howard has a lot of similarities, and if Howard is used in the slot, he could be on the verge of a breakout. So keep an eye on this development as we head into training camp during the summer.”