It’s never too early to make predictions, right?

Well, if you ask the NFL Network, they’d say absolutely not.

As free agency has started to really settle down and teams, for the most part, have their rosters in place going into the 2018 NFL Draft, former Super Bowl winning coach and now NFL analyst for the NFL Network, Brian Billick, claimed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are his team to make the biggest turnaround in 2018.

Billick cited that the Bucs had to get better on defense, but did so by bringing in free agents like Vinny Curry and Beau Allen and, of course, trading for Jason Pierre-Paul. Billick also said that quarterback Jameis Winston much have a better year, but noted that the team was talented enough to have playoff expectations a year ago, and should have those kinds of expectations again in 2018 with a revamped roster.

Billick answered the question that, with a strong draft, the Bucs could have a turnaround like the New Orleans Saints did with their rookies in 2017.

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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]

21 COMMENTS

  1. I hope he’s right.
    I would love to have a year where the Bucs’ season didn’t consist primarily of March and April.
    We always seem to peak at the draft. Then reality slowly takes over. Come October we’re anticipating the next draft again.

    Having said that, I think that we’re in a great position in the draft and should, at the very least, have a winning record. We might not make the playoffs, but we’ll definitely improve over last year.

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  2. I am not sure if I believe him since he is related to coach Smith but …Lets hope he is right !!

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  3. Not a big fan of rankings and predictions 5 months prior to meaningful games being played, but agree that some cautious optimism is warranted based on the moves so far. Anxious for the draft in a short 3 1/2 weeks.

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  4. Really wish he had not said that! I luv us flying way under that radar. At least Buc Mngt Finally…got the message we need to get back to what got us to our 1st superbowl. I don’t care how many..Beautiful spirals Jameis throws, You got to be able to stop your opposition in this league. I mean..what good is scoring 30 and your opponent scores 31? I do think we are on the right track though. Its about time don’t you think?

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  5. The Bucs can have an A++ draft and every analyst from the ESPN and NFL networks to the millions of couch analysts at home can call the Bucs contenders but I don’t want to hear it, I certainly won’t believe it until some games are played and won!

    Bucs have made good moves and I hope they crush the draft, turn into world beaters, all the good stuff but I had my hopes high last year, spewing playoff non sense at my friends… I won’t be disappointed that much again.

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  6. No sh#ite, Sherlock. 😉

    Not to be nasty toward a man whom I respect such as Coach Billick. He is saying much the same thing as many fans and local pundits are saying around the bay.

    It IS nice to see a someone on the national stage acknowledge us with some respect, show some common sense and see our situation more clearly in comparison to the rest of the league.

    ____________
    Go Bucs!!!!!!

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  7. I’m confident we aren’t going to lose 11 games in 2018.

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  8. Heading into the 2017 season many thought the Bucs were playoff bound and beyond. So what’s changed? Biggest so called loss is Swaggy Baker who is in my mind, addition by subtraction. What hurt this team the most was VH111 not playing as well as his Draft status should and Doug Martin’s pathetic play. The team is still not as far off as that 5-11 record would indicate. Anyone see the Rams’ improvement coming?

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    • I have a feeling the rams might have added two too many personalities- good players but, as we have all seen, sometimes to much personality can do more harm than good…

      …or it’ll go the exact other way and the rams will win it all…

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      • I think this is where Coaching comes in to control some of that.

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  9. As the draft approaches, holding the 7th pick, I’ve decided who I hope becomes the pick, Barkley. Yeah even over Chubb. I know, Chubb probably is the best player in the draft, but Barkley would be touching the ball 25-30 plays a game. Think how exciting that can be. Again I get it sacks are exciting too, If Chubb had a season with 11 sacks it would be considered great. Hopefully those sacks would also have lead to wins. Still it’s less then averaging one big play a game during the course of a season. I believe Barkley will average much more then less then one big play a game. If you had to pick now who out of this draft class has the best chance to be offensive rookie of the year wouldn’t Barkley head the list? My opinion, Barkley would have the greatest positive impact for our team then any other player in this draft.

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    • I didn’t give you the negative vote so it wasn’t me. I can see your point. I would prefer we stick to Defense the 1st round as this was the killer last season.

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    • I see where your train of thought is going BUT…I’m of the school of thought that grabbing Nelson in the 1st and Michel/Guice/Chubb in the 2nd would have a greater impact overall

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  10. Hopefully this is Winstons year to shine. If not who knows. On paper the Defensive is better and the kicking game is better.

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    • No difference than the other 31 teams; hopefully we signed better free agents and better draft picks.

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  11. As I have posted many times, I am not inclined to attempt to predict future events, especially football games. This year, simply because of our #7 pick, I have tried to predict a first 3 round mock, but now I can’t do that because much to my absolute excitement we traded for JPP. I tried to put together a 4 RD mock and of course was totally frustrated. I truly believe that the reason the NFL draft is held in April is to give fans something to think about mid offseason in lieu of going insane. I am glad Mr. Billick thinks we will have a turn around season. I believe we should take Saquon Barkley at #7, but believe we really need Quenton Nelson to finish the O-line overhaul. Several backs can excel behind a good O-Line. Finally, off subject but the Buc’s Total Cap Space dropped from #8 highest to #18 highest in one day, inquiring minds need to know..

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  12. Great. More meaningless “predictions” with as much value as mock drafts.
    How about this? ON THE FIELD!

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  13. The Bucs where last place 2017 since that time they have done a minor tweak here and there, they had a green light from Glazers to lose last game against already playoff seeded Saints Brian Glazer announced win or lose Dirk will be back next year, and Bucs played there heart out against a resting for playoff team and traded 3 pick for #7 pick, I am all for winning but win or lose the last place, with that win they lost Barkley who could be best running back in 20 years. No coaching changes they picked up 3 players other teams did not want draft day they get a DB. So what brings them off the bottom of the division. Please someone tell me.

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    • I can assure you, the Saints weren’t “resting” in the season finale that you obviously didn’t attend. It is nice to see you recognized that the team you love to hate didn’t tank or even coast through the game as you hoped.

      There are no guarantees that any top ten draftee, including the first, will have the career teams expect when they are chosen. To say the Bucs could/would for certain draft a better player at 5 than 7 is not how things have played out over the years. Bucs drafting at 1 or 12 in 1995 would still take #99. It’s even possible that missing out on the player they might have taken at 5 works out better in the long run.

      Here’s your answer: 1.) Stay healthy. 2.) Stay healthy 3.) Stay healthy

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      • at number 5 pick Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb would be there Barkley could have made a big impact on Jamies by taking the huge pressure off Jamies by making d defend the run

        Chubb would have given D a huge needed boost
        However, that said at 7 those 2 will be gone they can choose between

        Derwin James
        or
        Minkah Fitzpatrick

        DB are nice but you need 2 of them or team will throw to other side

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        • We can use any of the players you mentioned, but at this point we can only speculate how each will impact their team and how their careers will evolve.

          One need only look to the Saints landing both defensive and offensive rookies of the year and neither was a top ten choice.

          Whose to say now that James or Fitzpatrick won’t ultimately be better than Barkley or Chubb?

          I’m still glad the Bucs defeated the Saints and I didn’t have to listen to their “Who Dat” chant as I exited what should be our “home” stadium.

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