Ever since the 2016 NFL season ended, Bucs fans have seen a trend from the national media that they haven’t seen in a long, long time.
They’re starting to actually talk about and believe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Friday, NFL Network’s Adam Rank wrote an article about why the Buccaneers are not only a team that is on the rise and will have success in 2017, but that they should be the team you root for.
Rank gave people a brief overview of the franchise’s early years – since most of it was so bad that it’s not even talked about among general football fans. Rank reminded people that the Buccaneers lost the first 26 games of the franchise’s existence. He told the tales of how Bo Jackson and Steven Young were technically Buccaneers at one point, and he even touched on the Vinny Testaverde pick.
But then he reminded people of how cool it was when this team was at its peak, even though it was for a very short amount of time. He touched on the 1995 draft, the trading for Jon Gruden, and, of course, the franchise’s only Super Bowl victory, which included one of the best defenses in NFL history.
As the article went on, Rank got to the present where he threw a fastball right at NFL fans by saying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were his pick to represent the NFC and make the Super Bowl in the 2017-2018 season.
That’s right — the Bucs are my pick to represent the NFC this season in the Super Bowl. I told this to Bucs fan Dick Vitale, and he likes where my head is at on this one. So it checks out.
This team is poised for a run. Jameis Winston is on the verge of being one of the best quarterbacks in the game. He’s topped 4,000 passing yards in his first two seasons, and that number is only going to go up. Especially when you have Mike Evans, who is ready to assume the mantle of “best receiver in the game”. Watching Evans play, it almost seems unfair that a guy that big can do the things he’s able to do. And then you surrounded him with speedster DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard.
If you’re going to jump on this bandwagon, you’ll have to do it immediately; otherwise that ship is going to sail. (Damn it — I really didn’t mean to make that pun. But now that I’ve thought about it, can we just pretend that’s what I intended from the very start? I would appreciate that.)
The Buccaneers have been getting some love lately, but a confident Super Bowl pick? That’s a new one.
However, as training camp goes on and as Hard Knocks puts this team on a national stage, perhaps it won’t feel like a new and unique pick for very long.