NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht overhauled the Bucs to prepare for the season, but there’s a lot more work to be done and here are five who may not return in 2015.
The 2012 second first round pick of the Greg Schiano-led Bucs has produced 2,076 yards on the ground for the team since being drafted, yet 1,454 of those yards came in his rookie season. He also scored 13 touchdowns, yet 11 of those came in that same rookie season.
I think it’s safe to label him a bust for the team. A weak line with nagging injuries combined with the reliability of running back Bobby Rainey (which I coin loosely) and the Smith/Licht drafting of the versatile (returned) Charles Sims is making “muscle hamster” expendable.
Glennon, the 2013 third round selection of Schiano, was drafted to be plan B for incumbent Josh Freeman in the event the team decided not to resign him in his contract year. Plan B came sooner than expected with Freeman’s falling out with the team.
With the regime change, Glennon was demoted back to backup to another Josh in former Chicago Bears backup, the journeyman Josh McCown.
Following a thumb injury during the 56-14 trouncing at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons on September 18, Glennon stepped in McCown’s relief. Glennon would lead the Bucs to their only victory so far this season the following week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-24.
In Glennon-led starts, the Bucs went back on the losing streak averaging 259 passing yards and throwing two touchdowns in four of his last five starts.
Smith’s decision to go back to McCown for the second Falcons game means he’s not sold on Glennon’s abilities despite calling him the “quarterback of the future” for the 1-8 team. With top five draft picks in quarterbacks, Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, may be the de facto choices despite what has brought the team success in the past.
Glennon can very well be the quarterback of the future, just not for this team.
Bowers, the 2011 Bucs’ second round pick, has never really developed into the pass rusher required for his duties as defensive end. Drafted by then GM Mark Dominik, Bowers lasted through Raheem Morris and Schiano. In Bowers’ four seasons with the team, he has 6.5 sacks, 52 combined tackles and 37 total tackles. Half of Bowers’ sacks came in 2012.
The team is tied 27th in the league in sacks with 14 and Bowers is only responsible for one this season. Bowers was moved to be Gerald McCoy’s backup at defensive tackle.
When Smith and Licht decide to address the defense in the offseason, Bowers’ time with the team may be up.
Goldson’s not turning out to be the hard-hitting safety he was signed to be, which unfortunately in the 29th ranked defense means you become a financial liability. Goldon’s style of play is being more frowned upon by the league as they’re looking to protect receivers. Since joining the Bucs from the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, Goldson has only one interception and one forced fumble to his name.
If it weren’t for the new league standards, Goldson could have thrived like the modern John Lynch.
Koenen is among the league’s top paid punters at $3.25 million, yet his numbers make him among the worst. According to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN, the team asked him to change his style from punting for distance to directional punting. That change resulted in his gross average to be 39.7 yards per punt, making him the only punter to average less than 40 yards per punt this season. He averaged 30.3 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons.