As you have already noticed the layout has been changed a bit. Get used to it. Besides being visually superior the new design features a constantly updated Buc News (for when I'm on sabbatical) and all kinds of Bucs Bits. And the excitement doesn't end there, I'm by no means done with the designing, which means expect new shiny things to come. But on to real news...
It's gameday bitches, that special time of the year when we consume massive amounts of buffalo wings and ignore loved ones. Our Bucs open the season against the Seattle
Go check the Sticks preview for THE BUCCANEER 2007 SEASON. Many gracias's to both Scott from BucStats and John from BoltsMag for their contributions to THE BUCCANEERS 2007 PREVIEW, sure to be THE definitive preview you will find. In fact, it's so definitive it had to be broken into two parts, PART ONE and PART TWO. Read them, and be wiser for the experience.
It should come as little surprise but I like the Bucs to rebound this season. Let's rundown the checklist.....
+ Jeff Garcia is better than Bruce Gradkowski
+ Monte has new weapons on the defense
+ This is the best o-line in the Gruden era
+ Easy schedule
+ Gruden's job is on the line
I've predicted the Bucs to rack up 9 wins which may be a bit overambitious. But factor in the above mentioned factors and you understand where I'm coming from. I lost count of the number of times last season Joey Galloway was wide open last season only to be underthrown by Gradkowski. Garcia should not only correct those sins but will provide a degree of leadership not available since Brad Johnson left town. Throw in the new additions on the defense (Gaines Adams, Cato June, Kevin Carter, Sabby Piscitelli, Tenard Jackson, Patrick Chuckwara, Greg Peterson) and the additions to the o-line (Luke Petigout, Arron Sears) and the Bucs have the most talent since they made their run to the Super Bowl.
People are throwing Cadillac Williams under the bus this season, which is plain foolishness considering Caddy finally has a decent o-line and a competent quarterback. Sure, everyone knows Gruden loves to the throw the ball but what Gruden is secretly in love with is running the ball. Gruden and company have been beefing up the o-line the past three seasons, and expect Cadillac to be the primary beneficiary of the beefcake line.
And don't underestimate the pressure on Gruden to win. Gruden's best performances have come under pressure, two years ago his job was on the line and all he did was win the NFC South again. And the pressure, not to mention the expectations placed on the team by the media, was through the roof during Gruden's inaugural season. We all remember how that turned out.
The Bucs will lose today. Which seems like an odd thing to write after I ranted about how good the Bucs will be. But keep in mind that the Hawks are a very good team and the Bucs have to travel all the way across the country. Sure the Bucs are six point underdogs and are being underestimated.....but so are the Hawks. Shaun Alexander should rebound this year and the Matt Hasselbeck should gel with his relatively new group of receivers.
Garcia is not yet 100% comfortbale with the offense, which is to be expected. Sure Garcia is comrfortable with Gruden's play-calling (being west coast and all) but from what I've seen in this exhibition season Garcia still looks out of synch with the rest of the players on the offense. And considering how tough the beginning of the Bucs schedule is they could very well end up with a losing record in their first 5 games. But fear not, the last two months of the Bucs schedule possess little difficulty and should ensure our Bucs finish on a strong note.
yours truly: 9-7
Roy Cummings: 7-9
Ira Kaufman: 6-10
Anwar Richardson: 6-10
and more to come as i find them....
Consider the gauntlet thrown, boys and girls. BucStats, Buccaneer Harbour, Buc 'Em, Red Tide News, Pewter Plank, Buccaneers Locker, Red Tide News, every other contender for the throne......you are all on notice. You all got off easy last season, I had other distractions. But this season I'm back with a vengence and ready to lay claim to the title "BEST BUCS BLOG."