Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019 Season Preview

Russell S. Baxter

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019 Season Preview

By Shaun Calderon

Special to Pro Football Guru

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are less than 30 days from officially debuting the Bruce Arians Era. And his hiring should give the team’s fans hope. Consider his history with quick turnarounds. With the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, he helped save a season that had every right to plummet once their original head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with leukemia. In 2013, he was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and led the team to the playoffs twice. So will Arians be able to work his magic in Tampa as well?

Offense: It seems like every season we all say this is the year Jameis Winston puts it all together, and every year Tampa fans are left wondering what went wrong. Once again, the Buccaneers’ season will live and die on the physical and cognitive development of their quarterback, now under the command of Arians. This offense will rely heavily on their two main weapons out wide. We all know what Mike Evans will bring to Tampa as long as he stays healthy. He was targeted 138 times and totaled 86 catches, the second-highest total of his impressive five-year career. Expect a true breakout season from wide receiver Chris Godwin now that the targets left behind by receivers DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries are available. The Buccaneers’ offense never fails to put up individual numbers. Now, it’s on Arians to help this high-powered offense turn into winners as well.

Defense: The hiring of Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator is arguably the best addition this team made in the offseason. His tenure under the same title with the Arizona Cardinals was nothing short of spectacular. In his two years there, his defenses ranked Top 5 in the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed, points per game, rushing yards allowed and takeaways. Bowles will get a shiny new toy to play with as linebacker Devin White – the fifth overall pick in April’s draft – looks to become the heart and soul of the defense. White’s speed and athleticism is perfect to go sideline to sideline in today’s NFL. He will be playing behind No. 93. However, this year that number belongs to Ndamukong Suh. That duo combined with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul makes for a pretty impressive front seven, especially if Suh can carry over his effort and performances from the Rams’ Super Bowl LIII run.

Special Teams: The Bucs will depend on Bobo Wilson to return kicks now that Humphries and Jackson are gone. Bobo’s natural acceleration could be a problem for opposing teams if he is given an alley. New kicker Cairo Santos looks to provide a consistent three points, while new punter Bradley Pinion will try to improve on the 43.7 net average in 2018 that earned him a four-year contract in March.

Prediction: The Buccaneers have the pieces on both sides of the ball to legitimately compete. Unfortunately, so does every other team in their division. Arians will undoubtedly keep this high-powered offense intact while history tells us that a Bowles’ led defense will be a problem for the opposition. However, the Buccaneers will ultimately be done in by their NFC South rivals. This could all change if Winston finally takes that next step. But it must be seen to be believed.

Win-Loss Record: 7-9 (4th place, NFC South)

Shaun Calderon (@shaunmichaels08) covers the Tennessee Titans for @Titan_Sized on FanSided*. He will be graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso in December of 2019 and will be pursuing a career in sports journalism following graduation.*

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