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The Bucs are serious!

Tompa Bay wants another one.

Photo: Shutterstock

The 2021 Superbowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are not playing around. What they did this off-season has to be unprecedented. They brought back their entire starting team! In the free agency era!

Signing Antonio Brown to a one-year deal, with 3 million guaranteed and increasing to $6 million for good behavior and performance bonuses; has to make them the favourites to repeat. This is a steal. People don’t realize that Antonio Brown only played a half a season and made a tremendous impact during the last half of the season and was special in the playoffs as well as in the superbowl.  This guy is a world-class, hall of fame caliber receiver. When he is on his game, with all the preparation done and things fitting right; he is literally unstoppable. I am telling you now. If this dude gets a full off-season under his belt and masters this offensive playbook, Sundays will be nightmares for defensive coordinators and defensive backs playing against the Bucs.

Even with all the other weapons, he is special and fits well with Brady’s style of passing. Brady likes the short slant patterns run by quick, shifty receivers who can get open fast. That’s AB’s strength. Well one of them. He is one of the best route runners in the history of the game. If he behaves himself, studies the playbook and stays healthy, he could have 60 catches, 10 TDs and some 700 yards. That doesn’t sound like a lot when you compare it with what he did in Pittsburg; but its a lot when you consider that other top offensive talent will also be getting touches.

The Bucs also brought back all of their defensive starters. The word is that they brought back their entire starting team on offense and defense. You have to give the owners, the Glazers, credit. The NFL is a quarterback and head coach’s league. They are the poster children for the franchise. The owners often get overlooked, or called cheap like the guy in Cincinatti who either cannot spend or will not spend. The Glazers called the bank and backed up the Brinks trucks to give Bruce Arians, Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles and Tom Brady all their weapons for another year.

They also picked up veteran pass-catching running back Giovanni Bernard, who will solidify their running back corps. I have to think that having been in purgatory in Cincinnatti for most of his career; Bernard might be ring chasing or playoffs chasing. I cannot recall the last time that the Bengals were in the playoffs but we digress. He’s a good, complementary, and experienced running back who will provide intelligent and trustworthy depth behind Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones.

The Bucs get Jordan Howard back this year, coming off a torn Achilles tendon injury. You’re adding him to a tight end crew that includes the GOAT Rob Gronkowski and a really good player in Cameron Brate. Their offensive line is solid. I have one question for opposing teams.

Who are you going to cover? Pick your poison, because you will get stung. If you somehow manage to slow down one or two of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scottie Miller or Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate and/or Jordan Howard will make you pay and eat up large chunks of yardage in the middle of the field. If you focus on stopping the those all-world tight ends and receivers, Leonard Fournette will bulldoze his way for big yardage and Ronald Jones just might go straight up the middle for a home run. If either of those RBs gets hurt, Giovanni Bernard can do enough damage running the football and catching it out of the backfield to keep your defense honest, especially when you have all-pro receivers and tight ends to contend with on every snap.

All this to say that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers obviously are all in to repeat. They brought back the entire band for one more year and with Tom Brady at the helm, they could be the first team to repeat since, wait for it, Tom Brady’s Patriots in the early 2000’s. What’s the common denominator here? Thomas Edward Patrick Brady.

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