It’s a whole new ball game in Tampa Bay. Enter Lovie Smith and the return of the Tampa 2 defense and a philosophy that speaks to us like a Tony Dungy sermon.
There is nothing better in the southwest part of the state these days than the idea of change in the air.
Out with the tyranny of Greg Schiano and in with the idea of subtle tendencies that should improve both sides of the ball.
The draft last season yielded hope. Josh Freeman was jettisoned away and the reins were handed to rookie Mike Glennon, who did nothing but impress us all. Is he the quarterback of the future? Does Tampa Bay stick with his progress? All to be answered in time.
Here is a look at the Buccaneers draft and how the players panned out.
Second-Round, No. 43 Overall: Johnathan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi St.
Played pretty well for a first-year rookie hauling in three interceptions and making 55 tackles. At 6’2” he is a good fit for coverage in Smith’s “Tampa 2”. GRADE: B
Third-Round, No. 73 Overall: Quarterback Mike Glennon, N.C. State
Had the best season of any rookie quarterback. Glennon did everything the team asked of him and then some. The new coaching staff will determine if they stay with Glennon behind center or look for another replacement. GRADE: A
Fourth-Round, No. 100 Overall: DT Akeem Spence, Illinois
Played in all 16 games for the Bucs. Had 29 tackles and one sack. He is in the middle of current legal trouble that occurred after the season, but Lovie Smith will be counting on Spence to be part of the front line rotation. GRADE: C+
Fourth-Round, No. 126 Overall: DE William Gholston, Michigan St.
Defensive end played well, having 31 tackles and two sacks on the season. How will he be used by Lovie Smith. Gholston is 6’6” and 280 pounds and could be a solid edge rusher. GRADE: C
Round-Five, No. 147 Overall: Steven Means, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Means didn't generate much pre-draft notice, but the Bucs believe the Buffalo alum offers a lot of upside as a situational pass rusher. He recorded 19.5 sacks and 30.5 career tackles for loss in college. Played in 10 games, and recorded three tackles. GRADE: D
Round-Six, No. 189 Overall: RB Mike James, Miami
He was doing well as a the backup to Doug Martin. James replaced Martin when he was injured and put on injured reserve. Then James got hurt as well. He will be the back up or in the rotation this season. GRADE: C