TAMPA, Fla. – Most so-called NFL expert prognosticators have the Bucs finishing last or near the bottom of the NFC South. No more Tom Brady and a brand-new offense. Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles says they’re not listening.
“We write our own narrative, ” Bowles said. “We don’t listen to anything on the outside, It doesn’t bother us because we’re already motivated.”
Not having the seven-time Super Bowl Champion and one of the most famous athletes in the world in Tom Brady, retiring, most feel like the Bucs are irrelevant now.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht believes that they can actually help light a fire with some of his players and coaches.
Read, listen, and watch more from Rock Riley in Tampa Free Press Sports!
I think we’ve seen it with some of the things that some of our players have been saying,” Licht said. “I think the way that the overall attitude of the whole team was in the spring, I think everybody was wanting to prove something – which was great to see.”
Even though Tampa Bay won the NFC South last season, the Bucs were 8-9 and were throttled 31-14 by the Cowboys in the NFC Wild-Card game. Changes had to be made, and Bowles started by firing several of his offensive coaches.
The Bucs picked up QB Baker Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask and a totally new offensive system led by first-year offensive coordinator Dave Canales.
Licht and Bowles still feel they’ve got enough talent on this roster to compete for an NFC South title while admitting the other teams in the division have made improvements to get stronger.
We knew the day would come when Tom (Brady) wouldn’t be here,” Licht said. We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ve found some real gems, not just in the draft but in free agency and after the draft. I think in any division, we still feel like we have a lot of good young players, a lot of vets-we’re missing a couple, but we still have a lot of good players that we can compete in any division.
Not only did the Bucs want to get younger, but Licht was also forced to make cuts because of the $35 million dollars in dead cap space with Brady’s second retirement. The Bucs were still able to bring back veteran linebacker Lavonte David as well as re-sign cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis.
We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps.