Jameis Winston has a lot of arm strength and the ability to make complete passes. However, his decision making both on and off the field is faulty.
The Buccaneers lack a running back who has the capability of producing a 1,000-yard season. Peyton Barber is a subpar back in both the receiving and rushing game, and Ronald Jones isn't reliable enough to be a bell-cow back for the Bucs.
Protection & Blocking
The Buccaneers have a below-average OL, with a left tackle, in Donovan Smith, who hasn't been able to protect Jameis Winston throughout his five-year career consistently.
Tampa Bay has both a phenomenal WR and TE with Mike Evans and O.J. Howard. Even though Evans has the propensity to drop too many passes, he is still an excellent contested-catch WR, who possesses enough speed to be a consistent deep threat. Howard, on the other hand, is on pace to be a breakout candidate due to his route running and ability to gain separation from defenders. Plus, Chris Godwin looks to have a great year next year.
Skills Analysis Notes
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense will have to rely on their receiving corps if they have any chance of being productive. Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin, will all need to pick up the slack given the subpar rushing game the Bucs will have in 2019 due to their lack of production and talent at the RB and OL positions. Unfortunately, this has been a steady trend for the Bucs offense since 2016, so there probably won't be much improvement from last year, even if the receiving corps is productive. Much of the success that this offense can achieve rests upon the shoulders of Jameis Winston, who has shown to have a tremendous arm, while also showcasing horrible judgment. As a result, there will be big plays and some red zone success, but the success and consistency of this offense will be underwhelming.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lack an edge rusher who excels at rushing the passer. Carl Nassib is a hardworking player who is good at run defense but needs to work on tackling and pressuring opposing QBs. Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea will be good accumulating pressure from the interior, but Vea just suffered an LCL sprain, and will likely miss games in the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two quality LBs with Lavonte David and Devin Bush. Plus, Kevin Minter excels at rushing the passer but could do a better job in coverage.
None of the returning cornerbacks on the Bucs played well in coverage last season, and the rookies they drafted have yet to play a snap.
Controlling Field Position
Skills Analysis Notes
The defense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is somehow even less promising than their offense. While Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea look to be excel at rushing the passer in 2019, Vea is currently injured, and it has yet to be seen how defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, will go about incorporating both Suh and Vea into his 3-4 scheme. As it pertains to the secondary, there are no concrete signs that they will play well in 2019. The incumbent starters at the cornerback position all were horrible in coverage, and safety Jordan Whitehead was terrible at stopping the run and blitzing the QB.
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Unit Analysis
This off-season, the Buccaneers drafted a kicker in the 5th round. While he was good at the University of Utah, it has yet to be seen if he can translate that success to the pros (especially given all the collegiate kickers who fail at the NFL level). At the punter and returner positions, they have average players with both Bobo Wilson and Bradley Pinton.
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
The only bright spot for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is their coaching. Head coach, Bruce Arians, specializes at improving quarterbacks, such as Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, and Andrew Luck. Given his previous success, there is a realistic expectation that Arians will be able to improve the play of Jameis Winston, especially when it comes to decision making. He has already tried to fix Jameis' decision making by having him participate in VR simulations to recreate situations Winston will see in 2019. Moreover, defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, has a history of creating a scheme to improve defenses (although it is puzzling why the Bucs would put Vea and Suh in the same 3-4 defense).
Overall, the Tampa Buccaneers have been an underwhelming team since they drafted Jameis Winston in 2014. The running game has been habitually poor, the offensive line has been inconsistent, and the secondary has been subpar. To improve things, the Bucs hired Bruce Arians to bring a new culture and environment to Tampa. Arians should be able to produce a good scheme offensively, given the fact that he has O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans at his arsenal.
Last season, did the team
meet your expectations?
Slightly Under-performed Expectations
While Bruce Arians is a quality coach, this team is devoid of talent in too many areas of their team. They lack a quality running back and offensive line, a spotty defensive line, and an inept secondary. Furthermore, this isn't the first time that Tampa has blamed coaching for Jameis Winston's failure as an NFL QB. In 2016, the Bucs hired Dirk Koetter to create a new offense for Winston to thrive. However, from 2016 to 2018, Jameis was unable ever to become a consistent signal-caller, even though Koetter successfully created a quality scheme. Even Ryan Fitzpatrick showcased in his limited game-play that Koetter's system was good enough for a QB to thrive. Therefore, if the Buccaneers offense or defense is even remotely average in 2019, it will be the result of coaching. Although, if they cannot get 8+ wins, then the Bucs should finally realize that it is time to move away from Winston.