One of the Buc’s biggest goals for the offseason was acquiring players to help fill the void on the offense. Weapons for Winston was a common theme often repeated by the local media associated with this venture.
Last season the Bucs offense lost at some point during the regular season Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith, Cecil Shorts, Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate, Vincent Jackson, Charles Sims, Russell Shepard, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Those are eleven players that the offense was dependent on! Unbelievable. Those injuries severely limited the offense’s capabilities and it’s a probability that they prevented us from making the playoffs.
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If you’ve been paying attention, it’s safe to say at this point the mission was accomplished. Several weapons have been added since March to Jameis’s arsenal. Desean Jackson was acquired in free agency and Jacquizz Rodgers was retained.
The Djax pick was an excellent replacement for the recently departed Vincent Jackson, considering Vincent had shown signs of severe regression before his repetitious injuries resurfaced. Desean was also on record for being the second-fasted receiver in the league in 2016. He is an instantaneous upgrade. Desean also led the league in yards per reception, signifying a home-run threat that not only Winston needs, but thrives with.
The NFL Draft also landed the Bucs several key pieces on offense. The OJ Howard epic fall into our laps sill amazes me. He was my #1 desired player, slightly ahead of Corey Davis. The fact that arguably fourteen teams passed over the best player available is hard to believe. Many analysts consider him to be a generational talent and the best Tight End since Vernon Davis in 2006. That’s the best prospect in ten years!!
If you paid attention to Jameis Winston at FSU, you know that he loves his Tight Ends. He connected with Nick O’Leary for 1175 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last two years of college. Not to mention the Winston to Brate connection was the most efficient in the NFL in 2016!! Just wait until the two tight-end-sets are implemented this season. The offense never really got rolling last season due to the loss of ASJ. OJ essentially takes his place and we can finally roll-out Koetter’s master plan!
As if Evans/Djax/OJ weren’t enough, Jason Licht loaded up even more missiles in round three with Chris Godwin out of Penn State and Jeremy McNichols in round five out of Boise State. Both of which were considered extremely valuable picks that were expected to go higher. Godwin posted 2083 yards and sixteen touchdowns the past two years of college. He also excels in his routes, posting high catch percentages for nearly every route he runs. The guy is known to make contested catches and could supplant Desean Jackson when he retires, hopefully with the Bucs.
Now take a look at McNichols stats. He has had 3046 rushing yards, 934 receiving yards, and 53 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Boise State! WOW!! Those are some ridiculous numbers. Not to mention, I thoroughly believe that he inspires Doug to return to form, considering Martin would not want to be replaced by a rookie that went to his alma mater.
Now consider all of these weapons added to a roster that already has Mike Evans, Cameron Brate (who led the league in touchdowns for a Tight End in 2016), Doug Martin (who is one year removed from the second-leading rusher in the league), Charles Sims, and Adam Humphries. All led by young, rising, superstar Quarterback, Jameis Winston. Your imagination may not even match the production this team has in 2017.
If you’ve been viewing any sort of sports television lately, you can see via multiple outlets that the Buc’s offense is a dark horse to be amongst the league’s best, for a good reason. It really is becoming overwhelming. It will continue to be portrayed that way and let’s just hope the results meet the expectations.
Jameis finally got his weapons, but let’s be real, this thing could become an atomic bomb…