Is greatness guaranteed for Bucs?

by Gary Shelton on June 7, 2022

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Slow down.

Take a deep breathe.

Throttle back.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Bucs will be pretty good in 2022. If they stay healthy and catch fire at the right time, heck, they could be very good. Maybe better than that.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

But if you read the Internet -- always a risky endeavor -- you might think the engravers are already at work on another Lombardi Trophy. Heck, the team might win three or four Super Bowls this year, right? Victory parades for everyone!

Let's see.

According to the internet, Bruce Arians might have been he best coach the Bucs have ever had. And yet, the web suggests the Bucs won't miss him a lick. I saw one headline Monday that asked if Todd Bowles -- the fired coach of the Jets, the coach who is 0-0 with the Bucs -- should be considered in the top 12 in the league. Really?

The Bucs lost two offensive guards, one of who was a Pro Bowler, but the suggestions are that the Bucs won't miss a beat with an import from New England and possibly a rookie. Really?

The Bucs are missing both Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Sun from their defensive line, but evidently, that's no problem. Never mind that both players will get Hall of Fame consideration.

Chris Godwin is hurt, and Antonio Brown has gone back to his home planet, and that isn't supposed to be a problem either. Rob Gronkowski is playing keep away. The secondary wasn't very good last year even before it was beaten up.

But none of that, evidently, will be a problem.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to throw a word of caution in front of the Bucs. Nothing is certain in the NFL.

Oh, I know, I know. The Bucs still have a lot of weapons, and they should still win the NFC South. But the point is that it's going to be hard. The Bucs have a tough schedule, and a new coach, and they're replacing some big names.

Don't get me wrong. I think Bowles will be fine. I think the defensive line will be solid, even if it needs more of a pass rush. I think the offensive line will keep the heat off of Brady. It'll be a nice season.

What quarterback Tom Brady does is bring hope, and once again, he has dropped it at the doorstep of Tampa Bay. Bucs' fans want to believe -- and since Brady un-retired, there is reason for it.

Hey, it's a popular team, what with Mike Evans and Lavonte David and Tristan Wirfs and Vita Vea and Devin White and Ryan Jensen. For a community that hasn't had enough causes for optimism, who am I to dissuade anyone?

Hey, oddsmakers say the Bucs will win 11 1/2 games this year. That's a high number (one odds service has Green Bay at 11 1/2, another has Buffalo at 11 1/2).

But the NFL is a hard sport, and injuries happen, and bad calls happen, and slumps happen. Other teams play better than you would expect. Young players take more time that you would hope.

For the record, no one is saying the Bucs won't be good. But navigating a season can be a difficult task.

Just saying. It may be harder than you think.

Previous post:

Next post: