-NFL.com's Adam Schein ranked the league’s nine top offenses and defenses coming into 2020 and guess what? The Bucs are on BOTH lists. After having the league's top passing offense in 2019, it's not a surprise Tampa Bay lands among the league's best on that side of the ball. Schein has them ranked fourth, which to be quite honest, seems a little low for an offense that has Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski *breathes*, O.J. Howard, Cam Brate, Ronald Jones, LeSean McCoy, Ali Marpet *breathes again*, Ryan Jensen and so on and so forth.
Oh, and then there are the guys making the whole thing go.
"The brain trust working with Brady isn't too shabby, either," wrote Schein. "Bruce Arians is a great offensive mind, and I really respect Byron Leftwich as a play caller. The pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium is gonna be in full battle mode with how often those cannons are firing."
Excellent justification. But perhaps more interesting than that is the other side of the ball. Schein has them coming in at number six between the Baltimore Ravens who just added Calais Campbell in the steal of the offseason and the Kansas City Chiefs, who are coming off a Super Bowl win. While the Bucs' defense has slowly but surely picked up steam on the 'best front seven in the league' train due to their number one ranking in rushing defense last season, many national pundits have maintained that the jury is still out on the young secondary. The thing is, it's hardly fair to fault the defense when they were forced into sudden change situations with short fields to defend more often than they would have liked – especially with such a young back level. That being said, they still managed to gain some momentum towards the end of last year.
"The unit really came into its own during the back half of last season, when the young secondary started to settle in," said Schein. "Cornerbacks Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean -- all still just 23 years old -- showed promise down the stretch. And now they're joined in the secondary by rookie second-rounder Antoine Winfield Jr., an exciting playmaker with an instant-impact pedigree. Meanwhile, Lavonte David remains chronically underrated and underappreciated. He's everything you want in a modern linebacker. And his partner on the second level, 2019 first-rounder Devin White, lived up to the billing in Year 1 and should take another step in 2020. The pass rush is fierce, with Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul hunting off the edges, while DTs Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh form a brick wall in the middle, giving Tampa the top-ranked rush defense in 2019."
-Then NFL.com's Mark Sessler went through the BACs, er, ABCs of 2020 NFL storylines and raise your hand if you're surprised the letter 'T' is for Tom Brady.
There should be no hands in the air.
I don't have much to say because Sessler says it all. This is just a really fun paragraph, so I'll let you read it.
"T- Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick: They can say it's not a thing, but it's a thing," wrote Sessler. "It's real. This was a breakup. Both parties might talk pretty, but Belichick -- I promise you -- lies awake thinking about Tom. Mulling over what that one extra fist bump might truly mean when Brady zips an 18-yard touchdown strike to a pewter-clad, cackling Gronk in Week 1's clash with the Saints. Tom and Bill. Both totally obsessed. Dipped in unstated fire. Unspoken words. Secret histories. Uncharted legacies. It's all happening, right now, as you read this."
-Catch up on all things training camp below:
Bucs Tweet of the Day: