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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Preview

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Tom Brady is most likely only going to be around for one more season, thus the chance of him winning a second Super Bowl in Tampa Bay Buccaneers is slim. Whether the legend wins one more Lombardi depends on the quality of the current skill player and defensive personnel, as well as how outstanding he still is.

The Brady-Arians Tandem Is No More

It’s reasonable to presume that Tom Brady, regardless of who is manning the headset on the sideline, is in charge of most of the offensive decisions given his enormous prominence in all facets of his career. In New England, where defensive whiz Bill Belichick was in charge, that may have been much more true, but Brady’s first two seasons in Tampa Bay were markedly different.

Bruce Arians, who is just as determined to implement his offensive system as Belichick is to implement his defensive one, served as Brady’s first head coach before Belichick. That’s not to suggest Brady didn’t contribute significantly to his preferences for 2020 and 2021, and there were hints that Arians gave the offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich greater freedom last year.

However, with the head coach now in the front office, it appears likely that Brady will have a stronger voice while collaborating with one of the league’s most promising young play callers, with whom he has a solid rapport.

Despite Brady’s influence, there is some doubt as to whether the offence will be able to perform to its full capacity in the early going given Chris Godwin’s anticipated absence for at least the first month and Rob Gronkowski’s decision to retire this offseason.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Is Fournette Capable of Playing a True Lead Back Role?

In two of his first three seasons in Jacksonville, Leonard Fournette served as the undisputed lead running back. The 2017 fourth-round pick has the size to handle such a role; he turned the 268 and 265 carries he saw in 2017 and 2019, respectively, into 1,000-yard seasons, standing 6-0 and 228 pounds. In the subsequent season, Fournette also produced a career-high 76 catches and 522 receiving yards, displaying his capacity to handle up to a three-down workload.

He worked part-time for the first two years of his tenure in Tampa Bay, despite being the favoured choice over Ronald Jones since since the Buccaneers’ playoff debut in January 2021. Jones is currently residing in Kansas City, and most of his alleged replacements lack experience.

Rachaad White, a rookie third-round pick, has one productive college season under his belt while 2020 third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn has just 71 touches in 22 games and needs to demonstrate his ability to operate as a complementary back.

Overall, with such a prized asset under centre, inexperienced running backs on Tom Brady-led teams must show they can be reliable pass protectors. As a result, Fournette might see more than the 10.3 carries he’s recorded thus far with the Bucs, closer to the 19 carries per game he averaged over the aforementioned two high-volume years with the Jaguars.

A Pass-Catching Corps Reconfigured

In an offence run by Tom Brady, the passing game is typically far down the list of concerns, but even with the future Hall of Famer committed for another year, there are some questions about his potential targets, particularly early in the season.

Chris Godwin’s comeback from an ACL tear and sprained MCL, which occurred in Week 15 of last season, is mostly to blame for this. Given that Godwin had surgery on January 3, even a comeback in Week 9 would put the talented receiver out of commission until November.

Godwin’s probable multi-month vacancy was probably considered when Russell Gage was acquired this offseason, and the former has plenty of experience playing as a top-2 option in Atlanta the previous two years. Gage, despite being a rock-solid possession receiver, will be attempting create connect with Brady on the fly. However, he is not on the same level as Godwin.

The depth at tight end will also be an issue for Tampa Bay as Rob Gronkowski will be formally reentering retirement. The only surviving veterans at the position are Cameron Brate and Codey McElroy, and the team added Kyle Rudolph in mid-July, so rookie fourth-round pick Cade Otton faces a challenge in addition to trying to win Brady’s confidence and comprehend the scheme.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report

QB Tom Brady

Brady didn’t specifically have a carryover ailment from last season, but earlier this summer there were suggestions that the MCL problem for which he had surgery in June 2021 was now entirely resolved. In his final season with the Patriots in 2019, the future Hall of Famer sustained the tear that required the surgery, and according to Brady, he never felt 100 percent well last season. This offseason, Brady was able to participate in sprint work and other comparable workouts, which might make him an even more complete and productive player moving into his age-44 season.

WR Chris Godwin

Early in the season, Godwin’s knee will be under under observation as everyone waits to see how quickly the standout receiver can return to the field after tearing his ACL in December 2021. Given that the Buccaneers’ first game is less than nine months after the injury, a return in Week 1 would be exceedingly ambitious. Until Godwin can play, Tampa Bay’s offseason addition of Russell Gage will assist to some extent insulate the passing game, and the Buccaneers will rely on players like Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, and Cyril Grayson to take up the slack in the meantime.

TE Cade Otton

Otton may only be a rookie, but with Rob Gronkowski gone, the fourth-round pick might be given a job straight away. Otton’s last year at the University of Washington was cut short due to an ankle injury that necessitated surgery; as a result, he was unable to participate in any offseason workouts. The Buccaneers added veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph just before Otton obtained his medical clearance, providing him competition for snaps at the position behind 31-year-old Cameron Brate.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Schedule

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule

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