2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview

2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers preview from MadduxSports.com. Once the football campaign kicks off order our winning picks on NFL games. as well as bookmark the NFL point spreads page so you can assure yourself the best line on every nfl bet you make.

Gruden May Soon Get Desperate
By Adam Barone

Most of the talk about Tampa Bay leading into the draft revolved around how much they wanted Calvin Johnson. With the fourth overall pick, it was unlikely that Johnson, the consensus “best overall player,” would fall to them. He, in fact, did not fall to number four, going to Detroit at number two. Instead, the Buccaneers selected Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams. Adams has tremendous quickness off the edge and was hands-down the best pass rusher in the draft. The question is whether or not he can stop the run, but his job will be to pressure the quarterback.

There are some big question marks on the offensive side of the ball, with almost no proven commodity. Running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams has not at all lived up to his potential after being a top 5 overall draft pick, only gaining 798 yards on the ground in 2006, scoring just a single TD. He caught 30 passes and did not make it to the end zone at all. Powerful fullback Mike Alstott is on his last leg and won't be as reliable as he has been in the past. Williams is backed up by Michael Pittman, but Pittman is used more as a third down back to catch the ball in the flat or over the middle.

Last year's starting quarterback, Chris Simms, had to have his spleen removed because of an on-field injury and his availability for the upcoming season is uncertain. Ideally Simms is the starter, but the team signed former Eagles backup Jeff Garcia, because he has a proven ability to start and play at a high level if Simms cannot. The Bucs also acquired former Bronco Jake Plummer, but Plummer has since retired and likely will not ever wear a Bucs uniform.

Whoever is starting for Tampa Bay will have a limited arsenal of receivers at his disposal. Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard are getting up in age just like Alstott, and they had 62 and 34 receptions respectively. Hilliard should be the slot receiver, inside of Michael Clayton, who only had 33 receptions for 356 yards and 1 TD last year, and the team is starting to worry that he's a bust. The tight ends include the mediocre selection of Anthony Becht and Alex Smith, with 18 and 35 receptions a year ago.

The defense is getting old as well, with veterans Derrick Brooks at linebacker, Simeon Rice at end and Ronde Barber at cornerback. Once one of the elite defensive units, the Buccaneers have dropped off and now reside in the middle of the pack. The team hopes bringing in Gaines Adams at defensive end can bring youth and energy to the defense and prevent them from losing the step that they seem to have all but lost.

2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions

Little appears to be standing between Tampa Bay and one of the league's worst records again this season, with no real solid playmaker to lean on. Cadillac Williams will have to produce much better than he did in '06 for the Bucs to beat the odds and have any sort of shot in the NFC South. Tampa Bay will most likely be getting 7+ points against quite a few opponents and will not likely, in the world of NFL picks handicapping, get the benefit of being among anyone's NFL predictions to even come within that large a football spread. Pay attention to Jeff Garcia's impact because his energy and leadership ability could make the Bucs a candidate to surprise some teams.

If you enjoyed reading our Tampa Bay Buccaneers preview read up on the rest of the NFC South rivals like the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons team previews from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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