Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Playoffs? Not this coming season. But after wallowing in mediocrity in-route to posting a 3-13 record in 2009. The pot at the end of the rainbow might actual be filled with gold come 2011. That’s the utterance from Pat Kirwan. The former NFL front office executive and Tampa scout who co-hosts “Movin’ the Chains” heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio, Kirwan hosted a live chat last Friday on NFL.com, where he suggested rather than playoffs, the Bucs should think .500 in 2010.
Hey Pat, love your insight. Can you tell me how you see the Bucs this year? Do they have a chance to make some noise in the South, do you see them starting both new wides and both DTs?
Pat Kirwan, NFL.com
Thanks, Scott. The Bucs will be better this year than last. I think Josh Freeman will be a fine NFL quarterback. I think you closed in on the No. 3 spot with Carolina, but not ready to compete with the Saints or Falcons. Both rookie DTs will play a lot. You should be aiming for an 8-8 season and then if all these young players shape up make a legitimate run for the playoffs in 2011.
Even the most optimistic of fans would take an 8-8 record in 2010, if it meant playoff bound in 2011. But a roster full of youngsters, brings no guarantee of a .500 record in the coming season. Who’s to say they couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle. A soft schedule, a few dozen lucky bounces is all it would take. Seriously though, 8-8 with the third youngest team in the league would be quite an accomplishment for a roster devoid of leadership.