In an article that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, today, Times Staff Writer, Stephen Holder opines that the five key players to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers improvement for the 2010 season are Tanard Jackson, Kellen Winslow, Aqib Talib, Cadillac Williams and Donald Penn ostensibly Holder doesn’t feel like the play of quarterback Josh Freeman or any improvement on his part will be a determining factor in the out come of games.
The Bucs are hardly a finished product, and it’s impossible to know what this season will yield. But this is a team that has every reason to believe it will be an improved ball club.
The once-rookie coach will be better, and the once-rookie quarterback will be, too.
The defense was bolstered by what looks to be a successful draft, and as far as we know, the Bucs don’t plan on changing coordinators after last year’s double switch.
But — there’s always a “but” — there is justification for concern.
The Bucs unquestionably have some emerging stars on this club. What is striking, though, is how many of them come with red flags attached. Tampa Bay is a team that is relying very heavily on players that might or might not let them down.
While Holder acknowledges that Freeman might be better, to not include him in any lengthy discussion with regards to the Bucs improvement in the coming season is a fallacy. The team will go only as far as Freeman takes them.
From a team stand point Freeman is the general and will be counted on more this season then any young player or veteran that had a disappointing ’09 season. The mere fact of the matter is, if Freeman doesn’t show enormous growth over his rookie season. It won’t matter how much the players around him improve.