Yardbarker Horiz

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Roster Changes between 2008 and 2009: Offense

Strictly based on who's gone and who's new (and disregarding returning players), here is a brief rundown of roster changes from opening day 2008 to opening day 2009.

Here: Josh Freeman, Byron Leftwich
Gone: Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Luke McCown
  • Garcia and Griese were cut and have not been picked up.  McCown was traded for a future draft pick.  Freeman has been designated as the future franchise QB that never appeared during the Second Era.  This position can finally be considered upgraded.

Running Back
Here: Clifton Smith, Derrick Ward
Gone: Warrick Dunn, Jameel Cook
  • That's a lot of experience gone by the wayside.  Smith did contribute in 2008 but was an undrafted, mid-year pickup which went to the Pro Bowl.  Ward was integral to an excellent Giants running back group in 2008.  The only loss is experience, but considering Dunn was not picked up by another team it appears it was the right time to move on.  This position is neutral but certainly younger.

Wide Reciever
Here: Kelly Campbell, Brian Clark, Sammie Stroughter
Gone: Ike Hilliard, Dexter Jackson, Joey Galloway
  • The Jackson experiment only lasted a year.  Hilliard was Mr. 3rd Down.  Galloway appeared to take a step back as far as wear and tear.  Campbell is a CFL free agent, Clark a youngster, and Stroughter a 7th round pick.  While the new WR group is certainly younger, they are also unproven in the NFL.  This position was unimproved.

Tight End
Here: Jerramy Stevens, Kellen Winslow
Gone: Alex Smith
  • Are you kidding me?  Normally the loss of Smith would be reason to declare a downgrade, but the replacements are top level performers and respectable run blockers.  If the Bucs can make this talent work defenses will be scratching their heads each and every week.  This position was upgraded.

Here: Jonathan Compas, Marcus Johnson, Arron Sears
Gone: None
  • Arron Sears remains on the roster but will not play in 2009.  Compas and Johnson are for depth (at least for now).  While Sears was a starter in 2008 it appears a capable replacement was already on the roster -- but in that case the depth suffers.  This position was unimproved.

Here: Marc Dile, Demar Dotson, Xavier Fulton
Gone: None
  • Xavier Fulton (2009 5th round) is on IR and will not play in 2009.  Dotson could be the college free agent find of the year for the Buccaneers.  This was already a position of strength and experience on the team, so no shiny new pieces were needed.  Nonetheless, this position is slightly improved.

Here: None
Gone: None
  • This position is unchanged.

Place Kicker
Here: Mike Nugent
Gone: Matt Bryant
  • Bryant lacked some leg strength but was reliable.  Nugent is only a couple years younger (5th year vs. 8 years for Bryant).  This move was dictated by injury, but it was fortunate to have already had Nugent in camp for competition before the injury occurred.  This position is slightly improved.

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