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Flying Way Beneath The Radar Is The Buccaneers!
The NFL is here and there are stories resonating from every city about the chances of their local teams, but somewhere lost in all the hoopla, is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I mean even with the superiority of the AFC over the NFC, it seems like the Cowboys, Redskins, and Panthers garner most of the public’s attention. They seem to be the favorites for sports betting.
Tampa Bay is the defending NFC South division champion, but with the play of the Panthers in the playoffs last year and the popularity of Michael Vick in Atlanta, Jon Gruden’s team is toiling in obscurity.
I mean, I can understand that the NFC champion Seahawks do not get their publicity as they are hidden away in the Northwest, but the Buc’s have a Cadillac, an NFL broadcaster’s son as their QB and a dominating defense.
You would think that the Cowboys are going to walk away with the title now that Terrell Owens has landed in Dallas, yet Tampa Bay has an addition at wideout, whom was a star before Owens came on the scene.
David Boston was one of the NFL’s top receivers when he had 98 receptions for 1,598 yards and seven TDs with Arizona in 2001, however injuries and suspensions derailed a career that also included stints with San Diego and Miami.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder was limited to five games over the past two years with the Dolphins because of two separate knee injuries that required surgery. He’s one of seven receivers Gruden retained in the final cuts. Gruden is an offensive wizard who has never had all the key components on offense, yet he still won a Super Bowl recently.
With the presence of Joe Gibbs, Bill Parcells, Andy Reid, and Mike Holmgren in the NFC, Gruden does not get his due.
This weekend the Baltimore Ravens will come calling with new quarterback Steve McNair, overrated Ray Lewis and his posse, and the line at TB -3 at the sportsbooks may be flattering the visitors. One to consider if you want to do some football betting is QB Chris Simms. He’s beginning to exhibit the leadership qualities that made his dad Phil so great and he has some great weapons.
Tampa Bay ranked first in total defense in 2005, extending its streak of top 10 finishes to nine consecutive seasons. Simms and his teammates, however, reject the notion the defending NFC South champions again look like a team that must rely heavily on its defense to win.
"The way we’re building the offense now is the way the defense was built when I got here," said Derek Brooks, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection who’s beginning his 12th season. "I like the direction we’re going. That was a big reason why I decided to restructure my contract and stay here."
Keep an eye on some of TB’s talented rookie class that could pay dividends down the road!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.