Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Booger McFarland was recently on WDAE’s Beckles & Recher show. The conversation was typical, Monday Night Football, the draft and of course, Tom Brady. Despite what McFarland says Vegas does not agree.
McFarland voiced his lack of faith in the Buccaneers being Super Bowl contenders despite a number of US sportsbooks having them Super Bowl contenders for the third year in a row. He pointed out that while the team is very good, they still have a lot of holes to fill. McFarland also mentioned he didn’t think wide receiver Chris Godwin would be back with the team until December. The former Buccaneer then stated he was concerned that Rob Gronkowski wasn’t back yet. Even going as far as to say Gronkowski isn’t the player he once was.
Booger wasn’t done, he then pointed to off-field concerns. He cited the coaching change and that under Todd Bowles the team will have a more balanced attack. To be honest, McFarland seemed to point in more directions of what’s wrong with the Buccaneers than he has crooked fingers to do so with.
But, McFarland does know the game, and he always seems to pay more attention to his former team, the Buccaneers. So his take isn’t wrong, but it also doesn’t take into account that we haven’t even had the draft yet. A draft that looks like the Buccaneers could pull two if not three impact players out of.
McFarland also seems to leave out the mass exodus of talent from the NFC to the AFC this offseason. The NFC would appear to be a three-horse race between Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Los Angeles. Taking that into consideration, I would say the Buccaneers have a very solid chance of making it to the big game. Especially with a solid draft class.
Thanks to Tom Brady’s return, the Buccaneers aren’t looking for any quick fixes in the NFL draft.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion’s decision to end his brief retirement not only resolved the team’s quarterback situation, but also helped general manager Jason Licht retain most of a solid core of talent around Brady.
For the second straight year, the Bucs enter the draft with expectations of bolstering depth rather than addressing pressing needs.
With Brady back for a third season in Tampa Bay, receiver Chris Godwin signed to a new three-year, $60 million deal, Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen, running back Leonard Fournette and cornerback Carlton Davis re-signed after testing free agency, there are no glaring weaknesses on offense or defense.
A trade bringing veteran offensive lineman Shaq Mason from New England to the Bucs filled a hole created by the unexpected retirement of Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet.
In addition, Brady’s decision to unretire assisted Licht’s efforts to re-sign as many of Tampa Bay’s own free agents as possible as the Bucs try to ensure new coach Todd Bowles has everything he needs to get the Bucs back to the Super Bowl.