It's the preseason, so everyone has to be optimistic, right? Bucs fans are no different. Despite the team going just 2-14 in 2014, having the 1st pick in the NFL Draft, and needing to rely heavily on rookies to change the culture of losing to a culture of winning, optimism is still high.
When you talk about concerns with the Bucs, the first words that pop out of anyone's mouth are, "offensive line." The Bucs may be starting two rookies along their offensive line in 2015, and they just lost their starting right tackle for a minimum of 6 weeks. Of course, we can also ask how it could get any worse than what we saw last season. As long as Garrett Gilkey does not see the field, the Bucs offensive line should be improved, but they have a long way to go to just becoming average by NFL standards.
On the other side of the line is another major concern. The Bucs haven't had a double-digit sack defender since Simeon Rice. In the Bucs first preseason game against the Vikings and their porous offensive line, they generated little pressure on Teddy Bridgewater. If Lovie Smith's defense is going to have any shot at being successful, they'll have to generate some sort of pass rush.
Speaking of pass rush, if the Bucs don't get it, they'll be leaving their corners on an island. I have confidence in Johnthan Banks and Alterraun Verner, but leaving Leonard Johnson on an island will lead to many Bucs fans sieging the bathroom to puke.
The main hope on this team could also be its biggest concern. Yes, we all want Jameis Winston to succeed. We want him to throw 30 touchdowns and shut down the critics in his rookie season. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen. I think we should all anticipate him throwing a good amount of interceptions in his rookie season, and that's ok. Rookies are supposed to make mistakes. If Jameis Winston is going to become the start quarterback the Bucs need him to be, it will be because of the way he responds to his mistakes. If he avoids letting his mistakes consume him, and continues to move forward and learn from those mistakes, then he will become a great quarterback. Until we get to that point, there should be a large amount of concern on how Jameis Winston will grow in his rookie season.
In the video above, we discuss the top 3 concerns for the Bucs in 2015.