Bucs No. 26 in NFL power rankings by PFT
Only six NFL teams are worse than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That's according to the power rankings by Profootballtalk.com, in which the Bucs are No. 26 among the preseason hierarchy.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 4-12 season in 2011, including 10 straight losses, the last five defeats by an average of 23 points.
The Bucs have had a busy and presumably successful offseason. They hired Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, signed three, high-priced free agents in Chargers receiver Vncent Jackson, Saints guard Carl Nicks and Lions defensive back Eric Wright. They had an interesting draft, filling needs at safety (Alabama's Mark Barron), running back (Boise State's Doug Martin) and linebacker (Nebraska's Lavonte David).
Apparently, PFT is not convinced quarterback Josh Freeman will have a bounce back year and they cite a tough early season schedule as a reason for skepticism.
"The Bucs are among the teams that could really use a quick start to dispel some of last year’s problems, the first month of the season opens with a visit from the Panthers and trips to the defending champion Giants and the Cowboys,'' PFT said. "Win a pair of those, and it becomes a lot easier for Schiano to sell his program at the pro level. Drop enough games to push the losing streak into the teens, and it becomes much tougher for him to play the tough-guy card.
"The simple fact they were so bad last year means they would have to work to be worse, but there are reasons to believe they could get better. But in the neighborhood they’re living in, they could clean up the yard and still be the worst house on the block.''
Only the Browns (32), Colts (31), Jags (30), Vikings (29), Rams (28) and Dolphins (27) are lower than the Bucs in the NFL power rankings.