NFL Training camp season is always a time for irrational exuberance. Every team thinks it can win the Super Bowl, even though 31 of those teams will end being horribly wrong. And so, to preview the upcoming NFL season, which could be the most unpredictable ever, we now give you five reasons why your favorite team could win the Super Bowl. Today, it's the Tampa Bay Bucs.
1. Because I'm picking them to win the NFC, I tell you. And really, is there a better omen for a team's season than to be chosen by a random writer who doesn't really know anything, who picked the Titans to make the Super Bowl last season (oops!), and who is choosing the Bucs mostly so he can avoid picking the Packers or Eagles because everyone else will pick the Packers or Eagles? I THINK NOT! Seriously though, this is team is gonna be good. Allow me to explain why.
2. Josh Freeman. BOOSH. The astonishing progress the Bucs QB made in just his second season is impossible to ignore: Over 3,000 yards passing, over 60% of his throws completed (and unlike many QBs, Freeman didn't pad that stat by throwing dinky passes), and an eye-popping 25-to-6 TD-to-INT ratio. And stats don't even begin to tell you about what a joy it is to watch Freeman play. If it hadn't been for the incredible return of Mike Vick last season, Freeman would be a star already. Something tells me he isn't going to be content to linger in the background this time around. I'm banking on Freeman being there when I pick in the sixth round of my fantasy draft and if someone steals him from me they will TASTE THE THUNDER.
3. Hooray for the glacial slowness of the American judicial system! Cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested for felony assault charges in March. However, since it takes months and months and months just to process one single case through the American court system, Talib doesn't go on trial until March of 2012. NICE! Kudos to judicial lethargy! Now Bucs fans can relax and watch Talib play without having to worry about pesky matters such as whether or not he pulled a gun on someone. Phew!
4. The skill players have skillz. Virtually every skill position player for the Bucs is a sleeping giant. Wideout Arrelious Benn is coming back from a torn up knee and could become a consistent deep threat. Mike Williams was one of the best rookie wideouts in football last season, scoring 11 touchdowns. And RB LeGarrette Blount proved to be an absolute steal for the team last season when he broke out for 1,000 yards, almost all of which he gained in the final 11 games. He's not just a Bronco-puncher anymore! All of these guys are potential Pro Bowlers, and they'll have an improving Freeman getting them the ball. It's terrifying when a team has a core of offensive players that all mature at the exact same time.
5. Beware the quiet team. The Eagles are the kings of the offseason. But you should always beware of teams that make virtually no noise during the offseason, as the Steelers and Colts always seem to do. The Bucs clearly want to model themselves after those two organizations, using mostly homegrown players and making very few waves. They're so sneaky, LIKE PIRATE NINJAS! If they don't win the NFC, I'll give you three bucks. I'm just kidding. I would never do that. That would be idiotic. For real though, I like this team.