Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Power Rankings countdown: 23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South)

2013 Record:  4-12

Head coach:  Lovie Smith – Smith was fired by the Chicago Bears after a 10-6 season in 2012.  He has a career winning percentage of 56.3%, and he guided the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006.  So the Buccaneers hired themselves a very good coach, and Lovie Smith will more than likely have them winning again soon.

Best offensive player:  Vincent Jackson, wide receiver – Jackson has outstanding size at the wide receiver position, at 6-5, 230.  And he uses his size very well to his advantage as smaller defensive backs have trouble covering him.  Vincent Jackson has been the Bucs most reliable offensive threat, and if their quarterback play is consistent, then Jackson should have another big year.

Best defensive player:  Lavonte David, defensive tackle – David is one of the most versatile and talented linebackers in the NFL.  One of the few who is very good at all aspects of the game.  He’s good against the run, and has the speed and agility to be effective in pass coverage as well.  And his speed helps him against offensive linemen when timing the blitz.

Rising Star:  Mike Glennon, quarterback – Even though Lovie Smith has brought in veteran quarterback Josh McCown to be his starter this season, that doesn’t take away from the solid rookie season that Mike Glennon had in 2013.  It may not have been spectacular, but it wasn’t bad for a rookie.  Glennon may not start for the Bucs this season, but he gives them a good backup, and a quarterback they can work with in the future.

Best new addition:  Mike Evans, wide receiver – The Buccaneers already have one big receiver in Vincent Jackson, and with Mike Evans, that will give them one of the biggest wide receiver tandems in the NFL.  Evans size should allow him to have an immediate impact on the offense.

Biggest offseason loss: Darrelle Revis, cornerback – Revis entered the 2012 season coming off of a torn ACL, and he didn’t have the kind of impact on the Bucs offense that they had hoped.  He didn’t have a good relationship with Greg Schiano, and the Bucs ended up releasing him after the season.  Revis has the talent to rebound over his 2013 performance, and if he gets back to his previous form, the Bucs might miss what he could brought to the table.

Biggest strength:  The Buccaneers biggest strength is their youth on defense.  The Buccaneers best young players are just entering their prime, and will only get better.  Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has become on of the best at his position in the league, and they’ve recently signed defensive end Michael Johnson to rush the passer.  Along with linebacker Lavonte David, the Buccaneers secondary is loaded with young talent with Mark Barron at safety and Johnthan Banks at corner.          NFL Power Rankings

Biggest weakness:  The Buccaneers biggest weakness is depth on the offensive line.  The Bucs best lineman Carl Nicks is still trying to come back from a toe injury.  They signed Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith at left tackle and center, so if Nicks returns healthy, then the Bucs starters look good.  But there isn’t much depth behind them if the starters get hurt.    2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

32. Houston Texans

31. Cleveland Browns

30.  Minnesota Vikings

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

28. Oakland Raiders

27.  Washington Redskins

26.  Atlanta Falcons

25.  Buffalo Bills

24.  Tennessee Titans

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22.  Detroit Lions

21.  Miami Dolphins

20.  St. Louis Rams


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