Television analyst Phil Simms expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to have a big season a year after they went 4-12 and finished last in the NFC South, he said while appearing on CBS Sports Radio.
Simms said he thinks Tampa Bay has plenty of talent, and that the team could very well come out of nowhere and have a successful season if chemistry improves.
“I think they have a chance," Simms said. "I think they’re pretty stacked – not to win the Super Bowl, but to be really good. It’ll be interesting. New coach down there. (Former coach) Greg Schiano had it turned. He had it turned physically. They just had to come together to get it done.”
The Buccaneers endured a tumultuous 2013 season, including the benching of starting quarterback Josh Freeman, an outbreak of MRSA at the team's facility and controversy surrounding Schiano's coaching style and relationship with players.
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Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik were fired after the season. The team and fanbase also had to deal with the death of longtime owner Malcolm Glazer in May.
But the Bucs made several moves in the offseason. The team hired an experienced coach in Lovie Smith and signed a new quarterback in Josh McCown. The team also added defensive end Michael Johnson, offensive tackle Anthony Collins and cornerback Alterraun Verner in free agency.
Smith will be attempting to lead the Buccaneers to their first playoff appearance since 2007.
- Ben Estes