The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFL offseason hype award when they added Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to an offense that already featured Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, and Ronald Jones. As Bruce Arians enters his second year as head coach of the team, expectations have exploded in Tampa Bay, with many oddsmakers giving his squad top-five odds for a Super Bowl title in 2020. However, many talented teams have failed to live up to expectations in the past and Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins provided a reminder of that reality today.
While appearing on Good Morning Football, Jenkins said he and his Saints teammates aren't focused on the Bucs loaded roster because: "It's paper. You gotta produce on the field."
Truer words were never spoken. While the Bucs have gotten plenty of pub this offseason, both for their signings and what their signings have done since, this team underwent massive changes and will likely take some time to gel. Ill-advised team workouts amidst a pandemic will help build some chemistry, but until they get on the field for a regular-season game we don't know how this team will perform.
Still, this is a pretty bold statement by Jenkins. He was burned consistently as a member of the New York Giants last season before settling in after joining the Saints. Now he'll have to face Evans and Godwin twice a year. Nowhere to hide against that duo. I'm sure his paper comment will be remembered.
The NFC South is expected to be one of the most competitive in the NFL this season, with the Saints another top Super Bowl contender, the Falcons stacked on offense and the Panthers entering a new era with Teddy Bridgewater under center. The Bucs have been the bottom feeders for years and changing a culture of losing can take time. Having Brady as the alpha in the locker will help, unquestionably. But like the talent on this team, his impact remains to be seen.