TAMPA- The road to Los Angeles starts now and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to win the franchise’s third world championship and repeat.
That road begins in training camp, as players are all now reporting to One Buc Place for practices leading into the preseason, which will play out a little differently this season. The usual NFL preseason would feature four games, but the NFL and NFLPA agreed upon approving the addition of one more regular season game and decreasing the preseason by a game. Now every team will play 17 games and it will be an 18-week regular season in 2021 and beyond.
With everything ever changing in the NFL, the Buccaneers seem like the most stable team in the NFC heading into training camp. The Green Bay Packers, who Tampa Bay defeated to reach Super Bowl LV, has had an ongoing feud with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and both sides have finally come to an agreement which may set him up to be traded next offseason.
The New Orleans Saints, another team Tampa Bay defeated along the way, will decide on starting either former Buccaneer Jameis Winston or incumbent Taysom Hill. Either way, it’s a drop off from Drew Brees in some way. It’s music to the ears of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fans who will be happy to not hear the last name Brees being welcomed out onto the field for pregame.
It’s also been well publicized that the Buccaneers are the first team to return all 22 starters from its Super Bowl winning team, a feat not even Tom Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots, could ever pull off. The Buccaneers bring back 7-time champion Brady and one of the league’s most potent offenses and stingiest defenses. If the Buccaneers look to repeat as world champions, they need both sides of the ball to stay at the top of their game.
Something not known until recently was Brady played basically all last season with a partially torn MCL and was still able to lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl. That might be a scary thing for the rest of the league, as Brady heads into this training camp fully healthy and ready to go. Some say Tampa Bay may see disciplinary action from the NFL for not reporting the injury at all, which factors in for various reasons.
In what might be one of the most watched season openers in recent memory, Tampa Bay will welcome in ‘America’s Team,’ the Dallas Cowboys, on September 9th to kickoff the 2021 season. This matchup has a ton of intrigue laid out for it as Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott makes his return after missing most of 2020 due to breaking ankle. Now the Dallas starter is back and many are interested to see how he looks on the field.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.