Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Team/Special Teams
Pros: Tampa was aggressive in stealing the pigskin, finishing in a tie for fifth with 30 takeaways. The declining Derrick Brooks was let go; his faltering skills were becoming more of a drag. Linebacker Barrett Ruud is blossoming. Cornerback Aqib Talib was serviceable in his first season, and this new scheme could play more to his strengths in his second year pairing with Ronde Barber. If Angelo Crowell (knee) can show them anything, they'll have decent depth at linebacker.
Cons: Another adjusting defense presents risk. Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's exit guts them of their brain trust; new head coach Raheem Morris scrapped Kiffin's brain child, the Tampa 2 defense, for a more conventional 4-3 setup with new DC Jim Bates. While this may play to their strengths eventually, you can't bet that 2009 will be that year. The Bucs just entered the all-time kickoff return touchdown category last year; they don't frighten too many opposing special teams units.
Fantasy tip: This won't be the same Tampa; don't make that mistake, as a small portion of the fantasy population seems willing to do as its No. 1 defense. They're best left as a No. 2 unit that you can probably find on the waiver wire. Don't burn a draft pick on them unless your league requires a second squad.
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