Rookies that have made the 53 man roster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one main thing common with their Head Coach, Dirk Koetter. Both Koetter and the rookies on his team look to make their “rookie” debut on Sunday as they travel to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons. After an unfortunate 6-10 season in 2015, the Bucs decided that it was best to move away from Lovie Smith and start fresh with previous offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, as their new leader.
Not only is this a big divisional game for the Buccaneers, but Koetter and defensive coordinator, Mike Smith, will look to make a return to a place that is somewhat familiar to them. They will return to the home of the team that they led to the 2012 NFC Championship game. Just a couple years ago, Mike Smith was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Dirk Koetter was the offensive coordinator. This team showed signs of a Super Bowl team and the big question many have in store going into the 2016 season is, can they do this again?
HC Dirk Koetter & DC Mike Smith ready for return to Atlanta
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 6, 2016
Although the Buccaneers had an average preseason going 2-2 and didn’t produce as well as they would have liked on either side of the ball, they will look to what could be the best 1-2 punch in the backfield with running backs Doug Martin and Charles Sims. In 2015, Doug Martin led the way with an average 3.1 yards after contact per attempt and finished second in rushing yards in the NFL. Charles Sims helped out on third down and helped in multiple facets of the game including receiving, running, and blocking. Although the Buccaneers lack depth at wide receiver, they have a very tall wide receiving core with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson (6’5″) who are hard to cover. Not to mention, they just added Cecil Shorts to their 53 man roster, which will help them tremendously with a solid third option.
On the other side of the ball, the Bucs will look to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to lead the defense as he was named captain of the team. The player’s are very supportive of this choice and he believes that when this opportunity is presented, one must take advantage and step up to act as a leader to the other players.
The Buccaneers have put in a lot of work and implemented many changes going into the 2016 season. Week 1 will be a large test in division play and the Buccaneers will need to be on their game heading into the game in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.