Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Here’s a quick look at some of the key players on the Tampa Bay Bucs as they head to MetLife this weekend to take on the New York Jets in their Week 1 contest:
Darrelle Revis (CB) I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that these two teams are playing Week One, but the greatest defender for the Jets in the last 15 years makes his Tampa Bay debut against his former team, with a new contract in tow.
Dashon Goldson (FS) — Goldson was an All-Pro for the Niners and signed one of the most lucrative contracts for a safety in NFL history. Goldson had 13 passes defensed and three interceptions last year, but Goldson never ranked well in coverage as a safety prior to 2012.
Lavonte David (OLB) — David is the team’s trash-man against the run, leading the team as a rookie in 2012 with a team-high 17.5% of plays made and and stuffing the run 68% of the time on the plays he made.
Gerald McCoy (DT) — McCoy is the young leader of the front seven and his five sacks and 18 hurries showed that he’s coming into his own as a defensive lineman.
Da’Quan Bowers (DE) — As Bowers never played at 100% last season, but could be ready to emerge this season as a pass-rusher along with Adrian Clayborn on the other side, who was also injured in 2012.
Josh Freeman (QB) — Freeman broke out last season with a downfield option in Vincent Jackson and set franchise records in yards and touchdowns along the way. While he’s the owner of many TB QB records, he still is a roller-coaster player who has dizzying highs and frightening lows.
Doug Martin (RB) — Martin was a rookie phenom in 2012, Muscle Hamster accumulated 1,454 rushing yards and 472 in receiving while scoring 11 TDs via the run. With what looks to be a healthy line, the running game might actually be better in 2013.
Vincent Jackson (WR) — Jackson was an immediate impact player for the Bucs, but could be better in his second year with the team if his production can be less erratic. Jackson had five games with 90 yards or more, but had 60 yards or less six times.
Mike Williams (WR) — Williams benefited from the presence of Jackson, who had a career high in yardage just under the 1000 yard mark.