The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are assuredly a work in progress as they look to improve from their cellar-dwelling status in the NFC South.
Walking a fine line between optimism and reality, new Buccaneers defensive end Robert Ayers summed up the team’s progress at this point in the offseason.
I’m now in Tampa, where Robert Ayers just had the quote of the offseason when summing up Bucs' progress: “We’re a little less terrible.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) June 15, 2016
Some might argue with Ayers’ critique considering the Bucs improved their win total from two in 2014 to six last season.
Nevertheless, Ayers’ comment should stand as a reminder there is always room for any NFL team (even the top-ranked ones) to improve. Ayers arrived in Tampa Bay during free agency after playing the previous two seasons with the New York Giants.
He recorded a career-high nine sacks in just 12 games. Ayers’ goal is to now hit the double-digit sack plateau in 2016.
“I definitely feel like I’m capable of (10 sacks), but I can’t say what I will do,” Ayers said, per Zach Shapiro of Pewter Report. “I just know that I believe in myself and I believe in the guys around me. I feel like I’m getting better, learning the game and understanding things better. I’m constantly trying to improve and learn, and I think playing with Gerald McCoy will definitely set me up to build on a lot of those things.”
Last season saw the Buccaneers finish in the top 10 on both offense and defense. While this doesn’t look too shabby on paper, more wins are a must in a division that’s controlled by the defending conference champion Carolina Panthers.