As pathetic as the Buccaneers were at the end of the 2013 season, there were glimmers of hope that this team could be much better than what they were this past season.
It became clear that they possess elite players at all three levels of defense. Greatness was expected from former third overall draft pick Gerald McCoy and the best cornerback in the NFL, Darrelle Revis.
However, what was surprising was the rapid ascension of linebacker Lavonte David. In just his second season, he looked like the heir apparent to soon-to-be Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks.
David owned every field he stepped foot on, notching six sacks, 15 passes defensed, five interceptions and three forced fumbles. He is one of the surest tacklers in the NFL and can spoil an offensive play as well as any player in the NFL.
He also represents the potential for any NFL player to break out and become a vital contributor to his team.
Though the Bucs struggled on both sides of the ball in 2013, the roster teems with latent talent. Some players flashed their potential over the last season but simply could not sustain their success. Others suffered a down year and are due for a resurgence.
2014 holds the promise for more Bucs to prove their value. Here are the five Buccaneers who are bound to break out in 2014.