Caught Up in the Change: The 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Earl BedfordContributor ISeptember 7, 2009

The world is watching! Or so it seems.

Our country just elected it's first African-American as President on the premise of change. The 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers just hired their second African-American head coach on the premise of what? Change!

I am very passionate about my team, the Buccaneers. When we went 0-26 or 4-12, regardless of the head coach, they were still my team.  Obviously, for the 2009 Buccaneers, I am not at practice or the meetings every day so I have to trust that the coach and coaching staff will do their best to put a good product on the field because their jobs depend on it.

Let's take a look at the change the Buccaneers have done during the offseason and see if it's change we can live with.

Since taking over for Jon Gruden Jan. 18, the Bucs dumped an average age of 34.5 years from their roster. Departed players included Brooks, Dunn, Carter, Galloway, Hillard, June, Alex Smith, Matt Bryant, McCown, Griese, and Garcia. Smith and McCown were traded for draft picks (Smith was recently released by New England), and only Galloway and McCown have the opportunity to dress out for a team on Opening Day.

These seem like smart changes.

Let's take a look at the added players whose average age is 24.9. Ward, Winslow, Leftwich, Dotson, Dile, and six of seven draft picks. (sixth round pick Fulton is on the IR) New starters on offense include Zuttah, a slot receiver to be named, Ward, Winslow and Leftwich.

On the defensive side of the ball you'll have Black, Hayes, Wilkerson, Talib, Mack and Ryan Simms. There will be a new punter and place kicker, Dirk Johnson (whom I'm not crazy about) and Matt Nuget respectively, to round out the starting team. These changes are yet to be determined.

As I was writing this, I kept thinking about what Morris has stated throughout the offseason. "Competition at every position." Although I disagreed with the release of Louis Holmes and sitting Josh Johnson behind Leftwich and Freeman, I have to trust that the coaching staff will make the right decision on the best 53 players to make up the 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

When the Bucs hired Raheem Morris, I neither jumped for joy nor was I scratching my head. With the additions and subtractions, I feel this team will be competitive and stay close in ball games. I said it before and I'll say it again, don't sleep on these Bucs!

Some people call it drinking the kool-aid, but as a fan, I am hopeful every year regardless of who is running the show and every year, I am like football fans for 31 other teams who would like to get caught up in the change. Let's support our 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What's your opinion?