Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview: The Bucs, According to Madden '11
If you're a huge Madden fan, this day cannot come quickly enough.
To many gamers, Madden is like a drug. No matter how hard your eyes are forcing you to go to sleep, or how hard you try to stop, the addiction takes over.
The world's best-selling football game is back and it's better than ever.
With that being said, let's take a look at how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare in Madden '11.
Quarterback: Josh Freeman (77)
Being a Green Bay fan, I have very ugly memories of watching rookie QB Josh Freeman driving down the field and beating my beloved Packers.
I had to witness the "defeated" Bucs snatch their first victory versus my team. To make it brief, I was disgusted.
Josh Freeman racks in a 77 overall rating, which I would say is fairly accurate.
Notable Ratings: 93 Stamina, 97 Injury, 90 Throw Power
Backup quarterback Josh Johnson is 68 overall.
Running Back: Cadillac Williams (77)
Coming off a decent season, Cadillac Williams was given a 77 overall rating.
Notable Ratings: 87 Speed, 87 Acceleration, 97 Toughness, 86 Agility
Buccaneers fans have to be wondering what the heck happened to Derrick Ward. He signed a $17 million contract and was the projected starter but completely fell off the map in 2009.
Ward received a 75 overall rating for his efforts.
Fullback: Earnest Graham (78)
Perhaps one of the reasons the Buccaneers running game has declined so much over the past season is because Earnest Graham was only handed the ball 14 times.
He was mainly put into games to block for Williams and Ward, and because of that only received a 79 overall.
Backup fullback Chris Pressley took in a 63 overall.
Wide Receivers: Arrelious Benn (73) and Maurice Stovall (71)
It's no surprise that their best receiver is a rookie considering the wide receiver position was one of Tampa Bay's multiple issues.
Arrelious Benn took in a 73 overall rating because of how dominant he was in Illinois. Don't be surprised to see this rating skyrocket as he could very well emerge as Josh Freeman's favorite target.
Notable Ratings: 90 Speed, 95 Toughness, 89 Jump, 92 Injury, 88 Stamina
Murice Stovall is the second best wide receiver on the team based off last season with a 71 overall rating, but Mike Williams has a lot of potential as well and could create quite the tandem with Arrelious Benn.
Other wide receivers:
Reggie Brown (70)
Sammie Stroughter (68)
Tight End: Kellen Winslow (89)
Winslow, one of the most dominant tight ends currently in the game, racked up an 89 overall rating. I honestly think that the Bucs will have a pretty solid receiving core next season.
Notable Ratings: 99 Toughness, 92 Jumping, 87 Route Running, 86 Agility
Jerramy Stevens, his backup, received a 76 overall.
LT - Donald Penn (85)
LG - Jeremy Zuttah (77)
C - Jeff Faine (86)
RG - Davin Joseph (88)
RT - Jeremy Trueblood (74)
The Buccaneers offensive line gave up 33 sacks last season, which is about two sacks per game. Not bad considering my Packers gave up 51.
DT - Gerald McCoy (84)
RDE - Stylez White (73)
LDE - Tim Crowder (68)
I realize that the Bucs don't have a lot of talent on the defensive line, but a rookie being nine ratings ahead of the closest person?
DT - Brian Price (75)
LDE - Kyle Moore (67)
Apparently the Buccaneers don't have a backup RDE.
Linebackers: Barrett Ruud (91), Geno Hayes (79), and Angelo Crowell (75)
Ruud is coming off an excellent season, which is why Madden decided to give him a 91 overall.
Ruud 2009 Stats - 142 Tackles, one FF, one INT, seven PD
Notable Ratings: 93 Block Shedding, 92 Awareness, 94 Stamina, 92 Toughness
Geno Hayes, who had three sacks last season, was given a 79 overall, while Angelo Crowell took in a 75 overall rating after missing all of last season.
Cornerbacks: Aqib Talib (87) and Ronde Barber (84)
These two are probably the most underrated CB tandem in the league. Not many people talk about Talib and people claim that Barber is just too old, but they are still very productive.
Backup CBs Myron Lewis and Elbert Mack are nearly 20 ratings lower than Talib and Barber.
Safeties: Tanard Jackson (88) and Sean Jones (77)
FS Tanard Jackson didn't even play the first four weeks of the season and still managed to get 71 Tackles, five INTs, three FF, two TD, and eight PD.
Simply put, this dude's a beast.
Sean Jones is a hard hitter from Philadelphia who is looking to contribute to the already talented Tampa Bay secondary.
Special Teams: Connor Barth (67) and Brent Bowden (56)
For having 88 Kick Accuracy and 87 Kick Power, Barth's 67 rating seems kind of strange.
It must be because his "Swagger" rating is only 65. Now it all makes sense...
Same with Brent Bowden, 87 Kick Power and 86 Kick Accuracy, yet he is a 56 overall.
Why Madden, why?
Some ratings are realistic, others not so much.
People know that the game will most likely have flaws, but that still doesn't stop millions from purchasing Madden each year.
For Buccaneers fans, it should be much more fun playing with your team then it was in 2009, and rightfully so.
If you're a Madden lover like me, you will find yourself doing absolutely nothing but gaming when August 10 finally arrives.