Can't you feel the love tonight?
Can't you just feel the hope oozing out of the doors and running over the practice fields at One Buccaneer Place?
Can't you just visualize your Buccaneers trampling NFC South opponents?
Can't wait for this season to start, right?
This is such a wonderful time of year in and around Tampa. The days are mild and breezy and the dog days of summer aren't even close. Yet.
And these Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the verge of being born again into that splendor of the '90s.
Can't you just see Gerald McCoy and Brian Price terrorizing backfields? Last one to the quarterback is a rotten egg. They're both racing each other to see who's the first to become the next Warren Sapp.
They don't have to be that good. This Buccaneer line was flat-out crappy last season. So all McCoy and Price have to be is better than crappy and fearless leader, aka The GM, Mark Dominik assures us they're much better than that.
Can't you just see Arrelious Benn cutting a hard slant over the middle, hauling in a bullet from Josh Freeman, and splitting the defense on his way to the end zone, looking just like Jerry Rice, gliding on grass?
Can't you just see former Syracuse goof Mike Williams getting a visit from the ghosts of football seasons past, present, and future, then going from an Ebeneezer Scrooge of a college player to the most dangerous guy in the NFC South?
Benn and Williams don't have to be all of that. They simply have to be better than "woeful," as Mel Kiper Jr. described the current Buccaneer receiving corps, headed by the Wizard of Woe, Michael Clayton.
Dominik, the Count of the Crystal Ball, assures us that they are better than "woeful" and that's a good thing.
Surely Vandy's Myron Lewis is the next great Buc corner. He's big and fast and no doubt you're just sitting there, visualizing him as the nickel back come September, picking off passes by Drew Brees and setting up the next big victory over the Super Bowl champion Saints.
Then there's Brent Bowden, the Hokie. For decades, NFL sages have screamed "never take a punter in the draft." Well, holy Ray Guy, we've got one and you can't fault Dominik for that. Buccaneer punting, like the defensive line, was flat-out crappy last year. So all Bowden has to do is be better than "crappy."
Then there's Big Russ' boy, Cody Grimm, another Hokie. Hokie, Hokie Ho! He's an undersized linebacker (5'11", 203) and all he has to do is not whiff on half his tackle attempts and you've got yourself some competition for his whifness, Sabby Piscatelli.
Ah yes, Dekoda Watson. Florida State's Dekoda Watson. Cue the Song of the Seminole.
Can't you just see him turning out to be like a linebacker from the FSU teams of the '90s, rather than the "let's not watch" FSU teams of 2008 and 2009? Can't you just see him, to the shock of all the NFL, becoming the next Derrick Brooks?
Hope springs eternal after the NFL draft.
Finally, the guy from Stanford, Erik Long. Again, being a D-Line candidate, all he has to do is be better than "crappy."
It's sure not asking much.
It's not asking much for these young guys to be better than what the Bucs had last year.
The only problem is, rookies don't win football games for you. They might win games for you in three years, but not in the fall.
Ah, but yes, there is so very much hope when you run down this list.
An old Wall Street saying goes: "Hope is your worst enemy in the marketplace."
Hope is also your worst enemy on an NFL football field.
But right now, the Bucs have a TON of hope.
Now if only they can win some games this fall.