A year ago, the Bucs defeated the Redskins on their way to a 10-6 season. They missed out of the playoffs through tiebreakers but it was thought that since they were the youngest teams in the league that the future was bright for them.
At the NFL Combine last February, Bucs General Manager Mark Dominick said that the Bucs had made a decision to get younger and to do so quickly. He compared his team to the one that one the Super Bowl.
The way we wanted to do it in Tampa, how we were going to build our football team, was going to be through youth. And so yeah, it was a conscious decision and when you look at where the Packers are now, at not only their age, but what they accomplished this year, it tells you you’re going in the right direction.
Fast forward to now and the Packers are still doing quite well. The Bucs, not so much. They are 4-9, occupying the basement in the NFC South.
They started out 3-1 and then moved to 4-2 but they haven’t won a game since Oct. 16. Things have been so bad that going into as of two weeks ago week they had trailed for over 475 minutes of their games this season, the most in the league. That was before they blew an early 14-0 lead by giving up 41 unanswered points to the Jaguars in a 41-14 loss last Sunday and before the rolled over and played dead against the Cowboys.
During the offseason, a lot of fans and media types were saying that the Redskins should have done what the Bucs did. By going all in with youth, the Bucs supposedly were setting themselves up for success for the long term. The Redskins’ approach of a mix of youth and some older veterans didn’t seem to be working.
The jury is still out on whether or not what Mike Shanahan is doing will work. But the verdict on the Bucs’ approach is very much unsettled as well.