|The addition of WR Vincent Jackson was key to the Bucs' offensive improvement this season. (US Presswire)|
Tampa Bay made aggressive moves in the draft and free agency after a miserable 2011 season, and most of those decisions paid off in 2012, as reflected in CBSSports.com's RapidReports picks for the team's MVPs.
Offense -- WR Vincent Jackson: It's a close race between Jackson and rookie RB Doug Martin for this honor, but the addition of Jackson was what truly opened up the Bucs' offense this season. Slotting him in allowed teammate Mike Williams to return to his more natural role as the No. 2 threat, giving the team a one-two punch that powered the NFL's No. 10 pass offense. The attention Jackson drew from opposing defenses helped open things up for Martin, as well. Jackson finished fifth in the NFL in receiving with 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defense -- LB Lavonte David: Most assumed the Bucs would have an impact rookie on defense. They just figured it would be S Mark Barron, the No. 7 overall selection in the draft. Barron didn't have a bad season, but David was a revelation. Like Martin, Tampa Bay had to trade up in the draft (getting a late second round pick from the Texans) to grab the Nebraska alumnus. He justified that decision by leading the team in tackles by a wide margin -- his 139 total tackles were 34 more than second-place Mason Foster's 105. His sideline-to-sideline speed was a huge asset for a team that struggled in many other areas defensively.
Special teams -- PR Roscoe Parrish. Tampa Bay's special teams units were largely solid -- almost never a real weakness -- but not game-changers. Parrish gets the nod here for shoring up a facet of play that was a significant weakness for the Bucs last season and throughout the preseason as well. The longtime Buffalo Bill signed with the Bucs heading into Week 4 and immediately provided a steadying influence in the return game. He wasn't a game-breaker, but his 9.9 yards per return were good for 12th-best in the NFL. Most important, he never fumbled.
Newcomer -- RB Doug Martin: Obviously, many players deserve consideration here, but a list of team MVPs wouldn't be complete without Martin. What many thought would be a battle between the rookie and returning veteran LeGarrette Blount was never much of a battle at all. Martin showed why the Bucs traded up in the draft, using a late first-round selection to grab him, turning in one of the great rookie seasons in NFL history. His 1,926 yards from scrimmage were the third-most ever by any rookie. He finished fifth in the league in rushing, with 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns on 319 carries.
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