Tampa Bay Buccaneers News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/24/14: The Bucs paid a handsome price to sign offensive guard Carl Nicks as a free agent two years ago, giving him a five year, $47.5 million deal to bolster their O-line and hopefully take something away from the Saints. It has not turned out well so far, as Nicks has only played in nine out of 32 games in two season. He is still suffering from a foot injury which eventually developed into a staph infection. Nicks will not be available for the sprint mini-camp (the first one for new Bucs coach Lovie Smith), but hopes to be ready for training camp in the summer.
4/17/14: Tampa owns the seventh overall pick in the draft next month, and considering their personnel, seems to be in an unusual position. The elite defensive players that they may covet, such as Jadeveon Clowney and Kalil Mack will probably be off the board when the Bucs pick. And even though Mike Glennon played well as a rookie last season and that the team signed Josh McCown to be the starter for this coming season, they are looking at all the QBs. The Bucs have already hosted Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr, indicating that they use that seventh pick on a QB, or wait until the second round and develop a 'second tier' guy.
4/10/14: The media attention around the league over the past couple of weeks has been on former Eagles wide receiver and his release from the team hours after a published article alleged that Djax had ties to gang members. Lost in all of this was the ongoing off-field issues of Bucs' WR Michael Johnson. The most recent of which included him getting stabbed by his brother. He will be fine and should be back for training camp, but that will not be in Tampa. The Bucs had enough of these issues and traded him to Buffalo for a sixth round pick. That makes 11 starters from last year who are not on the team this coming season.
4/3/14: New Bucs head coach Lovie Smith is a well respected coach that gets the attention of his locker room. When he speaks, people listen. So, while Minnesota Vikings head coach, Mike Zimmer, was not impressed by Johnny Manziels choreographed pro day event, Lovie Smith thought Manziel made a statement by throwing in pads and a helmet. It is smoke screen season as we head toward the draft, and perhaps Smith is trying to pump up Manziel's stock so he can trade down. In any case, the Bucs could draft a QB early to develop for a year behind new starter Josh McCown.
3/27/14: Tampa has been among the most active teams, if not the most active team, in free agency this offseason. The team has a new GM in Jason Licht and a new head coach in Lovie Smith. Their activity has generally been met with good reviews, though 'winning' in free agency does not always lead to winning on the field (see: Washington Redskins for the past decade). It is not all roses and lollipops, though. The Bucs cut offensive lineman Donald Penn, who had been with the team for seven seasons. Penn says that he was told he was to be part of the future, then found himself without a job.
3/20/14: New head coach Lovie Smith is not wasting any time in retooling the roster. He has brought in a new 'starting' QB in former Bears backup Josh McCown - who had a terrific run last season while starter Jay Cutler was hurt. Though it begs the question of what to do with second year QB Matt Glennon, who did well last season. He also got former Titans cornerback Alteruran Verner, which led to the team releasing Derrelle Revis. That move saved the team a lot of money ($16 million salary). The Bucs will have a new look in both roster and uniform next season, and may have a shot of taking the NFC South crown for the first time in several years.
3/13/14: Tampa unveiled their new uniforms for next season and it was not greeted with the warm welcome that they may have hoped for. The team displayed the new helmets a few weeks ago, with the big change being a giant pirate flag instead of standard issue size. The new unis are a far departure from what they have worn since 1997, and some people believe they invoke an XFL look. At the same time, Bucs fans will probably not care what kind of uniform they wear as long as they are winning - and that is the hope with new head coach Lovie Smith.
3/6/14: Speculation about cornerback Darrelle Revis' future in Tampa is running rampant. The Bucs traded for Revis last offseason, despite the fact that he was recovering from a torn ACL. Its not that Revis had a bad season, it is more the fact that he is very expensive and there is concern that he will not fit in well with new head coach Lovie Smith's defense. To date, everyone is saying the right things. The reality is that he may be hard to trade anyhow because his salary is so high. Chances are that he will stay in Tampa at least another year
2/27/14: According to reports this week, the Bucs are absolutely looking for a veteran QB. Rookie Mike Glennon took the helm last season from former first round pick Josh Freeman, and he played pretty well for a rookie. Give him some more time, and he may develop into a quality quarterback. That being said, the Bucs would be wise to bring in a veteran either to compete for the starting job or offer guidance to Glennon. The Bucs also announced their new logo. It is basically the same, but the pirate flag on the helmet is much bigger. Too big according some who have seen it.
2/20/14: Lovie Smith is not known for being an offensive genius, but he sure can coach up a defense. In his time in Chicago, the Bears never really had a dominant offense, despite having some gifted playmakers like Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall. However, the offensive line - particularly in Smith's later years with the Bears - were not very good. One of those lineman was 2011 first round pick Gabe Carimi. Carimi was cut by the Bears in 2013, and played most of last season with Tampa. Apparently, Lovie has seen all he ever wants to of Carimi and released him last week. Carimi was then signed by the Falcons.
2/13/14: It has been a few weeks since the Dolphins hired Dennis Hickey, the longtime Bucs personnel man and number two in personnel services, as their GM. In the days immediately following the hire, it was reported that Hickey was about to be fired by the Bucs (his boss, former GM Mark Dominic was fired). Now comes reports actually praising Hickey for his work in Tampa and picking up good players. That would seem to mesh with the fact that he spent 18 years with the team. You simply cannot go that long without being at least somewhat competent in your job.
2/6/14: Tampa's past few years have been wiped clean and the team is starting fresh. New head coach Lovie Smith has put together a great staff that includes defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. Lovie is loved locally from when he was an assistant defensive coach during the Tony Dungy days (before leaving to be the DC of the St. Louis Rams). Cornerback Derrelle Revis will be fully healthy, making this a defense to reckon with next season. They could be the next NFC South champions, even with Carolina, New Orleans, and a revamped Atlanta.
1/30/14: What does a guy have to do to get some recognition around here? That must be what director of personnel Dennis Hickey was saying after he was not even considered for the open GM position after Mark Dominic was fired. Hickey has been with the Bucs for 18 years, gradually working his way through the team through good and bad years. Hickey finally left the Bucs and was hired by in-state rival Miami as their GM last week. Time will tell if it is a good hire for Miami or not, but the Bucs are losing a quality personnel guy.
1/23/14: Fourteen years ago, Tampa was a center of NFL excellence. For those that do not remember, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were pretty much a laughingstock for the first quarter century of existence. However, the 1999 season was different. The Bucs had the best defense in football (one of the best in history) and took on the St. Louis Rams in the NFC Championship game (one of the best offenses in history). It was an epic battle that the Rams won (they won the Super Bowl two weeks later). But set the stage for the Bucs Super Bowl win a few years later.
1/16/14: Give props to Lovie Smith. He sat out of football last season after being fired by the Chicago Bears. Apparently, he was busy assembling a new coaching staff. Since being hired by the Bucs less than two weeks ago, he already has former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford on board as OC (he developed Aaron Rodgers) as well as Leslie Frazier as DC. Fraizer was on Tony Dungy's staff in Indianapolis, just like Smith was on Dungy's staff in Tampa - so they are going to run the same Cover 2 (or, as locally known, Tampa 2) defense. Nice start, Lovie.
1/9/14: The Bucs did not waste much time in hiring a replacement for head coach Greg Schiano. Tampa moved quickly and hired former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Smith had nine successful years in Chicago which included a Super Bowl appearance. Smith was defensive backs coach in Tampa in the late 1990's, so he is familiar with the organization. He is assembling his staff quickly as well. It looks like former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier will be the defensive coordinator and fomer Cal head coach Jeff Tedford will be the offensive coordinator. Good moves all around for Tampa.
1/2/14: The day after Tampa's regular season ended the team fired both head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik. Schiano said he was surprised by the firing, saying that he expected to start working on next season. Schiano may be in line to replace Bill O'Brien at Penn State, should O'Brien leave. Schiano was a very good college coach at Rutgers, so he may well have a soft landing. The Bucs are looking for a new head coach now, and there is a lot of talk that Lovie Smith will get the job. Smith was a position coach with the Bucs in the late 1990's and early 2000's before he became the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, then head coach for the Chicago Bears.
12/26/13: Most people probably do not consider Tampa vs. St. Louis much of a rivalry, but rest assured there is a lot of long lingering hate between the two teams and fan bases. It dates back to the 1999 season when the Rams beat the Bucs in the NFC Conference Championship Game. More precisely, when Bucs' WR Bert Emmanuel dropped a key pass late in the game (it was a drop). Once again, the Rams got the best of the Bucs, which makes the seat for head coach Greg Schiano even hotter. Tampa finishes up the season at New Orleans with a chance to play spoiler.
12/19/13: After starting the season 0-7, the Bucs are looking better, but they were simply outmatched against the San Francisco 49ers at home last Sunday. The 49ers won 33-14 in a romp and severely limited the Bucs offense. Tampa tried to get back into the game and made it 20-14 early in the fourth quarter before San Francisco pulled away. The 49ers took away the Bucs' running game, as Tampa's leading rusher was Bobby Rainy who only managed 27 yards. Tampa now sits at 4-10 on the season and will face another tough defense in St. Louis (6-8) this Sunday.
12/12/13: They say winning cures everything, and that is proving true in Tampa. The Bucs win over the Buffalo Bills last Sunday improved their record to 4-9. That is generally not a good mark, but considering they lost their first eight games and have won four of their last five - it is much better. The turnaround may be enough to save Greg Schiano's head coaching job. Certainly the calls for his head in Tampa have slowed down, and it looks like upper management will wait until the end of the season to make a decision. Tough one this week as the Bucs host the 49ers.
12/5/13: The season started terribly for the Bucs but it has gotten better. Unfortunately, they ran into the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, and the Panthers are on a serious roll. Carolina completely dominated the game and kept rookie QB Mike Glennon guessing all day in 27-6 game. The loss ensured that the Bucs would have another losing season. The good news for Tampa fans is that the team is buying into head coach Greg Schiano's plan. They have played well of late and that is reminiscent of former Bucs teams. Tampa (3-9) hosts Buffalo (4-8) this Sunday.
11/28/13: Tampa is the resurgent team of the second half so far. After starting the season at 0-7, the Bucs have won their last three outings, most recently scoring an impressive 24-21 road win over the Lions. The wins have settled down the 'Fire Schiano' noise, at least temporarily. Tampa did get a bit of a break at the end of the game when Calvin Johnson dropped a pass that Tampa intercepted (their fourth INT of the day). We'll see how good the new Bucs are when they head to Charlotte to face the 8-3 Panthers, who have won seven in a row.
11/21/13: Its officially a winning streak. Tampa dispatched the dysfunctional Miami Dolphins in Week 10 in the Monday Night Game, and just knocked off the depleted Atlanta Falcons in Week 11 for their second win of the season. The Bucs put 41 points on the board including 21 in the second quarter alone. QB Mike Glennon threw for 231 yards and two TDs while Vincent Jackson had 165 yards receiving and a score. Bobby Rainey came out of nowhere for 163 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Tampa (2-8) wll put their two game winning streak on the line at Detroit (6-4) this Sunday.
11/14/13: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned their first victory of the seasson by defeating the Miami Dolphins 22-19 last Monday Night. The win allowed the Bucs to avoid starting 0-9 for the fifth time in their history. Tampa has been close several times this season, even taking the Seahawks to overtime in Seattle the previous week. Miami may have been distracted by the bullying situation which has taken 40% of their offensive line off the field for the time being. Tampa becomes the last team in the league to win a game this season, but only time will tell if it is enough to save head coach Greg Schiano's job.
11/7/13: Moral victories do not count for much in the NFL, but Tampa can probably take one from last Sunday. The Bucs fell to the Seahawks, in Seattle, 27-24 in overtime. That is pretty impressive for a winless team against the best team in the NFC. Tampa rushed out to a 21 point lead behind good play calling and excellent running by Michael James (28 carries for 158 yards). Unfortunately, they could not hold on to their lead and Seattle came back in the second half and won the game in overtime. Tampa is not as bad as their record, but they may have to win a few games down the stretch to save head coach Greg Schiano's job.
10/31/13: It looks like a Dead Man Walking scenario in Tampa with head coach Greg Schiano. After last Thursday's overwhelming loss to the Carolina Panthers on national television, combined with reports of unhappy players and former players, and even a local radio station purchasing 19 billboards to say 'Fire Schiano', it looks like the coach has worn out his welcome in Tampa. The Bucs were simply overpowered in the Panthers' game and do not show any signs of life. Tampa has nine games left on its season, and Schiano knows as well as anyone that only wins will quell the storm against him.
10/24/13: Greg Schiano's reign of terror in Tampa continues. It may seem like the other NFC South teams pitched in to get Schiano in Tampa, now that the team has lost 11 of their last 12 games, are 0-6 on the season and have only scored 87 points in those six games. The latest loss was 31-23 at the hands of the host Atlanta Falcons, who had only one one game before last Sunday and are decimated by injuries. The only bright spot was 138 yards receiving and two touchdowns by Vincent Jackson. Tampa will work on a short week as they have the Thursday Night Game at home against the Carolina Panters (3-3).
10/17/13: The season keeps getting longer for the Bucs, and they lost again. The Philadelphia Eagles came to town and kept the Bucs winless with a 31-20 showing. The big matchup going into the game was Tampa cornerback Darelle Revis against Eagles' wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson got the better of the matchup on this day with two touchdowns on six reception. Tampa's new QB, Mike Glennon, was not bad in his second start. He had 273 yards passing and two TDs to Vincent Jackson. At this point, though, the Bucs are simply outmanned. Tampa heads to Atlanta (2-3) to try to get their first win of the season this Sunday.
10/10/13: The Bucs are the train wreck that everyone is enjoying watching. However, they did get themselves free of their biggest distraction on their bye week. Tampa released QB Josh Freeman after no one was willing to trade for him. The Bucs owe Freeman the balance of his salary for the years, about $6.2 million to go away. It is not a move the team wanted to make, but the NFLPA is investigating how the team handled the entire situation so it was probably deemed best to cut their losses. Freeman signed with Minnesota and will collect another $2 million from the Vikings this season. Tampa (0-4) is back in Week 6 hosting the Eagles (2-3).
10/3/13: The Bucs are just finding ways to lose now. Tampa made the much publicized move to bench starting QB Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. The results did not change as the Bucs dropped to 0-4 with a 13-10 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals. Tampa had a 10-0 lead at halftime but could not muster any offense at all in the second half. Glennon threw for 193 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs in his debut and looked like Freeman with a different number. Tampa has to figure out what they will do with Freeman. He wants out of the organization but is guaranteed over $6 million for the rest of the season. There may not be much of a market for him now unless another QB gets hurt. Tampa has a bye in Week 5.
9/26/13: These are not good days for Bucs fans. The team is 0-3 and there are plenty of reports about discord between the players and head coach Greg Schiano. The latest loss came on the road to New England, where it looked like the Bucs did not put up any sort of fight. Worse yet, star wide receiver Vincent Jackson left the game early with an injury. QB Josh Freeman seems to be buckling under the pressure and may do well with a fresh start elsewhere. Tampa gets back home for Week 4. They host the Arizona Cardinals (1-2) on Sunday. Another loss may be the end of Schiano's tenure in Tampa or may send Freeman to the bench for Mike Glennon.
9/19/19: Just two weeks into the season and the Bucs look like they are in shambles. The team is 0-2, losing again in the final minutes to the 2-0 New Orleans Saints. The team is fragmented, apparently between players and coaches. There have been several instances to be reported of disharmony, though the team contiually denies all of them. Winning would help bond the team, and they need it. The team is 1-7 in their past eight game - putting head coach Greg Schiano on the hot seat. Tampa travels to New England this Sunday, which is not traditionally a good place to get healthy.
9/12/13: The Buccaneers entered the season with what most people thought was a gimme game. They opened against the Jets and their maligned offense. The left with an unfathonable loss leading to more questions about the team than answers. Tampa committed 13 penalties in the 18-17 defeat, including a late hit with just seconds remaining that put the Jets in range to hit the winning field goal. WR Vincent Jackson did manage 154 yards receiving, and Darrelle Revis played 53 snaps on defense. The Bucs get a chance to regroup this Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints.
9/4/13: If you are trying to rebuild your secondary, there is no better way than to play against what may be the worst offense in the league, who is starting an overwhelmed rookie in Week One. It also helps that your new star cornerback was their cornerback for years, and that will help in game planning. That is the case for the Bucs this week as they open the 2013 season against the New York Jets and rookie QB Geno Smith. Darrelle Revis is expected to start on Sunday, as is star running back Doug Martin. The Bucs should win this one and be able to get off on a good start this season.
8/29/13: Former Vikings great quarterback Fran Tarkenton went on Tampa area radio and said that Bucs QB Josh Freeman was 'god-awful' and could not play at all. Naturally the Bucs defended their player, though it does speak volumes that the team has not extended his contract, putting him in a position to earn a new contract this season. The early returns are not promising. Freeman has looked rattled in the preseason and is not on the same page as his receivers. Freeman has shown great potential at times, but one has to wonder if the team is simply grooming the backup at this point.
8/22/13: The Bucs look like they avoided a big bullet this past week when star running back Doug Martin left the preseason game against the Patriots with a head injury. Martin took a knee to his helmet on a block. The obvious concern was for a concussion. Fortunately, Martin passed all the concussion tests and came out and said he did not have a concussion. He may be held out for a bit, but he is expected back for the regular season. Tampa needs him to follow up on his rookie campaign and take pressure off of QB Josh Freeman if the offense is to be successful.
8/15/13: The Bucs may have the right to call 'Shenanigans' on the San Francicso 49ers. A few weeks ago, the Bucs agreed to trade cornerback Eric Wright to San Francisco for a conditional draft pick. The 49ers said Wright failed his phycical and voided the trade. The Bucs then cut Wright. San Francisco then signed Wright as a free agent last week. Is it possible that Wright met the physical in only three weeks? Chances are that no one will ever know, but Tampa may have reason for a grievance against the 49ers, and this may hurt San Francisco's ability to negotiate in good faith in the future.
8/8/13: The Bucs added running back Peyton Hillis to the roster last week. This is interesting because it was not that long ago that Hillis was considered one of the better power rushing backs in the game, but it took a long time this summer for him to find a team. Second year RB Doug Martin is the starter, and Hillis joins two others vying for the backup role. If Hillis gets on the field, he is sure to be a fan favorite in Tampa. The Bucs' fans loved, even adored, Mike Alstott back in the day, and will give Hillis the same kind of love. That is, unless he fumbles on the one yard line and the team loses to the Saints.
8/1/13: If you go into Raymond James Stadium this season, you are still likely to see Mike Alstot jerseys among the few people that still go to Bucs games. Alstot was a fan favorite for many years and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2002. Alstot is not walking back through that door, but the team did sign Peyton Hillis - who is probably the closest thing to Alstot these days. Hillis will provide a safety net for the Pocket Hampster and should get the crowd excited with his 'go through anybody' style of play. Maybe not the sexiest signing, but one that will make the Bucs faithful happy this season.
7/25/13: The Buccaneers can avoid all criticism on the trade of cornerback Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers last week. The Bucs disclosed to the 49ers that Wright had been arrested for suspicion of DUI on July 12, just days before the trade. It was the right thing to do for the team, both ethically and legally. There is no word on if the arrest had anything to do with the trade or not. Now it is in the hands of the 49ers to defend themselves from any attacks of taking a 'risky' or 'problem' player knowingly.
7/18/13: Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams sent out a cryptic Tweet last week which many interpretted as his frustration with the organization to get a long term deal finished. A month ago, Williams indicated that a deal was close, but it has yet to be finalized. Now the WR has changed his tune and says he is not frustrated. He also said that anyone who believes he is frustrated is just reading between the lines. That may be so, but then do not send out a public message complaining about the process if you do not want it to be scrutinized.
7/11/13: Many believe that a successful season for the Bucs depends on the secondary. The team, last season, was adequate on offense - certainly running back Doug Martin is a solid player. They also ranked first on defense against the run, but last on defense against the pass. They have made significant upgrades to the secondary and it may even be a point of strength this season with Darelle Revis. Oddly enough, running back may be a concern. There is nothing proven after Doug Martin as LeGarrett Blount is now gone. It is not unreasonable to think the Bucs may sign a veteran for depth before training camp.
7/4/13: New pro football hall of famer Warren Sapp said that he thinks his former team mate and defensive lineman Simeon Rice should be in the Hall of Fame before the Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan. That view is shared by perhaps the city of Tampa, but in few other places. Of all people, former Giants running back Tiki Barber defended Strahan. This is interesting only because Tiki was highly critical of the Giants just after he left the team. To see him defend his former teammate may indicate that he has come to grips with his career. Also, he is probably right in this situation.
6/27/13: The Bucs do not have the reputation of Washington or Dallas of spending big money. They have been notoriously cheap in their existence, and that may have cost them some key players at times. So it is amusing that they may face a huge liability for violating the "Junk Fax" law. Apparently, the team sent out 180,000 faxes trying to sell tickets. If they are in violation of faxing 'junk' or 'spam', then they could face a $500 per fax fine. That is $90 million. If they are found to have knowingly violated the law, that amount could be tripled. The team itself may not be worth $270 million (of course it is). This may be worth watching as it proceeds through the legal system.
6/20/13: When you give up an average of about 300 yards per game in the air and are ranked last in passing defense, you try to improve in that area. The Bucs did that by trading for cornerback Darrelle Revis and signing safety Dashon Golden - both of whom are pro bowl players. They also drafted cornerback Johnathan Banks out of Mississippi State in the second round. Banks has been terrific in workouts so far - so he may end up starting opposite Revis. That means that incumbent Eric Wright would be the third corner, and may be looking for work elsewhere at some time.
6/13/13: The Bucs took a big risk and paid a big price by trading with the Jets for Darrelle Revis. Revis tore his ACL in a game against Miami last season. He has been doing his rehab and is on track for a recovery on time. The team is actually fully confident that he will be available for training camp and will not miss any regular season time. He has been running and cutting in workouts, so he should be good to go. Incidentally, the Bucs open up against Revis' former team the New York Jets in Week 1 of the season.
6/6/13: Some good news out Tampa. General Manager Mark Dominic and some prominent players will shave their heads in support of, and to raise awareness of, pediatric cancer. The GM is already on board, but the names of the players and others who may go bald have not been released. The team website promises that 'prominent players' will be involved. The head shaving will occur on Friday, May 7th. In a league where arrests, bankruptcy, and violence so often dominate the headlines, it is nice to see a positive story come out, and for a very worth cause.
5/30/13: Buc's left tackle Donald Penn has been a cornerstone since the John Gruden era. He has been a strong player, and is paid over $6 million per year to protect Josh Freeman (or whoever head coach Greg Schiano decides will play quarterback). At age 30, his job may be in danger. He struggles with his weight and has exceeded his contractually obligated weight restrictions. There has also been concerns about his work ethic. Since he was a holdover from the previous regime, this may be a year that he has to prove himself to Schiano in order to stay with the Bucs.
5/23/13: The Bucs are going to try to downplay it, but they may have a quarterback controversy on their hands. Of course, they are fortunate enough that the Jets are a complete quarterbacking trainwreck and will take most of the media attention. But new draftee Mike Glennon from North Carolina State has publicly come out with his bravado to be the starting quarterback. Incumbent Josh Freeman is on thin ice with head coach Greg Schiano, and is only signed through this season. This year may be a tryout for both QBs, with the winner staying on the team.
5/16/13: Tampa Bay just lost perhaps the greatest Buccaneer of all time, Ronde Barber. Barber is retiring now, but has spent his entire 16 year career with the franchise. He, along with Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, and John Lynch (under the guidance of former head coach Tony Dungy and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin) built the Bucs from laughingstock to the best defense in the league - and eventually Super Bowl Champions. Barber made five Pro-Bowls and was All-Pro three times. Barber had a great career and may end up in Canton in just a few years from now.
5/9/13: The Bucs fans have always love Warren Sapp. They loved his trash talk, his swagger, and the way he terrorized opposing quarterbacks for years. Sapp anchored the Tampa defensive line from 1995-2003, made six pro bowls, won defensive player of the year, and even won a Super Bowl in 2002. Tampa lucked out in 1995 when Sapp's draft stock fell for marijuana use. The Jets passed on him and booed the Kyle Brady pick (always classy). Sapp is now a commentator on NFL Network. The Bucs are planning on retiring his number this year, number 99.
5/2/13: Tampa did not have a first round pick this year, trading away their No. 13 slot to the New York Jets for Darrelle Revis. The Bucs needed help in the secondary, considering they had the worst pass defense in the league last year. So considering Revis a number one pick, and the selection of Johnathan Banks (cornerback, Ole Miss) with the 11th pick of the second round, they improved the secondary. Tampa also selected NC State QB Mike Glennon in the third round. HC Greg Schiano is not sold on incumbant Josh Freeman, and this certainly makes Freeman play to keep his job this year.
4/25/13: The speculation is finally over as the Buccaneers and Jets finally finished up their trade for Darrelle Revis. The two teams have been talking about a deal for a number of weeks, and most experts believed (correctly) that it was just a matter of time. On Sunday, the sides agreed to ship Revis to Tampa in exchange for the Buc's first round pick (No. 13 overall) this week, and a conditional third or fourth rounder next year. Revis' presence will immediately help a poor, poor secondary that was simply the worst in the entire league last year.
4/18/13: Tampa still does not have the services of current Jets corner back Darrell Revis, at least not yet. But Revis is in New York for 'voluntary' workouts. Though everyone knows the real reason he is there is to collect his million dollar bonus. He did pass an MRI and has been cleared to run on his surgically repaired knee. Many peoople think that this may the last week that Revis is a Jet, and that he does have a deal worked out with Tampa for a long term contract at the money he wants. New York would be smart to trade him now, while he still has some value.
4/11/13: Tampa is still trying to get Darrelle Revis, the all pro corner back, from the New York Jets. Revis is balking at returning to the Jets facility for offseason workouts, preferring to stay and continue his rehab in Arizona. The Jets want him at the facility and are holding a reported $3 million workout bonus over his head. Tampa reportedly is now willing to surrender their first round pick to get Revis, but now the Jets want more. No one knows how this will exactly play out, but there is a good chance that Revis is shoring up a weak Bucs' secondary come September.
4/4/13: The Bucs need help in the secondary. Of that we can all agree. Tampa was at the bottom of the league statistically in terms of receptions and yards per catch allowed. They traded away their best cornerback, Aqib Talib, to the Patriots mid season because of off field issues. And losing him showed in the play. Now, they are trying to restructure cornerback Eric Wright's contract to avoid paying him nearly $8 million next season. There are still rumors of a Darrelle Revis trade, but if that were to happen, it probably would not occur until closer to the NFL draft.
3/28/13: The single legacy that former Buc's head coach Raheem Morris left was quarterback Josh Freeman. Morris and Freeman were both with Kansas State University at the same time, so Morris had a pretty good knowledge of Freeman. Then Morris was hired as the Buc's defensive backs coach. Then was quickly promoted to defensive coordinator when Monte Kiffen left. Then the team fired head coach John Gruden - all within a span of a few months. Tampa named Morris the head coach and he drafted Freeman. However, current head coach Greg Schiano is not married to Freeman, so the QB has one year to prove he is the man for the job.
3/21/13: The Bucs made a big splash last year by signing former San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson to a large multi-year free agent contract. His agreement is valued at $55,555,555.55 as a tribute to QB Josh Freeman who wears number 5. That signing worked out well. The Bucs traded their top cornerback Aqub Talib to the Patriots after yet another off field incident. Now they are trying to trade for Jets cornerback Darrell Revis. Revis wants a new deal (since it has been about 10 minutes since his last new deal), but so far there is no trade.
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3/14/13: Tampa wasted no time targeting the player they wanted. Once it came out that Dashon Goldson and the San Francisco 49ers could not reach a long term deal, the Bucs laid out the red carpet. The team sent their private jet to bring Goldson to Tampa on the first day of free agency and had him signed the following day. The safety signed a five year deal with the Bucs. He is nicknamed the "Hawk" because of his ball hawking ability, including 14 interceptions over the past four years as a starter. His presence immediately improves the worst secondary in the league and will help the Bucs compete against all the QBs in the NFC South.
3/7/13: Tampa has been conspicuously non-committal about the quarterback position next season. Head coach Greg Schiano did not fully endorse incumbant Josh Freeman last season. Freeman, through his agent, met with the team last week to discuss an extension, and the talks were characterized as "very productive". Freeman is entering the final year of his rookie contract. If the Bucs do not extend him, then they could franchise tag him next offseason, but that would cost an estimated $20 million for one season. If no deal gets done, then Freeman may be on a one year audition to save his job.
2/21/13: Tampa defensive end Da'Quan Bowers was arrested trying to board a plane in New York with a handgun in his carry-on baggage. Bowers is to be charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weopon in the second degree. This is the same charge that New York convicted Plaxico Burress on a few years ago, and he spent a couple years in prison. The big difference is that Burress shot himself and tried to cover up the injury while Bowers was just trying to board a plane. He could not have picked a worse place to do that in New York, and only time will tell if it derails his football career.
2/14/13: Tampa holds five of the first 125 picks in the NFL draft, and there is a strong feeling that defensive help will be the focus. The Bucs had the worst pass defense in the league, and only got worse after they traded Aqib Talib, their best cornerback, to the Patriots for a fourth round pick. They hired Tony Oden as the new defensive backs coach, making him the most important man at One Buccaneers Place for the next twelve months. Tampa looks like they will let QB Josh Freemen play through the end of his rookie contract and reassess whether he will be with the team long-term at the end of the 2013 season.
2/7/13: Tampa hired Tony Oden as the defensive backs coach. He replaces Ron Cooper who went across town to take the same position at University of South Florida (which is poorly named because Tampa is in west Florida). Oden served as DB coach for one year in Jacksonville. The Tampa job will be difficult. The secondary was routinely torched for big plays and the team traded away their best cornerback, Aqib Talib, to the Patriots for a fourth round pick after one too many off field incidents. There is some talent there, but the Bucs really need to rebuild the secondary as a whole.
1/31/13: Less than a decade ago the Bucs were known for an intense defense that featured Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, and John Lynch. These days their offense is getting more publicity. Vincent Jackson, the wide receiver signed in free agency, had a Pro Bowl year and put up great numbers. So, too, did rookie running back Doug Martin. There may be some question whether or not Josh Freeman is the long-term answer at QB, but it is the defense that the team has to address during the draft. Most notably, get some defensive backs so the opposition doesn't throw for 400 yards per game.
1/24/13: Vincent Jackson is headed to the Pro Bowl. Jackson fled San Diego primarily because his contract disputes with former GM A.J. Smith. He signed with Tampa last offseason and had an excellent season without any bad feelings toward management. Jackson is taking Detroit's all-world receiver Calvin Johnson's place on the NFC squad. Johnson is skipping the Pro-Bowl citing injury. By any stretch, Tampa getting a nod for a WR is cause to celebrate. Their most famous WR to date is probably Burt Emmanuel, who dropped a critical pass agains the Rams in the 1999-2000 NFC Championship Game.
1/17/13: The Bucs were 6-4 going into week 12. That put them in prime place for a wild card spot. Atlanta was routing the league at the time, so there was no real chance to win the NFC South, but three or four more wins would put them in strong position - especially when they had Panthers, Eagles, and Rams still on the slate. But the team faltered and los five of their last six. Now the Bucs need to assess their offseason needs. It all starts in the secondary. They had enough of Aqib Talib's offfield issues and traded him to New England. Anyone and everyone threw on Tampa, so solidfying the cornerback and safety positions must be priority one.
1/10/13: The Buccaneers drafted quarterback Josh Freeman in the first round with the intention of making him the franchise quarterback. Freeman will enter the final year of his rookie contract, but Tampa has no plans on discussing an extention at this time. In fact, Head Coach Greg Schiano has stated that he plans to bring in some competition at the QB position. The Bucs could elect to use their Franchise Tag on Freeman after next season, though that amount is currently estimated at $17 million. Expect Freeman to be on the roster next season, but maybe not as the starting quarterback.
1/3/13: Tampa finished up their season on a highnote, defeating their division rival Atlanta 22-17 in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons decided to play their starters in an effort to get the win even though they had already secured a bye week. Josh Freeman returned to form with 222 yards passing and touchdown, while Doug Martin rushed for over 140 yards and a score. Unlike last season, this team did not quit even when the losses started piling up. The Bucs were a wild card contender midway through the season, and look to be competitive in the 2013 season.
12/27/12: The Buc's turnover problems continued against the St. Louis Rams, which they paid for with a loss. The Rams forced four Josh Freeman interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Freeman threw for 372 yards and one touchdown, and wide receivers Mike Willams (132 yards, 1 TD) and Vincent Jackson (108 yards) both had big days. But ultimately the Rams defense was too much for the Bucs, who fell to 6-9 on the year and will play Atlanta in a meaningless game thiscoming Sunday to finish out the regular season.
12/20/12: Tampa was in the mix for a playoff spot a few weeks ago, but bad losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saintsended that dream. Last Sunday, the Bucs went to the Big Easy in what was expected to be a high scoring affair. It was, but was tremendously one-sided, as the Saints shut out the Bucs 41-0. Quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 279 yards, but had four interceptions, while LaGarrette Blount led the team in rushing with a paltry 25 yards. Super rookie Doug Martin managed only 16 yards on 9 attempts. The Bucs return home to face the St. Louis Rams, in a rematch of a classic NFC Championship Game from the 1999 season.
12/13/12: Tampa's faint playoff hopes likely died on Sunday when Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin caught the game winning touchdown as time expired. Tampa rallied from an early deficit to take a 21-10 lead late in the third quarter. But Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles drove the Eagles for two late touchdowns to steal a victory. The loss stunned the Bucs and it remains to be seen how the young team will react the rest of the season. Tampa's next game is Sunday at New Orleans, where the Saints are also realizing that they will probably not make the playoffs. But despite the records, these teams do not like each other, so expect another NFC South classic.
12/6/12: Perhaps the Bucs are just a year early. Tampa has been competitive all season, but the Denver Broncos simply had too much firepower for the young squad. The 31-23 loss ensured that the NFC South crown will go to Atlanta, as well and solidifying the Broncos as the AFC West champs. Josh Freeman threw from 242 yards and two TDs, but Doug Martin could only manage 56 yards on 18 carries against the stout Denver defense. Tampa still has a shot at a wild card position, and that starts next week when they host the struggling Eagles.
11/29/12: The Bucs have a very unusual team. The offense has been putting points on the board at a pace unprecedented for this franhise. The defense is among the best against the run, but is among the worst agaist the pass. Trading troubled cornerback Aqib Talib may be good in the long run, but right now they could use his cover skills. Tampa gave NFC South leader Atlanta all they could handle, and even had chances to win before falling 24-23. Tampa is still in the mix for a wild card spot, but needs a big victory in Denver this week.
11/22/12: The Bucs just keep winning, this time against divisional foe Carolina. The Tampa offense has clicked in the past three weeks, scoring over 27 against Oakland, San Diego and Carolina - including 42 against the Raiders. Quarterback Josh Freeman is showing the skills that made him a first round pick a few years ago, free agent signing Vincent Jackson is earning his keep, and rookie running back Doug Martin is showing that he may be the best first year rusher in the league. At 6-4, the Bucs will not catch the Falcons for the division, but have a strong chance of making the playoffs as a wild card.
11/15/12: The Bucs have been known for their defense since Tony Dungy was named coach in the early 1990's. Sure, there were some down years (like the 2011 campaign) where the defense was a liability, but on the whole, Tampa is known as a defensive team. So where is the recent offensive explosion coming from? The team is consistently topping 30 points, Josh Freeman looks sharp, Vincent Jackson is earning his contract, and Doug Martin is the best rookie running back this season. Tampa downed San Diego 34-24 last Sunday, but now must host the Falcons, who are coming off their first loss of the season.
11/8/12: Rookie running back Doug Martin single-handedly disected Oakland Raiders to the tune of 251 yards rushing and four touchdowns on Sunday. It was the largest rushing total in franchse victory, and led the Bucs to a 42-32 win over their Super Bowl opponent a several years ago. Martin had three touchdowns of over 45 yards in one half, a new NFL record, including one that went for 70 yards. The Buccaneers return to Tampa this week for a 1:00 pm game against the San Diego Chargers; a game that has Wild Card implications for both teams.
11/1/12: Well, no one saw this coming. The Bucs have historically struggled to score points, and this year was no exception. Then they got into a shootout against New Orleans in Week 7, which was considered a fluke because the Saints simply refuse to play defense. But the Bucs followed it up by dropping 36 points on Minnesota in the Thursday night game. And Minnesota does play defense. Rookie running back Doug Martin led the way with 214 yards (both rushing and receiving) and two touchdowns. Tampa can now afford to take a few extra days off before traveling to Oakland in Week 9.
10/18/12: The Bucs used their bye week well and rebounded from a disapointing last minute loss to Washington in Week 4 with a 38-10 thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs. Tampa controlled the game from the onset, and Josh Freeman threw for 328 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Meanwhile, the Bucs defense smothered one of the league's best runningbacks, allowing Jamaal Charles only 40 yards on 12 carries. Tampa forced Brady Quinn to beat them, and he couldn't. Tampa is now 2-3, well behind the 6-0 Falcons, and hosts New Orleans in a division game this Sunday.
10/4/12: The Greg Schiano magic is quickly fading. After upsetting the Carolina Panthers in the opener, the Bucs have dropped the last three. They should have beaten the Washington Redskins in week 4, but allowed Robert Griffin III to build his Rookie of the Year credentials by allowing him to walk down the field and set up a game winning field goal at the end of the game. Tampa has week 5 off, which may be for the best. They need to rest up, practice, and regroup for two winnable games against Kansas City and New Orleans.
8/16/12: The big news out of Chargers camp is the broken collerbone of expected starting running back Ryan Matthews. Matthews has missed game time in every season of his career, and was already in danger of getting the dreaded fragile tag. This time, he got injured on his first play, and looks to be out four to six weeks. The injury could be very damaging for the Chargers and their fans, as well as the legions of fantasy football owners who drafted Matthews in the first round. The load will shift to Ronnie Brown, who is having a terrific training camp, and is fresh from essentially having last year off.
8/2/12: The Bucs are a lot of people's sleeper team for the 2012 season, but are still garnering a lot of attention. Rookie head coach Greg Schiano has been cited for running a much tougher camp than most in an attempt to change the culture at One Buccaneers Place - by all accounts, he is succeeding. One of the more interesting training camp battles is incumbant LeGarrette Blount vs. rookie (and first round pick) Doug Martin at running back. Martin is a small-tough Ray Rice-type who is having a great camp. Blount is more of a power back who has fallen out of favor with the fans. The reality is that they complement each other and could be a great combination.
7/26/12: Its tough to figure out where RB LaGarrett Blount fits into the Buc's plans these days. Tampa drafted Doug Martin, whom head coach Greg Schiano compares to Ray Rice, to be the primary ball carrier, though Martin rarely had 25 or more touches while at Boise State. Blount burst onto the scene in 2010 as a powerful back. Overtime, he fell out of favor with coaches and fans because of limited receiving abilities, not knowing the playbook, and fumble issues. He slimmed down for this season and still on the roster for now. Blount has talent, and if he has improved his weaknesses, could be a great complement for Martin.
5/22/12: Tampa Bay traded tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to Seattle for a conditional late round pick. The Seahawks are Winslow's third team in the last three years. He was drafted 6th overall by Cleveland after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Miami. Winslow has had a solid if unspectacular pro career. This past season, he led th Bucs with 75 receptions and 763 yards, but scored only two touchdowns. The trade comes just days after he told a radio program that new coach Greg Schiano was 'kind of upset' that he was not working out with the team. Tampa signed Dallas Clark to replace him.
5/16/12: Not too long ago, the Buccaneers boasted the most feared defense in the league. That unit, led by Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, and Warren Sapp, popularized Cover 2 (Tampa 2), laid the blueprint for slowing (no one could stop) the Greatest Show on Turf of the St. Louis Rams, and won a Superbowl. A decade later, being on this unit is a fearful proposition. Second-round pick from 2011, defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, tore his right Achilles tendon and is lost for the upcoming season. Last season Andrew Economos tore an Achilles. DT Gerrald McCoy, tore his left and right biceps in each of the past two seasons.
5/11/12: The big signing this week at One Buc Place was not star wide receiver Vincent Jackson or All-Pro Guard Carl Nicks, or even either first round draft picks Mark Barron or Doug Martin. It was the ceremonial contract for Eric LeGuard. Rookie head coach Greg Schiano coache LeGuard at Rutgers when he was tragically paralyzed in 2010. Schiano is trying to change the culture in Tampa afte the team quit on former coach Raheem Morris last year, while losing their last 10 games. Schiano is off to a good start, not only by improving the talent level, but also by running one of the toughest minicamps in the NFL.
5/3/12: Rumors contend that the Bucs were interested in trading from the #5 spot with Minnesota in order to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the third overall pick in the draft. The Vikings ultimately traded with Cleveland. Tampa swapped with Jacksonville and picked up the #7 overall pick, which it used on safety Mark Barron from Alabama. Tampa traded back into the end of the first round to grab a running back, this time it was Boise State tailback Doug Martin to complement, if not replace, incumbant LaGarrett Blount. Tampa continue to bolster their defense with two linebackers and a cornerback in later rounds.
5/2/12 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed paralyzed player and former Rutgers lineman Eric Legrand. Current Tampa Bay coach, Greg Schiano, was Legrand's former coach at Rutgers. The former defensive tackle for Rutgers University was paralyzed from the neck down in October 2010, when he broke two vertebrae in a game against Army. Schiano often visited Legrand during his recovery and has supported him since he was injured. The Bucs coach called the signing a "small gesture
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Tampa Bay Buccaneers First Game 2013
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Regular Season Last Game 2013
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 San Francisco 49ers 33 - 14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dec 8, 2013 Buffalo Bills 6 - 27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dec 1, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 - 27 Carolina Panthers Nov 24, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 - 21 Detroit Lions Nov 17, 2013 Atlanta Falcons 28 - 41 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov 3, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 - 27 Seattle Seahawks Oct 13, 2013 Philadelphia Eagles 31 - 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 29, 2013 Arizona Cardinals 13 - 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 22, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 - 23 New England Patriots Sep 15, 2013 New Orleans Saints 16 - 14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 8, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 - 18 New York Jets Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Washington Redskins 30 - 12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aug 24, 2013 Preseason: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 - 16 Miami Dolphins Aug 16, 2013 Preseason: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 - 25 New England Patriots Aug 8, 2013 Preseason: Baltimore Ravens 44 - 16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aug 28, 2014 Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 7, 2014 Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 14, 2014 St. Louis Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sep 18, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons Sep 28, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Pittsburgh Steelers Oct 5, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints Oct 12, 2014 Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct 26, 2014 Minnesota Vikings vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov 2, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns Nov 9, 2014 Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov 16, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Washington Redskins Nov 23, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Chicago Bears Nov 30, 2014 Cincinnati Bengals vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dec 7, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Detroit Lions Dec 14, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers Dec 21, 2014 Green Bay Packers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dec 28, 2014 New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers