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Bucs announce in stadium Tim McGraw concert prior to opener

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Bucs are giving something back to their paying customers for their opening game on September 8th with the 49ers. That’s when for the first time ever, the team will host an in-stadium concert prior to playing a regular-season game.

The team announced Monday afternoon to the country music Superstar Tim McGraw will play a concert on the South plaza inside of Raymond James Stadium prior to kickoff. This as part of the “NFL Fantenniel Celebration,” commemorating 100 years of pro football:

McGraw (shown above at April’s NFL Draft in Nashville, TN)  is one of the most successful male country music acts of the last 30 years. That includes: a male record 43 number one hits, three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 11 more Country Music Association (CMA) awards for his work.

In a statement released by the Buccaneers McGraw said,

“The start of the NFL season is one of my favorite times of the year,” said McGraw. “I love football and I’m pumped to be kicking off the NFL’s 100th season together with all the Bucs fans in Tampa.”

Meanwhile, as for the unprecedented prior to the game concert Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford explained,

“As teams all across the league prepare to celebrate 100 years of NFL football, we wanted to usher in this historic season in unprecedented fashion,” said Ford. “This free pre-game concert with country music superstar Tim McGraw will provide an unforgettable start to the NFL’s 100th season.”

The concert will be available for all season ticket members and those buying a single game admission for the opener, as the Bucs intend to open their Stadium more than four hours before kickoff and have the concert about 2 hours before the game with new Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians gets underway.

The NFL regular season will start on Thursday night September 5th, when the oldest rivalry in the league, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers will meet at Soldier Field to kick off the “Fantenniel Celebration” weekend.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Positive injury update news for Bucs DT Vita Vea

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs coach Bruce Arians gave another positive update Sunday on one of his star defensive players he’s counting on to come back from injury. It looks like hulking defensive tackle Vita Vea is still on track to potentially play in the season opener September 8th.

After the Buccaneers Sunday morning training camp workout, Arians was asked, if there was any new news on Via resting and rehabbing the sprained ligament in his left knee? He told the media:

“He’s getting better and better everyday. No pain (in the knee). So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s gonna be ready (opening day),” Arians said plainly.

The former first-round pick a year ago out of the University of Washington was injured almost two weeks ago in a one-on-one pass blocking drill, crumbling to the ground with the Bucs and their fans holding their breath. However it turns out it was only a sprain ligament that did not require surgery and Vea could still possibly play at the beginning of the regular season, including the opener with the 49ers.

Vea was seen walking on the sideline Friday night during the Bucs preseason game with the Dolphins with the aid of a heavily braced left knee.

This is the second straight training camp that Vea has been sidelined with a significant injury. Last year, he suffered a torn calf muscle on the second day of workouts and missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season recovering from the injury and getting into playing shape.

When he did comeback, Vea came on strong in the second half of the season and began to show signs of promise, as to why the Bucs had picked him in the top 15 of the draft. He had a career high nine tackles in a December game in Baltimore and was all over the line of scrimmage and the backfield causing disruptions.

Then, in Dallas the following week, he was once again making plays early in the game. Although, he had a first-half sack Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nullified by a face mask penalty, he got another one that counted by blindsiding Prescott on the final play of the first half.

Vea finished with three tackles, the sack and one tackle for loss in that game.  And, in the second half of the season, he ended up with 28 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in eight games.

Vea is being heavily counted on to help the interior of the Bucs defensive line in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3 – 4 defense. He along with new free agent pro bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh are going to be the guys relied upon to get pressure up the middle for the defense.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Report- Bucs have extended GM Jason Licht’s contract

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hoping to practice some form of continuity, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly extended the contract of GM Jason Licht.

This after a report Saturday morning from Bucs beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, Rick Stroud, that Licht has been given a five-year contract extension to remain with the team:

A big part of the reason why the Glazer family, which owns the team, wanted to keep Licht is: his ability to lure former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians to come out of retirement and join them this past January.

Further, Stroud reports that Arians made it a condition of his coming out of retirement that Licht remain with the team long-term and that the Bucs keep embattled starting QB Jameis Winston.

Licht had been given a one-year extension for 2019 before this offseason, and the Buccaneers had already committed to keep quarterback Jameis Winston for the fifth year option of his rookie contract. Then, once former coach Dirk Koetter was fired in January, Licht’s previous relationship with Arians helped the Bucs get their new coach.

Licht was the assistant general manager with the Cardinals, when Arians was hired in 2013 and led them eventually to the NFC Championship Game in 2014.

Licht became the Buccaneers general manager at that the start of that same season, but has had a rocky tenure of results. This includes only one winning season out of five and several free agent moves and draft picks that have backfired.

None bigger than when Licht traded up in the 2016 draft for FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round, only to have Aguayo falter and be released the following year in training camp.

Licht has also had free agent busts like former Redskins defensive tackle Chris Baker and last year, Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry. Both of whom we’re paid heavily but did nothing in their one season before being released.

Licht and his staff do deserve some credit for finding unheralded players like tight end Cameron Brate, running back Peyton Barber and former wide receiver Adam Humphries. All of whom were undrafted and have been quality contributors over the last couple of seasons.

The team had no official comment on Stroud’s report of the extension.

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