The weird, and at times comical, kicking situation for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continues to take twists and turns. And the latest one involves, wait for it, the signing Thursday of a European kicker who kicked professionally last year in the German Football League.
Denmark born Philip Andersen kicked for the Berlin Rebels of the German Football League a year ago making 16 of 25 field goals. However, he apparently was impressive during workouts at former Buccaneer kicker Michael Husted’s kicking camp in the United States. Then earlier this week, he kicked for Buccaneers GM Jason Licht, his new special teams coach, Keith Armstrong and others at the Bucs facility and was offered a contract.
This included, famously drafting former Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft only to cut him in the preseason of 2017 after a series of missed extra points in fuel goals.
Last year, Tampa Bay went with veteran Chandler Catanzaro, whom they gave a $3 million guaranteed salary, but also cut him in November after he missed two critical field goals at home in a loss to the Redskins. The Bucs turned to veteran free agent Cairo Santos (above), who was solid, but is not signed for 2019.
There is further speculation that recently released 43 year old Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who kicked for the Bucs earlier in the 2000s, may become an option. Bryant is one of the most successful and accurate kickers in the NFL over the last 10 years. However, Atlanta released him Tuesday saving over $2 million for their the salary cap.
Bryant has expressed that he wants to continue to play and the natural tie-in is the former Falcons special-teams coach, Armstrong now being with the Buccaneers. He did miss three games a year ago after injuring his hamstring kicking a final field goal in the last minute of a game, ironically against the Bucs, in Atlanta’s win in October over Tampa Bay.
Another factor is that Bryant has not kicked off in Atlanta for years. The team instead has used the stronger leg of punter / specialist Matt Bosher to kickoff.
Back to the Dane, Andersen, he is apparently no relation to Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen, who kicked for 25 years in the NFL mostly with the Saints and the Falcons. That Andersen was an outstanding 80% for his career in field goals making a staggering 565 of them.
There is also an eyeball raising part of Philip Andersen’s bio in that: he has kicked for four professional teams in the German Football League already. Then again, Licht and the Buccaneers have shipped kickers in and out over the course of the last few years at the same rate.
By the way, our Roy Cummings approves of the move from a “heritage standpoint.”
As a man of Danish descent (grandparents on mother’s side are from Hobro) i have to admit that I am very excited about the #Bucs signing of PK Phillip Andersen.
— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsFHCN) February 8, 2019
It really won’t be known until at least March when the Bucs elect to re-sign Santos or not, or elect to sign Matt Bryant and bring him in, as to what kind of competition will go against Andersen.
Tampa Bay could obviously bring in another veteran kicker, and, we are going to write it: maybe draft one in the late rounds this time of the upcoming April draft, too.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.