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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

First hint by Bucs of uniforms- color scheme change coming?

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Are the Bucs about ready to undergo another color scheme / uniform change? A social media post Wednesday morning is the first legitimate clue that they might be.

The Buccaneers posted a video of an artist working with old newspaper clippings and spray cans. And, that is sure to stir up their fans that a color scheme and uniform change could be coming for the first time since 2014:

The original expansion Buccaneers had a color scheme of primarily orange jerseys and white pants, with the infamous “Bucco Bruce” pirate with a knife in his mouth as the logo on a white helmet. The franchise stuck with that scheme and logo all the way into the 1990s until the Glazer family bought the team and changed the color scheme and the logo for the first time in 1997.

That color scheme has primarily been red jerseys with pewter pants and a pewter helmet with a Buccaneer flag showing a skull and crossing swords on it, ever since.

Now, the Glazers enhanced the logo and brightened the red colors in the 2014 changes like what LB Lavonte David is seen wearing above.

However, no matter the differences in uniform colors and enhancements of the logo, the football on the field has not resulted in a playoff appearance during the last 12 seasons.

Still, there has been a growing movement from some Buccaneer fans that the team should really embrace the primarily orange colors of the original franchise. Further, a switch to a white helmet with the logo would allow the Bucs to utilize that color scheme at least for a couple of “throwback games” every year, if they still want to keep the current logo with the red and the pewter.

Currently, Tampa Bay has not been able to wear the orange with the white helmet. This is because, as part of the NFL concussion protocols and studies, the league has restricted teams from switching to different helmets with players during a season.

Therefore, the Bucs can’t go from their pewter helmets to white ones with the old logo. The last throwback game that the Buccaneers participated with the orange color scheme and the old logo in was in 2012.

While the Bucs and the Glazers have not said anything official about changing uniforms, this process usually takes over a year to notify the NFL and get approval from them.  Then, typically is announced in the early spring to give time for merchandise to be coordinated and sold around the NFL Draft and then, the build-up to the season.

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.

However, all of this may simply be hype and the owners and the Buccaneers may not be drastically altering anything with their logo or their red and pewter colors.

We’ll just have to wait to for more clues like Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs will put former defensive coordinator Kiffin in Ring of Honor

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs are looking forward to their future with a second year under new coach Bruce Arians, but on Friday night, they reached back to their past to honor one of their top assistant coaches in franchise history. And. this fall they will put him in their “Ring of Honor.”

Monte Kiffin, who along with coach Tony Dungy were the architects of the Buccaneers “Tampa 2” defense will become the team’s 14th member of their Ring of Honor in the 2020 season:

The Buccaneers made the announcement Friday night as Kiffin was being honored by the organization, his former players, friends and family, as part of his 80th birthday celebration.

Kiffin who came with Dungy in 1996 to the Bucs and led the defense for 13 seasons, helped Tampa Bay’s defense become one of the youngest fastest and fiercest in all of the NFL in just a few short seasons.

Led by now Hall of Famers, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, plus Hall of Fame finalists John Lynch and Ronde Barber, the Bucs defense rose to the number one in the NFL in 1999 and again, in 2002. That season, led by new coach Jon Gruden in his first year and Kiffin’s defense, Tampa Bay won their first and only World Championship cementing Kiffin’s legacy.

Kiffin left the Bucs to go coach at the University of Tennessee, when his son Lane became the head coach for one season in 2009. He then left Knoxville after that season when Lane Kiffin took the USC  job. He has spent recent years, as a defensive coach/consultant with the Cowboys and also the Jaguars.

The last couple of seasons he had been with Lane Kiffin in an advisory role at Florida Atlantic.

The Bucs have put 13 previous former players, coaches and even owner Malcolm Glazer, in their Ring of Honor. And, that list includes Sapp, Brooks Lynch and Barber, who was inducted a year ago. Kiffin will be the first assistant coach to be honored. Previously, Gruden (2017) and Dungy (2018) have also both been put in as head coaches, with the architect of the original Buccaneers, John McKay also being inducted also back in 2010.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Should RT Jack Conklin be on Bucs free agent radar?

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As NFL teams continue to do their due diligence on not only their own potential free agents, but what others might be out there too, an interesting name has emerged that could give the Bucs, and other teams, some offensive line help.

It appears that the Titans, fresh off a tremendous playoff run into the AFC Championship game may be willing to part with former number 1 pick, starting right tackle Jack Conklin. And if they’re going to let the former Michigan State star test free agency, Tampa Bay may have a real interest.

First, the Bucs are looking at options on their line, as the senior member of their roster, right tackle Demar Dotson, who’s played his entire 11 year career in Tampa and will be 35 years old this fall, is slated to be a free agent, as well.

And while Dotson has been a mainstay over the course of the last decade on the Bucs offensive line, GM Jason lick and Coach Bruce Arians maybe looking to get younger and some better play out of that position.

Tennessee elected not to pick up Conklin’s fifth year option on his rookie deal and there are some concerns about his ability to pass block. However, there’s no doubting that with power back Derrick Henry, Conklin was part of the unit on offense that played “smash mouth football” throughout the postseason. And, they scored upsets of the Patriots and the Ravens in part behind their tough ground game before falling at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game.

Next, earlier this week, NFL.com’s reporter/writer Nick Shook, matched Conklin as a possible free agent fit with Tampa Bay, as free agency begins in March.

Conklin did suffer an ACL injury in his second season but is fully healed from that now, and he could be a very cost-effective option four teams looking to solidify their offensive line. Conklin made only $2.7 million in the final year of his initial four year deal with the team declining his $12.9 million option.

As for the Bucs, they already have massive money invested in center Ryan Jensen, guard Ali Marpet and left tackle Donovan Smith on their line, but at the same time, the Bucs also have close to $85 million under the cap once free agency begins.

Clearly, their top priorities are figuring out whether to bring back QB Jameis Winston (and at what price?) and also, how many free agent to be defensive linemen out of Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre Paul and Ndamukong Suh they can also fit under their cap.

Still, you cannot have enough good lineman, and perhaps grabbing the Titans former starter off a playoff team would improve their run game, which sputtered a lot of 2019.

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