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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How Bout Them Bucs!

Roy Cummings

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Dec 2, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) celebrates as he makes a sack on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How Bout them Bucs?

Few saw it coming but the Bucs, who many gave up for dead a few weeks ago, have now won two in row, the second of those victories coming in the form of a 24-17 outlasting of the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium.

The hero this time?

The defense, and in particular safety Andrew Adams, who became the first Buccaneer to pick off three passes in a game since Aqib Talib did it in a loss to the Redskins in 2009.

Adams three-pick effort was part of a continued resurgence by the Bucs defense, which has actually been on quite an impressive role since the Bucs fired former coordinator Mike Smith and replaced him with Mark Duffner.

The Bucs went into Sunday’s game ranked second in the NFL in sacks (22), fifth in third-down defense and 12th in total yards allowed since that move was made, which makes it difficult to argue with.

About the only thing the Bucs haven’t done consistently well with Duffner at the helm is take the ball away, but with two takeaways last week against San Francisco and four more Sunday, they’re starting to do that as well.

Here’s something else, the Bucs are allowing an average of only 16 points per game at home this year, and that’s including the games when Smith was in charge. The problem is, they’re allowing 38.6 points per game on the road.

This uptick in performance is just the kind of thing the Bucs owners like to see, which makes you wonder if head coach Dirk Koetter just might be able to hold on to his job after all.

The foregone conclusion for weeks is that Koetter will be fired at the end of the year, but a strong finish could change all that. And considering the way the Bucs are playing right now, maybe it should.

Let’s face it, few teams can produce yards and points with the Bucs and Koetter deserves most of the credit for that. If the defense can keep playing the way it has under Duffner, there’s cause to keep him as well.

It all makes for what should be an interesting finish to what was once a lost forgettable season for a team that is no longer in the cellar and, believe it or not, still in the playoff race.

The Jameis Winston redemption tour rolls on. Winston turned in another strong performance Sunday, completing 20-of-30 passes for 249 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 114.4 passer rating.

The TD passes gave Winston 81 for his career, which are the most in franchise history, one more than Josh Freeman, which is sure to elicit plenty of wise-ass remarks.

Those remarks may be valid, but the bottom line is that this was further proof that Winston can indeed be the franchise quarterback the Bucs want and need him to be and why it would be a mistake to quit on him at this point.

Winston is far from a finished product, but if the Bucs cannot guarantee they can procure a better quarterback before the start of next season, there’s no reason not to stick with Winston, for at least another year.

Dec 2, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) smiles as he works out prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 2, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) smiles as he works out prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, the Bucs really missed DeSean Jackson on Sunday, huh? Well, actually, they didn’t. Look, it’s glaringly apparent that Winston and Jackson have very little chemistry together. But that makes Jackson the outlier on this team.

On Sunday, for example, Chris Godwin caught five of the six passes thrown his way, Mike Evans caught four of six; Adam Humphries caught seven of nine and Came Brate caught three of six while dropping two.

It seems pretty obvious that Winston has a good chemistry with just about everyone on his team except Jackson, which makes you wonder if Jackson will or even should play again this year.

Jackson missed Sunday’s game because of a sore thumb, but the Bucs didn’t need him to beat the Panthers and you really have to wonder if they’ll need him to beat anyone else left on the schedule.

A lot of people criticize DT Gerald McCoy for not making enough big plays. Whether he does or doesn’t is debatable but one thing that’s certain is that when McCoy does make a play, it really is impactful.

Take, for example, the quarterback pressure he recorded midway through the fourth quarter Sunday. It was that pressure that created the duck of a pass that Adams picked off for his second interception.

Adams went on to grab another one of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s passes, and for those keeping score at home, he had more picks in one game (three) than Darell Revis (two) had during his entire Bucs tenure.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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?

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 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.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020

Florida Football Insiders

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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?

First, the team released another video with clues about them intending to change their uniform and potentially alter their logo:

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.

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