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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Should Bengals turn to former Bucs assistant Mark Duffner?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have long epitomized bumbling and struggling through NFL seasons. And now, their search for defensive coordinator in mid-February has magnified it, again. The question is: could a former Buccaneers assistant and interim DC in 2018 be a solution for them at this stage?

More on that in a bit.

First, the Bengals were turned down earlier this week by Florida Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. This after Grantham agreed to stay with a new contract that includes a hefty raise and extension in a years, to remain in Gainesville with Coach Dan Mullen.

And now, comes news the Bengals have also been rebuffed by the new Ohio State DC Jeff Hafley for the role. Hafley had recently been the secondary coach with the 49ers, and had just taken the Ohio state co-defensive coordinator job for new coach Ryan Day in Columbus.

So, new Cincinnati head coach Zach Taylor, who just took over after the Rams Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, is scrambling to find a credible candidate, who will take the job.

Further, was another report that the New Orleans Saints are not allowing the Bengals to talk to Saints defensive assistant, and former NFL defensive back, Aaron Glenn for the DC position.

And, that makes us wonder whether Buccaneers veteran assistant Mark Duffner, who took over as the Bucs defensive play-caller after Mike Smith was fired mid-season a year ago, should be on Taylor/Cincinnati’s radar?

The Bucs defense did improve in terms of passing yards allowed, points allowed and takeaways with Duffner simplifying things and getting more out of the scheme. And, Duffner has previous experience not only in the NFL, but, as a former head coach earlier this century at Maryland.

And as Gregg Auman, Buccaneers beat writer for the Athletic, tweeted there is a connection between Dufner and Taylor already:

 

It is likely that Taylor will go ahead and hire a younger assistant, including Aubrey Pleasant, who coached with him on the Rams last season.

Still, Dufner is a veteran coach who has also been on staff for Bengals owner Mike Brown before and wouldn’t be the worst option it’s Cincinnati could end up with for this season.

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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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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