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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Where are Bucs likely to turn with coaching change?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers appear to be headed towards firing another head coach and that’s nothing new for the Glazer family or their fan base, as they have fired three coaches in the previous seven seasons before now. If they are going onto dispose of Dirk Koetter after his second straight double-digit loss season, the biggest question becomes: who replaces him?

First, the probably most intriguing question is: what type of coach would they go after? And, as we have already mentioned, the Glazers have tried numerous types of head coaches ever since firing Super bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden after the 2008 season. And, they’ve had virtually no success.

The Bucs have gone through the gamut of different types of head coaching hires over the course of the 2010s. That includes, their former defensive assistant Raheem Morris, who had had no prior head coaching experience. Morris was fired after 4-12 season in 2011.

It continued with the catastrophic decision to hire former Rutgers college coach Greg Schiano for two awful seasons 2012 – 2013, where he lost 17 of his last 22 games. Next, the Bucs tried former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, but the team flat-lined at 2 and 14 his first year, and he was fired after his second season of 6 – 10.

That 2015 season the Bucs of drafted Jameis Winston, hired Koetter as offensive coordinator, and the offense showed great promise. So, the Bucs went with Koetter as their next head coach.

However, after initially having break through success with a 10-win season and narrowly missing the playoffs in 2016, the team has clearly regressed over the last two years with 10-loss seasons.

So, the prevailing thought is: if the Bucs are making a change, they will have to go after a proven NFL coach. Particularly, someone that has had success either recently or in multiple places.

There are three obvious names that jump right out:

One is Jack Del Rio (above), who is the former Jaguars head coach where he led them to the playoffs twice in the mid-2000s before eventually being fired. Del Rio was later the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos and was actually the interim head coach for a few successful games, when John Fox had heart surgery during their Super Bowl run with Peyton Manning. Del Rio later took the head coaching job of the Raiders and returned them to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade in 2016.

He had a losing season in 2017 and was unceremoniously dumped for Jon Gruden coming out of the broadcast booth in Oakland. Del Rio has taken 2018 off from coaching, but a source familiar with the Del Rio family told F.F.I. recently, that it is fairly certain he would get back into NFL coaching for the right situation to be a head coach.

Next, is recently fired former Packers coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy took the Packers to the playoffs nine times during his 13-year tenure, including a Super Bowl win. While one could argue that Aaron Rodgers would make any coach look decent if not good, McCarthy’s record is his record and it’s an impressive one. He may be in more demand though with some of the other openings, including Cleveland to work with Baker Mayfield.

The third intriguing name is: former Cardinals head coach and now CBS broadcaster Bruce Arians. Arians not only led the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game in 2014, but he previously was the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts with success. That’s when then head coach Chuck Pagano was undergoing Leukemia treatment. Arians was named the Coach of the Year in 2012, as he guided the Colts into the playoffs.

Arians did have health problems at the end of his tenure in Arizona, and it’s unclear whether he would want to resume coaching. However, it would be worthwhile for the Glazers to explore it and try to make a run.

The final factor maybe a proven head coach that gets let go on this coaching cycle.

Someone like a Ron Rivera of Carolina, who, even though he was in the Superbowl in 2014 may be fired, since they have new ownership and have just undergone a losing season in 2017?

Another name to watch is the Steelers ultra-successful coach Mike Tomlin, who has a Superbowl on the resume and has been a proven winner for years in Pittsburgh. However, there are growing calls for Tomlin to be ousted by the Steelers. He is a former Buccaneers assistant under Gruden, when Tampa Bay won the Superbowl in 2002.

The Glazers would obviously very, very interested in bringing him aboard should he become available.

Then, again, so would any team with an opening.

There will be no shortage of names that are out there, however if teams like Pittsburgh and the Jets and a couple of others join in with firing coaches, then the courtship of the names above will come fast and furious for the Buccaneers, and everyone else.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

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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

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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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