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Fox TV reveals announce crews including for Bucs opener

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Fox Sports is about to embark on their 26th season of broadcasting the NFL and on Tuesday they unveiled their broadcast crews and the opening week assignments for their games, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers week one home debut.

The network released biographical information on the announcers and also promoted that they will be doing Super Bowl 54 coming this February:

For the 17th consecutive season Emmy award-winning play-by-play man, Joe Buck will be on the the top crew with Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman joining him. Plus, sideline reporter Erin Andrews is back for her seventh season with Buck and Aikman. That crew, in a very common occurrence, will work the Dallas Cowboys opening game at AT&T Stadium with the New York Giants for Week 1.

FOX also announced that they’re keeping together broadcast crew of play-by-play man, Kenny Albert and former Pro Bowl Buccaneers defensive back, Ronde Barber. And, those two will be working the Tampa Bay week one matchup hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium.

The number two broadcast crew for the last couple of seasons on Fox has been Kevin Burkhardt along with analyst Charles Davis, and they will be working the Redskins at the Eagles for the opening-week game. Burkhardt and Davis have worked a playoff game for Fox the last two years.

Fox is also back for the second of their multi-year deal to broadcast Thursday Night Football with the aforementioned number one crew of Buck, Aikman and Andrews broadcasting the games.

That means they will be on the call for the Thursday Night week two broadcast that has the Buccaneers playing on the road in Charlotte against former star Gerald McCoy and his new team, the Carolina Panthers.

Buck and Aikman will also call the Super Bowl on Fox for the sixth time, when it’s played at Hard Rock stadium in Miami Gardens on February 2nd.

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XFL allocates former Georgia star QB Aaron Murray to Tampa team

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The reboot of Vince McMahon’s Spring XFL Football League is slated for next February, and the eight teams are making preparation with a draft of players. And, this includes the Tampa Bay franchise, the Vipers being allocated by the league a local high school and SEC star, as their quarterback..

The XFL and Vipers announced Tuesday morning that former Georgia All-SEC quarterback, Aaron Murray was given to them:

Murray has ties to the Tampa Bay area, as a native who led Plant High School to a State Football Championship. He’s also the Southeastern Conference all-time leader in completions passing yards and passing touchdowns in a career.

Murray briefly was with the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles from 2014-16.

He was last seen quarterbacking earlier this year in the now-defunct Alliance of American football with the Atlanta Legends (above) franchise. They selected Murray for the same regional interest of him having played college ball down the road in Athens, Georgia.

Murray actually split time with former Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms in Atlanta. The AAF, however, unraveled and folded due to financial problems just eight games into their inaugural season.

Tampa Bay is coached by former Bears and Montreal Allouettes of the CFL coach Marc Trestman.

The other seven teams in the XFL were allocated a quarterback the same way and there are a couple of familiar names.

Former Oklahoma National Championship-winning coach, Bob Stoops, is the coach and GM of the Dallas Renegades, and the league selected his former Oklahoma quarterback, Landry Jones.

Jones left Oklahoma with the all-time record for passing yards and touchdown passes in a career in the Big XII, just like Murray for the SEC. Jones is a former backup in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as the Raiders and the Jaguars last season.

Former Ohio State Star Cardale Jones is getting another opportunity in his professional career, as the XFL assigned him to the Washington D.C. Defenders.

Jones helped Ohio State win the Big Ten Title in relief in December of 2014 and then quarterbacked the Buckeyes to their two College Football Playoff wins, including their National Championship victory over Oregon.

Jones was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2016 and also was with the L.A. Chargers for three seasons.

The XFL will continue filling out rosters with a Tuesday draft, with numerous players from Florida or Florida schools that have already worked out regionally for all of the clubs.

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Former Gators kicker Pineiro is Chicago hero- for now

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Every week in the NFL there are heroes in the clutch for different franchises. However, in a market like Chicago with the rabid, massive following like the Chicago Bears, when you do something dramatic to help them win everything is taken up to a new level.

That’s something that new kicker, and former Florida Gator Eddy Pineiro, is experiencing after his dramatic game-winning 53 yard field goal with no time left in Denver Sunday gave the Bears a 16-14 win.

First, it looked as though the Bears had blown the game when they allowed Denver’s Joe Flacco to lead a last-minute scoring drive that resulted in a dramatic touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders with :31 seconds left. And, then, the two hooked up on the go ahead two-point conversion to Sanders for 14 – 13 lead.

But undaunted, the Bears, led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, got into scoring position on a 25-yard completion to the Broncos 25 to Allen Robinson with just :01 remaining.

That’s when Pineiro, who had kicked two lengthy field goals earlier in the game, stepped on the Mile High turf and calmly, with 80,000 Bronco fans going berserk, booted home a line drive game-winner to make the Bears 1 – 1.

As we wrote earlier this month, Pineiro, a second year player, had won the Bears kicking job coming out of preseason. Pineiro won the spot over Elliott Fry by hitting a 58-yard field goal against the Colts, followed by another 3-for-3 against the Titans in August.

And Gators fans will remember the Miami native having a good college career at Florida. He made 17/18 FG’s during the Gators miserable 2017 season. And combined with his 21/25 the year before, he totaled an 88% field goal career mark.

Pineiro declared for the 2018 NFL Draft after only two seasons with the Gators, but went undrafted. He signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders in May of 2018, however, he was placed on injured reserve last September. Earlier this summer, he was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Finally, let’s keep in perspective that we are not talking Chicago icon status like: Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks and Patrick Kane have.

Still, it was a large moment early in his tenuous Bears kicking career and Pineiro is celebrating, like he should.

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