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Buccaneers #6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Buccaneers Pulse

THE PEWTER REPORT: Front Office Changes
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa Ready For Prime Time?
Head Coach Tony Dungy demotes DC Lovie Smith; takes over defense.
Monday, November 7th, 2021
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and GM Anthony Fernandez shopped hard at the Trade Deadline last week in hopes of improving a defense that was trending towards the bottom half of the league. Last week the team announced on their personal Twitter account that Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith had been stripped of play calling duties, and that Head Coach Tony Dungy would take over right away. In practice, we were not sure how much that would actually translate onto the field, but what we saw was a COMPLETE overhaul on defense.

The Buccaneers have been running the 34 for the majority of the last half decade, but this week's game saw the team switch back to the Tampa 2 roots that made Tony Dungy a Future Hall of Fame Coach. At (9-2), it was a gutsy move, but perhaps the team just decided the personnel were better fitted for a change. It remains to be seen how involved GM Fernandez was in this decision, but we know that there were some significant changes on the Depth Chart that accompanied the transition.

Perhaps the most notable change - and likely a clue as to the level of involvement that Fernandez had in the changes - is that DE/LB Ethan Bruner made his GZL debut last week. Drafted at the tail end of the 2020 1st Round, Bruner was expected to be a long-term developmental project, but nobody thought he'd be nearing the end of his 2nd season with nothing but a handful of snaps. Bruner slid down into the starting LE spot and responded with 7 tackles (1TFL), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble in the 26-7 victory over the Washington Redskins.

The change to the 43 also appeared to be a good one for SLB Yasmin Ferguson. Ferguson was acquired earlier in the season for CB Jordan Poyer and a 4th Round Pick. Ferguson, the former 1st round pick by the New England Patriots in 2017, has been largely ineffective as a GZL pro, but he saw an uptick in production this week with 3 tackles (1TFL) and a sack. It remains to be seen if this production will keep up, but it's likely that Fernandez and Dungy needed to see what the contract-year LB had before they face the tough decision to resign him or not this offseason.

A large reason the team was able to move CB Jordan Poyer in that deal was the enhanced development of CB Bo Davis, who has had some injury concerns this year, but had a real solid game this week with 3 tackles, an INT, and 4 deflections. CB Claudio Ambellina also responded with his best game of the season, grabbing 2 INT for the first time since Week 9 of LAST year. All in all it was an outstanding defensive effort, but ultimately it's just one week. It will be interesting to see if the team stays with the 43, or if they rotate back and forth between that and the 34 they've been running for so long.

This week the team welcomes the #1 ranked Cleveland Browns into town. The city of Cleveland has had a recent sports boom - first with the Cleveland Cavs winning the NBA Championship, and then the Cleveland Indians making the World Series. The Browns look poised to make a deep playoff run here in GZL, where they've NEVER won a Championship, but are likely the favorites. The game will be nationally televised on Monday Night Football, and the early word is that the Buccaneers have a special Fan Appreciation Day celebration planned for the event. It's a huge game, as even though the Bucs are (9-3), three of the remaining four games are against Top 10 teams in GZL.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2021 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 11/07/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 21
Tampa Bay 2019 Training Camp
TRAINING CAMP 2019:: "New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."
The Bucs finally begin life Post-Freeman after years of flirting with the idea. What will the Winston-era be like?

Sunday, July 12th, 2019
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

(9-7) Regular Season; (1-1) Playoffs

Honorable Mention:: WK1 TAMPA BAY -- 30, New Orleans --13

Playoff wins are hard to come by these days in Tampa. Eliminating a known rival from the tournament? Aside from bouncing Tyler Richardson's Rams from the playoffs last year might be the only other time that's happened EVER. While the win was nice, and ending Downey's season always brings joy to my tingly parts, the fact remains they had no business taking us to OT in our own building in the first place. We were a better team all year (evident by us sweeping them), but they won their last 5 games of the year to earn a spot in the tournament. Truth be told, we were lucky to escape and earn a trip to St. Louis. The honorable mention was also the Saints - not because I am a prick, but because we had 3 of those to choose from. Ok, I'm a prick. I really looked over the rest of the season, and outside of a couple nice late season wins over the shaky Cardinals and Cowboys - there wasn't much else to hang my hat on. While going (7-0) in the NFC South is nice, that's been common place the last half decade. We were (2-8) against everyone else. So sure, I'll take giving Downey his first and final loss of 2018 as our "best" wins.

Honorable Mention:: DC18 ST. LOUIS -- 35, Tampa Bay -- 13

The playoff loss to the eventual champs hurt, making that our honorable mention - but the loss to the Colts was huge. Not just because it was to Arnold and his patchwork group of Quarterbacks (one of which we were bright enough to trade a 1st round pick for this offseason), but rather because it was the game that let me know unequivocally that we were NOT going to be winning Super Bowl IX. Sure, the Colts got 15 garbage points in the final frame, but I've just seen those losses enough, and I've seen enough Super Bowl Champion teams in RZL (4, to be exact, nearly 5) to know that Super Bowl teams don't lose games like that. It hurt, and the knowledge was enough to have us throw Jameis in for the final three games and forego continuing our streak of double-digit wins EVERY year of GZL's existence. To be fair though, we got the 10th win in the playoffs.

These are the 3rd Team Awards. Past Editions Include:: 2012 | 2011

Team MVP of the Year::
FS Kyle Nelson (left)
90TAK, 1TFL, 4INT, 14DEF

Team Breakout Player of the Year::
CB Jordan Poyer (center)
62TAK, 4TFL, 1FF, 3INT, 33DEF

Team Rookie of the Year::
HB Todd Gurley (left)
Offensive Rookie of the Year
355 ATT, 1660 YDs (1st-R), 4.68 YPC, 9 TDs (T-1st-R), 3 FUM
Five 100+ YD games (142, 109, 119, 137, 110), Two 200+ YD games (202, 233)

Kyle Nelson has quietly been one of our best players for the last four seasons. He's been rock solid since winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015, tallying 306 tackles, 3FF, 54DFL, and 12 interceptions. It's crazy to think of him as our most valuable player, but I think without him last year our secondary doesn't get BETTER after losing Morris Claiborne. Speaking of losing Morris, Jordan Poyer was a big part of that as well. Jordan was a 3rd round draft pick for us that has done great things in the slot. Last year he got his first audition as a starter and he shined. He did share some time with Gunner Recall, who will likely be relegated to nickel and dime packages exclusively in 2019. As for ROTY, that's pretty easy for us, since Todd Gurley, the 5th overall pick last year, won OROTY for the entire league. Gurley started very slow as we struggled to find an identity, but once he got his bearings we really took control of the NFC South. He'll be a huge ingredient to any success we have moving forward without Josh Freeman. It will be interesting to see how the team looks to integrate promising rookie Woodrow Carr, after he's made a huge splash this preseason.

Only teams available currently. Exact dates and details available just prior to the Preseason.

Projected 2019 Outcome:: (10 - 6) NFC South Champions

Most years, like last, you can quickly pencil in (5-1) for the NFC South games for Tampa. That's actually being quite modest after we went (7-0) v. the NFC South last year, but let's just say that we manage to nab 5 of them this year. Honestly, I think all three teams (Carolina, New Orleans, and Atlanta) got better this offseason, so (4-2) might feel like a success. I'm going to lean towards history, however. Speaking of history, did you know we've NEVER beaten the Green Bay Packers? So let's just call that (5-2). Aside from the Houston Texans, the Packers are the only team we haven't beaten. We have a winning record against the Redskins, and we know Ricky Stanzi quite well, having developed him in Tampa - so let's say we win that game and move to (6-2). The AFC West is tough to read - I feel we CAN beat every team in that division, but I don't think we EVER play up to our potential v. the AFC. We went (2-2) against them in 2015 and (4-0) agianst them in 2011 (perhaps the last time we played well v. the RED teams). We also had Josh Freeman both of those years, so let's just say we split, no we're (8-4). That leaves the VERY tough NFC West, in which the only team I'd say we SHOULD beat on paper (the 49ers) just beat us in the preseason). Let's say our team overachieves and we split there, too, which would leave us at (10-6). Perfect. That's about the range for a nice #4 seed and a quick playoff exit - our annual tradition.

Special Thanks to everyone who attended this year!

WR Dorial Green-Beckham | +1SPD (93) | +1ACC (96) | +5INJ (86)
WR Mike Evans | +1SPD (95) | +1ACC (96)
CB Bo Davis | +1SPD (93)
CB Jacob Reed | +1SPD (91)
LT Token Price | +1STR (90)
QB Jameis Winston | +5INJ (93)
HB Woodrow Carr | +10lbs (232)
MLB Paul Dawson | +10lbs (240)

So much talent, so little time! Yes, it would truly be nice to have 9 or 10 points to use, because it's getting harder and harder to give talent the maximization they deserve, especially from the middle rounds. Two examples of players we feel we've given that love to, however, are CB's Bo Davis and Jacob Bell. This pair of mid round players are the reason the Bucs felt comfortable passing on Bud McCray and Angel Rosario. While most skim over the Bucs roster and see Ambellina as our one true lock down corner, then see Poyer and Recall and think - good, but not great - they skip right past the potential of these two. This was Bo's third boost, which means he'll be eligible for ITBT next offseason, where he'll get +1ACC and finish off at 6'2", 93SPD, 90AGI, 97ACC, 60STR, 58CTH, 57TAK. We'll also be able to start pumping AWR into him for cheap this offseason since he's YP2. That is amazing value for the 33rd pick in the draft. He should be able to reach some playing time progression this year as well from the nickel spot, and next year we could be taking about him as the starter next to 6'5" Ambellina. Reed was the 42nd pick the following year, and he's in line for one more +1SPD next year and then his ITBT +1ACC the year after. That will finish him out at 6'3", 91SPD, 87AGI, 95ACC, 44STR, 51CTH, 58TAK. While those aren't as good as Ambellina or Davis numbers, those are pretty scary nickel numbers. That allows us to get some life out of those contracts Poyer and Recall signed. Where would Angel or McCray even have fit in???

At WR, we've got Hendricks signed long term as a 6'5" WR that goes 90SPD/90ACC, but tell me how pairing a 6'5" WR with 95SPD/96ACC and a 6'5" WR with 95SPD/98ACC makes your DBs feel? There's really not much more to say about those two here - we'll let their talking happen on the field. Carr worked hard to get pack on some pounds, making him one freaking ideal HB. We've already been offered what appears to be at least a 1st round pick this offseason from an AFC team, but we politely declined. We've got to see him more than one Preseason game before we watch him set records in another city. We're excited to have him! Paul Dawson projects as nothing more than a long term backup, but ITBT +1ACC should put him right where we like our LBs, especially after the extra 10 pounds. We'll work on him in the background, and who knows, maybe he'll materialize as a steal at 4.22 in the draft. Token Price hit the weight room hard the last three years and has now worked his STR to the 90 benchmark we require from our OTs. He's looking to become a full time starter this year, after a pretty decent rookie campaign. Jameis Winston is looking more and more like he'll be holding the clipboard for one more season (perhaps behind Ryan Tannenhill), but he's going to be required to make some starts, so we needed his INJ rating higher. He should be 98INJ by the time he's our full-time starter. It should be a fun year in Tampa!

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/08/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 71
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Live Press Conference!!
We take you to Tampa where GM Anthony Fernandez addressed the media...

Tuesday, July 7th, 2019
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

(GM Anthony Fernandez approaches the podium)

Welcome everyone, thanks for coming. I feel like the beat writers in the audience do a good enough job posting any dirt they find on Twitter, so I'll just skip any form of introduction and get right into your questions.
T_Riddell :
(Tom Riddell from the Detroit Lions asks) You have very unique Style as GM, no doubt. That said, you have not had a lot of playoff success. Do you feel that your style is a detriment with the high turnover of players out the door ever year?
I believe there was a variation of this asked at our last live press conference, so we'll reiterate what that was. Ultimately, I'm sure it has a small factor that we don't see players through to their absolute peak. We like to capitalize on value, so maybe we miss ONE year of a players peak potential, allowing someone else to experience that for a price. Extrapolated over an entire roster, we are certainly losing some performance, most notably in the playoffs. As you can see from our regular season record, we're still fielding a highly talented team annually that can compete with anyone, but perhaps we're lacking the awareness to win close playoffs games. We've worked to rectify that, and we've definitely had less movement from starters this year. We've got MOST of our team coming back from last year that was a touchdown away from beating the Super Bowl Champs in their house. That said, we lost the biggest starter - our QB.
K_Mullendore :
(Kevin Mullendore of the Green Bay Packers asks) Tampa fans are extremely frustrated right now. The Bucs are the winningest team of the decade, but their 4-9 record in the playoffs is well documented. During this time the Bucs are also 0-5 against the Packers. Are the two related? As GM, what do you feel is the biggest reason for this? A flaw in scheme? Is it Freeman's fault, contributing to his exit this offseason? Are the Bucs a soft team, benefactors of a historically weak division? Is it just bad luck? And most importantly (for TB fans), why will this be the year that this all changes?
There is no doubt our playoff track record has been laughable. It does not match-up with our regular season dominance, and it is somewhat baffling. As for the (0-5) record against the Packers, I don't think that has anything to do with our playoff struggles because we've never played the Packers in the playoffs. We've only got 43 losses in 9 years - that's pretty impressive no matter how you cut it. Five of those were to Green Bay, who has been an equally impressive team in GZL in that span, including getting the big prize - a Super Bowl trophy.

I think the second portion of your question is the portion that carries more merit, as I do feel Tampa has been a relatively soft team in GZL. I don't think the NFC South has been nearly as competitive as some of the tougher divisions in GZL like the NFC North, the AFC West, or NFC West. I would say that we've been on a very similar trajectory to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South - where we are the benefactors of being the most talented and most well-run teams in divisions that have historically struggled in both areas. This may have left both teams ill-equipped to handle single-elimination tournaments vs. some of the most battle-tested teams in our league, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, and St. Louis Rams.

You talked about luck - and I would never blame our historically bad playoffs run on bad luck. But I WILL say that in a league as good as this, you don't win a Super Bowl without a little good luck. We've seen multiple times in this league that a team, player, back-up player - they can get hot at the right time and they can capitalize and hoist the trophy. Match-ups matter, too. While nobody can say they've been eliminated from the playoffs 9 times, nobody else can say that they've been eliminated by the Super Bowl representative 4 times, either (eventual Champion twice). It's been so long now, but I think many teams forget we were IN a Super Bowl, and went toe-to-toe with the greatest GM in our community (Brian Brown). I was happy to lose to him in what served (more-or-less) his final madden game. I didn't think in that joy and honor of playing my mentor that it would be so hard to get back to the big game.

That said, I don't look back at that year as our missed opportunity, or missed "good luck", I look back at 2016. We weren't that impressive that year, struggling with injuries, but we got healthy just before the playoffs. We had a home game as the #4 seed against the Detroit Lions and we got blown out. The game was 21-21 entering the 4th quarter, and we let them score 24 points in the final frame. Had we won, we'd have traveled to Chicago to play a YOUNG Bears team, and then we'd have hosted the QB-less Seahawks in TAMPA for the Conference Championship. After that it would have been AF v. Garth and his scrambling QB Mike Vick for Super Bowl VII. Not sure I'm going to get a better path than that. We're going to try though, but who knows if it will be this year. I hope so, for the fans, but we're also switching QB's, which you know as well as anyone takes time. I think we'll compete for the NFC South again, and after that we'll need to catch some of that elusive "good luck".
G_Wendel :
(Greg Wendel from the New York Jets asks) There are a number of new players to the Bucs that have had maturity issues in the past. Are you worried that Johnny Footballs powdered sugar habit could be a bad influence on the rest of the players in such a young offense?
I'm not worried about John Manziel. Before we signed on the dotted line to trade Freeman to Cincy for John and the 27th pick, we made sure all that was in his rear-view mirror. He's entering the situation knowing that he's our long term backup to Jameis Winston, and he'll be groomed behind him and Ryan Tannenhill as such. Injuries are common, and we need his mind right so that he can be ready to play at any time. We think the presence of his old college buddy Mike Evans will help him.
T_Miller :
(Tim Miller from the Kansas City Chiefs asks) Johnny Football has recently been seen at 3:00 AM partying in Ybor City. Is that what led to him being put on the trade block??
Ybor is none for strippers, not anything illegal! John is an adult, and if he chooses to use his free time with a beautiful woman dancing on his lap at Ybor, Dale Mabry, or wherever in Tampa - that's fine with me, so long as he's to practice on time and is learning the playbook. He's a young potential Franchise QB, so him landing on the trade block was to test his value and potentially give him the opportunity to start somewhere else, with Winston and Tannenhill entrenched at 1 and 2.
B_Laurenson :
(Bryan Laurenson from the Chicago Bears asks) With the recent acquisition of Mike Evans and the drafting of Dorial Green-Beckham at 1.3, the Bucs now have an army of 6'5" wideouts. Who do you project to be the two starters heading into 2019? Will Jessie Hendricks eventually find himself on the way out as DGB progresses?
Jessie Hendricks is a fantastic young player, and we plan on him retiring in Tampa. He just signed his new 7-year deal that will run into his mid-30's. We slapped a No-Trade-Clause on that, and recently named him a Team Captain. His spot is safe. Our plan is to play him at WR1 with Mike Evans at WR2. DGB is going to take 2-3 years to fully develop his hands and mind, and we have no intentions to rush that. WR careers in GZL span over a decade. DGB will get plenty of reps, and he may eventually allow Hendricks to move to the slot in another few years, but we expect big things from all three. We also have an outstanding opportunity to match-up with teams, and force match-up nightmares.

That concludes this Q&A folks, as I'm on the verge of finalizing the 2019 roster, so I'm going to take care of that. Thanks so much for showing up, you all drive home safely!

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/07/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 57
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Live Press Conference Announced
Bucs GM Anthony Fernandez will answer your questions this week.

Monday, June 29th, 2019
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) - Opinionated and controversial GM Anthony Fernandez will host a live press conference this week following the draft, where he'll answer any and all questions. He's expected to cover yet another frustrating end to the season, including a 9th consecutive playoff exit for Tampa. The team has also piled up a number of trades already that Fernandez is open to discuss, as well as topics like the departure of Josh Freeman, what that means for the QB position in the bay, life in GZL after the fast approaching 1-year anniversary of the passing of a best friend, the annual failures at the Award Voting polls, and of course draft picks and trades. No topic is out of bounds!

Please post your questions HERE and they'll be answered promptly this week. Thanks in advance, we'll be here to cover the event for you!! (credit to Lions GM Tom Riddell for the concept)

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 06/29/2015) Replies - 6 :: Views - 194
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2018 Day 1 Rookies.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2018 Day 1 Rookies.
Roller-coaster ride continues for QB Josh Freeman.
Tuesday, December 30th, 2018
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

How soon will the Rookie QB unseat the 2-time GZL MVP?

To view expert GZL analyst mocks and reviews, please click::
St. Marie 1-10 | St. Marie 11-21 | G. Pearce 1-20 | G. Pearce 21-32 | Wintermute 1-16 | KVW 1-10 Grades

1.5 -- HB Todd Gurley, Georgia
6'1" | 226lbs | 81OVR | 93SPD | 89AGI | 90ACC | 74STR | 84BTK | 85CAR
Player Comparison:: HB Doug Martin, Packers
Quick Take:: The Bucs needed a RB at some point on the first day of the draft, and the signing of mentor HB Maurice Jones-Drew seemed to give that much away. But make no mistake - the Bucs were NOT planning on drafting one this high. That said, the Eagles started the HB dominos early (#2 overall), so the Bucs had to pounce on their #1 HB prospect much sooner than they hoped. Gurley is not perfect, but he's got all the tools to be a workhorse in Tampa. Expect the team to tack on 10lbs and also work on his strength, speed, and acceleration to turn him into an elite prospect.

1.19 -- QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
6'4" | 230lbs | 83OVR | 67AWR | 95THP | 85THA | 83BTK | 88INJ
Player Comparison:: QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Quick Take:: The Bucs certainly weren't planning on taking a QB in this draft, but when the Florida State Heisman Trophy and National Champion winner was there at 19, they had to pull the trigger. Freeman, the reigning GZL MVP will serve as a mentor, while the Bucs take their time to groom Winston. The league announced prior to the draft that Winston was actually NOT a scrambler, despite media reports stating the opposite. Afterall, he finished his college career with just 301 rushing yards.

1.29 -- NT Danny Shelton, Washington
6'1" | 325lbs | 87OVR | 95STR | 83TAK | 69AWR | 60SPD | 65AGI | 97INJ
Player Comparison:: NT Johnathan Hankins, Titans
Quick Take:: Shelton is a big nose tackle that won't get much fan fare, but serves as an upgrade on NT Ta'amu in almost every way. The two will split reps at 34NT this year, before the team ultimately cuts ties with Ta'amu and the remaining 4 years and $25M of his contract next offseason.

2.10 -- CB Jacob Reed, LSU
6'3" | 211lbs | 70OVR | 89SPD | 87AGI | 94ACC | 44STR | 58TAK | 63AWR | 49CTH
Player Comparison:: CB Micah Price, Texans
Quick Take:: This was simply the Bucs going BPA here, as while they planned to pick up a 5th CB at some point, it was not at the top of the 2nd. Reed just appeared to be too good of value with his rare size and speed to pass up. The Bucs have had a lot of success drafting big bodied CBs at the top of the 2nd, with Ambellina panning out as one of the most successful CBs in the leagues, and last year's Bo Davis getting rave reviews as a rookie with a world of potential.

2.12 -- LE Eli Mazzar, Arizona
6'4" | 309lbs | 82OVR | 79SPD | 71AGI | 77ACC | 84STR | 64AWR | 71TAK
Player Comparison:: DE Christian Ballard, Texans
Quick Take:: No buzz at all on this pick (good or bad) for Tampa, but we're told the front office is cautiously optimistic in Mazzar's potential. Eli will compete with Michael Sam and Margus Hunt for immediate reps at 34LE and may have the inside track on the job, flashing the closest prototype ability for the scheme. Reminds some at One Buc Place of DE Christian Ballard - whom this same regime drafted in the 1st Round in 2012.

3.5 -- K Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
6'1" | 176lbs | 66AWR | 93KPW | 89KAC
Player Comparison:: K Dustin Hopkins, Titans
Quick Take:: Irv McCoy was an early 4th Rounder for the Bucs two year's ago, but has had a rocky relationship in Tampa, missing 11 FGs over the last two years. McCoy was actually benched at the end of last season and in for the playoffs. He'll surely enter the 2018 season as the starting Kicker while the Bucs groom Hunnicutt, but with McCoy on the final year of his rookie contract, don't be surprised to see the big legged rookie take over next year.

LOOKING FORWARD... while the Buccaneers obviously exit the 2018 Draft feeling very good about the PRESENT, they would be amiss not to mention the plethora of picks they ALREADY have for NEXT offseason. By moving numerous times up and down the draft board, the Bucs hold the following picks in the 2018 Draft::
TEN1 | TB2 | NE2 | DET3 | TB3 | JAX3 | DET4 | NE4

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/29/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 44
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Live Press Conference!!
We take you to Tampa where GM Anthony Fernandez addressed the media...

Friday, December 19th, 2018
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

(GM Anthony Fernandez approaches the podium)

Welcome everyone, thanks for coming. I feel like the beat writers in the audience do a good enough job posting any dirt they find on Twitter, so I'll just skip any form of introduction and get right into your questions.
T_Riddell :
(Tom Riddell from the Detroit Lions asks) Every year it seems Tampa has a revolving door of players. Are there any players that you would never trade and what you think of the keys to effective trading?
Heavy hitting, right out of the gate. I like it! This is probably not the question you want to answer as Free Agency is taking place, as I'm not sure that it's a great message to send to players who might be thinking about coming here and playing football - but no, there are no untradeable players in Tampa. There are certainly players I'd prefer NOT to trade - guys like Gerald McCoy - as well as there are players whose cost tags make trading them extremely unlikely - guys like Claudio Ambellina - but everybody has a price. I've made a career of trying to find that right time to trade a player, and I think in most cases I've done well moving guys the year BEFORE they should be traded, rather than the year AFTER. Good example is WR Mike Williams last offseason. We turned him into WR Terrance Williams, who had a breakout season and has two standing offers of Future 1sts on the table. But I've also traded guys like LeGarrette Blount, Aqib Talib, and Tavaris Jackson and had to watch them win Super Bowls elsewhere. It's tough, and there is no exact science. My system of trading would not work for everyone, but it works for us here in Tampa. We've got a track record of success, and eventually we'll hoist a Lombardi trophy. I will say that there are two OGs on my team that will retire in Tampa, but we won't talk about why they're not leaving. Next question!
B_Tinnin :
(Brady Tinnin from the Cincinnati Bengals asks) What does Freeman have to do to make you like him?
Great follow up. How about a few more playoff wins? I dunno, Mr. Tinnin, I just don't know. I like Josh, I think he's a fine player. He's been MVP and OPOTY before, he very well could be again this year. I thought he played tremendous last year following all the off-season turmoil. I admire his resolve. It's likely going to get tested again, as I can't rule out the Amnesty at this point for him. Wherever he plays in 2018, they'll be very lucky to have him - and perhaps it will be right here in Tampa. Often times QBs get too much of the credit when things go well, and too much of the blame when things go bad. Unfortunately, they are paid accordingly, and we think we can win games with Mike Glennon under center, re-allocating that $15M a year for Freeman into something else. NEXT!
T_Miller :
(Tim Miller from the Kansas City Chiefs asks) Do you think your problems in the post season stem from the opponents, the coaches, the constant changing of the roster, the Madden 08 engine, or the fact that your players are disgruntled because you will not allow a pre-game team prayer?
Well I'll tell you what, Timothy, Coach Dungy sure doesn't like the ban on team prayers, that's for sure. I don't think we can pinpoint one specific factor for our lack of postseason success. I think it may be easier to pinpoint one specific factor for our regular season success, and that would be the NFC South. This has been a division that has severely lacked competition over the last half decade, and it's resulted in us putting up some cozy records. Even last year we padded our record with wins over not only those soft division squads, but also cupcake teams like the Bengals and Eagles in the midst of rebuilding. Ian Coyle and Gary Hickman are poised to turn around the Falcons and Panthers, and I can't explain how excited I am to have a proven winner like Jeff Downey in New Orleans. I love competition, and we're moving in that direction. Maybe one day we'll figure out how to duplicate that success in the playoffs, but if I knew the answer to why we struggle we wouldn't have been 8 straight times with only one Super Bowl trip. I dismiss it having anything to do with roster turnover - we routinely have a roster as competitive as anyone, evidenced by the fact we've never won fewer than 10 games in a season. EVER. I also refuse to blame the engine, even if I've got 4 Super Bowl trophies on the '07 engine. It keeps me hungry, and we WILL win one in GZL.
N_StMarie :
(Nic St.Marie from the Seattle Seahawks asks) How scared are you of Seattle? Kaepernick-level scared, or truly terrified?
The Seahawks are a very formidable opponent, but I'm not "scared" to play anyone. Truth-be-told, that entire NFC West division is pretty solid, including the improving 49ers, and regardless of whoever comes out of that division we'd have a tough task on our hands. We actually won't play the Seahawks in the regular season next year because we won our division, and they were 3rd or 4th in theirs. As for the shot at Kaep, not sure what the problem is with him, unless the Seahawks organization is still sour over him knocking them out of the playoffs in 2014 en route to winning Super Bowl V. Not sure what else to say, Seahawks are a great team, great ownership. Beating GM St. Marie in an RZL Super Bowl is one of my "mantle games", and I HOPE to see them in the playoffs here some day.
T_Miller :
(Tim Miller from the Kansas City Chiefs asks) Not that I am complaining but... Why did you go max bid on Blaine Gabbert and if you win him, how will you pay for him?

We have been in numerous discussions this offseason involving Josh Freeman, and even further back to last year if you want to backtrack to the start. Perhaps I'm just being stubborn, or other GMs are being cheap, but we have been unable to get the trigger pulled. To this point, we seem just as likely to keep him as we are to trade him. It is hard to move a QB for their full value in GZL, even if they are a former MVP on the verge of winning their 2nd. It becomes even harder to do so when a player like Gabbert is sitting out there for no compensation. While it's been a foregone conclusion that Gabbert was going to be matched in San Diego, it gave teams a window of a few days to try and drive Freeman's price down, so we just took that card out of the scenario. We tossed a max contract and it assures Gabbert will be a Charger or a Buccaneer. If for some rediculous reason they opted not to match, we'd just amnesty Freeman and move forward with Gabbert and Glennon. That said, we've been informed they plan to match at this point.
G_Pearce :
(Garth Pearce from the Oakland Raiders asks) If Freeman stays will he be starting or is it Glennon time anyway?
Without tipping my hand too much, we're going to play the guy that gives us the best chance to win. So the plan would be to have Glennon as the only "Franchise QB" on the roster, in which case he would start. We're ideally amnestying Freeman, but plans have changed before, and if he's here in 2018, he's starting in 2018. You don't bench the league MVP voluntarily. Freeman will 100% be amnestied if we won Gabbert, but we didn't bid on him expecting to win him, as mentioned above. It was a strategic move to expedite the trade market for Freeman.
T_Riddell :
(Tom Riddell from the Detroit Lions asks) Who is the best player in GZL Bucs history to you?
I'd love to stand up here and say it was someone OTHER than Josh Freeman, but it would be disingenuous. He's been rock solid, missing minimal time with injury, taken us to 8 straight playoffs, won 5 NFC South titles, tossed for the 2nd most passing yards in GZL history, holds the single season record for TD passes, and is on the verge of winning GZL MVP for the 2nd time and GZL OPOTY for the 3rd time. He's been amazing, and it will truly be sad if he doesn't win a Super Bowl in Tampa. It's insanity that his market isn't red hot, and it can't even be ruled out that he returns to Tampa. He's still got two years before regression, and a half decade as an elite passer, so he has plenty of accolades left to achieve.
B_Tinnin :
(Brady Tinnin from the Cincinnati Bengals asks) What is your strategy when trading? How are you able to keep a steady flow of top draft picks, as well as players coming and going, whilst remaining competitive year after year?
You can't be sentimental. As you can tell, I'm openly willing to trade - or even amnesty - the greatest Buccaneer in GZL history if it makes sense for our club. You just have to stay proactive, search out deals, and never ever turn down a value gain. Sometimes that will hurt you in the short term, but it almost always pays off long term. I also spent a lot of time in my early years examining what other GMs did. I watched what GMs like Brian Brown did, took notice of the kinds of players they like, the attributes that matter to them, and I modified it to fit my own styles and tastes. It has reduced bust factor on draft picks, and has made my life somewhat easy. It also doesn't hurt that I've been doing this for a very long time, so I've got a nice feel for different GMs, what they like, and where deals make sense for both teams. Then tack on an above average ability to gameplan and prepare, and you see some sustained success. I've just got to find a way to push us over that final hump.
B_Laurenson :
(Bryan Laurenson from the Chicago Bears asks) Does Tim Riggins keep in touch with Tyra Collette? Could you possibly get her number for me?
Actually Timmy settled down. He's married with a few young Riggins running around here in the bay area. Ironically, the locker room rumor is that Matthew Saracen has been spending a few friday nights turning off the lights at Tyra's house.
G_Pearce :
(Garth Pearce from the Oakland Raiders asks) What made you decide to go to a 3-4 base defense? Are you happy with the player pieces you have to begin this transisition or do you feel you need some different talent to effectively make the change?
We've historically had a lot of success with 3-4. We had our best statistical year with it, and even won an NFC Championship with it. We got away from it because of the pieces, but last year we were able to run a hybrid 34 and that's really when we started dominating games last year. Along the defensive line, Angelo Miller played fantastic at RE towards the end of last year and Alameda Ta'amu is a solid NT, which only leaves a void at LE right now. I'd put our LBs up against anyone's in GZL, as it's highly likely we have DPOTY Moe Jackson at MLB, promising youngster Ed Holliday at MLB2, Dion Jordan at LOLB, and Trent Murphy moving to ROLB. This will give us some very impressive size and speed at LB, as well as still boasting veteran Sam Acho to scheme situationally. We are very close to where I want to be.
G_Hickman :
(Gary Hickman from the Carolina Panthers asks) How long do you think you can win the Division Title? Or do you think your team will ever hit bottom?
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It's really hard to know the answer to this question, especially being such a good regular season team historically. We're very deep at important positions like QB, CB, and WR - so any isntance of us hitting "rock bottom" would likely be self-imposed... if we were out of the playoff race and tanking for draft position. Anything can happen, and the NFC South is improving, so it's going to be very hard to win our 4th consecutive NFC South title, or our 6th in 7 years.
B_Laurenson :
(Bryan Laurenson from the Chicago Bears asks) Trading away Morris Claiborne seems to show high confidence in Claudio Ambellina. Who do you project to be the starter alongside him?
I have an infinite amount of confidence in Ambellina, who I think has been the best DB in GZL since he took over as a full-time starter in 2015. Claiborne is fantastic and will be missed, but we are so deep at CB that we felt it was the right time to move. Once we knew we'd have Jordan Poyer coming back uncontested through RFA, and that we'd be able to commit our exclusive resign to Gunner Recall - it was a no brainer. We were able to resign both of those two for the next 5 years, and they'll only make a combined $8M this year. That's HALF of what Claiborne was going to make alone. We also have Bo Davis, who we drafted 2.1 last year, that we see as the eventual #2 CB next to Ambellina. We feel we have 4 outstanding CBs that are locked up for the next 4 years at team-friendly prices. Name another team that can say that?
T_Riddell :
(Tom Riddell from the Detroit Lions asks) With JP's passing, have you taken on any of his traits or motos when it comes to your everyday life?
I definitely try to tell people I care about that I love them every day now, even if I just told them yesterday. I've become somewhat MORE cynical. We used to bring that out in each other over our conversations, and it was a safe place to vent, but that is gone for me now. I've got co-workers, family, and friends - but nobody that I can sit back and bitch to like I could with JP. And truth be told, I absolutely miss hearing him bitch too, about anything. There were a million reasons for JP to hate life, but he never did. He was grateful for every day, had an unbreakable faith that I am envious of - to be so certain of ANYTHING. I loved that guy, and losing him has made me try to love life a little more. To live each day like I love to breathe.

That concludes this Q&A folks, as I'm on the verge of closing a deal to move DE Damontre Moore, so I'm going to take care of that. Thanks so much for showing up, you all drive home safely! Plus, I may need to find a new home for HB Christine Michael, since the league apparently feels I can trade a 1st round pick for him, but a two-time Super Bowl Champion can't trade the 16th pick for him. Gotta love double standards.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/19/2014) Replies - 6 :: Views - 105
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Live Press Conference Announced
Bucs GM Anthony Fernandez will answer questions Friday at 10pm EST.

Thursday, December 18th, 2018
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) - Opinionated and controversial GM Anthony Fernandez will host a live press conference tomorrow afternoon, where he'll answer any and all questions. He's expected to cover yet another frustrating end to the season, including an 8th consecutive playoff exit for Tampa. The team has also piled up a number of trades already that Fernandez is open to discuss, as well as topics like the confusion over Josh Freeman's status, the addition of longtime rival GM Jeff Downey to the NFC South, life in GZL after the passing of a best friend, the annual failures at the Award Voting polls, and the twitter war between GM Fernandez and HC Tony Dungy. No topic is out of bounds!

Please post your questions HERE and they'll be answered promptly tomorrow afternoon. Thanks in advance, we'll be here to cover the event for you!! (credit to Lions GM Tom Riddell for the concept)

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/18/2014) Replies - 12 :: Views - 172
Tampa Announces 2017 Preseason Depth Chart
Young Bucs D finally ready to mature?

Monday, July 7th, 2017
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

2017 Projected Preseason Depth Chart::
KEY = 2016 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie | Facing Competition

CB Claudio Ambellina (90) | FS Kyle Nelson (90) | SS Jacquez Stokes (83) | CB Morris Claiborne (99)
ROLB Sam Acho (94) | ILB Moe Jackson (87) | LOLB Dion Jordan (84)
RE Trent Murphy (87) | NT Alameda Ta'amu (90) | DT Gerald McCoy (97) | LE Damontre Moore (91)

LT Lane Johnson (87) | LG Frankie Gerard (86) | C Brandon Fusco (90) | RG Quinn Matthew (84) | RT Anthony Castonzo (91)
WR Terrance Williams (88) | WR Ryan Broyles (92) | WR Chaz Schilens (90) / TE Stephen Belantonio (80)
HB Christine Michael (79) | QB Josh Freeman (99) | FB Tim Riggins (80)

K Irv McCoy (85) | P Diego Gramatica (90) | KR/WR Jorge Lloyd (99)

The Bucs made wholesale changes this offseason to their DEPTH, so on paper projecting starters it may not look like a lot of movement. That said, the Bucs are a more progressed, more polished team heading into 2017. The biggest upgrades on paper appear to be the towering targets for 6'6" Freeman, who now can throw to 6'4" Schilens, 6'3" Williams, and 6'5" Belantonio. The change from 3-4 to 4-3 will also have an effect on how the defense will look (and hopefully perform). Later this week Pewter Report will break down those important Position Battles at TE, RT, DT, HB, and P before the Preseason gets underway!! Stay tuned!

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/07/2014) Replies - 6 :: Views - 68
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2017 Rookies.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2017 Rookies.
Bucs go OL with their Top Pick for 3rd Time in 4 Years.
Sunday, July 6th, 2017
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Can improved OL buy Freeman more time in Tampa?

To view expert GZL analyst mocks and reviews, please click::
Wintermute RD1 Mock | Wintermute RD2 Mock | KVW 1-10 Grades

1.20 -- RT Token Price, Colorado
6'8" | 319lbs | 84OVR | 63SPD | 70AGI | 79ACC | 88STR | 90PBK | 91RBK
Quick Take:: Token is pretty similar to Lane Johnson, who the Bucs took [1.4] a couple seasons ago. The main difference is he trades STR for polished blocking, which is considerable, but still not enough to drop him out of the Top 15 picks. The Bucs were happy to scoop Token up with the 20th pick, and have now drafted 5 starting OL (LT Johnson, LG Gerard, C Fusco, RG Matthew, RT Price). It's possible Price will eventually move inside to allow Gerard to kick back out to RT, but Anthony Castonzo likely remains the starter for 2017 before Price moves into the lineup next season. The Bucs will surely look to get Price some reps in his rookie outing to expedite progression, and it certainly helps that he can play any position on the OL.

1.23 -- RE Trent Murphy, Stanford
6'5" | 271lbs | 87OVR | 86SPD | 84AGI | 86ACC | 69STR | 73TAK
Quick Take:: Murphy was not the initial target for the Buccaneers, many experts expecting them to select TE Eric Ebron, but ultimately the Buccaneers could not pass up the value of Murphy. While draft gurus were touting him as a beastly LOLB prospect, the Bucs already ran that process with Dion Jordan a few years back and are quite comfortable at LOLB. With the team acquiring Damontre Moore to play LE, the Bucs will ask Murphy to bulk up 10lbs and rush the passer for the RE position with his hand in the dirt. It will certainly help that he'll be surrounded with exceptional pass-rushers like DT McCoy, DT Miller, LE Moore, and LOLB Jordan - all on the cusp of breakout seasons. Murphy could challenge for DROTY honors.

2.1 -- CB Bo Davis, Wisconsin
6'2" | 202lbs | 75OVR | 91SPD | 90AGI | 96ACC | 60STR | 55CTH | 57TAK | 61AWR | 99JMP
Quick Take:: Bo is an exceptional talent that probably scared some teams off because of his injury history. The Bucs already boast 4 exceptional young CBs that can also serve as mentors, so the Buccaneers will have plenty of time to bring Davis along slowly and strengthen his joints. He has exceptional long-term potential to start in Tampa.

2.20 -- ROLB D'quarius Kemp, LSU
6'2" | 229lbs | 73OVR | 82SPD | 80AGI | 88ACC | 76STR | 73TAK | 60AWR | 43CTH
Quick Take:: Kemp is not a finished product, but has a great mixture of speed and strength, and pencils in as a solid backup to ROLB Sam Acho. He will compete with LOLB Otis Baker for the primary backup OLB position, and both should contribute on special teams. This was a value pick for the Bucs, who were going to need to add LB depth at some point.

3.18 -- LG David Yankey, Stanford
6'6" | 315lbs | 80OVR | 59SPD | 59AGI | 75ACC | 92STR | 75PBK | 88RBK | 65AWR
Quick Take:: Trent Murphy gave the Bucs good intel on Yankey, who played against him in practice the last few seasons. Yankey had outstanding workouts and has skewed into a potential starter. He will have a hard time cracking the lineup in Tampa, but initially projects as the primary Swing OL for many years to come.

3.26 -- P Orion Gray, Michigan
6'3" | 237lbs | 90OVR | 98KPW | 85KAC | 59AWR
Quick Take:: The Bucs were not in the market for a punter, but could not pass the potential of OG in the 4th. He has an exceptionally strong leg - bad news for incumbent Diego Gramatica, who has the weakest leg of any starting punter in GZL. Diego's trade off is exceptional accuracy, however, and boasts one of the best inside-the-20 average in the league. Look for the Bucs to develop OG from the bench, before he ultimately takes over as the starter in 2-3 seasons. He should immediately takeover kickoff duties for the Bucs.

4.1 -- WR J.D. Eastwood, Arizona State
6'5" | 210lbs | 65OVR | 87SPD | 82AGI | 89ACC | 66CTH | 65STR | 80JMP
Quick Take:: Eastwood has a lot of development ahead of him, but wish exception size and passable speed, he should be a real redzone threat in a few seasons. He will boast 90SPD/90ACC at minimum when the Bucs are done with him, which could make him a dangerous slot WR down the line.

4.4 -- MLB Griz Hart, Pitt
6'2" | 249lbs | 76OVR | 75SPD | 79AGI | 84ACC | 79STR | 80TAK
Quick Take:: Griz got hit pretty hard by the skew, dropping to 75SPD down from 77SPD, but he will still have longterm potential in Tampa as a backup thumper in the middle. He could be a liability in the uptempo Cover 2 the Bucs will be installing, but will have growth potential and could find himself stealing some goalline work in the future.

4.25 -- QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
6'6" | 248lbs | 78OVR | 90SPD | 84AGI | 91ACC | 83STR | 90BTK | 59AWR | 94THP | 70THA
Quick Take:: Logan Thomas is a huge man with great strength and tackle breaking potential, but he has a LOT of work ahead of him before he becomes a capable PASSER in GZL. That said, he remains a dynamic threat for the Bucs to potentially mix up some formations, and he could emerge as a capable longterm backup for the Buccaneers.

6.23 -- SS Dezmon Southward, Wisconsin
6' | 211lbs | 69OVR | 92SPD | 88AGI | 89ACC | 69STR | 58TAK | 49AWR | 65CTH
Quick Take:: Dezmon is another piece of the secondary that helped guide Wisconsin to Big 10 honors with CB Bo Davis, and the Bucs couldn't help rolling the dice late in the draft. Dezmon actually looks rather solid for a late round pick and has potential to stick as a backup at FS or SS, where backups Brad Brooks and Brandon Claiborne have seemingly been on the trade block for years.

LOOKING FORWARD... while the Buccaneers obviously exit the 2017 Draft feeling very good about the PRESENT, they would be amiss not to mention the plethora of picks they ALREADY have for NEXT offseason. By moving numerous times up and down the draft board, the Bucs hold the following picks in the 2017 Draft::
TB2 | DET2 | JAX2 | BUF2 | MIN3 | HOU4 | HOU5

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/06/2014) Replies - 8 :: Views - 124
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa making moves.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa Making Moves
Lovie Smith already putting his stamp on the Defense.
Sunday, June 13th, 2017
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

RE Hunt | NT Ta'amu | UT McCoy | LE Moore

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and HC Tony Dungy made it official this week, signing Lovie Smith to a maximum length contract to fill their vacant Defensive Coordinator position. The Buccaneers also hired Jim Caldwell to a 2-year contract to become the new Offensive Coordinator, after Peyton Manning accepted a 5-year, $27.55M contract to return to Tennessee (where he went to college) and become the Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans. Manning suffered a steep learning curve his first year on the job in Tampa, dropping the Bucs from 9th to 22nd in Total Yards and 12th to 18th in Points Scored. Caldwell, who served as Dungy's OC way back when they were together in Indianapolis (before ultimately taking over for Dungy as HC when Dungy left to return to Tampa), is speculated to return the Buccaneers to a ground-based offense that emphasizes "pounding the rock". Who, in fact, will be the one pounding the rock is anyone's guess, as the team recently traded HB Eddie Lacy to the New York Giants for a Future 1st Round Pick. Word around One Buc Place seems to be that the team will finally turn the rock over to HB Knile Davis, who possesses an out-of-this-world skill set, but seemingly lacks the experience to carry a team on his own. Don't be surprised to see the team explore other avenues to try and bolster this position in the next few weeks leading up the the draft.

The real story, however, is what Lovie Smith has done with that pick they acquired for Lacy, pairing it with other future considerations to acquire LE Damontre Moore from the Green Bay Packers. Moore will be the lynchpin edge rusher in what Dungy and Lovie hope will be a revitalized pass rush as the team returns to the attacking Tampa-2 style the duo has had the most success with. The switch also means the team can now start RE Margus Hunt, an outstanding young asset the team has been sitting on for about a year and a half now. This news surely will bring a big grin to the face of UT Gerald McCoy, who can return to his much more natural interior position, pairing and rotating with LE Alameda Ta'amu and 2nd-year DT Angelo Miller to form an impressive interior pass rush. The Buccaneers have long-been ripe with LB talent, but for years have lacked the pressure up front to maximize the budding stars in the middle. Team officials are said to be quite excited about the new personnel on Defense. It remains to be seen what will happen on the offensive side of the ball however, as numerous positions remain in flux. With the draft only a few weeks away, we don't suspect the Buccaneers are done making moves.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 06/13/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 43
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa feeling the Lovie?
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa feeling the Lovie?
Rumors swirl Dungy has Lovie Smith pegged as next DC.
Sunday, June 8th, 2017
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Lovie Smith played Tony Dungy in SBXLI prior to NFL/GZL merger.

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and HC Tony Dungy are rumored to be in discussions with Lovie Smith to fill their vacant Defensive Coordinator position. Lovie Smith has taken a mediocre Colts club to (7-9) records each of the last two seasons, but after his 3rd consecutive losing season as Head Coach, the Colts and Lovie Smith have mutually agreed to go their seperate ways. The Buccaneers have the #1 pick in the GZL Annual Coach Draft, and are believed to want Lovie. Lovie served as a LB coach in Tampa for Dungy way back in the 90's, during Dungy's first stint in Tampa. Since returning in 2010, Dungy has an impressive (69-27) regular season record, but he has struggled in the playoffs to the tune of a (2-7) record. It is believed that former DC Rex Ryan was forced onto Dungy by GM Anthony Fernandez, who favored a 3-4 approach rather than Dungy's traditional Tampa 2. Lovie has extensive background running the Tampa 2, so the fit is incredible.

Despite lacking talent on the Colts D, Lovie's D only gave up 19.8PPG (#2 in GZL) last season. Lovie last served as a DC with the Jets during the 2012/2013 seasons. There is already talk that the Bucs will be moving Gerald McCoy from LE to UT, a move that should turn him from a "good" DE to a "beast" DT. The team would reportedly turn to LE Margus Hunt to hopefully become a double-digit sack master from the Left End spot, a postion where he hasn't started since college. During his rookie season, Hunt registered 9 sacks from the Right End spot, so Bucs officials are hoping he'll be a cantidate for Breakout Player of the Year next season. In the Buccaneers 4 playoff games since losing Super Bowl III, the team has allowed 31, 34, 39, and 45 points. If the Bucs ARE to get back to the playoffs, it's highly unlikely a Lovie Smith-led defense gives up that kind of coin.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 06/08/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 27
Tampa Announces 2016 Depth Chart
Young Bucs D felt snubbed with only ONE Pro Bowler in 2015. How will they respond?

Monday, January 6th, 2016
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

2016 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2015 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

CB Claudio Ambellina (87) | FS Kyle Nelson (88) | SS Jacquez Stokes (80) | CB Morris Claiborne (98)
ROLB Sam Acho (92) | ILB Moe Jackson (83) | ILB Ed Holliday (80) | LOLB Dion Jordan (77)
RE Christian Ballard (89) | NT Alameda Ta'amu (88) | LE Gerald McCoy (96)

LT Lane Johnson (86) | LG Frankie Gerard (83) | C Brandon Fusco (89) | RG Quinn Matthew (82) | RT Anthony Castonzo (90)
WR Mike Williams (97) | WR Ryan Broyles (89) | WR Jorge Lloyd (75) / TE Jermaine Gresham (99)
HB Eddie Lacy (82) | QB Josh Freeman (99) | FB Rhett Ellison (99)

K Brett Maher (85) | P Diego Gramatica (90) | KR/WR Jorge Lloyd (99)

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 01/06/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 87
TAMPA PRESEASON 2016:: "Super Bowl or BUST!!"
PRESEASON 2016:: "Super Bowl or BUST!!"
The younger Bucs entered the 2016 Preseason with few starting jobs at stake, and an eye on their first Super Bowl.

Monday, January 6th, 2015
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Running Back
HB Eddie Lacy VS HB Knile Davis
This job was rookie Knile Davis' to lose last preseason, but Eddy Lacy snatched the job and never looked back. Lacy was outstanding last season, survived offseason trade rumors, and looks like a rock solid HB1 headed into 2016. He is a darkhorse cantidate to lead the league in rushing. Davis was drafted to be the future feature back in Tampa though, so keep an eye on him if Lacy struggles or the Bucs drop some games early.
Lacy:: 1387YDS | 11TD | 4FUM | 4.14YPC
Davis:: 398YDS | 1 TD | 1FUM | 3.72AVG

Winner:: HB Eddie Lacy

Backup QB
QB Ricky Stanzi VS QB Jake Locker
Stanzi has more trade value (since Locker was acquired via Amnesty and can't be dealt for more than a 3rd), so it's highly unlikely that Locker is going anywhere. Anytime a team has 3 Starting QBs on the roster, the door is open for one to move, but Stanzi is so much more talented at this point that it would be hard to see him fall to 3rd on the depth chart. However, they will get a chance to compete in the preseason, so Locker could play himself into the #2 spot, where Buccaneer officials certainly see him for the next 5 or 6 seasons.
Stanzi:: 1589YDS | 14TD | 5INT | 2SCK | 82.9QBR (DAL)
2366YDS | 15TD | 16INT | 29SCK | 60.3QBR (IND)

Winner:: QB Ricky Stanzi

Slot WR
WR Jaime Linde (R) VS WR Jorge Lloyd (R)
Linde was too good to pass in the 3rd, but the team has a larger investment in Lloyd, so he'll probably get the first crack at the job. Linde looks a little more polished at this point, so that could lead to reps, but Lloyd will be a much better play longterm and GM Fernandez will probably expediate that by giving Lloyd the bulk of the early playing time. In fact, GM Fernandez is high on 2nd-year WR Vin Davis, so don't be surprised if he passes Linde, relegating the youngster Linde to Special Teams.
Winner:: WR Jorge Lloyd

Nickel CB
CB Andre Alexander (R) VS CB Jordan Poyer
Alexander was a nice find in the 3rd round, and the team is high on him, but it will likely take a trade or injury for him to get reps at nickel. Poyer beat out 1st round pick Grimes (now in SD) last preseason, and went on to have a very promising rookie season. Look for Poyer to pick up right where he left off. Unfortunately for Poyer, with former #1 pick Claiborne making $10M a season, and breakout star Claudio Ambellina getting a new 7-year deal, nickel corner looks like the longterm ceiling for Poyer in Tampa.
Alexander:: Rookie
Poyer:: 28TAK | 8DFL | 7CTA | 2INT | 1SACK

Winner:: CB Jordan Poyer

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 01/06/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 28
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Freeman feeling heat?
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Freeman feeling heat?
Buccaneers go three, maybe four deep at QB?
Tuesday, December 17th, 2016
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Freeman | Stanzi | Locker | Higgins?

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers promising 2015 season ended with an embarassing 21-39 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings. While a lot of credit is owed to the upstart Vikings, who also eliminated the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau, it's hard not to imagine how the game might have ended up if QB Josh Freeman was not injured on the 1st drive of the game. Rookie Ryan Nassib came in and played better than expected, but a late pick-6 crushed the Bucs as they blew an early 14-3 lead. All the Bucs needed to do was to beat the Vikings, and then a Seattle Seahawks team at RayJay (an action they accomplished Week 14 on National TV), and then they'd get their Super Bowl III rematch with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was not meant to be, as the Buccaneers fell while the back-to-back NFC Offensive Player of the Year watched from the sidelines.

The backlash? Nassib is gone, and so is Tim Tebow, who missed the entire season with a broken collarbone that he hopes Jesus has healed enough for him to resume his career as a New York Giant. The Buccaneers traded for Ricky Stanzi, and acquired Jake Locker via Amnesty. The moves surprised some, but the Buccaneers do not want another season to end with a 3rd Round Rookie under center in the playoffs. The two new signal-callers will also present as outstanding long-term assets - as Stanzi is YP5, $1.53M, with four years remaining that don't surpass $3.36M annually - and Locker is YP5, $1.93M, with five years remaining that don't surpass $5.52M. That is dirt cheap for a potential Franchise QB. They are also at the perfect point in their career where the Bucs can focus on AWR/THA at every interval and build these two into real beasts by the time their contracts are nearing expiration.

The real question mark is whether or not the Buccaneers are done at the position, as crazy as that sounds. The team recently hired Offensive Coordinator Peyton Manning, who has deep ties at Ole Miss University, where his father Archie Manning and his brother Eli Manning. That happens to be where expected #1 overall pick Jonathan Higgins won a National Championship. The Cincinnati Bengals have a standing offer on the table for the #1 pick that would see the Bucs send [1.16], [1.24], and [1.26] to move up and secure the rookie. It's no doubt a steep price that the Buccaneers have not agreed to pay, but if the price drops a tiny bit as the draft approaches (perhaps changing [1.26] to [2.20], or a player), then we're told the Buccaneers will pull the trigger.

Buccaneers GM Anthony Fernandez has mentored Bengals GM Brady Tinnin and informed him the best play is to draft Higgins himself, or to stay within the Top 5 - but apparently the Bengals are content with Ryan Tannenhill at QB and don't currently have a huge market for the #1 pick. Maybe this article will help, as GMs usually flock to obtain the things GM Fernandez covets. And we're told he covets Higgins quite a bit.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/17/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 36
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Peyton Manning spurs Colts.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Peyton Manning spurs Colts.
Manning will join Tony Dungy’s staff in Tampa Bay as the new Offensive Coordinator.
Tuesday, December 10th, 2016
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost OC Mike Martz Tuesday morning when he accepted the New York Giants Head Coaching job. It was a short stay in Tampa for Martz, who was only hired last offseason to replace OC Kyle Shannahan, but an opportunity to be the Head Coach in the bright lights of New York for the recent Super Bowl Giants was too good to pass up. Shannahan is also in New York now, serving as the OC of the New York Jets. Martz will take over for HC Tom Coughlin, who has spent every year of GZL’s existence as the man in charge of the Giants. Coughlin won SBV with the Giants, but following a disappointing (7-9) title defense season, the Giants opted not to renew the 70-year old coach. Coughlin will finish (60-43) in NewYork. Reports indicate Martz will keep OC Kevin Gilbride on his staff, as the two actually went to high school together and both played TE. The Giants are in the market for another Defensive Coordinator.Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Anthony Fernandez made the announcement a couple hours ago that the team had reached an agreement with Peyton Manning to replace Martz on HC Tony Dungy's staff.

This will be Peyton Manning’s first “coaching job”, but Manning was widely regarded as the best Offensive Coordinator in the league during his entire playing career, calling most of his own plays at the line of scrimmage. He is expected to fly into Tampa Bay early Wednesday morning and begin working with QB Josh Freeman and QB Tim Tebow. This is a QB-driven league, and while Josh Freeman has won Offensive Player of the Year Awards, and received MVP recognition, he has yet to win a Super Bowl. This move came as a big surprise to the fan base in Indianapolis, who were hoping the Colts would hire Peyton Manning following the dismissal of HC Lovie Smith. While you’d think Peyton Manning would chase the more prestigious job, he sounded very content as OC in a phone interview. “I wanted to dip my feet into the coaching pool first, before jumping into the deep-end and being responsible for an entire staff. This is a great opportunity for me to learn from one of the best in Tony Dungy. I’m excited to get to work.” When asked if the warm weather of Tampa had anything to do with his decision he replied, “you can stick that comment where the sun don’t shine.”

There have been reports DC Rex Ryan may be on the Head Coach radar of a few teams as well, but as of this report he is still on Dungy's staff. The Buccaneers finished (13-3) in large part due to their #4 ranked defense. Rex was last a HC two seasons ago for the New York Jets, where he finished (29-35), in large part due to a catastrophic 2013 season where he and GM Tom Riddell could not get on the same page about personnel, leading to some whacky trades, cuts, and amnesties - and ultimately a (4-12) record. He has largely revivied his reputation in Tampa Bay as a defensive mind, and could be a target for the Colts, Dolphins, Falcons, Bills, Bengals, or Rams. With two years left on his contract, the Buccaneers still expect to have him back.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/10/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 29
TAMPA PRESEASON 2015:: "Competition!!"
PRESEASON 2015:: "Competition, Competition, Competition."
The younger Bucs entered the 2015 Preseason with more starting jobs at stake than ever.

Wednesday, July 17th, 2015
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Running Back
HB Eddie Lacy VS HB Knile Davis
Most in One Buc Place had to be leaning towards Knile Davis in this battle, having drafted him and hand-picked him, versus just trading for Eddie Lacy. That said, the Bucs took Davis knowing he was going to need some grooming and it was the presence of Lacy (and Helu) that made the team feel good about the pick. Even still, most expected Davis to win the job, but Lacey was just outstanding this preseason. The Bucs rotated them out with different offensive units, and Lacy constantly exceled. Davis played very well for a rookie, but Lacy played like a veteran (despite only being in his 2nd year).
Lacy:: 321YDS | 4TD | 1FUM
Davis:: 233YDS | 1 TD | 0FUM

Winner:: HB Eddie Lacy

Backup QB
QB Tim Tebow VS QB Ryan Nassib
This was expected to be Tebow in a landslide, considering the money they have invested in him - but the team drafted Nassib so high that he had to get a SHOT to compete. Unfortunately for Tebow, a Severe Concussion would end his preseason after less than 15 pass attempts. Nassib shined in his 1st two games, leading the Bucs to a comeback win WK1 in Cincy, and roughing up the Lions WK2. He struggled mightily WKs 3 and 4 though, as perhaps the burden of having to play 4 full quarters instead of 2 exposed some of those rookie warts. Even still, it was a very promising preseason for Nassib, and he will be groomed to be the long-term #2 to Freeman in Tampa.
Tebow:: Severe Concussion | DNP
Nassib:: 704YDS | 3TD | 5INT | 11SCK

Winner:: QB Ryan Nassib

Kick Returner/Punt Returner
CB Prince Miller VS HB Roy Helu
These two would be battling to replace Jahvid Best, who made the Pro Bowl as the Bucs KR last season. Prince Miller is no newcomer to the job, having some very successful years in San Diego returning kicks (including winning STPOTY in 2010), but he was a newcomer to Tampa. The Bucs drafted Helu to eventually challenge at HB, and after trading Blount and talking him up all offseason, he's largely fell to 3rd on the HB Depth Chart. The team was obviously hoping he'd at least latch on as a core Special Teamer, but Prince Miller just flat out played better and won this job.
Helu:: 154YDS | 0TD | 0FUM
Miller:: 352YDS | 1TD | 1FUM

Winner:: CB Prince Miller

Nickel CB
CB Brent Parrish VS CB Jordan Poyer
Parrish was the higher draft pick, and got love in Training Camp, but Poyer has had an outstanding offseason. He was expected to enter the season as CB4, but he carried the momentum into the Preseason and won himself some serious minutes this upcoming season. While Parrish played well and the team still obviously has big plans for him moving forward, Poyer just proved to be much more ready to play NOW, and has a nose for big plays.
Parrish:: 11TAK | 4DFL | 5CTA | 0INT | 0FF | 0TD
Poyer:: 14TAK | 2DFL | 11CTA | 2INT | 1FF | 1TD

Winner:: CB Jordan Poyer

2015 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2014 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

CB Claudio Ambellina | FS Kyle Nelson | SS Brandon Claiborne | CB Morris Claiborne
ROLB Sam Acho | ILB Moe Jackson | ILB LaMarr Woodley | LOLB Dion Jordan
RE Christian Ballard | NT Terrence Cody | LE Gerald McCoy

LT Anthony Castonzo | LG Frankie Gerard | C Brandon Fusco | RG Quinn Matthew | RT Lane Johnson
WR Mike Williams | WR Ryan Broyles | WR Chaz Schilens / TE Clyde Alton
HB Eddie Lacy | QB Josh Freeman | FB Patrick DiMarco

K Rhys Lloyd | P Diego Gramatica | KR/CB Prince Miller

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/17/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 74
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2015 Rookies.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2015 Rookies.
The Bucs had plenty of assets, but how will the final result translate to gameday?
Friday, July 5th, 2015
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Lane Johnson will bring toughness to a young OL in Tampa.

To view expert GZL analyst mocks and reviews, please click::
KVW 1-10 | KVW 11-20 | KVW Best of the Top 3 Rounds

1.4 -- RT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
6'6" | 303lbs | 84OVR | 64SPD | 68AGI | 83ACC | 93STR | 90PBK | 86RBK
Quick Take:: #1 OL in the draft, unanimously. Lane Johnson is the complete package, even if #4 overall is higher than the Bucs like to draft lineman. While OL will never be a "sexy" 1st Round Pick, Johnson is ready to go from day one, and will slide in as the Franchise RT for the next decade. Fills the hole created by the departing Jordan Gross.

1.16 -- FS Kyle Nelson, Cal
6'3" | 200lbs | 85OVR | 92SPD | 92AGI | 93ACC | 64STR | 68CTH | 70TAK | 65AWR
Quick Take:: #1 S in the draft, unanimously. Nelson has the size and athletic ability that will rev any GMs engine. In this draft, it was not beyond belief that Nelson would be a Top 10 pick, so the Bucs were grateful to grab him at #16. He allows Brandon Claiborne to move to SS, which will be a much more natural position for him at 5'9", but 75STR and 74TAK. The move will allow the Bucs to employ Brandon at the line as an 8th-man-in-the-box, similar to how the Colts used Bob Sanders for many years. Nelson is a candidate for DROTY, as he should be all over the place in the secondary. Nelson also helps ease the loss of veteran SS Tanard Jackson.

1.27 -- CB Brent Parrish, S.F. Austin
6'1" | 194lbs | 78OVR | 94SPD | 86AGI | 92ACC | 60STR | 69CTH | 60TAK | 61AWR
Quick Take:: Parrish has the size and intangibles that usually are taken in the top half of most drafts, but he slid in large part due to his lackluster agility. The Bucs front office did extensive research, and were not fazed by the agility, siting numerous examples of players who excelled despite agility in the 85-90 range. Parrish will begin the season competing for nickel duties.

2.2 -- HB Kniles Davis, Arkansas
5'11" | 237lbs | 73OVR | 95SPD | 83AGI | 96ACC | 82STR | 70CAR | 62CTH | 72BTK
This may have come as somewhat of a surprise, but the Bucs were really smitten with Kniles. They have already committed a 10lb gain to him, which puts him in very good territory as far as size, speed, and strength. He has a long way to go with his ball security, tackle breaking ability, and his hands - but those are all problems he can fix over time while he competes for carries with fellow youngsters Eddie Lacy and Roy Helu. With Blount out of the picture, the race to start in the high octant passing offense in Tampa has certainly heated up.

2.11 -- MLB Moe Jackson, USC
6'2" | 262lbs | 80OVR | 79SPD | 84AGI | 85ACC | 80STR | 82TAK | 72AWR | 59CTH
Quick Take:: Moe is a BIG, STRONG, player that will bring a good amount of toughness to the Bucs new 3-4 linebacking crew. Moe will join veteran LaMarr Woodley to comprise the inside backers in the scheme. While Moe doesn't possess the long speed that some desire in the middle, he's got a quick enough 1st step that the team is thrilled to add him. With him being a 2nd Round pick, he'll be eligible for ITBT, and is likely to get a good amount of additional training in his career to assure he's a Buccaneer for a very long time. He joins an already young linebacking crew that features Sam Acho, Dion Jordan, and Jack Pounds. Moe will help the Bucs bounce back from losing MLB Antwan Barnes and OLB Gary Guyton this offseason.

3.4 -- CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
6' | 191lbs | 80OVR | 93SPD | 93AGI | 94ACC | 53STR | 65CTH | 72TAK | 62AWR
Quick Take:: The Bucs were very content adding Parrish to a young secondary that already featured Claudio Ambellina, Kyle Nelson, Morris and Brandon Claiborne - but when Poyer was available at the top of the 3rd Round, they had to pounce. A solid skew later solidified him as a player that will challenge for minutes THIS season. The addition gives the Buccaneers a lot of flexibility in to what they will do matchup wise.

3.7 -- QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
6'2" | 227lbs | 81OVR | 89THP | 88THA | 73AWR
The Bucs weren't shopping for a backup QB, but they could not pass the value in the 3rd Round. Nassib is very far along in his development, and even got a favorable skew. The Bucs will look to passively progress him to be the long term backup QB in Tampa, while likely Amnestying QB Tim Tebow and the remaining $18.15M on his contract NEXT offseason.

3.9 -- LT Stafon Martin, Colorado
6'5" | 301lbs | 71OVR | 58SPD | 63AGI | 82ACC | 91STR | 79PBK | 74RBK
The Bucs were fishing for a #6 OL and long-term swing tackle, but Stafon Martin skewed so well that he has likely put himself on a career path to be the eventual Franchise LT. Martin will get the luxury of sitting behind recently signed Anthony Castonzo, but has baselines too good to not eventually earn him a prominent role on the team. Pleasant surprise. In the short term, he will serve as the primary backup at both T and G spots.

3.12 -- LE Corey Lemonier, Auburn
6'3" | 255lbs | 77OVR | 76SPD | 76AGI | 83ACC | 76STR | 66TAK
The Bucs drafted Lemonier with hopes he could be the long term #3 DE for the new 34 front - but following the skew they have a player that really doesn't fit the scheme very well. While he has the strength to hold up, and admirable acceleration, he took quite a hit in SPD and TAK and will likely hope to latch on as the long term #4 DE role, with the team looking to upgrade on RE Ricky Stewart in the coming years. The downward skew likely played Lemonier out of any extra progression attention moving forward.

4.6 -- MLB John Jackson, Montana State
6' | 258lbs | 71OVR | 81SPD | 78AGI | 84ACC | 73STR | 77TAK | 66AWR | 59CTH
The Bucs took a chance on Jackson, having few draftable players on their board. They were hoping Jackson would skew up in speed and quickness, but ultimately decided not to sign Jackson. He will be a candidate for the practice squad, if a roster spot opens.

LOOKING FORWARD... while the Buccaneers obviously exit the 2015 Draft feeling very good about the PRESENT, they would be amiss not to mention the plethora of picks they ALREADY have for NEXT offseason. By moving numerous times up and down the draft board, the Bucs hold the following picks in the 2016 Draft::
TB1 | TB2 | PIT2 | JAX2 | NYG3 | OAK3 | TB4 | DET4 | PIT4

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/05/2013) Replies - 5 :: Views - 121
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs new roster taking shape.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs new roster taking shape.
Offense and Defense will both have noticeable differences in 2015.
Monday, June 17th, 2015
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent the last two weeks drastically re-tooling the roster that was bounced in the playoffs two consecutive years to the Atlanta Falcons. The team knew they would be faced with some tough decisions based on the cap penalty they accumulated last offseason, and we’ve begun to see that take shape. The objective has been getting young, getting less expensive, and incurring fewer future cap penalties. When all is said and done, the Buccaneers plan to be facing no more than $10M-$12M in cap penalty, and hope to take a small surplus of cap space into 2015. As for the getting younger part, we’ve seen an unexpected move to impart trust onto the teams own young players. An example of that was when the team made waves by trading HB LeGarrette Blount to the Seattle Seahawks last week. GM Anthony Fernandez then yielded many trade inquiries regarding RBs, but Plan A remained throughout to turn to HB Roy Helu, who will be entering a contract year for the team that drafted him [2.11] in the 2012 Draft.

Helu is a much different type of runner than Blount, using his blazing speed to make plays rather than the north-south dynamic Bucs fans have grown accustomed to. Helu has shown positive in preseason action in the past, but has seen limited game action due to his similarities to veteran HB Jahvid Best, who is also out of the way now, joining Blount in the NFC West as an Arizona Cardinal. While Best was an outstanding Special Teams and utility player in Tampa, the team will likely put all of those duties on Helu’s plate in 2015, perhaps with some competition on Special Teams from WR T.J. Moe. That word has been a key word around One Buc Place this offseason for HC Tony Dungycompetition. In that spirit, the team was not going to completely unload the position and go with the unproven Helu – the team sent [2.24] (which they acquired in the Blount trade) to the Cincinnati Bengals for 2nd year HB Eddie Lacy . Lacy was a high 2nd Round pick last year and had a decent rookie campaign, rushing for 1219 yards and 7 TDs. Lacy compares much closer to Blount than Helu does – buying stock in the philosophy that ”the best way out is always through. While neither player has the upside of Blount in 2015, the Bucs have relied much heavier on the passing game in recent years, so the feeling around One Buc Place is that the duo of Helu and Lacy will be able to account for the 1200 yards Blount gave Tampa in 2014.

To that end, the team also went a new direction on offense, hiring explosive OC Mike Martz. With QB Josh Freeman breaking offensive records last year, it is believed Martz is much more equipped to coach this offense. Also joining Tampa via the Blount trade are WR Chaz Schilens (6’4”) and TE Antonio Pantana (6’6”), who bring some much needed height to the vertical attack in Tampa. It’s a nice add for Martz, who inherits a ready-made offense that finished as the #1 offense last year in spite of unimaginative offensive playcalling. They will join WR Mike Williams, WR Ryan Broyles, TE Clyde Alton, WR T.J. Moe, and WR Brian Quick. Martz and Dungy have both publically said they are very excited to see the competition play out and are eager to see the final depth chart. The one thing that is certain is that the team will not be lacking in offensive options. There is an air of mystery around what the team plans to do across the offensive line, as it appears only 4 of the 5 starting seats have been filled. Last year’s [1.17] pick LT Frankie Gerard had a decent season at LT, but there are rumblings he may move to LG or RT. Veteran RT Jordan Gross signed a lucrative extension last year and may have to earn it in 2015 as the team’s starting LT. The team has been very impressed with RG Quinn Matthew, the step-son of GM Anthony Fernandez. Both he and C Brandon Fusco are highly likely to enter 2015 as the starting RG and C for the 3rd straight season. That obviously leaves one vacancy, but the team reportedly has a few lines in the water attempting to reel in a big fish.

There will obviously be some changes on defense as well, as former DC Bill Belichick departs to accept the Head Coaching job in Chicago. Replacing him will be DC Rex Ryan, who plans to bring the 34 back to the Bay. Tampa played the Cover 2 under Belichick, but rode the 34 to the NFC Championship in 2012 as they narrowly lost Super Bowl 3. While it’s still early in the conversion, the defensive line appears set with RE Christian Ballard, NT Terrence Cody, and LE Gerald McCoy. This is the same arrangement the team used in Super Bowl 3, only all 3 have progressed and become even better pros. That would obviously mean last years NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year LE Dion Jordan will be moving to LOLB, a position most draft experts felt he should have been playing right out of the gates. Outside of that, the linebacker position remains very cloudy for Tampa, with ROLB Sam Acho likely taking his 272lb frame to MLB, and not much known beyond that. MLB Antwan Barnes, MLB Jack Pounds, and LOLB Gary Guyton have each been mentioned in trade talks, but could realistically all return in 2015. At which position or in which role (or at all) remains unknown, but the team undoubtedly has at least two outstanding 34 fits in MLB1 Sam Acho and LOLB Dion Jordan.

Finally we arrive at the secondary, which is by most accounts still being developed. The big news out of One Buc Place is that the team may finally turn to CB Claudio Ambellina to start. At 6’5” and 222lbs, he is a towering prospect that has worked hard to get his game speed up to snuff. He actually started in Atlanta during the playoffs and did an outstanding job until CB Aqib Talib got hurt. There is a story gaining real momentum in Tampa that Talib could be amnestied in the next couple days. While Talib is still an elite shut down corner, the team remains committed to Ambellina and already have former #1 pick CB Morris Claiborne locking down the other side. The team is also expected to move on from SS Tanard Jackson, which likely leads to 2nd year starter FS Brandon Claiborne moving to SS, thus leaving a void at FS. While the team has clearly been dragging their feet on Talib, the move would clear $7.3M off the books in 2015, as well as take the Bucs off the hook for the remaining $20M over the next 2 years. With a large portion of that as “bonus money”, Talib actually becomes a pretty affordable option for teams to claim in the Amnesty process. The Bucs are in talks with a team who have given a verbal agreement they would bid a late 1st to secure the shutdown corner for just $5.18M next season. What the Bucs need to decide is if they can move enough salary around Talib to justify keeping him to compete with Ambellina and give a team starving for a Championship a more formidable secondary in 2015.

If the Bucs DO Amnesty Talib, expect it to have something to do with the team holding the 4th, 18th, and 31st pick in the 1st Round. There has been some shuffling at the top of the draft, and who knows what will happen. But with two full seasons before he even begins regressing, and by all accounts a few productive seasons after that at CB/S, we would not be surprised if the Bucs opt to clear salary in another fashion.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 06/17/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 98
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tim Tebow headed to Tampa.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tim Tebow headed to Tampa.
After no starting offers, Tebow signs long-term as backup in Tampa.
Friday, March 22nd, 2014
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today they have come to terms with former Saints QB Tim Tebow to become the backup to QB Josh Freeman. The deal is reportedly for 5 years, and up to $26.4M ($10.55M guaranteed). It's a large check to write for a backup QB, but Tebow comes in at an affordable cap figure of $3.86M in 2014, $4.39M in 2015, and $5.07M in 2016. The final $13.08M over the final 2 years are a team option, and the team may void those years (via Amnesty) if the two sides can't renegotiate. In the meantime he will serve as a competent backup who can start and win a game if needed. While Tebow is a scrambler, GM Anthony Fernandez has some experience with rushing QBs and is not afraid of the challenge. Perhaps that is aided by the fact he was sitting comfortably in his sky box in Tampa a month ago when Tebow led the Saints to a beautiful come-from-behind victory over the-then undefeated Bucs.

The Bucs had QB Brian Hoyer on the roster, whom they hoped to groom to be the long-term backup in Tampa, but the team found a great opportunity for Brian (and for the team), so they took it. Hoyer will return to New England, where Hoyer spent the last four seasons. Tampa will receive a 3rd Round Pick (BUF) for the talented backup. The team also made splashes by trading WR DeSean Jackson and a 3rd Round Pick (TB) to the Jacksonville Jaguars for WR T.J. Moe, a 1st Round Pick (JAX), and 6th Round Pick (JAX). Moe was a Buccaneer from 2011-2012, so the Bucs staff is very familiar with him, and think he'll be an excellent slot WR in Tampa. The move elevates WR Ryan Broyles to the starting position he's been scratching at for a couple seasons now. Broyles just inked a brand new 7-year contract a few weeks back, so it was only a matter of time before the team looked to permanently elevate him. The move also provides rookie WR Vin Davis an opportunity to compete for more snaps in the slot, after he got off to a red hot start in relief duty so far this season.

The Buccaneers are (5-3) at the halfway mark, but return from their BYE to hit the road for the next five games, including six of the final eight. It's unlike GM Fernandez to sit idle when things are going good, so it should come as no surprise that moves were forthcoming after the team dropped 3 of the last 4 games. Next week the Bucs are in Atlanta to play the division rival Falcons in a must-win game for both teams. Tebow graduated a Florida Gator, so it's believed a chance to return to Florida and the chance to play the Saints twice a season were his two driving factors behind taking less money to play for the Bucs. He also experienced a very deflated market to become a starter, remaining unsigned for a week and a day without getting a single starter offer. The Buccaneers were reportedly interested in trading for Tebow before the Saints cut him - but the Saints were not willing to negotiate within the division. When asked if there will any "QB controversy" in Tampa, Tebow chuckled and replied, "Freeman is making $72M and I'm making $26M - you do the math."

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 03/22/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 34
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2014 Rookies.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2014 Rookies.
The Bucs had plenty of assets, but how will the final result translate to gameday?
Saturday, January 12th, 2014
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Edge rusher Dion Jordan hopes to challenge for DROTY.

To view expert GZL analyst mocks and reviews, please click::
Stanley Review | Stanley Mock Pt1 | Stanley Mock Pt2 | Richardson Mock
KVW Mock Pt1 | KVW Mock Pt2 | C.Smith Mock | PTI Mock

1.17 -- LT Frankie Gerard, Michigan
The Buccaneers were very infatuated with Gerard pre-draft, having drafted his LG at Michigan last season in Quinn Matthew. That said, the Buccaneers had naively hoped that Gerard would be a target at [1.32], after the team had already added OT Eric Fischer, OG Dallas Thomas, or OT Brennan Williams. Unfortunately for the Bucs, an improbable run on linemen took all three of them (and perceived #1 prospect OT Leo Richards) gone after just 13 picks. Thankfully Gerard, who is equally as talented, just slightly less polished, would fall to 17 and become the new starting LT for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gerard, as well as OG Matthew and C Fusco, will join an offensive line with 3 active mentors.

1.18 -- LE/OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon
This pick was tense for the Buccaneers, because DE was one of the few positions that had no hype heading into the draft. Jordan was not mocked as a 1st round pick by any reporter prior, and regardless of how confident you are a GM, it’s always tough to take a swing like that midway through the 1st. But the Bucs took it, and it turned out Jordan was a lot higher on GMs draft boards than others had let on. Jordan will get exclusive attention in TC’s the next 3 years and will ultimately end up 89/89 as an edge rusher in Tampa, hopefully for the next decade. Jordan has the tools to play LE or LOLB, but the Bucs have a year to make the distinction. For the time being, it appears the team is very content moving back to the more familiar 4-3 scheme that Dungy and Belichick are familiar with. The move allows Gerald McCoy to move from LE back to DT, a move where the team expects his production to greatly increase.

The Buccaneers made two interesting moves at the end of the 1st round, trading [1.32] and [2.1] for two Future 1sts (KC and CAR), and two future 5ths (KC and CAR). While there were plenty of players the Bucs liked at these spots, the ability to replenish their stock for NEXT year was too good to pass up. In 4 seasons, the Panthers and Chiefs have a combined 0 playoff trips, and while both have improved and should challenge to break the trend in 2014, it is likely at least one will be a Top 20 pick. Had the Bucs stayed put, it turns out the next two draft picks were their targets.

2.11 -- FS Brandon Claiborne, LSU
Claiborne is the older brother of last year’s #1 pick CB Morris Claiborne, who was so talented he came out a couple years early. Brandon will takeover immediately at FS, and appears to be great value at [2.11] after the team got a Future 1st for SS Major Wright. Claiborne is certainly undersized in the Bob Sanders mold, but despite being 5’9”, the team has immediate plans to bulk him up. This is not expected to alter his already talented speed or acceleration, and he is coming into the pros as an established tackler already. If the team can improve his hands, they may have a long term starter at the position.

2.16 -- MLB Jack Pounds, Iowa
Jack Pounds was in the discussion at [1.18], but that was ultimately too high to take a LB with a few small holes that wouldn’t start this year. Pounds reminds Buccaneer management a lot of Barrett Ruud, whom the team drafted way back when in the 2nd round. Pounds is short and stocky, and while he doesn’t have incredible straight line speed, he will be a very solid MLB in the future for the Bucs. He will get looks this year when the team plays the 34, and eventually he will take over for Antwaan Barnes full time, maybe as soon as next year. The Bucs traded up to this spot, at the cost of [3.15], [3.16], and [4.10].

3.12 -- TE Gary Dowlings, K-State
Dowlings is a project of a 3rd round pick, but he had tremendous talent to be on the board in the 3rd round. He was listed at FB, but was somewhat similar to TE Jackie Thomas who was drafted about 20 picks prior. The skew wasn’t too friendly to Dowlings, knocking his SPD down a bit, but he’s still a very serviceable TE that can come in on two-TE sets.

3.13 -- C Leon Scott, Northwestern
The Bucs really had no intentions of drafting a center in this draft, but they had Leon Scott ranked as their #1 Center, so could not pass up on the value at [3.13]. The team is expected to stick with Brandon Fusco this year, who is slightly further along, but Scott has all the tools to either eventually overtake him, or to be groomed to start elsewhere.

3.14 -- WR Vin Davis, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers are pretty deep at WR, so it might take some time for Davis to breakthrough – but at 6’2”, 88 SPD, 94 AGI, 94 ACC – expect the Bucs to make it a point to feature him in a few seasons. Vin will not get that SPD point this year, but he will get it the next two seasons, and then with his ITBT point he will be a very talented YP4 6’2” WR with 91 SPD, 94 AGI, and 94 ACC waiting to break out in a contract year.

4.17 -- LE Jordan Williams, Virginia Tech
Williams was a gamble pick, as the team was going to need edge rushing depth at some point (Draft or FA). Williams avoided any skew damage, and will enter the season at 85SPD and 84ACC, which is not bad for a mid 4th round pick. He will likely start the season as the primary backup at both DE spots.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 01/12/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 51
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs announce coaching changes.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs announce coaching changes; is it best staff ever?
So a Dungy, a Bilichick, a Harbaugh, and a Shanahan walk into a bar...
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Dungy shakes up staff; fires DC Jim Bates and ST Sean McDermott.
HC Tony Dungy | OC Kyle Shanahan | DC Bill Belichick | ST John Harbaugh

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 23-31 at home to the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Playoff round, their 3rd one-and-done trip to the playoffs in four years. We knew there would be stiff consequences to follow, but we were unsure what they would be. The Glazer family gave GM Anthony Fernandez a vote of confidence by extending his GZL contract for another two seasons, but there was much uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff. The other shoe dropped this weekend, so to say, as Fernandez gave DC Jim Bates and ST Sean McDermott their walking papers. Fernandez gave Head Coach Tony Dungy a vote of confidence to the media, but refused to update his contract status - which is set to expire at the end of the 2014 season. Dungy is (36-12) as the Head Coach of the Bucs - but has only managed a (2-3) record in the playoffs. Despite winning the NFC Championship last year and narrowly losing the epic Super Bowl III clash with now-Hall of Famer Brian Brown, there are reports that GM Fernandez was the man making the coaching hires - not Dungy.

OC Kyle Shanahan was retained, but he also is on the final year of his contract after leading the Buccaneers to the 18th Ranked offense in 2013. To be fair though, QB Josh Freeman did miss considerable time last season, and team officials were impressed with Shanahan's ability to win games without him. In comes DC Bill Belichick and ST John Harbaugh, who both have extensive Head Coaching experience. While both coaches likely could have got a Head Coaching gig elsewhere this year, the landscape was not ideal with teams like the Broncos, Chiefs, Colts, Eagles and Jets open. The Patriots job was also open, but it's no surprise the team will head in another direction after future Hall of Famer Tom Brady retired this year. The talented Bucs roster will be a great launching pad for each coach headed into next season when more attractive Head Coaching positions could open up. There are even rumors in the bay area that if the Bucs fall short of a Super Bowl AGAIN in 2014, that Fernandez could promote Belichick right to the top job in Tampa. Either way, this coaching staff looks as good as any we've ever seen on paper, and it's a good first step into a crucial 2014 campaign for AF and his Bucs.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/19/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 62
THE PEWTER REPORT:: The STREAK ends! Tampa responds.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: The STREAK ends! Tampa responds.
Is the addition of Dwayne Bowe an overreaction by Tampa Management?
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

RUMOR CONFIRMED:: Bucs give Freeman another weapon.
Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 7-41 last week on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, as the Tampa offense apparently decided not to take the flight. The defense was equally awful, as the Buccaneers just appeared poised for a loss after stringing together 7-straight wins before falling as the last undefeated team in GZL (a claim they only had for a couple hours, with the Titans falling on the same day). The Buccaneers responded by trading for All-Pro WR Dwayne Bowe, who wanted a change from Kansas City's rebuilding scene. Reached for comment Bowe sounded relieved by the news, "I am very happy to be a Buccaneer. I want to thank Chiefs GM Tim Miller and the Chiefs organization for 6 and a half great seasons. Kansas City is my home and I will always be grateful for my time spent there, but I am in my prime and want to play for a contender. The Chiefs are headed in the right direction, and I wish them nothing but the best. In Tampa we are (7-1) and I got a great QB and two or three great WRs to play with. I'm excited for what we are going to do." He declined comment when asked about his contract situation. GM Fernandez was reached via conference call and was asked if the move was an overreaction to the loss, "Not at all. We have been in the market for another great WR for weeks. We nearly had a deal a few weeks back (while undefeated) to send this 1st and a 3rd to Tennessee for WR Kenny Britt, so to get Bowe for a little less was nice. So no, it wasn't an overreaction. We want to add as many great players to this team as possible." The team announced the move this morning via press release::

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receive::
WR Dwayne Bowe

Kansas City Chiefs Receive::
2014 1st Round Pick [ARZ]
2014 5th Round Pick [CAR]
QUICK LOGIC? The Buccaneers get better now, that is clear. Bowe will be playing with an elite QB for the first time in his career, and should put up great #s. It also means the team is no longer one injury away from having to turn a great slot like WR Ryan Broyles into a #1 or #2 WR. Losing a 1st is tough, especially of a (4-5) Cardinals team, but the Cardinals still play the Seahawks twice, the Panthers, and 49ers, among others - so is .500 really out of the question? We thought now was the time to sell the pick. With Bowe and WR Jeremy Maclin both expiring at the end of the year, it is unlikely that both are back next year, but expect one to get a long-term deal, with the other getting Franchise Tagged and traded for at least a future 1st.

Is there another deal or two on the horizon? Stay tuned.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 09/27/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 57
Tampa Bay 2013 Training Camp
TRAINING CAMP 2013:: "2nd place is just the 1st loser."
The Bucs are the NFC Champions - but now what? Nobody remembers #2.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2013
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

(13-3) Regular Season; NFC Champion; (2-1) Playoffs

Honorable Mention:: DC TAMPA BAY -- 17, NY Giants --14

The Buccaneers have been haunted by Ricky Lung and his New Orleans Saints since GZL and the NFL merged three seasons ago. The Saints had repeatedly been the team to beat in the NFC South, and even though the Buccaneers had played well, the Saints were just the better team. In 2012, this began to change and the Buccaneers were solid from pole to pole, including this huge NFC Championship win where the Bucs slayed their biggest rival. The Buccaneers mostly dominated the game until some garbage time points, proving they were in fact as good defensively as advertised. That defense was also put to the test the week prior as the high-powered New York Giants stomped into Tampa and put the fear of God in Bucs fans. The defense had to bail out the offense multiple times, ultimately getting 4 takeaways inside the redzone (3 of them inside the 10), and stealing a 3-point win from the formidable G-Men. The game was very important because it was the first playoff win in Buccaneers history, but as we'd see it would not be the last. Hopefully we can build on this successful playoff run next year.

Honorable Mention:: WK16 NEW ORLEANS -- 35, Tampa Bay -- 13

Is there a worst game in these leagues to lose than the Super Bowl? This is the 2nd time in my Madden tenure I've had the privilege (previously to the RZL Browns to prevent a three-peat as World Champions). This time it was good friend and mentor Brian Brown and his Pittsburgh Steelers, and I can honestly say it's a totally different feeling. He's such a talent at this hobby we do, and he is always full of great advice. As much as I wanted to win this game, I couldn't be happier to lose it to BB. He deserves it and I'm glad he got to win one on this engine, with that team, before some of those stars start clocking out. The only part that stung was playing so well in the 1st half and then completely falling apart towards the end of the 3rd Quarter. I had initially said that I'd consider stepping down if I even GOT the dream Super Bowl matchup I wanted with BB (win, lose, or draw), but ultimately the opportunity to try and do it again (coupled with a slew of high draft picks in the strongest class we've seen!) brought me back. On top of that I've been called to duty as a Commish again, and I feel the league is as strong as ever. In times as exciting as this, even an ugly drumming to the division rival Saints doesn't feel so bad. For the record though, we WERE trying to win that game in New Orleans, despite having nothing really to play for, so it was a really demoralizing loss that had me pretty doubtful heading into the NFC Championship game.

These are the 2nd annual Team Awards. Past Editions Include:: 2012 | 2011

Team MVP of the Year::
QB Josh Freeman (left)
242/452 | 53.54% | 3342YDS | 23TD | 11INT | 18SCK

Team Breakout Player of the Year::
DT Gerald McCoy (center)
39TAK | 9TFL | 8SCK

Team Rookie of the Year::
LB Sam Acho (left)
47TAK | 8TFL | 3SCK | 1FF | 1INT | 12DFL

Josh Freeman will win our Team MVP for the third consecutive year; ironically in the third consecutive year he has "regressed" by small amounts. Despite that, he's been ultra reliable and this team will only go as far as he takes us. He continues to take fewer and fewer sacks, and hopefully we have improved his offensive weapons enough that he can take his first "step forward" in 2013. Gerald McCoy didn't break out in leaps and bounds, but obviously his move from 43UT to 34DE helped him a bit. We ultimately feel he may be best suited for RE long term, but he will likely stay at LE for the foreseeable future and continue to be a nice multi-faceted threat on the most important edge of the defense. As long as he keeps sending the LB standing behind him to the Pro Bowl, we'll take it. The LB standing on the other side last year was rookie Sam Acho, who was a much better practice player than he actually was on game day, but he just has a knack for getting around the ball. The Bucs likely will move him to MLB at some point in his career, but we expect a huge year for him at ROLB in 2013.

Dungy fires Billick and Sweatman, moves staff in younger direction.

HC Tony Dungy | OC Kyle Shanahan | DC Jim Bates | ST Sean McDermott

The Buccaneers won the NFC Championship, but ultimately Dungy knew he needed to start shaping this staff for the future. Despite more wins, the offense had been steadily regressing, so it was just time for Brian Billick to depart. Billick would ultimately get the Head Coaching job in Green Bay. Replacing him will be Kyle Shanahan, son of future Hall of Famer and multiple Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan. Kyle was once a quality control coach in Tampa, so returning as the primary play caller was an opportunity that on paper makes a great match. Dungy has been very quiet about how long he plans to coach, but Kyle has the potential to be a Head Coach in this league, whether it be in Tampa or elsewhere. Returning is Jim Bates, who the team has seemingly been trying to replace since 2010 when the team replaced Raheem Morris with Dungy and retained Bates as DC. While the team has expressed a desire to change to a more traditional 34 coach, Bates continues to display positive returns, routinely ranking Tampa in the Top 5 in most defensive categories. The teams move to 34 went seamlessly, but despite that the team added Sean McDermott as Special Teams Coach and "Assistant Defensive Coordinator". Sean has spent the last three years in Philly as the DC, and team insiders indicate the Bucs plan to promote McDermott to DC within the next year or two, deciding on how long Jim Bates continues to kick Father Time's ass.

Only teams available currently. Exact dates and details available just prior to the Preseason.

Projected 2011 Outcome:: (12 - 4) NFC South Champions

The Buccaneers draw the NFC West and AFC South in 2013. While you never want to give opposing teams bulletin board material, we will point out the starting QBs on those 8 teams. Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Christopher Henderson, Jake Locker, Matt Shaub, and Philip Rivers. If the Buccaneers defense looks ANYTHING like it did in 2012, you'd have to think Tampa can find 6 wins in that group. Then if the Buccaneers can win 3 of 4 against Matt Barkeley's Panthers and Matt Ryan's Falcons, they are already at 9 wins. The Lions and Cowboys have tormented the Bucs in years past, but if the Bucs split they are at 10 games. That just leaves the basterdly New Orleans Saints, who the Bucs would hope to split with and get the 11th win. That puts the Bucs at (11-5), and that's not even being optimistic. So let's say they win one of those other games, and find their way to 12 wins and another division crown.

To view the Buccaneers entire 2013 roster, please click HERE.

SS Major Wright (FA Signing)
FB Mike Tolbert (FA Signing)
RE Julius Peppers (FA Signing)
ILB Barrett Ruud (Trade)
RT Jordan Gross (Trade)
WR Alshon Jeffery (Trade)
HB Javhid Best (Trade)

SS Aaron Rouse (Trade)
FB Leonard Weaver (Trade)
TE Antonio Gates (Trade)
LT Eugene Monroe (Trade)
C Jeff Faine (Trade)
HB DeAngelo Williams (Trade)

The Buccaneers took some pretty hard hits on the offensive side of the ball, mostly due to the salary cap. Antonio Gates and Leonard Weaver were Pro Bowl blockers who the Bucs brought in with high hopes that they would multiply and magnify HB Blount’s tremendous 2010 campaign, but ultimately their tenure will be remembered as a "just good" one. The biggest loss had to be that of LT Eugene Monroe, who had a tremendous 2012 season and was arguably the Bucs most talented lineman. He was also relatively young with a ton of upside. Unfortunately, the Bucs could not afford to pay him the $7M annually, but now face a tough battle with trying to patch together a starting unit. Thankfully the team did add blockers Jordan Gross and Mike Tolbert, two guys the team is hopeful can lock down Pro Bowl bids. Another exciting addition is that of former-Buc Barrett Ruud, who returns coming off of some of his best seasons ever. When he left the-then Cover-2 Bucs, he didn't have a real role, but he returns to the record-setting 34 defense that is known for creating turnovers. He will have a chance to shine in a LB unit that already features two Pro Bowlers.

To view expert GZL Pre-Draft Mocks, please click HERE.

1.1 -- CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
2.4 -- CB Claudio Ambellina, Miami
2.6 -- LT Quinn Matthew, Michigan
3.5 -- TE Clyde Alton, Michigan
3.10 -- WR Brian Quick, USF
3.17 -- LB Emmanuel Acho, Texas
4.17 -- SS Harrison Smith, Notre Dame
4.18 -- WR Joe Adams, Arkansas
5.4 -- P Diego Gramatica, USF
6.7 -- OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami

Not everyone in the league was in love with Claiborne at [1.1], but the fact remains he wasn't making it to [1.4] and was the one player in this draft that would drastically improve the Bucs roster from Day 1. Is a guy like Quinton Coples more "rare" for his position? Sure, but how much better does he make the Bucs defense? The Bucs had the #3 defense in the league last year, despite suffering against the run (#15 in the league). CB E.J. Biggers is a talented underachieving starter in this league right now, but he instantly becomes the most intriguing nickel in the league with the addition of Claiborne. It was a pick that had to be made if the Bucs hope to keep the defense on top. At the top of the 2nd the Bucs got a little fancy and reached on a couple guys, CB Claudio Ambellina and OT Quinn Matthew, but these were two players the Bucs REALLY wanted, and unable to move down less than 15 picks, the Bucs decided to stay put and make sure they got their guys.

In round three the Buccaneers got much better reviews on their picks, opting to go BPA and taking TE Alton, WR Quick, and LB Acho in succession. Alton and Quick received trade offers from rival GMs within one hour of the cards being turned in, so apparently other teams had their eyes on the pair. Acho is a bit of a project, but he will fit right in with his brother Sam, and perhaps one day projects as a starting strong side backer when his brother is ready to kick inside. SS Harrison Smith and WR Joe Adams were just value picks that will make the roster and hope for a decent skew. Gramatica will be the long term punter in Tampa, despite his kick power (very overrated), and OT Henderson projects as a long term project and backup in Tampa. All in all the Bucs feel pretty good about their draft, but I'm sure there are tons of teams who picked in the Top 90 picks who are suffering from a bit of "inferiority complex" after watching what teams like Buffalo and Green Bay were able to do on Day 1. The silver lining? The Bucs already have two 1sts, two 2nds, two 3rds, and two 4ths in the 2013 Draft Class.

These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Right Defensive End
RE Julius Peppers VS RE Christian Ballard
Ballard was a solid contributor as a rookie starter in 2012, but the team would like to see more production from the position. They went out and threw $5M a year at Pro Bowler Julius Peppers, and it wasn't to sit the bench. Ballard will likely still see some playing time when the team can afford it (battle shots fired at Atlanta and Carolina), but overall Peppers will get the majority of the important reps.
Projected Winner:: RE Julius Peppers

Slot Wide Receiver
WR Alshon Jeffery VS WR Brian Quick
A lot will depend on what happens in Quick's post-draft workouts and the preseason, but initially Jeffery will likely get the first crack to start. Both guys figure into the team plans long term, but unless Quick knocks some guys off their feet, look for the team to see what Alshon can do.
Projected Winner:: WR Alshon Jeffery

#2 Halfback
HB Jahvid Best VS HB Roy Helu
This one is a total toss-up, as both guys are very similar. The difference? The Bucs management drafted Helu so they have more invested in him. That should give him just enough of an edge to take over as the primary #2 back, but to his credit he also played well in spot duty in 2012 and severely outplayed veteran HB DeAngelo Williams. Not all is lost for Best, however, who will surely see time at 3rd down back, slot wide receiver and kick returner.
Projected Winner:: HB Roy Helu

P Mike Scrifes VS P Diego Gramatica
Ah, the ever entertaining punter battle! But no seriously, this shouldn't be much of a battle. The Buccaneers brass really likes Diego and wanted to take him at numerous higher picks once the 4th round rolled around, but couldn't rationalize it with other talent on the board. At the top of the 5th, however, he was a nice stash and will eventually become the starting punter in Tampa. It won't be this year, however. The team has no concern over his kick power and think it might even work to his advantage in a league that sees far too many touchbacks and not enough downed inside the 20. The Buccaneers will give Gramatica a few years to learn behind Scrifes unless they get a reasonable offer to move on at the position sooner.
Projected Winner:: P Mike Scrifes

Special Thanks to everyone who attended this year!

WR Ryan Broyles | +1SPD (98) | +1ACC (98) | +5INJ (82) | +10lbs (193)
CB Claudio Ambellina | +1SPD (88) | +1ACC (88)
CB Morris Claiborne | +1SPD (96) | +1ACC (97)
WR Alshon Jeffery | +1SPD (89)
WR Mike Williams | +5INJ (87)
HB Roy Helu | +10lbs (229)

It's Ryan Broyles' time to shine, and the Buccaneers are acting accordingly, flying in world class sprinters to work on his speed and acceleration. The team also is dedicating those same sprinters to work with rookies CB Morris Claiborne and CB Claudio Ambellina. Claiborne is more naturally gifted, but Claudio is a prospect the Buccaneers think can really be a match-up nightmare for opposing teams in a few years. The team will also hope to get a bit more out of WR Alshon Jeffery, who is in line for the slot position in Tampa in 2013. Roy Helu has a lot of what you look for in a running back in these leagues, but has been knocked as being mostly just a speed back. At 63STR and 69BTK, a boost to 229lbs could change that outlook significantly moving forward. Despite limited carries, he averaged 4.5 yards a carry, and we can bet he'll probably finish 2013 with at least 100 carries under his belt. WR Mike Williams also continues to work with strength and conditioning experts to reduce his chance at injury.


HB LeGarrette Blount | "I'm very excited to work with Coach Shanahan. Coach Billick was a great coach,
but he was more geared to pass the ball. I had my best year in 2010 with Coach Olsen, and he was a zone blocking guy.
Shanahn had some rough offenses on paper in Washington, but he never had a workhorse like me. Portis and Addai were
small and wanted to hit the hole fast. I'll take my time and maximize the one-cut system like I did with Olsen. I can't wait
for the season to start. It's also good to get DeAngelo out of here. He's a great person but why am I sharing my touches
with someone who had SEVEN fumbles? 2013 will be my best season yet. M-V-P, baby."

QB Josh Freeman | "I echo what Blount said basically. I know on paper, I've been 'regressing', as some
analysts would say. While I could argue that, they look at a stat sheet and the TDs are going down and the INTs are going
up. Can't argue that. I'd like to think I'm making better decisions overall, and that is resulting in fewer sacks and more
wins. But hey, all we did was win the NFC Championship, and I got in this league to win Super Bowls."

WR Mike Williams | "I'm excited about some of these young guys we got coming in here, man.
Broyles was fun to work with last year, and now he's the man, he's the second longest tenured wide receiver. Guys
like Joe Adams and Brian Quick, those guys should have been 2nd Round Draft Picks and we were blessed to add them.
I'm excited to teach them what I know. Alshon is going to turn heads.

2013 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2011 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

CB Aqib Talib | FS Tenard Jackson | SS Major Wright | CB Morris Claiborne
ROLB Sam Acho | ILB Barrett Ruud | ILB Antwan Barnes | LOLB Gary Guyton
RE Julius Peppers | NT Terrence Cody | LE Gerald McCoy

LT Quinn Matthew | LG Mackenzy Bernadeau | C Brandon Fusco | RG Donald Penn | RT Jordan Gross
WR Mike Williams | WR Ryan Broyles | TE Clyde Alton
HB LeGarrette Blount | QB Josh Freeman | FB Mike Tolbert

K Rhys Lloyd | P Mike Scrifes | KR Johnnie Lee Higgins

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 07/10/2012) Replies - 5 :: Views - 253
Tampa wins NFC South for 1st time since NFL-GZL Merger
Buccaneers Win NFC South; Clinch Home Field
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

The Bucs won't have to leave RayJay, where they were (8-0) this season.
Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Miami Dolphins 22-10 with reserves to finish the 2012 season a team-record (13-3), clinching their first division title since the NFL-GZL merger. Their annual tormentors, the New Orleans Saints, are very much still in the mix, having clinched the #5 seed, and it's pretty likely the Bucs will have to host the Saints in the 2nd round of the playoffs. For those keeping score at home, the Buccaneers (despite having everything wrapped up weeks ago) played their starters just two weeks ago to try and eliminate the Saints from playoff talk, but were embarrassed 35-13 as the Saints scored 21 4th-quarter points and chased the Buccaneers out of New Orleans. The Buccaneers were also embarrassed quite badly just 4 weeks ago at the hands of the #3 seed Cowboys, as Dallas throttled the Bucs to the tune of 48-25. So how confident should the Bucs even be heading into a postseason where they have been one-and-done the last two seasons?

One bit of information for the stat geeks that works in Tampa's favor - the Buccaneers finished (8-0) at home en route to clinching Home Field in the playoffs. There is also an unconfirmed report that the Buccaneers have submitted a bid to host Super Bowl III at Raymond James Stadium as well. That would seem to align the stars for a solid run, but the situation also plays eerily similar to the recent collapse the RZL Buccaneers had (ironically getting bounced by none other than the Saints). To further cloudy the stats, it should be noted that the Buccaneers have not historically been very good at home, but rather have made their name on the road. The Bucs were (4-4) at home in 2010 and (5-3) at home in 2011. Both of those years the Bucs were (6-2) on the road, but ironically were (0-1) on the road in each of those playoffs. Still searching for their first playoff win ever, the Buccaneers will get to try at home for the first time. For now, all they can do is wait and see who they will play. If the Giants beat the Cowboys in the Wild Card round, New York will come to Tampa next week. If the Cowboys win, then the Bucs will play the winner of New Orleans-Detroit.

The Buccaneers used their BYE week to practice, obviously, but also took some time away to hand out their end-of-year awards that are typically announced AFTER their playoff losses. Perhaps by announcing this year prior to the first game, it will spark some extra effort from the perennial letdowns. K Rhys Lloyd was awarded the "Breakout Player of the Year" award after converting 38/41 FGs, 38/38 XPs, and booting 34% of his kickoffs for touchbacks. Prior to this year, he was never more than a kickoff guy, but the Buccaneers have spent two years working on his accuracy and it has finally paid off. OLB Sam Acho did not have quite the rookie year the Buccaneers were hoping for, but he still did enough to garner "Rookie of the Year" team honors, as he registered 16 starts, 47 tackles (8 for loss), 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception and 12 deflections. Hopefully it's just the start of a long career for the 272lb thumper. To round out the crew, QB Josh Freeman won "Most Valuable Player" honors for the second year in a row. While the 3400 yards, 23 TDs, 11 INTs, and 85 QBR isn't much better than last year, he did improve in two important categories - less sacks (-9) and more wins (+2).

Interesting stat looking FORWARD?
The Buccaneers have 9 draft picks in the 2013 Rookie Draft. They pick twice in the 1st, four times in the 2nd, and three times in the 3rd. They own the Titans and Giants 1st Round Picks, who both are currently in the playoff tournament. They also have the Giants 2nd Round Pick, but will pair that with the Seahawks 2nd (Top 10) and Colts 2nd (Top 5). They also own the right to their own 2nd Round Pick. The Bucs final four draft picks are all in the 3rd Round, the picks originally belonging to the Bucs, Seahawks, and Titans. It sounds like the Buccaneers will have plenty of ammo to make a move, if they so desire, and will quickly get to work on their draft board if the postseason results in ANOTHER let down at the end. While GM Anthony Fernandez hasn't won a GM of the Year award since MFL over a decade ago, he should at least make it on the ballot this year while weaving together 13 wins and simultaneously stockpiling picks and assets to THIS extent. GM Tyler Richardson won the award in 2010 for pretty much doing the same thing on the GM side (stockpiling picks), and they had 5 less wins. The ballot is likely as far as it will go, however, since most still think AF is a knob.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 05/09/2012) Replies - 6 :: Views - 97
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Giant announcement coming for JPP?
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Giant announcement coming for JPP?
Bucs-Giants clash leads to multiple transactions; more to come?
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

RUMOR HAS IT:: Could JPP be headed BACK to Big Apple?
Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New York Giants 27-17, but there were no "winners" in a bloodbath between good friends GM Anthony Fernandez and GM James Paronne. Both teams suffered serious injuries that could set the teams back over the next few games -- the Buccaneers losing CB E.J. Biggers (Broken Wrist -- 8 games Minimum) and TE Cornelius Ingram (Broken Jaw -- 4 Games Minimum) -- and the Giants losing FS Will Blackmon (Broken Jaw -- 7 Games Minimum). The losses are sizeable, and the impact was noticed immediately, as the 13-10 halftime battle between opportunistic defenses quickly changed in a second half that saw three long passing Touchdowns following the hits to each teams' secondary’s. Biggers was a returning starter this season, as he played nickel in 2011. Despite that, the team elevated him back to the starting lineup and had big plans for him following his 2010 Pro Bowl season. Expect the Bucs to continue to make sure he's progressing from the training room, and he'll hopefully come back even better than he was to start the season. While getting healthy will be his #1 priority, the team will have him studying game film to work on his awareness to elevate him to shutdown corner status. He's very young, and signed a 7-year contract this offseason, so he will retire in Tampa -- something few Buccaneers can say.

The Giants have a little more depth back there than the Buccaneers, and could easily decide to just employ CB Corey Webster at FS, and if any move is made to replace Blackmon, it appears it may be to add a little extra pass rush. The Giants are rumored to be one of three teams that is in negotiations to add talented LE/OLB Jason Pierre-Paul. "JPP" is in his 3rd season in GZL, at the ripe young age of 24. He's notched 18 sacks in 34 regular season games. JPP has elite speed for his size, and has the potential to get up to 292lbs if a team desires -- a size that could really do some damaging sprinting from the edge of either a 3-4 or 4-3. While JPP did not shoot down any speculation he could be traded back to the Giants team that drafted him, he did add, "I love it in Tampa Bay. I don't really know why they'd want to trade me, as I've worked my butt off -- but I have a feeling it has to do with my contract situation. They have a lot of expiring contracts here, and GM Fernandez is known around the league to deal those rather than risk bidding on the open market. Some players told me he thinks other GMs 'have it out for him', so that paranoid guy takes no chances. Weird, if you ask me. He'll regret me not being on this roster, if that is his plan. I don't expect a resolution any time soon. Like beat writer Paul Willis pointed out, the rumors of me on the block have been around for a while, and I don't expect them to go away. GM Fernandez knows he's got until the trade deadline to make a decision."

The Buccaneers didn't wait until the trade deadline, however, to make a few other roster moves. At (2-0) and tied with the back-to-back Division Champion New Orleans Saints (who also ended the Buccaneers 2011 season), the team felt the need to buff up the roster in a few spots. The team announced the following moves this morning via press release::

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receive::
2013 4th Round Pick [PHI]
2013 5th Round Pick [PHI]

Philadelphia Eagles Receive::
QB Josh Johnson
WR Trindon Holiday
2013 7th Round Pick [IND]
2013 7th Round Pick [NE]
QUICK LOGIC? The Buccaneers were very pleased with the preseason play of Rookie QB Mark Steele. Steele is still out with a dislocated elbow, but the team has agreed to a short-term contract with former [1.1] pick QB JaMarcus Russell. The team also agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Delanie Walker with the extra cap space. The Eagles made the move because they needed a QB who can compete with QB Kevin Kolb, or at least provide a reliable backup if the team can move Kolb for a veteran. They were also in the market for a Kick Returner, and Holiday's skill set has been wasted on a Buccaneers roster that already features numerous speed returners.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receive::
CB Lardarius Webb
2013 5th Round Pick [SF]

San Francisco 49ers Receive::
2013 1st Round Pick [TB]
QUICK LOGIC? It's tough to part with the 1st Round Pick, but with Biggers on the shelf for half the season, the Buccaneers just didn't feel comfortable with any of their current CBs starting for 8 games:: CB Marcus Trufant (who was a veteran just brought back to mentor), CB Orlando Scandrick (who was signed in FA to play nickel), rookie CB Samuel Price (who skewed down and has underachieved thus far), or CB John Bowie (who is athletically impressive, but lacks awareness to start). So the team turns to Webb, who has a great skill set and could develop into a long-term option in Tampa. The big risk is his expiring contract -- but the team could just opt to resign him next year or Franchise Tag him and trade him elsewhere. For the 49ers, they suffered a season ending injury to their Franchise QB and will look to take their lumps with a youngster -- no reason to hang on to an expiring contract when you can add a 1st for the upcoming rebuild.

Is there another deal or two on the horizon? Stay tuned.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 01/18/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 107
Tampa Bay 2012 Training Camp
TRAINING CAMP 2012:: "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem Saints?"
After two consecutive one-and-done seasons, does Bucs GM Anthony Fernandez enter 2012 on hot seat?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2012
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

(11-5) Regular Season; Wild Card; (0-1) Playoffs

The Buccaneers entered the 2011 season with grand dreams of winning the NFC South for the first time in Franchise history, coupled with a lengthy playoff run that potentially might culminate with a triumphant SB2 victory in the comfy confines of Old Meadowlands Stadium, where Bucs GM Fernandez' good friend GM Paronne resides. Afterwards, the two would toast on Broadway with a couple of the city’s finest escorts, drink bottle after bottle of expensive alcohol and send the bill to Jeremy Trueblood, and tell inside jokes about Terry Gall to state politicians.

Needless to say, those dreams were never realized, as the Buccaneers would fizzle out after a scorching (7-1) start, going a dismal (4-4) over the back 8. In the process, the team would lose the division to the Tebow-led Saints, and to add insult to injury, Drew Brees would return just in time to bounce the Buccaneers in the 1st Round of the playoffs, the 2nd consecutive year the Buccaneers failed to pass the opening round. The Glazers, who own the Buccaneers, have shot down any rumors that GM Anthony Fernandez' job might be in jeopardy, but he (in addition to Coach Dungy and his staff) each only have 2 years remaining on their deals, and none of them were extended this offseason.

While the Buccaneers have a roster full of young talent that may eventually materialize into a winning formula, as of right now the Buccaneers are a very average Franchise. The Buccaneers remain in a chiral state, as they appear to have two very similar, yet very different teams that can show up on any given day. On one hand, the Buccaneers beat most teams they are supposed to beat (the Lions withstanding, annually). On the other, the team completely lacks the ability to rise to the occasion to knock off more talented teams. This especially showed down the stretch last year when the Buccaneers lost to the Packers, Bears, and Saints twice in pivotal second-half of the season games.

Are the Buccaneers really a GOOD team? Or are they just a good BAD team? Can GM Fernandez deliver on his DynAFsty? Or will the fans in Tampa just be forced to watch this team Die Nasty each year in the Wild Card Round? There are many questions that remain unanswered heading into 2012, but if you talk to team officials, they remain optimistic. They did get their very first victory over the Saints last season, but the series remains at (1-4) in favor of New Orleans. If the Buccaneers are to win the South, they must sweep the Saints in 2012.

Honorable Mention:: WK3 Tampa Bay -- 13, OAKLAND --10

Honorable Mention:: WK14 New Orleans -- 38, TAMPA BAY -- 20

The Buccaneers are (rightfully so) putting a lot of emphasis on the New Orleans Saints. That team has been the NFC South bully, and have blocked the Buccaneers from being the Division Champs two years in a row, despite Tampa finishing (10-6) and (11-5) the last two regular seasons. Of those 11 regular season losses, 3 of them were to the New Orleans Saints, and obviously 1 of the Buccaneers 2 playoff losses were to the Saints. The Buccaneers did manage to get their first win over their nemesis in 2011, going into New Orleans and stealing the road victory -- but had they just held home field a few weeks later, perhaps the story ends completely different. The Saints are just a team the Buccaneers don't match up with well -- and there are a few others. Of the Buccaneers 13 losses (including the playoffs), 8 of them have come to the Saints, Bears, and Lions.

These are the 2nd annual Team Awards. Past Editions Include:: 2011

Team MVP of the Year::
QB Josh Freeman (left)
259/464 | 55.82% | 3244YDS | 25TD | 9INT | 27SCK

Team Breakout Player of the Year::
LB Gary Guyton (center)
61TAK | 11TFL | 6SCK | 1INT | 8DFL

Team Rookie of the Year::
WR T.J. Moe (left)
15REC | 259YDS | 17.27AVG | 1TD

Freeman went overlooked in league-wide award voting, but there is no question how valuable he was to the Buccaneers. While 2011 may be considered a disappointment on many levels, the fact that the Buccaneers were able to finish developing their Franchise QB stands to make it all worthwhile. While the Saints will be watching Brees regress in the coming years, and throwing their lot in with Tebow-mania, the Buccaneers will have an already established QB who is reaching his prime. OLB Gary Guyton had somewhat of a breakout season, and it resulted in him signing a fat new contract. He will be counted on to anchor a young group of LBs who make the move from 43 to 34 in 2012. T.J. Moe wins ROTY in Tampa sort of by default, as the Buccaneers didn't have many high draft picks last year, resulting in few rookie contributors. Moe was actually drafted by the Bengals, but was acquired late in the year from Cincy, where he was able to put together a few nice outings for the Bucs in limited action.

Entire Buccaneers Coaching Staff returns following 11-win season.

HC Tony Dungy | OC Brian Billick | DC Jim Bates | ST Mike Sweatman

As mentioned above, GM Anthony Fernandez, Tony Dungy and his staff all have 2 years remaining on their deals, and none were extended. GM Fernandez, who is usually very involved in the Coaching process, was rumored to be on somewhat of a hot seat based off of speculation that ownership had handcuffed him from making any substantial coach changes. There have been reports for years that GM Fernandez loathes Coach Dungy's staff, having horrible working relationships with Billick, Bates, and Sweetman. Citing one source with knowledge of the situation, "Fernandez doesn't even acknowledge those old guys in the hallways of One Buc Place. They consider Dungy their boss, not him, and it burns his asshole. They aren't going to take orders from some 27-year old hotshot, and he knows it. He was definitely more comfortable working with the 33-year old Raheem Morris -- and don't be surprised if Fernandez forces Dungy to either revamp that staff next year (if Tampa struggles), or lobbies ownership to clean house altogether -- including Dungy -- despite their solid working relationship with each other."

Only teams available currently. Exact dates and details available just prior to the Preseason.

Projected 2011 Outcome:: (12 - 4) NFC South Champions

As mentioned above, the Buccaneers have had considerable trouble with the Saints and Bears, so those games obviously stand to be hurdles for the Buccaneers. Other clashes with teams like the Giants, Jets, Patriots, and Redskins could be very interesting for the Buccaneers. The team has historically padded wins against the lowly Atlanta Falcons, going (4-0) against them, but after a solid offseason behind the Franchise's first stable GM Matt Davis, don't be surprised if the Bucs have to settle for a split or worse. The Panthers have also proven to be a tough game for the Bucs historically, splitting the series the last two years. All in all, the Buccaneers HAVE to sweep the Saints to have a chance at the division, so our forecast is (12-4). They had 10 wins, then 11, and now if this Franchise is truly on the growth pattern that GM Fernandez assures local Tampa outlets they are, then this would be the year the Buccaneers break through the 4th wall.

To view the Buccaneers entire 2012 roster, please click HERE.

WR DeSean Jackson (Trade)
NT Terrence Cody (Trade)
CB Orlando Scandrick (FA Signing)
LT Eugene Monroe (Trade)
RE Glenn Dorsey (FA Signing)

DT Albert Haynesworth (Trade)
CB Chris Gamble (Trade)
DT Cam Thomas (Trade)
OLB Quincy Black (Trade)
DE Michael Johnson (Trade)
OT Kareem McKenzie (Trade)

While the Buccaneers lost some talented players (including four Pro Bowlers -- MJ, Kareem, Black and Haynesworth), the team was able to bring in talent at each of their respective positions. Haynesworth is the only position you could argue the Bucs got "worse" at, but he was a cap casualty at $16M annually, and the Bucs were very thankful to find a team that would trade a 2nd for him. The team paid a heavy price to add DeSean, but they firmly believe he is the playmaker the offense was missing, and they used the draft to safeguard themselves against losing him next offseason.

They also were able to set themselves up MUCH better financially, and cleared nearly $15M in disposable income that will free up again in the offseason in the form of expiring 1-year FA deals. The team could quickly clear their way to $30M in total cap space next offseason, both to aggressively resign their own Free Agents, but also to aggressively pursue some that are expiring elsewhere. The team also was able to land an additional 2nd and 3rd Round pick in next year's draft, and are still dangling DE/OLB JPP in talks that would bring back at least a 1st. The Buccaneers appear to be in very good financial shape, and the roster is the youngest in the league.

To view expert GZL analyst draft grades, please click:: Dave Bauer | Nic St. Marie

1.17 -- OLB, Sam Acho, Texas
1.30 -- DE, Christian Ballard, Iowa
2.8 -- WR, Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
2.11 -- HB, Roy Helu, Nebraska
2.20 -- C, Brandon Fusco, Michigan
2.27 -- MLB, Quan Sturdivant, UNC
3.7 -- OT, Jarriel King, S.C. State
3.27 -- CB, Samuel Price, Eastern Washington
3.31 -- DT, Ian Williams, Notre Dame
4.8 -- QB, Mark Steele, Bowling Green

The Buccaneers didn't have much to work with heading into draft day, as they only had two very late 1sts (no 2nds or 3rds), and they traded both to get DeSean Jackson. Through extensive last minute deals, the team was able to amass a ton of high picks, and brought in a ton of talent. Guys like Acho and Ballard will contribute immediately, while guys like Broyles and Helu offers intriguing long term answers to question marks like DeAngelo Williams and DeSean Jackson. Other guys like King and Fusco look poised to be long-term Buccaneers that will start seeing playing time in the next 2-3 season. Studivant is not getting talked about, but he could be a real name to watch if the Buccaneers pull the trigger on moving JPP before the deadline. The Buccaneers have been in talks with two teams, and have one offer on the table they REALLY like. The issue is not wanting to pull the plug on JPP before seeing how he will play at LOLB. Williams, Price, and Steele have the tools to develop into reliable depth long term in Tampa.

These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Left Guard
OT Jarriel King VS OG Steve Schilling
This will be a fun battle to watch. The Buccaneers envision both of these guys eventually starting in Tampa, but their skill sets do seem to each lend for different positions. King is a little less polished, and likely doesn't have the strength yet to move inside. A source with knowledge indicates King will be given a chance to beat out Schilling in 2012, but the more realistic scenario is King competing with Donald Penn to start at RT in 2013 or 2014. Schilling has to become more polished, but he is a bright Michigan man who already has had a year with the playbook and should be ready to contribute right away.
Projected Winner:: OG Steve Schilling

C Jeff Faine VS C Brandon Fusco
The Buccaneers absolutely love Fusco, and believe he is definitely the guy who will be snapping to QB Josh Freeman for a decade. The question is -- when does that decade begin? The Buccaneers just inked Faine to a brand new 2-year contract, and some believe that the Buccaneers don't want to rush Fusco along, already playing next to a youngster at LG. Look for the Bucs to let them compete, but don't be surprised if the team gives Faine another year or two as the starter in Tampa.
Projected Winner:: C Jeff Faine

#2 Cornerback
CB E.J. Biggers VS CB Orlando Scandrick
Scandrick was added this offseason in Free Agency with visions of being a solid nickel CB following the departure of Chris Gamble. Biggers was in that role last year, a role he was not very happy with after he made the Pro Bowl in 2010. Scandrick is the veteran, so expect Coach Dungy to declare him the starter initially, but it won't be very long Asleep.E. Opening Day?) before Biggers talent lands him starting opposite Aqib Talib again. After all, anytime you give away a bright youngsters job away, you never want him to be handed his job back when the guy who replaced him moves on. You make him earn it. Veteran Sheldon Brown returns to mentor Biggers (and rookie Sam Price), so the writing certainly appears to be on the wall that Scandrick will be the nickel, but he knew that was his lot when he signed on the dotted line. Even still, expect Orlando to get some charity starts in the preseason.
Projected Winner:: CB E.J. Biggers

Slot WR
WR T.J. Moe VS WR Ryan Broyles
These are two explosive youngsters that team officials are very high on. Mike Williams and DeSean Jackson are obviously #1 and #2 in Tampa, but with both of them on expiring deals, the future could be very bright for these two in Tampa. One would think that whoever snatches this slot job in 2012 would have an inside track to the first crack at increased snaps if one of the top 2 guys moves at the deadline or in the offseason, but that might not be the case. The team is said to have big plans for Broyles as their long-term #2 that is currently occupied by DeSean. The team will take their time to work on Broyles speed and acceleration, while gradually working on his hands and concentration. Moe on the other hand is already a talented guy, who will excel in the slot. The team will look to better him and turn him into a #1 or #2 WR, but much more passively, since the Bucs front office didn't draft him personally, thus have a higher vested interest in Broyles.
Projected Winner:: WR T.J. Moe

Special Thanks to everyone who attended this year!

OLB Sam Acho | +1SPD (84) | +1ACC (85) | +10LBS (272LBS)
LE Christian Ballard | +1STR (87) | +10LBS (293LBS)
WR Mike Williams | +1SPD (92) | +1ACC (94)
NT Terrence Cody | +1STR (98) | +5INJ (84)
WR Ryan Broyles | +1SPD (97)
LT Eugene Monroe | +5INJ (50)

The Buccaneers focused their attention this year on speed and strength. Wind sprints and bench presses are never the highlights of an offseason, but Head Coach Tony Dungy preached the importance of POTENTIAL to these young players. There is a window for players to physically reach their potential in this league, and he wanted to capitalize on that. Terrence Cody is entering his 3rd GZL season, and is nearing the limit of his potential. Dungy stressed to him that this offseason will be his last chance to grow existing muscle mass, and had him work personally with specialized lift coaches. At 375lbs, he now bench presses nearly twice that, making him one of the strongest men in the GZL. The Buccaneers also had him work with the Phoenix Suns medical staff, world renowned for their ability to rejuvenate players health and lengthen careers. They worked specifically this offseason not only with Cody, but also with newly acquired LT Eugene Monroe.

Newly drafted rookies Sam Acho and Christian Ballard were already among the biggest at their positions on draft day, but GM Fernandez gave them a friendly ultimatum on draft day -- get bigger. He wanted each to add 10lbs of muscle before Week 1, and each were able to accomplish the task. Ballard in particular looks much stronger, and it appears his 10lbs were gained completely in muscle. The overlooked rookie is very focused, and looks poised to have a huge rookie season. Sam Acho didn't increase his bench press, but he managed to do the improbable task of putting on weight, and getting faster. Acho was working with world class sprinters to improve his form, as he knows he will be tasked with flying to the ball carrier as the strong side backer in the Buccaneers new 34 defense. The Bucs also had WR's Mike Williams and Ryan Broyles work with those same sprinters, and both saw great results.


HB LeGarrette Blount | "I am not satisfied with my performance in 2011, and
I know that I'm capable of bigger things. It was weird going from being the bell cow
in 2011 and getting nearly 2000 yards, to sharing carries with DeAngelo and the team
so focused on the passing game. in 2012, I'll just control what I can control -- me."

QB Josh Freeman | "2011 was a disappointment. We were a trendy pick,
and everyone wanted to throw us on video game covers and label us the "Big 3",
but we really didn't play like up to those expectations. We won 11 games, but it was
because of our defense. In 2012, the offense needs to carry its end of the deal."

WR Mike Williams | "Things just never felt right for us on offense. We
weren't able to get down the field, myself included. This year we feel DeSean will
give us the deep threat we were missing, and hopefully guys like myself, LGB, Gates,
and our offensive line can perform at the level we know we're capable of."

2012 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2011 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

CB Aqib Talib | FS Tenard Jackson | SS Aaron Rouse | CB E.J. Biggers
ROLB Sam Acho | ILB Gary Guyton | ILB Antwan Barnes | LOLB Jason Pierre-Paul
RE Christian Ballard | NT Terrence Cody | LE Gerald McCoy

LT Eugene Monroe | LG Steve Schilling | C Jeff Faine | RG Mackenzy Bernadeau | RT Donald Penn
WR Mike Williams | WR DeSean Jackson | TE Antonio Gates
HB LeGarrette Blount | QB Josh Freeman | FB Leonard Weaver

K Rhys Lloyd | P Mike Scrifes | KR DeSean Jackson

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/19/2011) Replies - 6 :: Views - 332
Tampa Bay 2011 Training Camp
TRAINING CAMP 2011:: "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem Saints?"
Bucs must take the 2010 positives with them into new season, but can't be swept by Saints again in 2011.

Thursday, June 15th, 2011
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

"The Buccaneers have rejuvenated their defense, and added explosive weapons for Josh Freeman. Can the team take the next step and perform in the playoffs?"

(10-6) Regular Season; Wild Card; (0-1) Playoffs

The Buccaneers 2010 campaign was a promising one, as they managed to squeeze 10 wins out of the youngest roster in the league. Even still, the season may be remembered as one of missed opportunities. Aside from getting swept by the Saints, the Buccaneers also had embarrassing home losses to the (6-10) Lions, (5-11) Panthers, and (5-11) Browns. The Buccaneers very much appeared to be a team that played up (or down) to their competition level, and this will have to change in 2011. The team has to play hard EVERY week if they hope to reach the talent tier they classify themselves in. The Buccaneers best win was easily the WK14 victory in Washington, as both teams were (8-4) and in the thick of the playoff race. The winner had the inside track on a Wild Card spot, while the loser would have an uphill battle with tough Divisional games down the stretch. The Bucs grabbed an early lead and held on, ultimately winning and locking up a Wild Card spot shortly after. The Honorable Mention was a big character win on the road a few weeks prior, as the Bucs (for all intents and purposes) ended the Baltimore Ravens season as the (6-4) Ravens were never the same after the loss and ended up finishing .500 and outside of the playoffs. The toughest loss was the Wild Card loss that saw the Bucs blow a lead over the eventual NFC Champion Bears. The Honorable Mention would go to the WK17 tilt where the winner would clinch the NFC South and Home Field Advantage in the playoffs. Ultimately, the Bucs blew a lead and ended up sliding all the way down to the #5 seed.

Honorable Mention:: WK12 Tampa Bay --31, BALTIMORE --27

Honorable Mention:: WK17 NEW ORLEANS-- 36, Tampa Bay--27

These are the 1st annual Team Awards.

Team MVP of the Year::
FS Ronde Barber (left)
67 TAK, 3 FF, 5 INT, 11 DFL, PRO BOWL

Team Breakout Player of the Year::
CB E.J. Biggers (center)
57 TAK, 1 SACK, 1 FF, 5 INT, 2 TD, 16 DFL, PRO BOWL

Team Rookie of the Year::
HB LeGarrette Blount (#27) (left)
361 CAR, 1886 YDS, 19 TD, PRO BOWL

The Buccaneers will honor three standout players each season. The 2010 Team MVP was legendary CB Ronde Barber, who retired this offseason and ultimately may end up in the GZL Hall of Fame as the greatest Cover-2 Corner of all-time. He proved critics who claimed he was too small to play FS wrong, ultimately leading the league in most statistic categories and being voted to the Pro Bowl. One clear effect of the Ronde move to FS was him allowing youngster E.J. Biggers to start at CB. Despite not getting his first start until near midseason, Biggers exploded onto the scene and has established himself as one of the most promising young Corners in the league. He will have more competition in 2011, as the Bucs ultimately look to refine Biggers' skills before thrusting him back into fulltime duty. What is there to say about Blount that already hasn't? The guy is a monster, and is coming off of breaking just about every Buccaneer record in team history. He will look to 2011 to prove he is better than OROTY Ryan Matthews.

Bucs hire memorable face to re-tool staff; brings championship flare.

HC Tony Dungy | OC Brian Billick | DC Jim Bates | ST Mike Sweatman

The Buccaneers cleaned house on the staff in 2011, talking three Super Bowl winning coaches into coming out of retirement to join the staff. The Head Coach is familiar face Tony Dungy, as you can read more about in the official press release. Dungy then brought on Brian Billick, who won a Super Bowl as the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens. He also served as the Offensive Coordinator for one of the more explosive offenses in league history, the Randy Moss-Cris Carter Vikings. The team retained Jim Bates to coach the defense, but the truth is Tony Dungy will handle most defensive decisions. For Special Teams, the team hired Mike Sweatman, who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants ages ago. He will have two talented new weapons to work with in the kicking game, but the real test will be mining a Pro Bowl caliber kick returner out of the speedy roster. All in all, the Buccaneers are very excited about the all-star coaching staff set to take over.

Only teams available currently. Exact dates and details available just prior to the Preseason.

Projected 2011 Outcome:: (11- 5) NFC South Champions

There are certainly a lot of quality opponents on this schedule, but the Buccaneers are reportedly very confident headed into the season. The team obviously feels they can improve on their (3-3) division record, and are also said to be positive they will improve on the disappointing (4-4) record at home. The team is reportedly excited to draw the NFC North in 2011, as they have reportedly highlighted the rematch with the NFC Champion Bears, and are also looking forward to playing GM Mullendore and his Packers. The team will see how the new defense can hold up not only against the likes of Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers -- but also new "Franchise QBs" like Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, and Kevin Kolb. While everything else is icing on the cake, the ultimate achievement in 2011 will be sweeping the reigning NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints, and every ounce of GM Anthony Fernandez energy will reportedly be spent making sure the rivalry with GM Ricky Lung becomes a much more competitive one.

To view the Buccaneers entire 2011 roster, please click HERE. For rookies, please click HERE.

CB Chris Gamble (Trade)
FS Aaron Rouse (FA)
OLB Jon Alston (Trade)
MLB Gary Brackett (Trade)
OLB Gary Guyton (Trade)
DT Albert Haynesworth (Trade)
DT Cam Thomas (Trade)
RG Mackenzy Bernadeau (RFA)
RT Kareem McKenzie (Trade)
WR Eddie Royal (Trade)
WR David Clowney (Trade)
TE Antonio Gates (Trade)
FB Leonard Weaver (FA)
K Rhys Lloyd (Trade)
P Mike Scifres (Trade)

FS Ronde Barber (Retired)
FB Tony Richardson (Retired)
WR Plaxico Burress (Cut)
TE Kellen Winslow Jr (Trade)
RG Stacy Andrews (Trade)
WR Jonathan Holland (Trade)
DT Marcus Stroud (Trade)
DT/DE Brian Price (Trade)
OLB Geno Hayes (Trade)

These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Left Guard
LG Jeremy Zuttah VS LG Steve Schilling
Projected Winner:: LG Jeremy Zuttah
Zuttah has the inside track on this starting job after signing a new contract this offseason, but the Bucs are said to be very high on the Michigan prospect Steve Schilling. We would not be surprised to see Schilling take over the job if Zuttah struggles, but Zuttah is coming off of a productive season blocking for Franchise QB Josh Freeman, so it is his job to lose. In the mean time, expect the Bucs to groom Schilling to eventually take over at one of the offensive line positions, as only LT Donald Penn and RG Mackenzy Bernadeau are locks for starting spots moving forward.

Defensive Tackle
DT Albert Haynesworth VS DT Cam Thomas
Projected Winner:: DT Albert Haynesworth
Gerald McCoy has too much potential to not start, so Big Al and Cam will likely be battling with each other for the other spot. It would be unprecedented for any team to pay a backup $12M a season, so Haynesworth is likely to get the job, but with his bloated contract, it is only a matter of time before the team will move on and bring Thomas in fulltime. For the 2011 season, expect Thomas to only play 34 formations, but even in those instances Al is a likely target to kick over to DE so won't miss any playing time. Members inside Haynesworth's circle are saying he is very aware he needs a huge 2011 campaign if he has any hope of continuing to be paid that monster contract moving forward to 2012.

Free Safety
S Bob Sanders VS S Aaron Rouse
Projected Winner:: S Aaron Rouse
Bob Sanders came over at the end of last season and really hasn't had a fair shot to start. It was believed he would get that this year with Ronde retiring and the team deciding to use their dedicated signing on Sanders, but the team ultimately went out and threw a nice chunk of money at Aaron Rouse anyway. Rouse has amazing size and speed for the position, and if he proves that his lack of experience doesn't hinder the Buccaneers secondary, he will likely get the starting nod. If he can play up to his potential, he is a sleeper for a Pro Bowl bid in the talented Bucs secondary. That said, Bob Sanders is being reuinted with his old coach Tony Dungy, so we don't anticipate the leash is very long on Rouse.

Weakside Linebacker
OLB Jon Alston VS OLB Gary Guyton
Projected Winner:: OLB Gary Guyton
Quincy Black had a great 2011 campaign and reports indicate he will remain the strong side starter. That leaves the two new additions to the team to battle it out for playing time, and both have a good amount of talent. Alston is undersized, but will likely be used as a situational edge rusher in formation subs, while Guyton has the size to hold up full time against the talented running backs in the NFC South. Guyton is a Free Agent after the season, so the team will be looking to see what he can do before they commit big money to the former-Patriot.

Special Thanks to everyone who attended this year!

WR Mike Williams | +1SPD (91) | +1ACC (93) | +5INJ (79)
CB E. J. Biggers | +1SPD (97) | +1ACC (95)
DT Gerald McCoy | +1STR (90) | +1 ACC (87)
DT Cam Thomas | +1STR (97) | +10lbs (341)
DE Michael Johnson | +5INJ (83)
HB LeGarrette Blount | +10lbs (251)

The Buccaneers had a very productive training camp, working with most of their youth in 2011. Biggers is coming off of a breakout season, and even though he likely will be moving to nickel this season, the team is focused on maxing out his potential and their dedication to getting him speed trainers should show just that. The team then moved onto the defensive line, where Gerald McCoy is a lock to wreak havoc from the under position that Warren Sapp once haunted backfields from. The team also bulked up NT Cam Thomas, who likely will only play a limited role in 2011, but is definitely in the team’s plans moving forward. The team has asked Thomas to bulk up, as he will get shuffled in every time the Buccaneers show 34 fronts. The team also dedicated Mike Williams with special speed trainers, and he has added a jump to his step. He had a productive rookie campaign, but the team felt he was one player that really could step up in 2011. The team also asked Blount to put on a bit more weight to further embrace his bulldozing role he will be doing for a while, fresh off of a new 7-year contract.


HB Blount | "I still haven't forgot about the league picking that Matthews kid
over me for MVP and ROTY. Then to top it off he got a Super Bowl win, too. 19
TDs wasn't enough? Ok. The league is officially on notice -- this year I'm going
Byron Hout on the GZL."

QB Freeman | "We know how good we can be. We know that the first step
is knocking off the Saints, so that is our goal for 2011. It is a bold claim, but
we know we can beat those guys. This year we're going to prove it. The battle
shots have been fired I guess. See you in a few weeks Drew."

QB Freeman | "You remember the Dallas Cowboys Triplets? Irvin, Emmitt,
and Aikman? You are looking at the next three. We are going to dominate the
next decade in GZL. You've been warned."

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 06/16/2011) Replies - 7 :: Views - 158
Head Coach Tony Dungy Returns To Tampa
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Back in the Bay.
Tony Dungy ends retirement to return to Tampa.
Sunday, May 29th, 2011
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – The Buccaneers announced today that they have come to terms with Super Bowl winning Head Coach Tony Dungy to end his two-year retirement and return to become the 9th Head Coach in Tampa Franchise history. Dungy previously serving as the 6th Head Coach from 1996-2001, going (56-46) and making the playoffs three times in that span. Dungy also went (85-27) as the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts and won Super Bowl XLIV prior to the NFL-GZL merger. The deal is reportedly for 5 seasons, averaging $5.27M a year. When reached for comment Dungy added, "I am very proud to be back with this organization. I enjoyed my time in Indianapolis and made many great memories, but Tampa Bay has always been my home. While you never regret winning a Super Bowl, it always felt to me like I should have won it in Tampa. We are going to do everything in our power to bring at least one trophy to Tampa in the next five years. It is good to be home." GM Anthony Fernandez was very excited at the announcement as well, "They don't make better people than Tony Dungy. We are excited that he made this decision, and we look forward to watching him fill out his staff and build on the strides we made last year."

When Dungy was asked if they would run the Tampa-2 Defense that he helped make famous, he was non-committal, but did hint that the defense would be different than what we have come to expect. "I think what we have all realized is that the game is evolving. You will definitely see some elements of the Tampa-2, but we have not outright decided what direction we will be going. Expect us to be flexible enough to throw any look at teams -- Cover 2, Base 34, Base 43 -- you name it." The Buccaneers have already announced that Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates will be returning for 2011, but Dungy still has yet to appoint an Offensive Coordinator or Special Teams Coach. While the staff is being filled out over the next couple weeks, we have learned that the Buccaneers have been working hard to improve the Wild Card roster in an attempt to keep up with the talented Saints, Falcons, and Panthers. While details have not been released, rumors are circulating that the Buccaneers have added numerous players, including HB DeAngelo Williams, CB Chris Gamble, DT Albert Haynesworth, DT Cam Thomas, and TE Antonio Gates. We will keep you posted as details emerge.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 05/29/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
UPDATE:: CB Marcus Trufant dealt to San Fran.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs deal Trufant to San Fran.
Lots of bidders, but there can only be one winner.
Friday, March 11th, 2010
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – The Buccaneers have announced they have traded CB Marcus Trufant to the San Francisco 49ers. It was reported last night that the Bucs were close to a deal, and this morning the 49ers came to bat with the offer the Bucs liked the best. Terms have the deal have not been disclosed, per team policy. The 49ers have been stung by the injury bug as of late, primarily in their secondary. Despite only needing another win or two to clinch the NFC West and a playoff spot, the team stayed aggressive and proved they have bigger goals for the 2010 season than winning the NFC West. For the Buccaneers, the move indicates the team may doubt their ability to keep up with the high-powered Saints, but it certainly will put the Bucs in a better position to compete moving forward beyond 2010. The youngest roster in the GZL just got a little younger, and it will now be on CB E.J. Biggers to step up and fill the void left by Trufant leaving. CB Aqib Talib and CB Sheldon Brown also remain in the secondary, so he won't be alone, but the move does leave the Bucs thin at corner. Trufant is expected to be moved formally to San Fran by next week at the latest.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 03/11/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
Tampa Bay and LT Donald Penn agree to restructured contract.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs lock up LT Donald Penn long-term.
Contract structure likely means Penn will retire a Buccaneer.
Thursday, March 10th, 2010
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

7 Years / $24.40M Total Salary / $9.73M Guaranteed

Tampa (AP) – The Buccaneers have announced that they have agreed to a restructured contract with LT Donald Penn. Penn was a late bloomer, but even though he is 27, he is only in his 4th year as a pro. While he lacks elite speed, he has been solid blocking the blindside this season and has yet to surrender a sack. The Bucs are said to consider every position on the offensive line BESIDES Penn's up for grabs headed into 2011, so it only made sense to make sure Penn did not get to test the Free Agent market. The deal is also relatively cheap for a starting offensive tackle, and with the deal running Penn to his mid-30's, it is very possible this will be Penn's last contract. The deal also carries a No-Trade Clause, meaning that Penn will get a chance to refuse any trade the Bucs may agree upon.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 03/10/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
Tampa Bay closing in on moving CB Marcus Trufant.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs on verge of trading Trufant.
Where will the talented corner finish 2010?
Thursday, March 10th, 2010
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

Tampa (AP) – There are reports coming out of the bay area that the Buccaneers are very close to trading CB Marcus Trufant. The Buccaneers have been very happy with Trufant since acquiring him for two 2nd Round Picks during the preseason, but due to tremendous play by 2nd-year corner CB E.J. Biggers the team decided to field offers on Trufant. While it has not been disclosed where he could be heading, the team is said to be in talks with as many as two or three clubs about realistically completing a deal prior to the trade deadline. The Bucs had been shopping him for either two 2nd Round Picks, or a single 1st Round Pick. The trade deadline follows Week 12 games, but a deal may be finalized much sooner. While the team would like to wait for his current injury (listed as probable) to clear, the team reportedly would use Madden Bucks to fly in world class doctors to clear his injury status and move him asap if the injury lingers. With Biggers expected to keep his starting job for the remainder of the 2010 season, it is still a very risky move considering how important the cornerback position is, especially with the Buccaneers suddenly relevant in the NFC South at (5-3) and just a game and a half behind the Saints. CB Aqib Talib is having a great year starting at the other corner spot, and CB Sheldon Brown is expected to get a promotion to the nickel spot while he mentors the young Biggers. With the deadline approaching quickly, two other names that have been discussed and could be moved in the coming weeks are QB Josh Johnson and HB Darren Sproles. Johnson remains an intriguing prospect, as the talented 24-year old scrambler has seen his value rise over the last few weeks with the high number of QB injuries. Sproles was nearly traded early in the season for a 2nd Round Pick, but the deal fell through. Since then, he has been a great utility player, scoring 4 rushing TDs off of just 54 carries behind workhorse HB LeGarrette Blount, also adding 1 receiving TD and 2 kick return TDs.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 03/10/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 50
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hire GM Anthony Fernandez.
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Bucs hire GM Anthony Fernandez.
The 26-year old GM hopes to bring a winning culture to Tampa Bay.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!


MFL GM of the Year ('07)
RZL Coach of the Year ('12)
RZL Coach of the Year ('14)
RZL Super Bowl IX Champion ('14)
RZL Outstanding Contributor ('14)
RZL Super Bowl X Champion ('15)
RZL Outstanding Contributor ('15)
TWR Sportswriter of the Year ('14-'17)
TWR GM of the Year ('17)

Tampa (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have hired GM Anthony Fernandez to guide this team to a Super Bowl Championship. The charismatic, controversial GM who has won multiple Super Bowl titles in the RedZone League was unavailable for immidiate comment, but expectations are said to be very high. Those familiar with the GM most well known as "AF" can vouch that he isn't scared to explore any means to help his team (draft, trade, free agency), though he does prefer to build through the draft. A high ranking Buccaneers official has stated that GM Fernandez is very high up on the young roster in Tampa, and does not expect much roster overturn prior to the 2011 offseason. The same report indicates AF is a big fan of QB Josh Freeman, and the team will likely be built around him. The NFC South is very competitive, and we do not expect to see the same quick turnaround that those accustom to Fernandez may expect, but it should not be too long before this team starts experiencing a winning culture. There are already reports that the Buccaneers are making moves, so as we get more details we will be sure to keep you posted.

Jim Flynn covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved. GZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 12/22/2010) Replies - 13 :: Views - 118

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

GM A_Fernandez
Head Coach T.Dungy
Offensive Coordinator J.Gruden
Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith
Special Teams John Harbaugh
Salary $147.87M
Cap Penalty $24.96M
Cap Room $1.17M

Buccaneers Bo Davis CB 93 1 week

NFC South
#6 Buccaneers y-Buccaneers 10-6-0 0.63 5-1
#12 Falcons x-Falcons 10-6-0 0.63 5-1
#18 Saints Saints 7-9-0 0.44 1-5
#24 Panthers Panthers 5-11-0 0.31 1-5

1 Sep 10 at Bears Bears #25
Lost 30-33
2 Sep 17 vs Lions Lions #1
Won 27-11
3 Sep 25 vs Giants Giants #19
Won 20-17
5 Oct 8 vs Raiders Raiders #23
Lost 13-27
6 Oct 15 at Chiefs Chiefs #21
Lost 17-22
7 Oct 22 vs Chargers Chargers #4
Lost 29-34
8 Oct 29 at Saints Saints #18
Won 37-10
9 Nov 5 at Vikings Vikings #2
Won 45-31
10 Nov 12 vs Falcons Falcons #12
Won 24-13
11 Nov 19 at Broncos Broncos #30
Won 41-27
12 Nov 27 vs Panthers Panthers #24
Won 27-19
13 Dec 3 vs Packers Packers #5
Lost 20-23
14 Dec 11 at Panthers Panthers #24
Won 23-20
15 Dec 17 at Falcons Falcons #12
Lost 24-29
16 Dec 24 vs Saints Saints #18
Won 14-13
17 Dec 31 at Seahawks Seahawks #26
Won 20-3

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