I guess we know what Lovie Smith and Jason Licht considered their biggest needs in this year’s draft. Every one of the Buccaneers’ picks was used on the offensive side of the ball. Apparently they’re satisfied with the moves they made on defense in free agency, or so we all hope.
Here are the newest Bucs, without any analysis, because I’m not Mel Kiper or Mike Mayock (not do I care to be.)
Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington
Charles Sims RB West Virginia
Kadeem Edwards OG Tennessee State
Kevin Pamphile OT Purdue
Robert Herron WR Wyoming
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images
The 2014 regular-season schedule was released Wednesday night. It’s time to start planning those road trips – especially for people like me who don’t live in Tampa.
Without further ado, here it is:
Sun 9/7 CAROLINA 4:25pm
Sun 9/14 ST. LOUIS 1:00pm
Thu 9/18 @ Atlanta 8:25pm
Sun 9/28 @ Pittsburgh 1:00pm
Sun 10/05 @ New Orleans 1:00pm
Sun 10/12 BALTIMORE 1:00pm
Sun 10/19 BYE
Sun 10/26 MINNESOTA 1:00pm
Sun 11/2 @ Cleveland 1:00pm
Sun 11/9 ATLANTA 1:00pm
Sun 11/16 @ Washington 1:00pm
Sun 11/23 @ Chicago 1:00pm
Sun 11/30 CINCINNATI 1:00pm
Sun 12/7 @ Detroit 1:00pm
Sun 12/14 @ Carolina 1:00pm
Sun 12/21 GREEN BAY 1:00pm
Sun 12/28 NEW ORLEANS 1:00pm
There are a lot of mini-home stands and road trips: two games here, three games there, etc. Nov. 23 marks Lovie Smith’s return to Chicago. As we all know, what looks like an uneventful game late in the season right now, can end up being a big game (and vice versa.)
Photo Courtesy: buccaneers.com
What a week it has been for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s not much of a surprising statement, given that the start of free agency always results in a lot of activity around the league. But I wasn’t expecting it to be quite like this.
It all started even before free agency began, when word leaked out that the Bucs were shopping Darrelle Revis. He ended up signing with New England. One year and $16 million later, he’s out of Tampa. That didn’t take long.
So who’s new? They picked up cornerback Alterraun Verner from Tennessee, and defensive end Michael Johnson from Cincinnati. Verner had five picks for the Titans last season. And two years ago, Johnson had 11 1/2 sacks for the Bengals. Throw in former Seattle defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, and it’s clear Lovie Smith and Jason Licht are overhauling just about everything on the defensive side of the ball. A few extra sacks this season would be a nice return on this investment.
There is also a change on the offensive line. Donald Penn is gone, and Anthony Collins is now a Buc. Like Johnson, Collins spent the past few years in Cincinnati.
But the biggest surprise may have come at the quarterback position. Josh McCown signed a two-year, $10 million contract. Signing a QB may not be a shocker. What is surprising, is that Lovie Smith has pretty much named McCown the starter already. So there won’t even be any competition with Mike Glennon? Will the Bucs draft a rookie QB in the draft? Who knows if we’ve heard the last of this quarterback situation.
Photo Courtesy: tbo.com
The Buccaneers have a new head coach – and he’s someone very familiar to Tampa Bay fans.
Welcome back to Tampa, Lovie.
Lovie Smith was a defensive assistant assistant under Tony Dungy, so he knows how things used to be in Tampa when the Bucs had a nice run during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Not only that, he has previous NFL head coaching experience – something Greg Schiano did not have. Smith took the Bears to the Super Bowl seven years ago, and was 81-63 in nine seasons in Chicago. In other words, he knows how to win. From a public relations perspective, this is a great move – one that I agree with 100%. Whether it translates into success on the field remains to be seen.
Lovie’s staff is also starting to come into focus. According to ESPN, former Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier will be the Bucs’ new defensive coordinator, and former Cal coach Jeff Tedford will be running the offense.
We’re still waiting to see who the Glazers will choose to be the new general manager. That will be the next big move they make. In the meantime, Smith will be formally introduced at a Monday afternoon news conference.
Photo Courtesy: AP
I’d love to sit here and write, “I told you it was coming.” But with the Glazers, you can never tell.
On Monday, “it” did happen. The Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano, who went 4-12 in his second season and 11-21 during his two-year tenure. The axe didn’t stop there; Mark Dominik is also out after five seasons as general manager. During those years, the Bucs were 28-52.
Yes, it was time for a change.
Remember back to last year, when the Bucs were 6-4 after ten games and right in the middle of the playoff hunt? Since then, they’ve gone 5-17. Schiano will be more remembered for incidents like telling his team to rush Eli Manning during a victory formation. Then there was the ugly saga involving former quarterback Josh Freeman. The Bucs got off to an 0-8 start, and never recovered.
Then there’s this: Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs in six years. The Bucs haven’t won a playoff game since they won the Super Bowl.
So who are the potential candidates for the head coaching job? One name I see mentioned a lot online is former Bucs’ assistant coach Lovie Smith, who also has head coaching experience with the Bears. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job. But who knows; the Schiano hire came from out of nowhere.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images