Last year, just days before the real thing, Buccaneers.com provided a run-down of what the latest mock drafts were predicting they would do at #5 overall. That close to the draft, and that high up in the first round, a real consensus had developed. Nineteen of the 20 experts had tabbed the Bucs to take LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Of course, Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano threw everyone a curve ball, trading down two spots and then selecting Alabama safety Mark Barron.
Last year’s pick seemed like a sure thing. This time around, it really is.
The Bucs, of course, have already spent their 2013 first-round pick, sending it to the Jets on Sunday to acquire All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Buccaneers.com could survey 100 mock drafts this year (and believe me, there are that many out there) but the only consensus would be that Tampa Bay isn’t picking in the first round. Obviously, there will be no “Taking Stock of the Mocks” story on Buccaneers.com this time.
Fortunately for us, however, some industrious mock drafters go beyond Round One, even if the chances of actually hitting on predictions grows increasingly minute as the picks proceed. Continue reading
The blockbuster deal that sent All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis from the Jets to the Buccaneers on Sunday was obviously not a simple transaction to complete. It came down, essentially, to the 11th hour, not surprising given that it included two of most coveted of NFL assets: a shutdown cornerback and a first-round draft pick.
But G.M.’s Mark Dominik and John Idzik got it done, and one assumes that wouldn’t have happened if each side hadn’t been at least somewhat satisfied with its haul in the bargain. Dominik called it a “rare and unique” opportunity for the Buccaneers to acquire “the premier defensive player in the league.” Meanwhile, Idzik laid out the Jets’ reasoning as to why the trade was the “best thing to do for really all concerned,” with his squad receiving “very valuable compensation.” Continue reading
Revis Island may be brand new to the Bay, but it didn’t take the Buccaneers’ long to start exploring its resources.
On Monday, at the press conference to introduce new Buccaneer cornerback Darrelle Revis, Head Coach Greg Schiano hinted at how significant an addition Revis was to his defense. The coaching staff is already tweaking the defensive scheme to account for its new star.
“It certainly has a big effect on any coach when you can have a player that you can match up on another teams’ best receiver,” said Schiano. Continue reading
Darrelle Revis is going to get a warm reception from his new Tampa Bay teammates the first time he steps into the locker room at One Buccaneer Place. He already got one on Twitter.
It is probably an understatement to say that Buccaneer players are thrilled with the addition of one of the NFL’s true superstars to their roster. Hot on the heels of the Dashon Goldson signing, and with several prime picks in the 2013 draft still to be spent next week, the Bucs can legitimately believe that their playoff chances got a whole lot better on Sunday afternoon.
Not surprisingly, some of those excited Bucs took to everyone’s favorite social media platform on Sunday to react to the Revis trade, and to welcome their new teammate to the fold. They weren’t alone in being drawn to the topic: At one point, Revis was one of the top trending Twitter topics in the world. Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy, who likely has visions of coverage sacks dancing in his head, was one of the first to reach out to Revis, and other players around the league quickly reacted, as well.
NFL.com has compiled a short list of some of those reaction tweets. Check it out.
As much as the NFL schedule-makers like Peyton Manning and any matchup between two NFC East teams, no division is going to get more exposure on Monday Night Football this season than the Buccaneers’ own group of four.
The 2013 NFL schedule that was unveiled on Thursday included 48 nationally-televised prime-time games – three per week, but an extra Monday-nighter in Week One, no Thursday games in Weeks 16 or 17, no Monday night game in Week 17 and a still-to-be-scheduled Sunday night affair in Week 17). That’s 96 prime-time spots for teams to fill and, for the most part, those spots are divided pretty evenly among the eight divisions. Here are the prime-time game appearances per division so far (Sunday night games can be “flexed” into other matchups later in the year):
NFC East: 16
NFC South: 13
AFC North: 12
NFC North: 12
NFC West: 12
AFC East: 11
AFC South: 10
AFC West: 10
Besides favoring the NFC overall, that’s fairly well-distributed. The various Cowboy-Redskin-Giant matchups push the NFC East to a clear lead, with much of that concentrated on NBC’s excellent Sunday Night series. NFC East teams get eight Sunday night spots (again, often against each other); no other division gets more than five.
It’s on Monday Night Football where the South takes the lead. The Bucs, Saints, Falcons and Panthers combine to make a league-high six appearances on Monday night; moreover, that’s six different dates because none of those games are between two NFC South teams. Essentially, you’ll be watching an NFC South team on Monday Night Football one out of every three weeks. The NFC South, NFC East and NFC North are the only divisions which get all four of their teams on MNF at some point this season. The NFC South is the only division in which all four of its teams have a home Monday night game this season.
In an effort to get appealing matchups on prime time, the NFL schedule-makers must annually make some educated guesses as to which teams are on the rise. The 6-10 Jets get a Monday night date, but the 6-10 Bills do not. The 4-12 Lions make it onto MNF, but the 5-11 Cardinals do not. The fact that all four NFC South teams made the MNF list – three of whom finished 7-9 last year – is an indication that the schedule-makers know what fans of the Bucs, Falcons, Panthers and Saints have been seeing for more than a decade: The NFC South is utterly unpredictable from year to year, but often competitive from top to bottom.
A year ago, Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson was the one who led the world know that his former team had just drafted Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David. Jackson had the privilege of calling what appears to be a very successful pick; David looks like a star in the making after a huge rookie season.
Maybe Warren Sapp can do his former Super Bowl teammate one better. A brand new Hall-of-Famer calling the name of a future Canton-mate? It’s far-fetched – 77 NFL drafts and 267 Hall-of-Famers so far doesn’t make for good odds – but it could happen.
The possibility at least exists because this year it is Sapp, the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who will take the Buccaneers’ card to the podium in the second round of the draft. The former Buc great will be in New York next Friday night for the second evening of the three-day draft along with 31 other former NFL stars, one for each team. Each former player will announce his former team’s second-round pick, unless that team does not have a selection in the round. Those players will instead announce their teams’ picks in the third round, which will also take place Friday night. Continue reading
The NFL will reveal its 2013 regular-season schedule on Thursday – timing this big announcement exactly one week before the offseason’s biggest event, the draft – and there’s a lot to look forward to. That’s 256 long-awaited pieces of information, all dropped at exactly the same time, to a public hungry for any and all NFL news.
Buc fans are eager to find out quite a few specifics on Thursday. Where will the season start? When do those dang Falcons come to town? How soon will we get a chance for revenge against the Eagles?
Here’s another question: When will we be able to watch the Bucs in prime time? Continue reading
In 2012, his third NFL season, Bucs DT Gerald McCoy played well enough to be selected to his first Pro Bowl. The league’s all-star game was actually played in 2013, a week before Super Bowl XLVII, but as far as McCoy is concerned it doesn’t belong in this calendar year.
McCoy’s NFL bio will always display that first Pro Bowl honor, and hopefully many more, but it has no bearing on his approach to the upcoming season. If anything, he’s determined not to take any satisfaction from it, lest it convince him that’s already arrived. On Tuesday, after the second day of Tampa Bay’s 2013 offseason workout program, he refused to let a visiting reporter refer to him as a Pro Bowler.
“No I’m not,” he corrected. “It’s 2013. I haven’t done anything. That’s my motivation. I’m not a Pro Bowler; that was last year. This year I haven’t done anything. We’re in Day Two in our workouts and right now I ‘m just a guy.” Continue reading
The Buccaneers have added 10 men to the roster since the start of free agency (S Dashon Goldson, WR Kevin Ogletree, LB Jonathan Casillas, TE Tom Crabtree, DT Derek Landri, K Nate Kaeding, DE George Selvie, FB Brian Leonard, WR Steve Smith and WR Eric Page). Next week, they’ll bring in another handful of players through the 2013 NFL Draft, just before the offseason workout program kicks into higher gear with the arrival of OTAs.
The Crabtrees-and-Draftees won’t be the only significant additions to the depth chart since the end of the 2012 season, however. There’s another group of players from whom the Bucs hope to get a lot more in 2013 than they did last fall, including a pair of proven Pro Bowlers. For these players, the start of the offseason program on Monday was a long time coming.
The Bucs finished the 2012 season with 13 players on injured reserve. Of that baker’s dozen, nine are still with the team, and most are eager to get started immediately on their comeback campaigns. Those nine men coming back from I.R. are: Continue reading
A story on Buccaneers.com in late March regarding scheduling trends noted a tweet by a Sports Business Journal reporter who believed the NFL’s 2013 schedule would be released on April 16. By the way, that’s tomorrow.
Not going to happen.
On Monday, the league announced on NFL.com that there is, as of yet, no date set for the schedule to drop. Given that it is now April 15 (hope your taxes are in the mail!) and there has been no pre-drop hype from the NFL, this comes as little surprise. The best guess now is that the 2013 schedule will be released next Tuesday, just two days before the draft begins, on April 23. It’s becoming difficult to wait. Continue reading