Weekend Reading

The Buccaneers’ signing of an undrafted free agent earlier this week got unexpectedly wide attention on the web, mainly because folks were intrigued by RB Matt Brown’s story.  Brown was only available to sign with the Bucs on Wednesday because, the day before, he had failed in his attempt to fly to Saskatchewan and sign with the CFL’s Roughriders because of an expired passport.

But you know that story already.  As we head into the weekend separating the second week of OTAs at One Buccaneer Place from their third, here’s some Buc-related reading material that we’ve gathered together for your enjoyment: Continue reading

An Imminent Feeling of Success

Ronde Barber arrived in Tampa in 1997, just as the Buccaneers were beginning a long-awaited franchise revival under new ownership and a new head coach.  Tony Dungy’s 1997 Buccaneers went 10-6 and won a Wild Card game in ’97, breaking a 14-year stretch of losing campaigns.

Barber didn’t play a lot that year, until the very end, but in the ensuing seasons he was a big part of taking the team from that 1997 starting point to the NFL’s pinnacle.  He helped create a culture of winning at (the old) One Buccaneer Place, and shared in reaping the rewards.  It was possible to create that culture, Barber said last week after he finally called his career to a close, because everyone knew the roster was talented enough to win, and win big.

As he walks away after a remarkable 16-year-run, Barber does it knowing that he could be leaving just as another Buccaneer renaissance is right around the bend.  Continue reading

Links to Like

If you’re a Buccaneers fan looking for something to get you excited during this relative downtime between the draft and the start of OTAs, all you have to do is surf around the web a little bit.  In fact, we’ll help.  Here are a few entertaining and/or optimistic links we found on Tuesday while avoiding actual work: Continue reading

Welcome to #24, Revis Island

It’s the most talked about 24 since Jack Bauer’s eighth (!) sleepless day, and it now belongs to Darrelle Revis.

Mark Barron wore jersey #24 for the Buccaneers as a rookie last year after being selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft.  Four days before the 2013 draft, the Buccaneers traded for Revis, the All-Pro cornerback who happened to have made the #24 pretty famous during his years with the Jets.  That kicked off the obvious speculation – you know, after people got tired of talking about Revis’ enormous talent and what it will mean to Tampa Bay’s secondary – that Revis and Barron would strike some sort of deal to transfer ownership of that jersey number with the Buccaneers.

It didn’t have to happen, but it always seemed quite likely to happen…and now it has happened.  Leaving the issue of how the transfer was negotiated between teammates, the Bucs confirmed on Friday that Revis will wear #24 and Barron will move to #23.  That also necessitated the move of CB Myron Lewis from #23 to #31, the number E.J. Biggers previously wore before departing in free agency.

So jersey #24 will still be prominently featured in the Buccaneers’ secondary this year, just one level closer to the line.  Barron, sporting #23, will play beside new safety teammate Dashon Goldson, #38.  Returning CB Eric Wright is still sporting #21 and second-round draft pick CB Johnthan Banks has taken over #27, last worn by RB LeGarrette Blount.   The Bucs even avoided giving #24 temporarily to a player on a tryout contract this weekend at the Bucs’ rookie mini-camp.

As a celebration of this anticipated switch, which was revealed at 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Buccaneer fans can enjoy free-shipping on all merchandise purchased through the online team store for an entire week.  Yes, that includes some new #24 Revis and #23 Barron jerseys.  The free shipping period began at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and will conclude at 5:00 p.m. ET next Friday, May 10.

Speaking of Banks and the rookie mini-camp, his fellow 2013 draftees put on their first NFL jersey numbers on Friday.  The entire roster can be found here but here’s the rookie rundown:

  • #8 QB Mike Glennon
  • #27 CB Johnthan Banks
  • #25 RB Mike James
  • #92 DE William Gholston
  • #96 DE Steven Means
  • #97 DT Akeem Spence

Schiano Already Scheming Around Revis

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

McCoy Won’t Rest on Accomplishments

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

No Schedule Just Yet

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

Bucs About to Hit the Field

The vacation is over for the wide swath of grass behind One Buccaneer Place.

The three football fields at Buccaneer headquarters have been quiet for three-plus months, save for a lonely coyote that apparently emigrated from the airport grounds that are relatively nearby and, for a few weeks, made periodical appearances behind One Buc.  The coyote is gone now, but the Buccaneers are about to start using those fields themselves for the first time since the 2012 season came to an end.

They’ll start slowly.  During Phase One of the strictly-outlined offseason program allowed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, players may engage only in strength and conditioning activities and physical rehabilitation at team headquarters.  Thus, the only coaches they will work with on the field are Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Jay Butler and his staff. Continue reading

Joseph Ready for the Next Step in His Return

Perhaps one of the most unexpected aspects of Davin Joseph’s recent NFL-USO tour was how exhausting the trip was on a daily basis.  Long, unglamorous hours of travel were often followed by scheduled rest times, but those were usually preempted by a more important task: interacting with eager U.S. servicemen and women stationed in the Middle East.

Still, in one way, the eight-day USO trip served as a break for Joseph.  The Buccaneers’ two-time Pro Bowl guard had been pursuing his rehabilitation from knee surgery with a focused vigilance, so the week abroad allowed him a break from football before the team’s offseason program begins in April. Continue reading