After just one season as an NFL offensive coordinator, the Buccaneers’ Mike Sullivan had his tires kicked in the interview carousel this past month, as eight teams looked for new head coaches. While understanding the interest in his OC, Pro Bowl WR Vincent Jackson is definitely pleased Sullivan will still be leading the Bucs’ offense in 2013.
“I think it’s huge,” said Jackson. “To get that year under your belt is huge, and if we had gotten a new guy here we could have had a different system and we would have had to pretty much start from scratch like we did last year. So having this confidence – you know, we kind of know what to expect from him and the coaching staff knows what to expect from us – it’s definitely going to give us a head start this offseason.” Continue reading
The last time the Buccaneers stripped off their jerseys in 2012 was in the visitors’ locker room at the Georgia Dome, after an encouraging 22-17 victory over the Falcons to cap the regular season. This Sunday, the Bucs’ colors could make one more appearance in the Falcons’ home, on the back of young athlete John Latimer. Continue reading
Gerald McCoy is in the Pro Bowl and Vincent Jackson, a first alternate, could eventually join him. There is an even more exclusive honor than the Pro Bowl (though it comes without a trip to Hawaii): The All-Pro team.
The official All-Pro squad is the one recognized by the Associated Press, and it’s a tougher draw because, rather than an entire game-ready squad like the Pro Bowl, it is the selection of just the very best players at every position. When it’s all said and done, 94 players will take part in the 2013 Pro Bowl. AP named 37 All-Pros last year.
Will McCoy or Jackson or any other Tampa Bay players warrant All-Pro honors? That remains to be seen. But the video-analysis crew over at ProFootballFocus.com obviously feels that those two Buccaneers should at least be in the discussion. Continue reading
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson fell nine yards short of breaking the NFL’s single-season rushing record on Sunday and might very well have put himself at the top of the league’s MVP list. Detroit Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for receiving yards and came incredibly close to breaking the 2,000 barrier. Peterson and Johnson had 2012 seasons that will be remembered for a very, very long time.
Here’s a list of the three top yardage gainers in the entire NFL in 2012:
1. Adrian Peterson: 2,314
2. Calvin Johnson: 1,964
3. Doug Martin: 1,926 Continue reading
Following the Michael Turner touchdown the Buccaneers drove 80 yards on four plays, capped by a 40-yard Doug Martin score. Following a failed two-point conversion attempt, the game is now Buccaneers 22, Falcons 10.
Martin opened the drive with a 10-yard first down run. He took it on the next play for three yards before Freeman found Vincent Jackson on a big gain over the middle, good for 27 yards.
At the Falcon 40-yard line, the handoff again went to Doug Martin, who broke a tackle and spun out to the left sideline where he outran the Falcon defense for a 40-yard touchdown.
The run took Martin over 100 yards rushing on the day, his fifth 100+-yard game of the season. Doug Martin is just nine yards short of a 1,900 yards-from-scrimmage season.
The Buccaneers finished 6-10 in 1996. They will conclude the 2012 season at either that same record or 7-9, depending upon Sunday’s outcome in Atlanta. John Lynch, who was a fourth-year safety and rising star on that ’96 team, is now a color analyst for FOX who has seen more than his share of 2012 Buccaneer football. While neither of those teams aspired to a sub-.500 record, obviously, in Lynch’s mind they also share something far more positive, something that bodes well for the future of the current squad.
And a lot of that has to do with first-year Head Coach Greg Schiano’s insistence on establishing a new culture at One Buccaneer Place.
“I think of Tony Dungy in Tampa in 1996,” said Lynch. “What did we start, 1-8 or 1-9? One of Tony’s great strengths was that he was stubborn. It may not have worked right away, but it did work, and eventually it was going to be sustained success. I see much of that here. I say that in a positive way. That stubbornness was a great quality of Tony’s – he believed in certain things and he would never deviate from them. I see a lot of that with Greg.” Continue reading
On the afternoon of April 27, just about eight months ago, the Buccaneers were getting ready for the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft and feeling pretty good about bringing home both Mark Barron and Doug Martin on Day One. To a man, the Bucs’ personnel pros felt as if they had executed their plan perfectly the previous evening.
Still, one Buccaneer scouted had a minor lament that essentially echoed the one frustrating part of any draft: There’s no way to get all of the players you really want.
Specifically, this scout figured that the Bucs’ trade up into the bottom of the second round to get Martin, while the right move, had cost them the chance to nab Nebraska LB Lavonte David, considered a high second-round pick on most charts. Ah, but not so fast. Continue reading
As we discussed a little over a week ago in the Captain’s Blog, the Buccaneers have known most of their 2013 list of opponents for quite some time. Fourteen of the 16 games are decided well in advance by intra-division play and a rotation of AFC and NFC divisional matchups. The final two games, however, are determined by the standings.
Things are much clearer now, with only one weekend of play left. However, there are still a handful of possibilities depending upon h a couple of Week 17 outcomes. Surprisingly, the Bucs game in Atlanta has little to do with it, however. Continue reading
Since 1987, 19 of the 25 NFL Most Valuable Players (or co-MVPs), as awarded by the Associated Press have been quarterbacks. The other six years? Running backs. One year – 1997 – the award was split between a quarterback (Brett Favre) and a running back (Barry Sanders). The last player who wasn’t a quarterback or a running back to win the league’s MVP award was Giants LB Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
So, yeah, say hello to your 2012 NFL MVP – almost certainly Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster.
The QB-RB MVP bias is what it is. Fortunately, NFL rookies enjoy a more open playing field when it comes to their big awards, because the AP awards both an Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year award. That’s good news for Buccaneers LB Lavonte David. Continue reading
The 2012 Buccaneers matched the win total of the 2011 Tampa Bay squad in the first week of November and could go so far as to double it by season’s end, despite a recent downturn. That’s a step in the right direction, and at least one experienced NFL analyst believes it will be followed by another big step in 2013.
Noting the sudden playoff runs in 2012 of such sub-.500 2011 teams as Indianapolis and Seattle, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt has identified six teams he believes are “poised to engineer a similar turnaround in 2013.” Brandt then ranks those half-dozen teams in the order of the likelihood of that turnaround, and puts the Buccaneers at the top of the list. Continue reading