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Bucs Fan

The 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers posted by Bucs Fan

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the worst clubs last year with a 4-12 record. This year they look to improve their record with a new head coach in Lovie Smith. The former Chicago Bear coach also brought in Josh McCown, his former ward in the Windy City. The two would want Tampa Bay fans to forget last year’s debacle that featured ex-head coach Greg Schiano and former quarterback Josh Freeman.

McCown is coming off a great year where he completed 66 percent of his passes and posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-to-1. While some critics can say that a big part of his success was having Marc Trestman getting the most out of him, Buccaneers fans will at least have offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford doing that for McCown.

The new Buccaneers quarterback will have number seven pick Mike Evans as one of his primary targets, alongside Vincent Jackson. Evans is big at six foot five while Jackson is equally massive. Another probable target is second round selection Austin Seferian-Jenkins, himself big at six-foot-five.

The Tampa Bay front office has done an excellent job of replicating what McCown had in Chicago, so there is optimism that the new quarterback can do what he did in the Windy City.

Evan Dietrich-Smith was also added to the offensive line. A new acquisition from the Green Bay Packers, Dietrich-Smith is a talented lineman who can play all interior positions. He’ll join Carl Nicks and either Patrick Omameh or Kadeem Edwards in the offensive line.

The team did release one of the league’s best cornerback in Darrelle Davis but they acquired Alerraun Verner to a multi-year deal.  The Buccaneers have one of the best defensive tackles in Gerald McCoy and veteran Michael Johnson who will be tasked to carry the defensive front line.

Continue reading "The 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers"

Joe Anello

2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap posted by Joe Anello

It was an eventful and unpredictable NFL Draft, even after the craziness that ensued in round one Thursday night. Friday night showcased rounds two and three, while Sunday wrapped up the draft with rounds four through seven. Let’s run through the major storylines that came out of the 2013 NFL Draft!

*Pardon for the delay. This is what happens when life throws the draft, C2E2, and the impetus to change jobs all in one weekend.


-After slipping through the first round despite several reported landing spots, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became a San Diego Charger. The Chargers traded picks 45 and 110 to the Cardinals for pick number 38, allowing them to move up for Te’o. At that point in the draft, the drama-laden linebacker had great value. The Chargers run a 3-4 scheme, but he can still be a valuable inside presence for them.


-On the very next pick after Te’o was selected, the New York Jets saw a “franchise” quarterback fall right into their laps at number 39 overall with Geno Smith. Smith increases the QB count on the Jets roster all the way up to six, which includes Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, and David Garrard. Yeah… someone’s gonna get cut. The obvious cut is Tebow. But then who? Do you cut the veteran Garrard, whom you just brought in? Or do you take the massive cap hit and release Sanchez? Or are you giving up on the idea that McElroy can be anything? The drama is ratcheted up in New York, and I’m gonna love every minute of it.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap"

Joe Anello

Revis Finally Traded to the Buccaneers posted by Joe Anello

After months (years?) of back-and-forth chatter and negotiations, the New York Jets and cornerback Darelle Revis have finally parted ways. The Jets sent Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the Bucs’ first round pick (thirteenth overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2014 Draft. The condition being that if Revis is on the Bucs’ 2014 roster on day 3 of the league year, it changes from a fourth round pick to a third rounder. With the completion of the deal came a new contract for Revis, a 6-year, $96 million contract with apparently no guaranteed money. Let’s get into the specifics and see how each team, as well as the player, made out in this deal.


The Deal for the Jets

The Jets get the first round pick they’ve always wanted thanks to this deal. This gives them picks nine and thirteen overall, allowing them to add two impact players on day one of the draft. It also lets them shed any obligation to Revis in 2014, freeing up $12 million in cap space. That will allow them to be actual players in free agency, as opposed to the sideline sitters they’ve been in recent years. They also get rid of the constant headache that Revis and his negotiating tactics presented. Obviously his impact on the field will be felt, but Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson are not a terrible tandem to fill the void. (Obviously they could consider a corner with their picks, but I don’t think anyone worth those picks will be there.) This is a step for a franchise in transition, clearing room to make changes under a new general manager. But not getting the Bucs’ first, third, and fifth round picks in 2013 (which was initially the rumored deal) feels like a loss. The Jets could have used those picks immediately.

Continue reading "Revis Finally Traded to the Buccaneers"

Charles Bisbee

Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way posted by Charles Bisbee

With the 2012 NFL season fast approaching, pundits are busy serving up another round of fearless predictions. I enjoy reading these predictions because 1. they are bold and 2. more often than not they prove be woefully inaccurate.

This is the great thing about the NFL: no one has a clue and anyone who says they do is full of baloney. The league has mostly been a crapshoot over the past 10 years (save for the Pats, Steelers, and Manning-lead Colts), with teams jostling for position like ping pong balls in a lottery draw.

And still some writers insist on using phrases like “up and coming” and “back of the pack” in an attempt to project a team’s un-chartable trajectory. History should have taught us that in the NFL the up and coming team is generally an illusion. Look at the Buccaneers, for example, who went a “promising” 10-6 in 2010 and then fell to 4-12 in 2011 (despite having largely the same roster). Now’s Don Banks predicts new head coach Greg Schiano  “easily will better the Bucs’ record of last year and have [the] club being identified by year’s end as one to watch in 2013.” Only in the NFL can a team go from up-and-comer to bottom of the pack to up-and-comer again in the span of 12 months.

The 49ers, on the other hand, flipped the script after a dismal 6-10 campaign in 2010, hired a new coach and finished 13-3 in 2011. Meanwhile, the Rams went a "promising" 7-9 under rookie quarterback Sam Bradford in 2010, kept the roster largely intact and then finished 2-14 last year. Where is the rhyme? Where is the reason? What can account for this anual see-saw?

Continue reading "Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 NFL Preview: The NFC posted by Joe Anello

I simply cannot wait for football to start. I’m been diving into preseason film, tearing through roster moves, and keeping myself awake at night pondering the possibilities of the 2012 season. Since the season kicks off with the Cowboys and Giants Wednesday night on NBC, let’s get right into my season predictions for the National Football Conference! As a preface, let me just say that this entire process is weird. I’ve looked a decent amount of schedules, but these records (which, when all totaled with the AFC, will equal out correctly) are more akin to indications of how good/crappy I think these teams will be. Let’s break it down!

The NFC East

Last year the NFC East turned into a slaughterhouse, with no team able to break the double-digit win mark. That didn’t stop these teams from making headlines on a daily basis though. With Philly re-charged for another run, a franchise QB finally in D.C., the Cowboys in a pivotal year and the Super Bowl champs looking to repeat, there won’t be any shortage of news in the NFC East. To preface these predictions, this division is a crap-shoot. The only team I’m sure won’t win the East is Washington. Otherwise these teams will just beat up on each other, ensuring that no one breaks away.

Philadelphia Eagles

Last year’s dream turned into something more like a nightmare as Andy Reid’s Eagles failed to meet expectations. Injuries and soft play contributed to their woes, as Michael Vick couldn’t stay on the field (as usual) and DeSean Jackson was worried about his contract situation. LeSean McCoy was a bright spot, but he couldn’t carry this team beyond its mediocre finish. Drafting Fletcher Cox and trading for linebacker DeMeco Ryans should boost second year coordinator Juan Castillo’s defensive unit quite a bit. If they can maintain that pass rush, Philly’s excellent corners will be able to take advantage of their match-up’s and show glimpses of the unit they were supposed to be in 2011. They’re primed to improve, but their over success still depends on Michael Vick’s health.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 NFL Preview: The NFC"

Joe Anello

2012 NFL Free Agency: Day Two posted by Joe Anello

The second day of free agency may not have been as fast and furious as the first, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of headlines made. Let’s get right into the news of the day!

-News flash: Calvin Johnson is pretty damn good. And now he’s pretty damn rich, signing the richest contract in NFL history on Wednesday. The extension, which tweaks the final year of his previous deal, adds seven more with a dollar value of $132 million. Johnson may not be actually “worth” the money, but the Lions couldn’t afford not to lock him down for the long term.

- As expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued their spending spree, signing guard Carl Nicks to bolster their offensive line. I’ve already heard some pundits talking of the Bucs’ line as if it could be the best in football next season. Slow your freaking horses boys. It takes a LOT more than a really great guard to make a successful offensive line. That being said, it was a position the Bucs desperately needed to upgrade.

-DeSean Jackson was punished y the Eagles, franchised by the Eagles, and then rewarded by the Eagles. His newly signed five years, $47 million deal is just Philly rewarding his unprofessional behavior with long-term security. I know they’re banking on him settling down with less financial woes to trouble him, but this isn’t a wise decision in my books. At least we’ll see more of this…

Continue reading "2012 NFL Free Agency: Day Two"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 NFL Black Monday Breakdown posted by Joe Anello

Black Monday in the NFL is always chock-full of news and storylines and this latest incarnation is no different. Along with the two head coaching vacancies we’re already aware of (Miami and Jacksonville) two more holes opened up on Monday (with more likely on the way). Here’s my take on the day’s news.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers release Head Coach Raheem Morris

As many great sound bites as Morris has given us, he also managed to deliver one craptacular year after raising expectations so high with a ten-win season in 2010. After starting this season 4-2, Morris’ young Bucs lost ten straight to finish at 4-12. And they weren’t close games either. These Bucs were routinely pummeled, ending with the 42-point first half they allowed to the Falcons on Sunday. The Glazer family had no choice.

What’s next?

Tampa Bay needs someone with experience this time around. Jeff Fisher’s going to be a hot commodity, but St. Louis or Miami would seem to have the inside track to land him. As opposed to the ridiculously young Morris, the Bucs could still hire someone young-ish, but a candidate with a greater wealth of NFL knowledge. Maybe Rob Chudzinski (currently OC for the Panthers) could be a dark horse for the job? Mike Sherman’s been bandied about by NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, which would be the direct opposite of Morris. You know, old white guy re-tread.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 NFL Black Monday Breakdown"

Amari Harris

Going Forward: The Playoffs Begin Now for the Dallas Cowboys posted by Amari Harris

Going Forward

I think there is a general consensus in the football world that the Dallas Cowboys are in a heap of trouble.  For two consecutive weeks the 'Boys have had an opportunity to distance themselves away from the NFC East pack after taking the division lead during a four game win streak.  But for the last two weeks the Cowboys have gotten out coached and out hustled by the Arizona Cardinals, and then they let the New York Giants ring the door bell, break into their house, and steal their division.  To make matters worse, of the Cowboys 6 losses they had ample opportunity to win every game except the "Imma piss on you like R. Kelly"  Eagles game (I'll have to tell you about that one day).  But as a famous former Cowboys coach once said, "You are who you are," and these are the Cowboys.  They always have the talent compete and with Tony Romo at quarterback, but sometimes they find the most perplexing ways to lose games

The last two losses hurt like hell. They should have been wins, but they are losses and now the Giants control the NFC East.  So should Cowboys fans just put their collective heads in the sand and hide themselves from the inevitable collapse of the Cowboys season?  Or should they dust off their shoulders and push forward for three more games?  I think the answer is obvious.

The last 3 games (Tampa Bay, the damn Eagles, and the damn Giants) are no cake walk but I know I am not alone in thinking that the Cowboys can pull off a three game winning streak.  They pulled off a 4 game streak not too long ago. They've lost steam, but it's just a matter of the elements coming together.  Last week vs. Arizona, the Cowboys met the "good" Cardinals team that upset the Cowboys and the 49ers in successive weeks instead of the bad Cardinals team that was eliminated from playoff contention about a month ago.  In that game it appeared the Cowboys were playing to "not lose" the game while the Cardinals played like it was their Super Bowl (guess that's what being knocked out of the playoffs does for you).  But the blunders and mistakes of that game did not keep the Cowboys from getting ready for those G-Men and they had them dead to rights with 5:32 left in the fourth quarter.  Of course that is where things unraveled on offense, defense, and special teams and the Cowboys allowed a team to come back from more than two scores in the fourth quarter for the third time this season.  Hurts like hell.

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Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 11, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

After the (eventually) thrilling start on Thursday night, week 11 continues with a number of exciting games to keep your eye on this weekend, including several divisional match-ups with playoff implications. What else do you need? Time to start The Opening Drive!


(4-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at
(9-0) Green Bay Packers

I’m pretty positive the Packers will lose a game at some point, but it shouldn’t be this week. If the Packers don’t own a two-score lead by the end of the first quarter I’ll be stunned.

(5-4) Buffalo Bills at
(2-7) Miami Dolphins

I would say this is the clear “Trap of the Week,” but I don’t think that a team that’s lost two in a row can get trapped by a team that’s won two in a row. Buffalo has no choice but to take this game seriously because of their own dwindling playoff chances. At 5-5 they would have nearly hammered the nail in their own coffin, and that my friends, takes talent. Miami’s just playing better football right now and has all the momentum.


(5-4) Dallas Cowboys at
(3-6) Washington Redskins

Because I know how Dallas operates, this claims the prize of “Trap of the Week.” Coming off an absolute trouncing of Buffalo the ‘Boys could head into Washington with inflated egos, leading them to take Rexy and the ‘Skins lightly. I’m not sure Washington is capable of taking advantage, but they could catch Dallas on one of their famously off days. Hopefully Jason Garrett off-sets those odds by handing it off to DeMarco Murray a bazillion times.

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Joe Anello

Joe's 2011 Gameday Recap: Bears 24, Buccaneers 18 posted by Joe Anello

Were you sweating after that one? I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for that last two minutes. It grew more uncomfortable than it needed to be, but the Bears pulled out a win on London Sunday afternoon, getting out early on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hanging onto that lead for dear life. It took a helluva effort from Matt Forte and actual catches from Roy Williams, but Chicago got on the board early and played enough defense to keep the Bucs from completing the comeback late.


(4-3) Chicago Bears 24
(4-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18

After swapping punts with the Bucs, the Bears wasted no time in getting Matt Forte going. Handing it off several times on the drive, Forte got a key outside block from Matt Spaeth on his 32-yard score, putting the Bears ahead for good. But the game wasn’t without its negatives, positives, and plain old “what the FUCK was that” moments.

On the drive following their score, Chicago’s offense went on a putrid streak. A high pass from Jay Cutler to Marion Barber tipped off the running back’s hands and into the mitts of Tanard Jackson for a 42 yard return. On the VERY next play, Josh Freeman throws a ball deep over the middle that Chris Conte simply removes from Mike Williams’ grasp for should have been a momentum-changing interception. Instead, a Matt Forte run on the following play was held up in the endzone by Ronde “Old Man” Barber for a safety, getting the Bucs two points and the ball. It was a frantic and freakish series of plays that gave the Bucs the opportunity to jump ahead with a score. Thankfully Chicago’s defense kept the Buccaneers in check for most of the afternoon.

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