Buccaneers #1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
News :: Transactions :: Schedule :: Roster :: Player Stats :: Team Stats :: History
Buccaneers Pulse

Offseason Recap | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs Threepeat Bid Fails... Again.
Where do the Bucs go from here?
Friday, November 28th, 2024
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!



Tampa (AP) - Dynasty. The most elusive title in sports. It's a title that fans toss around as a term of "stature", as if the team has reached some imaginary benchmark that truthfully doesn't exist. In fact, there IS no such "title" given out in any professional sport. Teams are not awarded any extra for running together a few championships, each season stands alone singularly in sports history. So when a team like baseball's San Francisco Giants win 3 World Series in 6 years, fans are quick to point out they won none of them back-to-back. That disqualifies them, apparently. When a team talks about the RZL Buccaneers, winning back-to-back is not good enough, they need to win THREE in a row. Even winning back-to-back TWICE in 9 year span (and making one other) is not good enough. You need to win three straight, or perhaps three of four, to be exempt from even the most stern judge of criteria.

Well, for the 2nd time in a decade, the Buccaneers have fallen short of that criteria. Which raises the question - where DO the Buccaneers go from here? Just last year they drafted QB Greg Bryant with the 22nd pick in the draft to apparently take this team into the next decade of Buccaneer football. It was the highest GM Anthony Fernandez has ever drafted a QB. In any league. EVER. It must have been quite distressing then, when the rookie struggled for large portions of the 2023 season as QB Dudley Hanson suffered through multiple injuries that seemingly put a three-peat out of reach. Despite being flush with weapons, Bryant struggled to the tune of a 55.8 QB Rating. Hanson has a team-friendly contract that seemingly assures he's got a window in Tampa of at least two more seasons as the starter, so it appears Bryant will remain on ice unless called-upon through injury like last season. But how does this affect the plans of the 4-time Super Bowl Champions?

If we start at the top, we can see the team reached towards the past, to help shed light on the future. Head Coach Tony Dungy opted to stick around for another year, deciding that 5 Super Bowl wins (1 with the Colts) was not enough for his Hall of Fame resume. There were rumors GM Fernandez aided in this decision by giving Dungy full power to manage his staff - something that has been a point of contention between the two over the years. Dungy reached out to recently fired Jaguars Head Coach Jake Delhomme to fill the Offensive Coordinator vacancy in Tampa. The Bucs were excellent with Jake as OC, making 3 Super Bowls (and winning 2) from 2014-2016. He worked wonders with QB Colt McCoy, transforming him from a backup journeyman into a Super Bowl Champion. Jake went (62-34) as the Head Coach in Jacksonville, including winning the AFC Championship last year before losing to Dungy and the Bucs in SBXVII.

Jake surely could have stuck around in Jacksonville, where he helped turn QB Adrian McPherson into an annual MVP cantidate, but with his contract expiring and a new administration coming in following GM Matthew Davis retiring, he decided on something familiar. He is positioned well to come to Tampa and parlay that into his next Head Coaching gig (perhaps even in Tampa if Dungy walks away next year). This appears to be the first hint that Tampa will forgo "rebuilding" mode in 2024 and instead aim relentlessly for a 5th Super Bowl. Delhomme wouldn't forgo multiple nice Head Coaching gigs to come to Tampa as Offensive Coordinator if he didn't feel the Bucs could propel him back to that market in a year or two. In Tampa he will get to work with not only Dudley Hanson and Greg Bryant, but also outstanding new weapons like HB Bryant Buchanan, FB Monase Tonga, WR Julio Jones, and 6'6" rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin. It almost seems unfair that the team can add pieces like those, while maintaining weapons like WR Mercury Delgado, WR Vinny Small, HB Trent Richardson. That is without mentioning the team boasts one of the best young OLs in football.

On the defensive side of the ball, Dungy turned to former Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith to become the new Defensive Coordinator. Lovie spent a remarkable 17 years as the top boss in Chi-town, prior to sitting out the 2023 season and contemplating retirement. Lovie and Dungy have a lot of history together, seeing as they coached against each other in SB1 and SB2 while with the Colts and Bears, respectively. They split the meetings, and apparently Lovie sees an opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl by joining up with Dungy in Tampa. Lovie will take over a young defense that is flush with potential. Alongside Dungy, the two will serve as perfect mentors for moldable young talent like MLB Austin Dillon, OLB Barkevious Mingo, CB Desmond Trufant, CB Buster Bowden, FS Isaac McClain, NT Dontari Poe, UT Jamaal Griffen, and promising rookies like OLB Josh Johnson, MLB Tremain Knight, CB Robert Pritchett, SS Jonathan Dowling, and RE Aaron Donald. Oh, did we mention future Hall of Fame veterans like LE Everson Griffen, SS Rampage Taylor, and CB Tye Williams are still on the roster, too?

Indeed, good landing spots for Delhomme and Lovie, especially if they're just positioning themselves to handpick their Head Coaching job next season. But what if they are more interested in RINGS, and want to be around their friend Tony Dungy, the greatest Head Coach in RZL history? If that is the case - DYNASTY or not - is there ANY other place better tow in rings? Probably not, but either way, GM Fernandez has stated multiple times he WANTS to be considered a Dynasty, and is surely back at the drawing board trying to figure out if third time's the charm... for a threepeat. And so it begins, again. How many more Super Bowls do YOU think the Buccaneers will win?

2024 All Rights Reserved. RZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 11/28/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 42
Recent Transactions Indicating Mood Switch In Tampa?
Tampa Runs a Shot Across the Bow
Recent Transactions Indicating Mood Switch In Tampa?
Saturday, May 17th, 2023
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!



Tampa (AP) - The (2-0) Tampa Bay Buccaneers put two transactions through the wire today that definitively seem to contradict statements made by GM Anthony Fernandez during the preseason. At the time, the bipolar boss indicated he "was not trying to win a third consecutive Super Bowl." All the offseason moves seemed to echo that - trading MLB Jerricho James and DT Marcel Dareus, then drafting QB Greg Bryant - but a solid preseason and a (2-0) start has changed the script a bit. Despite losing QB Dudley Hanson Week 1, the Bucs have essentially used their backup QBs to defeat the Rams and Bears to start the season. Each of those teams were widely considered the favorites in their respective divisions to start the season, and now the team travels to Philadelphia to play the NFC East leading Eagles on National TV. The Bucs opted against going a 3rd straight game with a rookie under center, flying in renowned medical experts to assure Hanson will return this week. The team also traded CB Percy Gross with a 1st Round Pick (TB) and 4th Round Pick (CHI) for CB Daniel Larsson with 5th and 6th Round Picks (TEN). The Bucs did have three 1sts in the upcoming draft (still controlling the rights to the Lions and Chiefs picks), so they pulled the trigger. The Titans had been shopping the 25 year old for a few weeks but hadn't found a suitor. Just this morning the Titans reportedly dropped the asking price to a single 1st Round Pick for Larsson, but the Bucs came in with a slightly better offer just to avoid any chance someone else would swoop him or that the Titans would counter ask for the Lions or Chiefs 1st instead of the Tampa 1st.

That alone displays some confidence in Tampa that they are indeed chasing yet another ring, but it still appears to be very fair compensation for a 6'3" YP3 CB that is strong, can catch and tackle, and moves very well for a man his size. Larsson may very well be done maxing out that speed in Tampa, but the Titans have put considerable improvements into the young corner - including a new 7-year contract this offseason that had a hearty $9.8million guaranteed in the form of a bonus. That makes it an expensive move for the Titans to make, despite being one of the deepest teams in talent in RZL. All of those factors considered, it was a no brainer for the Bucs to unprompted throw in a 4th and a talented young replacement corner. There is no word yet on where Larsson will fit in, but the team loves size and length in the secondary, so it's good value for the Bucs even if he is a situational nickel CB who can provide depth and also play Safety if needed. He also immediately eases the loss of CB Buster Bowden, who will miss 2-4 weeks with a Sprained Elbow. That was certainly a concern for the Bucs, who travel to play 6'5" WR Eddie Burns, 6'6" WR Rudolph Nash, and 6'6" TE Jordan Reed this week. Expect Larsson to draw an immediate start, as he will matchup with either Nash outside, or Reed in the slot. That surely also played a role in the Bucs making their best offer the first offer for Larsson - they wanted to get him into practice ASAP with a shot at (3-0) on the line.

2023 All Rights Reserved. RZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 05/17/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
Tampa Bay Training Camp 2023
TRAINING CAMP 2023:: Repeat, Repeat! Three-peat?
Bucs win 4th Super Bowl and get an improbable SECOND chance to three-peat. Will they this time?

Satruday, April 26th, 2023
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

RECAP OF THE 2022 SEASON::
(11-5) Regular Season; NFC Wild Card, (4-0) Postseason, Super Bowl XVII Champions


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did the improbable in 2022 - defend the Super Bowl Trophy for a SECOND time. When the Buccaneers lost Super Bowl XI in New Orleans to the Cleveland Browns, effectively ending their 40-week reign as Super Bowl Champions and killing any shot at a three-peat... nobody in RZL (especially in Tampa) ever considered the Bucs could get ANOTHER chance to three-peat. This time around, the Bucs seem to have a much more relaxed approach, understanding that the odds of winning a 3rd consecutive are VERY slim. In 2016, the team was CERTAIN they would repeat, they stocked up for the task, and they came 48 minutes away from doing that. This year the team is unloading cap and preparing for their NEXT window. That said, it was an incredibly fun and memorable year that began (0-4) with some really tough losses. The team stuck together and rallied back, eventually winning their 4th Super Bowl in franchise history. Let's recap some of the best and worst games...

BEST WIN::
NFCCQ1Q2Q3Q4OTTOTAL
1024317-54
71007-24
Honorable Mention:: SBXVII Tampa Bay -- 30, Jacksonville -- 28

Winning the Super Bowl is always nice, but how often do you get to humiliate your biggest rival in the most important game you two can possibly square off in? The Bucs arguabally passed the Rams in historical supremecy long ago, but the Rams made it a very debateable argument by winning back-to-back Super Bowls (and eliminating the Bucs in Tampa 45-24 in the Divionsal Round one of those years). The Bucs would go on to add a 3rd Super Bowl and quiet the debate somewhat, but when the Bucs earned a trip to St. Louis for the NFC Championship last year, there was truly a ton on the line for historical context. Had the Bucs lost that game, they'd have been 0 for 2 against the Rams in the playoffs, and the Rams would have had a chance to win a 3rd and tie the Bucs once again. The Bucs would instead throttle the Rams 54-24 in their own building before heading to Seattle to win their 4th Super Bowl and putting the arguement to bed for good. The win assured that GM Fernandez no longer worry about GM Downey challenging for Best RZL GM Ever, instead rusuming (and perhaps passing) the king, GM Brian Brown.

WORST LOSS::
WK1Q1Q2Q3Q4OTTOTAL
07107024
30021327
Honorable Mention:: WK13 New Orleans -- 27, TAMPA BAY 25

The Bucs started off their Super Bowl defense with a sputter, as the team would blow a 21-point 4th Quarter lead in Carolina to allow the Panthers to steal the victory that would ultimately decide the NFC South. While it was a salty way to start and would trigger an ugly (0-4) start, looking back it also allowed the Bucs an opportunity to prove their grit and win the Super Bowl from an all-to-familiar role, the underdog. This was not a season that was suppossed to end in a Buccaneers Super Bowl, but there is a strong argument to be made that it would NOT have if the Bucs hadn't dropped this game in Carolina. The Panthers, despite getting to hang that pretty NFC South banner, earned the right to host the Saints and travel to St. Louis in the Divisional round. That's not a path you want to take if you don't have to, especially with GM Mullendore owning GM Fernandez in recent memory.


2022 TEAM AWARDS::
These are the 11th annual Team Awards.
View each previous edition here:: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

Team MVP of the Year::
MLB Jerricho James (left)
118TAK, 18TFL, 3SACKS, 2FF, 9INT, 17DFL
RZL MVP | RZL Defensive Player of the Year | RZL Best Linebacker | Pro Bowl


Team Breakout Player of the Year::
CB Buster Bowden (center)
59TAK, 5TFL, 1FF, 1FR, 5INT, 30DFL

Team Rookie of the Year::
CB Desmond Trufant (right)
22TAK, 1SACK, 1FR, 5INT, 8DFL, 3TD
RZL Defensive Rookie of the Year


This was the easiest year to ever complete these Awards, as the Team Awards largely aligned with the League Awards. Jerricho was an absolute terror on defense and won the League MVP, the first time a Buccaneer has won that honor since Yamon Figurs won in 2016. It's too bad that Jerricho is no longer a Buccaneer, but it is a business. Buster Bowden took huge strides in his 3rd season, rising to the challenge of veteran Tye Williams missing multiple games with injury. It's too bad Buster was injured for the playoffs, but he was truly spectacular in the regular season and will likely become "the" guy in the Bucs secondary in the next year or so. Desmond Trufant won RZL Defensive Rookie of the Year, an award that teammate NT Dontari Poe won a couple seasons back. Trufant had a knack for the splash play and proved he will be a fantastic starting CB for the Bucs when Tye Williams begins regressing in a few seasons. It's no surprise the Bucs winning a Super Bowl was once again accompanied by outstanding secondary play. It resonated flashbacks to days of DRC and C-Jax flashing around the backfield in pewter.


2023 PROJECTED SCHEDULE::
Only teams available currently. Exact dates and details available just prior to the Preseason.

H::
A::
Projected 2023 Outcome:: ( 10 - 6 )


The Buccaneers moved many big names and expect internally to take a step back in 2023. There are even rumblings the team could proceed with a Rookie QB under center. That said, the team is far too talented to fall of completely. Despite being Super Bowl Champions, the team has the luxury of playing a 2nd place schedule for the 2nd consecutive season. Despite winning Super Bowls, the team hasn't captured an NFC South title since 2019. That is unacceptable for a team who won it 6 times in 8 years from 2012 to 2019. Look for the team to get started right all out, but if they slip (like they did at the start of 2022), expect them to begin thinking about the future. These are just the rumored individual matchups, as we really have not yet learned how the file reset will affect the annual division rotations. We do know the Bucs WILL play the Panthers twice, Falcons twice, Saints twice, the Rams and Eagles. That right there could be a tough gauntlet that the team would be happy to end up (4-4) following.


2023 NOTEABLE ROSTER CHANGES::
These are only the key roster moves, to view a more in-depth breakdown, click HERE.

Key Additions::
WR Marko Mitchell (Free Agency)
WR Jordan Kent (Free Agency)
RE Whitney Mercilus (Free Agency)
HB Isaih Pead (Free Agency)
MLB Austin Dillon (Trade)
LT Gabe Carimi (Trade)
CB Dominique Rod-Cromartie (Free Agency)

Key Losses::
MLB Jerricho James (Trade)
C Blake Schlueter (Trade)
DT Marcel Dareus (Trade)


2023 DRAFT RECAP::
To view expert RZL opinions and feedback, please click:: 2023 Draft Discussion | Full Pewter Report Draft Coverage

1.18 -- MLB Randall Johnston, Penn State
It's clearly a new day in Tampa Bay, in regards to the Linebacking crew. The Buccaneers matched on OLB Omer Montoya in Free Agency, but it's clear now that was more about preventing him from retiring a Saint than contributing as a starter in 2023. Johnston has everything you want in a MLB and should develop into a great athlete. He doesn't have the speed (81) and acceleration (82) that would have got him drafted in the Top 10 in most classes, but in a weaker 2023 class Johnston could have easily went in the Top 10. The Bucs lucked out grabbing him at [1.18], and will pair him with a talented (albeit raw) group that already features MLB Austin Dillon, OLB Barkevious Mingo, MLB James Miche-Johnson, and MLB Brian Rolle. The team has not commented on who will play where, but just from an "investment" standard, you'd bet the team goes with Dillon, Johnston, and Jordan as the three primary LBs of the future, with JMcJ and Rolle being featured as prominent backups. There is symmetry in the fact that the Bucs got this pick from the trade that sent RZL MVP MLB Jerricho James to Kansas City. The Buccaneers also got OT Gabe Camiri and the Chiefs 2024 1st Round Pick in the deal. The Bucs did a good job maximizing value for their team captain a year ahead of his regression season, while also saving $16M on the cap.

1.22 -- QB Greg Bryant, Clemson
Bryant was considered by most to be the best QB in this class, so it was somewhat surprising he lasted this long. Historically RZL starting QBs can be snatched up a bit later than this (4-time SB Champion QB Dudley Hanson in the 3rd, for example), but in a weaker class the ceiling on Bryant was as high as #2 overall. The Buccaneers still have Hanson, of course, but with his regression on the horizon (it's hard to believe he's been a Buc since that incredible 2014 Super Bowl run), the Bucs couldn't pass on Bryant. It is believed Bryant will battle QB Jason Williamson to be the QB of the Future, but with a 1st Round Pick invested, you have to give Bryant the leg up. There is speculation Bryant could even get a shot to compete with Hanson, as GM Fernandez recently commented to local newspapers that "the Offense has NEVER been as powerful (on paper) as they are now, and the time might be right to let Williamson start to prepare for the future." You'd have to imagine the same offer could hold true for Bryant if the Bucs stumble early, like the (0-4) start they got off to last year before winning 15 of the last 16 to hoist the Lombardi.

3.4 -- CB Victor Fox, Arkansas State
The Buccaneers end up snatching the guy they nearly took at [2.5] anyway. Fox clearly fell in this draft because he's only 5'8", but he measures up very nice in all other categories. He'll have a hard time finding the field in Tampa, who already has CB Tye Williams, CB Buster Bowden, and CB Desmond Trufant as perhaps the best Big Three in RZL. Still, he has the ability to be a longterm starting nickel in RZL, and he'll compete with CB Percy Gross for #4 on the depth chart. As we saw last season, an injury to Tye Williams vaulted Desmond Trufant into a starting role and a Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Fox should enter 2023 one injury away from serious minutes at nickel.

3.18 -- OT Alfred Simpson, Wyoming
The Bucs OT's are getting long in the tooth, and the team lost depth when HC Tony Dungy's son RT Eli Dungy took a lucrative offer in RFA to play for the Oakland Raiders. Simpson physically has everything GM Fernandez looks for in his lineman. Tall - check (6'4"), quick - check (77ACC), agile - check (69AGI), strong - check (93STR). The two knocks on Simpson will surely be his age (25) and his speed (48), but neither bothered Fernandez enough to pass on the best OT left in a weaker OL class. Simpson's base blocking ability is not bad (76PBK/82RBK), but will need some work. He will be buried on the depth chart, but has potential to eventually surface as a contributor in Tampa.

4.5 -- HB Williams Jones, USF
Jones joins a loaded backfield that already features HB Trent Richardson, HB Allen Bradford, and newly signed HB Isiah Pead, but Jones is talented enough that he could get some carries down the line with some hard work. The Buccaneers got a close look at Jones, who attended the University of South Florida, with whom the Buccaneers share a football field. Jones was the bellcow for the bulls in the American Conference, and it will be interesting to see how his skills transfer to the RZL. Jones is not bad at anything, but he also doesn't excel at anything either. He should start the season 4th on the depth chart, but Pead has yet to take a snap as a Buccaneer, and Bradford is already in his 6th season in a league where the shelf life of your average HB isn't much longer than that.

4.7 -- SS Jordan Mitchell, Oklahoma State
The Buccaneers weren't planning on drafting a safety, but the team had a very high grade on Mitchell and could not pass him up in the 4th round. Jordan is a big player with exceptional strength and plays very physical. The hard hitting safety also has decent speed for someone his size, and is a sure tackler. He will compete with FS Ralph Black and SS Duke Williams to be the primary back-up safety, but if all goes well could emerge as a potential starter down the line with SS Rampage Taylor regressing next season.

4.16 -- OG Lane Callaway, UConn
Lane Callaway had an outstanding showing in the East-West Shrine game, posting 9 pancakes and 0 sacks allowed while blocking for a scrambling QB, but he was on the Bucs radar before that. Lane is a young prospect with good size, solid quicks, and sound blocking. The Bucs will surely try and get him in the weight room to work on his strength (89), but overall he's a very solid prospect midway through the 4th in one of the weaker drafts in history. Callaway is a lock to make the team and should compete with LG Senio Kelemete to be the primary backup OG in Tampa. Calloway compares favorabally to Dolphins Rookie OG Troy Moody, who went [2.15] in the draft (although the pick was acquired for a Future 1st Round Pick.

5.4 -- C Eric Jensen, Miami
The Buccaneers drafted C Nathanial Thibodeaux [2.9] in 2021, and after having him redshirt his rookie season they gave him the keys to the starting job last year. He played well, only surrendering one sack, ultimately allowing the Buccaneers to trade long-time starter C Blake Schlueter to Cincy. The trade left the Buccaneers very thin at Center - a growing concern with new league rules mandating that only Centers can play Center. The team planned to address it a little earlier, but with so many ranked players sliding, the Bucs got to wait until the 5th to identify their longterm backup. Jensen is a local kid (THE U) who has good size, decent quickness, and solid blocking. He is a lock to make the team, which in a draft this weak has to be considered a win for the 5th round.

6.1 -- RE Barry Kim, Iowa
Kim was simply one of the final players the Bucs had ranked. Kim has the inside track at a roster spot because the Bucs are thin at backup DE, but Kim will need some work to ever work himself into playing time in the Bucs 43. That said, if he's lucky, he could end up being average enough to carve himself out a lengthy career as a backup in Tampa. UPDATE:: Barry Kim did not make the Bucs final cuts. Kim will join the Bucs Practice Squad if he is unclaimed in Free Agency.


2023 PRESEASON POSITION BATTLES::
These are projections and much may change before the Preseason. To view the official team depth chart, click HERE.

Right Outside Linebacker
OLB James-Miche Johnson VS MLB Randall Johnston
In what once looked like it would be a very complicated reshuffle of the LB deck in Tampa, it appears the musical chairs have simplified. The team is apparently set with MLB Austin Dillon after naming him a Team Captain. This means that Johnston will be unable to compete with him to start at MLB, however the team WILL employ numerous 34 looks that will get him some steady guaranteed reps at MLB2. For the times the team plays 43 and maximizes use of UT Jamaal Griffen, the team will be looking for either Johnston or J-Mc-J to step up and perform at ROLB. The team seems oddly dedicated to J-Mc-J, who has won coaches over in recent years filling in outstanding when called upon. While he has always performed at MLB, the team has always felt his slighter frame better equips him for strongside backer, so the move appears to finally be official. This will give the team time to groom Johnston and not rush him into action. although the team clearly has huge plans for him after investing a Top 16 pick in him this draft. If for whatever reason J-Mc-J fails, and Johnston proves too raw to play this year at ROLB, the team has veteran ROLB Omer Montoya to fill in. Newly acquired OLB Brian Rolle will serve as a reserve, while OLB Barkevious Mingo has won the LOLB job outright, for the 3rd year in a row.
Projected Winner:: OLB James-Miche Johnson

Right Defensive End
RE Whitney Mercilus VS LE Dion Jordan
Jordan challenged OLB Barkevious Mingo last offseason for the Starting LOLB job, but ultimately the team opted to keep him at DE. He appeared to get a path to a starting job this offseason, but the addition of Mercilus likely puts that on hold. It's more likely that the team keeps grooming the extremely young Jordan to eventually replace LE Everson Griffen, who is due to start regressing in a couple years. At just 22 years old, Jordan still has 4 seasons of eligible boosts, so realistically the team could still get him up and over 90SPD/90ACC despite redshirting his rookie year and perhaps his sophmore, too. Whitney is a little more advanced age and remains more polished, so the team will likely give him the first crack at the Starting RE spot. If he does well, he could fend off Jordan until Everson regresses, but if he underwhelms, look for the team to hit the trade block and see if they can't recoup value while creating a job for Jordan in the process.
Projected Winner:: RE Whitney Mercilus


Left Tackle
LT Raymundo Amick VS LT Gabe Carimi
Raymundo is easily the most accomplished Offensive Lineman in Bucs franchise history, and he was also the first 1st Round Pick of the Fernandez regime. That said, the Bucs would not have requested Carimi in the Jerricho James trade if they didn't view him as their Franchise LT. Carimi will be entering his 5th season, but remains very young in OL terms. Carimi was superb in 2020 and 2021, notching 245 tackles, 3 sacks allowed, and also blocking for a HB that was breaking All-Time RZL records. He will join LG Dallas Thomas and C Nathanial Thibodeaux as the core of a revamped young OL that will be blocking for the Bucs for the next decade. It's a bold comment to make, for sure, but it is the same comment the team made about guys like Amick, Schlueter, and Velheer - who the team drafted and started for nearly a decade each.
Projected Winner:: LT Gabe Carimi


Backup Quarterback
QB Greg Bryant VS QB Jason Williamson
QB Dudley Hanson is on the roster and he isn't going anywhere with 5 years and $13M left on his contract. He also has 4 Super Bowl rings, so the idea of chasing him out of town before he at least begins regression would be a PR nitemare. That said, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that anytime you draft a QB in the 1st Round there are at least some internal intentions to move on. The Bucs drafted Hanson in 2014 and let him sit the bench until 2017 before they turned the team over to him. Hanson watched the Bucs win two Super Bowls in that span, and despite a rough start to his career that included a (7-9) 1st season under center (which remains the ONLY losing season of GM Anthony Fernandez' tenure), Hanson still went on to win two Super Bowls of his own. So while the team will surely employ the same strategy of systematically finding lesser games for Bryant to spot-start the next few seasons, it also means that if the team gets off to a rough start, like the (0-4) start last season, the Bucs will surely be quick to put one of these two young guys in to see what they got. Bryant obviously has the leg up, but the team remains high on Jason Williamson - a 6'5" prototype with a strong arm whom the team declined a 2nd Round Pick for this offseason. That was prior to the addition of Bryant, however, so perhaps the team would revisit trading Williamson if Bryant wins the job this Preseason. But if Williamson, whose path thus far looks a LOT like Hanson's and surely matches him much more in build and arm, happens to surprise and win the job this Preseason, the Bucs would have no problem trading Bryant for a king's ransom, as the team fielded two calls from GMs literally moments after making the pick.
Projected Winner:: QB Greg Bryant


Tight End
TE Dwayne Allen VS TE Joseph Fauria
This was not a position that many expected to be "up-for-grabs" after Dwayne signed a new 7-year $16M contract last offseason, but Dwayne Allen has been somewhat of a disappointment heading into his 5th season. When the Bucs drafted him [2.1] overall, they clearly had designs that they had their starting TE for the next decade. Dwayne is coming off of his best TD season of his career (5), but only has (11) over his 4-year career. He also has a mediocre 1600 receiving yards and has just not developed into a player any opposing team is scared of. When the team drafted Fauria in the 4th round last year, they were admitting (at least on some level) that Allen might not make it a decade as the starting TE in Tampa. Fauria is not as athletic as Allen, but he offers a tiny bit more as a blocker, has equivalent hands, and at a towering 6'7", he gives management flashbacks to a time when Leonard Pope caused defenses fits when they game-planned the Bucs. Allen will likely get one last shot to prove he can become who Tampa hoped he'd be, but if he struggles, look for the team to start getting Fauria snaps and ultimately pull the plug on Allen as he hits the half-a-decade mark. Allen has a contract that is easily tradeable, and has a skill set on paper that will appeal enough to other GMs that the team could easily recoup the 2nd Round Pick they spent on him. The team already took some measures of pushing Fauria into reps by releasing TE Anthony McCoy after failing to trade him this offseason.
Projected Winner:: TE Dwayne Allen


2023 TRAINING CAMP::
Special Thanks to everyone who attended this year!

"2023 TC Motto:: Defense Wins Championships."
CB Buster Bowden | +1SPD ( 96 ) | +1ACC ( 97 )
MLB Austin Dillon | +1SPD ( 86 ) | +1ACC ( 84 )
MLB Randall Johnston | +1SPD ( 82 )


The Buccaneers focus on defense, the area that helped guide them to all 4 Super Bowls. Bowden gets boosted in the last season he is eligible, finishing off with a very impressive skill set for his size. The team then turned their attention to their young MLBs they hope to replace Jerricho James. Dillon is YP2 and 25 years old, so he needed to get a boost in this year, because next season will be his last eligible. Randall Johnson is a rookie, but at 23 years old, he needed to get started early to hope to reach the 85SPD/85AGI goals GM Fernandez has for him. The team was hoping to continue boosting OLB Barkevious Mingo's speed, but with him only being 22 years old, the team will still have 4 more seasons to boost him from his already impressive 87SPD/90ACC. The team will return focus to him next year, once Bowden is taken care of.

2023 Projected Depth Chart::
KEY = 2022 Pro Bowler | Returning Starter | New Starter | Rookie

DEFENSE
CB Tye Williams | FS Isaac McClain | SS Rampage Taylor | CB Buster Bowden
ROLB James-Miche Johnson | MLB Austin Dillon | OLB Barkevious Mingo
RE Whitney Mercilus | UT Jamaal Griffen | NT Dontari Poe | DE Everson Griffin

OFFENSE
LT Gabe Carimi | LG Dallas Thomas | C Nathanial Thibodeaux | RG Damian Schiller | RT Jared Velheer
WR Marko Mitchell | WR Mercury Delgado | TE Dwayne Allen / WR Vinny Small (slot)
HB Trent Richardson | QB Dudley Hanson | FB Brad Smelley

SPECIAL TEAMS
K Reid Forrest | P Jeff Locke | KR Chris Rainey

2023 All Rights Reserved. RZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 04/21/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 105
THE PEWTER REPORT:: Tampa introduces 2023 Rookies.
DRAFT DAY:: 2023 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The back-to-back Super Bowl Champs are re-tooling.

Saturday, April 5th, 2023
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!

With Jerricho gone, Bucs search for new identity.


2023 DRAFT RECAP::
To view expert RZL opinions and feedback, please click:: 2023 Draft Discussion

1.18 -- MLB Randall Johnston, Penn State
It's clearly a new day in Tampa Bay, in regards to the Linebacking crew. The Buccaneers matched on OLB Omer Montoya in Free Agency, but it's clear now that was more about preventing him from retiring a Saint than contributing as a starter in 2023. Johnston has everything you want in a MLB and should develop into a great athlete. He doesn't have the speed (81) and acceleration (82) that would have got him drafted in the Top 10 in most classes, but in a weaker 2023 class Johnston could have easily went in the Top 10. The Bucs lucked out grabbing him at [1.18], and will pair him with a talented (albeit raw) group that already features MLB Austin Dillon, OLB Barkevious Mingo, MLB James Miche-Johnson, and MLB Brian Rolle. The team has not commented on who will play where, but just from an "investment" standard, you'd bet the team goes with Dillon, Johnston, and Jordan as the three primary LBs of the future, with JMcJ and Rolle being featured as prominent backups. There is symmetry in the fact that the Bucs got this pick from the trade that sent RZL MVP MLB Jerricho James to Kansas City. The Buccaneers also got OT Gabe Camiri and the Chiefs 2024 1st Round Pick in the deal. The Bucs did a good job maximizing value for their team captain a year ahead of his regression season, while also saving $16M on the cap.

***TRADE ALERT*** Tampa trades [1.25] and [4.25] to Oakland for [1.22]
1.22 -- QB Greg Bryant, Clemson
Bryant was considered by most to be the best QB in this class, so it was somewhat surprising he lasted this long. Historically RZL starting QBs can be snatched up a bit later than this (4-time SB Champion QB Dudley Hanson in the 3rd, for example), but in a weaker class the ceiling on Bryant was as high as #2 overall. The Buccaneers still have Hanson, of course, but with his regression on the horizon (it's hard to believe he's been a Buc since that incredible 2014 Super Bowl run), the Bucs couldn't pass on Bryant. It is believed Bryant will battle QB Jason Williamson to be the QB of the Future, but with a 1st Round Pick invested, you have to give Bryant the leg up. There is speculation Bryant could even get a shot to compete with Hanson, as GM Fernandez recently commented to local newspapers that "the Offense has NEVER been as powerful (on paper) as they are now, and the time might be right to let Williamson start to prepare for the future." You'd have to imagine the same offer could hold true for Bryant if the Bucs stumble early, like the (0-4) start they got off to last year before winning 15 of the last 16 to hoist the Lombardi.

***TRADE ALERT*** Tampa trades [1.31] and [Future 4th - TB] to Detroit for [6.1] and [Future 1st - DET]
The Buccaneers were smitten with HB Craig Leer, who the Cardinals drafted one pick later, but ultimately HB was not a need for Tampa, as they are three-deep at HB already. The Lions (currently) lack a starting QB and are in a tough division, so there is optimism this pick will be a Top 20 pick in a class that shouldn't be any worse than this one.

***TRADE ALERT*** Tampa trades [2.5], [Future 6th - TB] and [Future 7th - TB] to Pittsburgh for [2.18] and [Future 3rd - PIT]
The Buccaneers were set to draft CB Victor Fox, but were hesitant to pull the trigger and pay him the nearly $3.5M annually his agent says he'll command.

***TRADE ALERT*** Tampa trades [2.18] and [Future 3rd - PIT] to Cincinnati for [5.04], [Future 2nd - KC], [Future 3rd - CIN], [Future 4th - CHI]
The Buccaneers were excited to see CB Victor Fox still there, but got a very nice surprise offer from the Bengals. The Buccaneers jumped on the opportunity to add more future picks.

3.4 -- CB Victor Fox, Arkansas State
The Buccaneers end up snatching the guy they nearly took at [2.5] anyway. Fox clearly fell in this draft because he's only 5'8", but he measures up very nice in all other categories. He'll have a hard time finding the field in Tampa, who already has CB Tye Williams, CB Buster Bowden, and CB Desmond Trufant as perhaps the best Big Three in RZL. Still, he has the ability to be a longterm starting nickel in RZL, and he'll compete with CB Percy Gross for #4 on the depth chart. As we saw last season, an injury to Tye Williams vaulted Desmond Trufant into a starting role and a Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Fox should enter 2023 one injury away from serious minutes at nickel.

3.18 -- OT Alfred Simpson, Wyoming
The Bucs OT's are getting long in the tooth, and the team lost depth when HC Tony Dungy's son RT Eli Dungy took a lucrative offer in RFA to play for the Oakland Raiders. Simpson physically has everything GM Fernandez looks for in his lineman. Tall - check (6'4"), quick - check (77ACC), agile - check (69AGI), strong - check (93STR). The two knocks on Simpson will surely be his age (25) and his speed (48), but neither bothered Fernandez enough to pass on the best OT left in a weaker OL class. Simpson's base blocking ability is not bad (76PBK/82RBK), but will need some work. He will be buried on the depth chart, but has potential to eventually surface as a contributor in Tampa.

4.5 -- HB Williams Jones, USF
Jones joins a loaded backfield that already features HB Trent Richardson, HB Allen Bradford, and newly signed HB Isiah Pead, but Jones is talented enough that he could get some carries down the line with some hard work. The Buccaneers got a close look at Jones, who attended the University of South Florida, with whom the Buccaneers share a football field. Jones was the bellcow for the bulls in the American Conference, and it will be interesting to see how his skills transfer to the RZL. Jones is not bad at anything, but he also doesn't excel at anything either. He should start the season 4th on the depth chart, but Pead has yet to take a snap as a Buccaneer, and Bradford is already in his 6th season in a league where the shelf life of your average HB isn't much longer than that.

4.7 -- SS Jordan Mitchell, Oklahoma State
The Buccaneers weren't planning on drafting a safety, but the team had a very high grade on Mitchell and could not pass him up in the 4th round. Jordan is a big player with exceptional strength and plays very physical. The hard hitting safety also has decent speed for someone his size, and is a sure tackler. He will compete with FS Ralph Black and SS Duke Williams to be the primary back-up safety, but if all goes well could emerge as a potential starter down the line with SS Rampage Taylor regressing next season.

4.16 -- OG Lane Callaway, UConn
Lane Callaway had an outstanding showing in the East-West Shrine game, posting 9 pancakes and 0 sacks allowed while blocking for a scrambling QB, but he was on the Bucs radar before that. Lane is a young prospect with good size, solid quicks, and sound blocking. The Bucs will surely try and get him in the weight room to work on his strength (89), but overall he's a very solid prospect midway through the 4th in one of the weaker drafts in history. Callaway is a lock to make the team and should compete with LG Senio Kelemete to be the primary backup OG in Tampa. Calloway compares favorabally to Dolphins Rookie OG Troy Moody, who went [2.15] in the draft (although the pick was acquired for a Future 1st Round Pick.

5.4 -- C Eric Jensen, Miami
The Buccaneers drafted C Nathanial Thibodeaux [2.9] in 2021, and after having him redshirt his rookie season they gave him the keys to the starting job last year. He played well, only surrendering one sack, ultimately allowing the Buccaneers to trade long-time starter C Blake Schlueter to Cincy. The trade left the Buccaneers very thin at Center - a growing concern with new league rules mandating that only Centers can play Center. The team planned to address it a little earlier, but with so many ranked players sliding, the Bucs got to wait until the 5th to identify their longterm backup. Jensen is a local kid (THE U) who has good size, decent quickness, and solid blocking. He is a lock to make the team, which in a draft this weak has to be considered a win for the 5th round.

6.1 -- RE Barry Kim, Iowa
Kim was simply one of the final players the Bucs had ranked. Kim has the inside track at a roster spot because the Bucs are thin at backup DE, but Kim will need some work to ever work himself into playing time in the Bucs 43. That said, if he's lucky, he could end up being average enough to carve himself out a lengthy career as a backup in Tampa.


2024 Draft Picks
1st
1st
1st
2nd
2nd
3rd
3rd


Jim Flynn covers RZL for Yahoo! Sports.

2023 All Rights Reserved. RZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 04/05/2014) Replies - 12 :: Views - 145
Bucs make toughest decision in Franchise History
Bucs make toughest decision in Franchise History
After 7 seasons, Bucs trade RZL MVP Jerricho James to Kansas City.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2023
Jim Flynn, Yahoo Sports!



Tampa (AP) - The Buccaneers finalized a trade to sent RZL MVP MLB Jerricho James to the Kansas City Chiefs this morning, and no, that is not an April Fool's Joke. GM Anthony Fernandez came out to deny reports that he could be traded last week, despite numerous plugged in reporters indicating he was in fact discussing trades with multiple teams, however turning them down. "When the phone rings, I always answer it. It's a sad fact in this business. I hung the phone up many, many times. I turned down a lot of fantastic offers because we wanted him to be here. Ultimately, we got an offer we could not refuse." Fernandez added.

That offer Fernandez spoke of today in a grim Press Conference at One Buc Place will include [1.18] and [4.5] in this weekend's draft, a Future 1st Round Pick (KC), and OT Gabe Camiri (the 27th overall pick in the 2019 Draft and Pro Bowler in 2020 and 2021). "Gabe is a fantastic young prospect. He's only YP4 and has already been to two Pro Bowls, and has blocked for some of the best rushing attacks we've seen the last few seasons. He had 245 pancakes and only 3 sacks over a two-year span. We are excited to have him." Fernandez added. The Buccaneers have been overhauling the Offensive Line in recent years, so expect Camiri to takeover at LT or RT next year at the latest.

Fernandez further explained, "essentially we viewed this as getting three 1st Round Picks, as we wanted Offensive Line in the 1st this year, and there is frankly nobody in this class worth drafting. So while we love Jerricho, we just had to make the move. GM Herr is putting together a fantastic defense in KC, and we're sure Jerricho will QB that defense for a long time." There are reports that GM Herr has worked into the language of the deal that he will reimburse Jerricho with a brand new long-term contract this week, including a No Trade Clause.

The team remains very high on young LBs MLB Austin Dillon, OLB Barkevious Mingo, MLB James Miche-Johnson, and newly signed MLB Brian Rolle. It's a very talented, very inexperienced group, but the team also brought back veteran OLB Omer Montoya. There will be some shuffling of the positions, but look for the team to play the best 3 linebackers this season in the new 4-3 defense. Still, it will be very odd not seeing Jerricho manning the middle, the spot he's claimed since the team traded long-time Buc and fan favorite MLB Tim Shaw in 2016 (ironically to retire with the Chiefs). There is little doubt this was the toughest move the team has had to make, including trading QB Colt McCoy and not matching on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The move also clears $10M in cap space for the Bucs, who now have nearly $30M to spend in a loaded Free Agent class. Reports indicate the Bucs will be active, but the systematic removal of high priced players seems to contradict that thought process. GM Fernandez does serve on the RZL Commish Committee, and perhaps he's just preparing his team for a new era of RZL Football that will feature tighter fiscal restraints. Stay tuned here for all your Bucs news!

Jim Flynn covers RZL for Yahoo! Sports.


2023 All Rights Reserved. RZL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Fernandez on 04/01/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 38

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

BUCCANEERS FRONT OFFICE
GM A_Fernandez
Head Coach Tony Dungy
Offensive Coordinator Jake Delhomme
Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith
Special Teams Joe Marciano
Salary $173.24M
Cap Penalty $23.81M
Cap Room $2.28M

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH
Buccaneers Omer Montoya ROLB 85 Out for season
Buccaneers Josh Johnson ROLB 75 Out for season
Buccaneers Rampage Taylor SS 98 Out for season
Buccaneers Dudley Hanson QB 99 Out for season
Buccaneers Arnold McGriff ROLB 78 Probable

NFC South
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#1 Buccaneers Buccaneers 12-4-0 0.75 4-2
#4 Saints Saints 10-6-0 0.63 4-2
#5 Falcons Falcons 10-6-0 0.63 1-5
#10 Panthers Panthers 9-7-0 0.56 3-3

BUCCANEERS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sun vs Falcons Falcons #5
Won 32-17
2 Sun at Cowboys Cowboys #15
Won 34-20
3 Sun vs Saints Saints #4
Won 24-21
4 Sun vs Redskins Redskins #11
Lost 23-30
5 Sun at Falcons Falcons #5
Lost 27-34
6 Sun at Eagles Eagles #8
Won 41-34
7 Sun at Packers Packers #32
Won 32-26
8 Sun vs Rams Rams #30
Won 48-16
10 Sun at Chiefs Chiefs #6
Won 16-10
11 Sun at Broncos Broncos #13
Won 59-16
12 Sun vs Chargers Chargers #16
Won 44-10
13 Sun at Panthers Panthers #10
Won 34-24
14 Sun vs Giants Giants #27
Lost 13-17
15 Sun vs Raiders Raiders #29
Won 27-20
16 Sat at Saints Saints #4
Lost 27-28
17 Sun vs Panthers Panthers #10
Won 20-13

Powered by League Pulse.League Pulse was written by Brad Mallett (btmlltt). Design by Odawg. Copyright © 2007.