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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview 2004

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posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 05:24 PM
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl XXXVII victory wasn't already a distant memory during the team's 7-9 season of 2003, it certainly is now. Many of the prominent faces on that highlight video - Warren Sapp, Keyshawn Johnson, John Lynch, and now, likely Keenan McCardell - won't be suiting up for the Bucs just two years later. Sapp hit the free agent market, Lynch was released, Johnson was traded after a well-publicized de-activation in the middle of last season, and McCardell has threatened to sit out the year due to a contract dispute. However, injuries and lacklustre play led to the Buccaneers' losing record last season, and changes have been made for 2004.

On offense, receiver Keyshawn Johnson was traded to Dallas for receiver Joey Galloway, who the team hopes will create space for Keenan McCardell, Joe Jurevicius, and first-round draft pick Michael Clayton. A knee injury limited Jurevicius' playing time last season, and the team hopes he can return to health. Quarterback Brad Johnson had a mediocre 2003, and new backup Brian Griese may get a look if Johnson struggles. Charlie Garner remains the team's top running back, but the offensive line in front of him has been rebuilt. Gone from the defense are safety John Lynch and tackle Warren Sapp, but the unit, which ranked 5th in the league last season, remains strong. Defensive standouts include linemen Anthony McFarland and Simeon Rice, linebacker Derrick Brooks, and cornerbacks Brian Kelly and Ronde Barber.



Star Power: Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks

Notable Additions: WR Tim Brown, WR Joey Galloway, WR Michael Clayton, OT Derrick Deese, OT Matt Stinchcomb, RB Charlie Garner, LB Ian Gold

Notable Subtractions: DT Warren Sapp, S John Lynch, WR Keenan McCardell

Second-year QB Chris Simms appears to be the Bucs' future at the position, but, despite the fact that he has made a lot of progress since his rookie season, head coach Jon Gruden is not yet comfortable handing him the starting job just yet. So for that reason, and the fact that Gruden runs a very complicated offense, veteran Brad Johnson will likely be the starter as long as Tampa Bay stays in playoff contention. Gruden would like to run the football a little more this year, and the addition of Charlie Garner should give the running game a boost, assuming he can stay healthy. He was hampered by a knee injury in 2003, and his numbers reflected it, but if he can stay healthy, he should add some versatility to the Bucs running game. When healthy, he has an explosiveness through the hole, and he catches the ball out of the backfield as well as anyone. It also helps that he is familiar with Gruden, having played for him while with the Oakland Raiders.

The Bucs have a good veteran group of receivers, and the addition of Joey Galloway gives them the deep threat they have been lacking the last couple years, but they are getting up there in age and durability is a concern. Galloway and fellow starter Keenan McCardell, who is still holding out of training camp at the time of this report, are 32 and 34-years old respectively. Joe Jurevicius, who was penciled in as the No. 3 receiver, will turn 30 this year. And after struggling to come back from a serious knee injury that cost him most of the 2003 season, he has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back that could cost him significant playing time again this year. With the apparent loss of Jurevicius for at least a short period of time, rookie Michael Clayton could be asked to fill the slot in multi-receiver formations and Charles Lee will cover at No. 4 until Jurevicius returns. At tight end, the Buccaneers have three solid players in Dave Moore, Rickey Dudley, and Ken Dilger, but none has the speed needed to be a deep threat down the middle.

Tampa Bay is an unknown quantity, with different personnel in the backfield, at receiver, on both lines, and on special teams. If Gruden and Allen truly know how to build a winner, it will show this season. What the Bucs certainly have is depth and talent at quarterback, linebacker and in the secondary, which should translate into an improvement over last year's win total. The NFC South is mighty tough, and Gruden's club will have to win an abundance of its key division battles if it wants to go anywhere. The smart money is on that happening, (last year marked the first losing season of Gruden's head coaching career), with the over-under placed at about 10 wins.

posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 09:00 PM
They looked pretty bad yesterday. I don't give credit for the win to the 'skins being dominate, rather, it was the Bucs playing pitifully. They did pick it up in th esecond half, but it was too little, too late. And that's how thier season is gonna play out, especially with Galloway out 4-6 weeks, and McCardell sitting at home.

posted on Sep, 14 2004 @ 12:02 AM
I think that defense really missed John Lynch and Warren Sapp yesterday.

With Galloway and McCardell out, the rookie Michael Clayton needs to step up. He's a big kid and Brad Johnson will have to take advantage of his size. I dont expect much from the Bucs this year.

posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 05:53 PM
i don't expect much out of the Bucs this year either, the loss of Sapp and Lynch is gonna kill their defence this year. I'll still watch and wish them well though, even if they're losing i can still get a look at the cheer leaders.

posted on Sep, 16 2004 @ 05:40 PM

Originally posted by aegis fang
I'll still watch and wish them well though, even if they're losing i can still get a look at the cheer leaders.

The man keeps his priorities straight.


posted on Sep, 17 2004 @ 12:41 PM
I read a few articles and people are saying they won't win many games?

posted on Sep, 17 2004 @ 04:31 PM
They've lost thier defensive leadership in Sap and Lynch, and the offensive players are just getting older and older. Plus, the management's handling of both Keshawn Johnson and Keenen McCardell isn't exactly an insprational point for the other players. This team appears to be heading down the path of mediocrity that the had established for so long in the past.

posted on Sep, 20 2004 @ 05:00 PM
Still Riding the Bull
Sep 20, 2004 - Jon Gruden has named his starting quarterback for next Sunday’s game in Oakland. It’s the same man who started the Bucs’ last 18 games, and 51 of the last 54. It’s a man in whom Gruden has an enormous amount of confidence, a man he refers to as ‘The Bull.’

Brad Johnson will remain the team’s starter despite being replaced for the last three quarters of Sunday’s 10-6 loss to Seattle. Gruden said he made the move to Simms against Seattle on feel, looking to spark an attack that has not scored a touchdown in two games. As the Bucs continue in their efforts to get the offense on track, Gruden believes Johnson is the best man to get them there.

“All I can say about Brad Johnson is that he is a class act,” said Gruden. “He has been around a long time. He understands why we made the change. I don’t believe he’ll agree with all of the reasons for us making the change, but I can only say he handled it with great class. I truly expect him to come back this week, have a hell of a week of practice and find a way to get this ship right.”

Gruden wanted to spark his offense, but he wasn’t necessarily looking to light a fire under Johnson. The 13th-year veteran has been through quarterback battles and difficult situations before, and is likely to handle this one as professionally as he has the rest.

“Brad is an even keel guy,” said Gruden. “He has a steady approach to business. He’s a great competitor. But we have to help him so he can play his game and that goes for play calling and that goes for everybody.”

In his regular-season debut, Simms mixed rocket-armed completions with several youthful mistakes. Gruden estimated that the young passer would see seven or eight plays on film that he would like to have back. However, neither Simms’ 65% passing nor his last-drive interception played significantly into the coach’s decision to go back to Johnson against Oakland.

posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 09:20 PM
I'm not sure which team is worse off in Florida, Miami or Tampa...

posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 10:14 PM
i believe right now, both Tampa and Miami might be in the hunt for the #1 all around draft pick, at least that's what i would be doing. Might as well make as much positive as you can out of a crapola team.


posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 03:29 PM
Appearing in just his fourth game after serving a season-opening three-game suspension, Michael Pittman rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 19-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Pittman also caught two passes for 55 yards, including a 46-yarder late in the first quarter that led to a 22-yard field goal by Martin Gramatica. He capped the scoring with a three-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.

Benefiting from an early offensive penalty by the Bears, the Buccaneers' defence held an opponent under 200 total yards for the second time this season.


posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 03:48 PM


posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 05:29 PM
Mike Alstott will be sidelined at least a month after spraining his right knee during Tampa Bay's 19-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Alstott, who missed most of last season after neck surgery, was hurt late in the third quarter Sunday when he was tackled for a 4-yard loss by Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and landed awkwardly beneath a pile.

"Four weeks is what our timetable is right now, depending on how it goes," coach Jon Gruden said Monday, adding that the injury is to Alstott's medial collateral ligament.

The Bucs (2-5) already lost running back Charlie Garner to season-ending knee surgery.

Rest of Story


posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 06:52 PM
Brian Griese continued his outstanding form, throwing for 296 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City.

Griese, who has a good record against Kansas, again dissected the Chiefs, while Michael Pittman enjoyed a good running game.

After being held to nine yards on seven carries in the first half, Pittman rushed for 119 yards on eight carries, including a career-high 78 yard touchdown run, in the second half for Tampa Bay (3-5).

posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 06:54 PM
the Bucs are really screwing up the #1 all around pick in the draft, come on guys start losing.

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