On a day filled with family cookouts, fireworks, and freedom, we take a patriotic look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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There are a lot of things to be excited about heading into 2016 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but today we’re going to take a look at some interesting numbers as they pertain to our beloved Bucs, both current as well as historic.
There are seven years combined experience for the Buccaneers’ triplets: Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin. Martin is entering his fifth year and a new contract after being drafted under the Schaino regime back in 2012. Winston, of course, is trying to avoid a sophomore slump after putting up great numbers in his rookie season. Evans is trying to improve off of a disappointing season plagued with drops and only three touchdowns, despite his receptions and yards being higher than his rookie season. As these three continue to grow together in the offense, they can become one of the most dangerous tandems in the NFL.
Dirk Koetter marks the fourth head coach the Buccaneers have had since the firing of Jon Gruden back in 2009. They gave the job, questionably, to Raheem Morris in 2009 and he lasted only three seasons and a 17-31 record, ten of those wins coming in 2010 alone. After Morris came Rutgers’ coach Greg Schiano who lasted two seasons, bringing to Tampa an 11-21 record, a MRSA scandal, a one year Revis rental, a quarterback controversy, and “toe on the line”. Lovie Smith replaced Schiano in 2014 and may go down as one of the worst coached in Buccaneers’ history. In two seasons, Smith went 8-24 and had one of the worst defenses in football in back to back seasons. The only positives that came out of the Lovie era were Jameis Winston with the number one pick and Jason Licht being hired as GM.
Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith is entering his seventeenth season in the NFL. He joined the Baltimore Ravens in 1999 as a defensive assistant and defensive line coach before heading to Jacksonville in 2003 as defensive coordinator. After coaching Jacksonville to numerous top-10, and one top-5 defense, Smith was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as head coach in 2008. He would coach in Atlanta until 2014 when he was let go and replaced by Dan Quinn. Smith was the AP Coach of the Year in 2008, as well as Sporting News’ Coach of the Year in 2008, 2010, and 2012. The Buccaneers were the only team he would accept a coordinator position because it allowed him to reunite with friend and former Jags and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
A number near and dear to all Buccaneers fans’ hearts: 76. As in the year 1976, when the Buccaneers officially became an NFL franchise and kicked off their inaugural season. Of course, we also all remember the 0-14 fashion in which they finished that season, but those lumps allowed the Bucs to be in the NFL and eventually become one of the most dominant teams in the league. That 76 season is also no longer the worst season in NFL history as that distinction belongs to the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16. Bucs fans wear those throwback, creamsicle colors with pride today, reminiscing of 1976 and the Buccaneers expansion team that was a laughingstock for so long, but they were still Tampa Bay’s team. The first professional team to join the area, which now includes the Lightning in the NHL and Rays in the MLB. Without those “Yucks”, there would be no Rays or Bolts to cheer for.
So put it all together, Bucs fans. Our “Buccaneers By The Numbers” today represent not just people, moments, or players involved with our beloved team, but also represents a very important birthday;
7 – 4 – 1776
Wishing all of you Buccaneers fans a very safe, happy, and fun 4th of July from all of us here at The Pewter Plank.