Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers 2014-2015 Outlook
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone all-in with Josh McCown. While Mike Glennon had a solid season last year, new head coach Lovie Smith has a game plan and McCown fits it to perfection. Smith has revamped the defense as well, and there is an outside chance that Tampa Bay contends in the NFC South right away.
All Tampa Bay Buccaneers football games can be seen on one of the following television broadcasts depending on the team they are playing: Fox Sports, CBS, or ESPN. Tune into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers flagship stations WDAE 620 on your AM dial or 103.5 on your FM dial to catch each Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game on the radio.
Raymond James Stadium
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played in 2 different stadiums during their existence. Currently, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play their homes games in Raymond James Stadium. Raymond James Stadium is also the home stadium for the University of South Florida college football team. Raymond James Stadium hosts college football’s Outback Bowl each year on New Year’s Day and hosted Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and will host the Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.
Raymond James Financial, a St. Petersburg, Florida-based company, bought the naming rights to the stadium through 2015. Raymond James Stadium has a seating capacity of 66,000, which is on the small side for NFL stadiums. The stadium was built in a way to enhance the fan experience inside the stadium. Two 92-foot wide video screens keep fans updated throughout the game and a 2-story village façade houses a wide selection of concessions for all fans. Raymond James Stadium is also known for the huge 103 foot replica pirate ship that sits in “Buccaneer Cove”. The pirate ship fires confetti and sponge footballs every time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers score. Because of the unique nature of Raymond James Stadium, it is often called the “Crown Jewel” of all NFL stadiums. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their first game in Raymond James Stadium against the Chicago Bears on September 20, 1998. The Buccaneers won that game 27-15.
For the first 21 years of the team’s existence, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played in Houlihan’s Stadium (formerly Tampa Stadium) located in Tampa, Florida. Although originally built on one tier with a seating capacity of 45,000, the team enclosed the open end zones in 1975 and expanded seating capacity with an additional 27,000 end zone seats. This new structure looked like a Mexican sombrero, so well-known ESPN television analyst, Chris Berman, nicknamed the stadium, “The Big Sombrero”. Houlihan’s Stadium hosted Super Bowl XVIII in 1984 and Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Houlihan’s Stadium was demolished in 1999.
Raymond James Stadium
4201 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, Florida 33607
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional football team in the National Football League (the NFL). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in the National Football Conference (NFC) South Division with three other teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons, and the New Orleans Saints. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won 1 Super Bowl Championship. Raymond James Stadium, located in Tampa, Florida hosts all Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games.
In 1976, the NFL granted an NFL expansion franchise to the City of Tampa Bay. The NFL also awarded another franchise to the Seattle Seahawks that same year. Originally, the franchise was awarded to a businessman from Philadelphia, Ted McCloskey, but after financial problems, the NFL found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse, a Jacksonville attorney who arranged the franchise exchange between the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams in 1971. After holding a contest to pick the name of the team, the ownership group settled on the name “Buccaneers” in recognition of Tampa’s annual “Gasparilla Pirate Festival”.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled during the early years of its existence. The expansion draft only brought “old-timers” and “unwanted” players from other NFL teams, and Head Coach John McKay did a poor job of drafting and managing the team in the early years. In 1976, Tampa Bay’s first year in the league, the team did not win a single game. The next 2 years were not much better as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only won a total of 7 games combined during those 2 seasons. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some short-lived success from 1979 through 1982. The team recorded its first winning season in 1979, finishing atop the NFC Central with a 10-6 record. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also won their first playoff game that season, a 24-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional round of the playoffs. However, a 9-0 shutout loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game kept the team out of its first Super Bowl berth. The team failed to return to the playoffs in 1980, but 2 consecutive winning seasons in 1981 and the 1982 strike-shortened presented 2 more trips to post-season play. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in the first round of the playoffs each year.
From 1983 through 1996, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had 14 consecutive losing seasons. Times were tough on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their loyal fan base, but things would soon change for the better at the end of Sam Wyche’s tenure as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Head Coach Sam Wyche was responsible for drafting 3 players who became instrumental in forming one of the toughest defenses in the NFL: Defensive Back John Lynch (drafted 1993), Defensive Tackle Warren Sapp (drafted 1995) and Linebacker Derrick Brooks (drafted 1995). Then in 1996, the Glazer family outbid such sports powerhouses as New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner and Baltimore Orioles Owner Peter Angelos following the announcement of the sale of the team by the Culverhouse family. The $172 million purchase price was the highest sale price for any professional sports team at the time. The Glazer family intended to bring prominence back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise, and they were willing to spend the money to do so. They hired up and coming defensive coordinator Tony Dungy, changed the Buccaneers uniform design and encouraged voters to approve a county sales tax increase so that the team could build a new stadium, Raymond James Stadium. The strategy worked. In 1996, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense gelled throughout the season, and the team won 5 of its final 7 games to finish a respectable 6-10. In 1997, the team recorded its first winning season in 15 years, and returned to the playoffs for the first time in as many years. After a first round 20-10 victory over the Detroit Lions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 21-7 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Raymond James Stadium officially opened for the 1998 season and while their 8-8 record was considered a disappointment, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization was moving in the right direction. From 1999 through 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished each season with a winning record, they won their division twice (the NFC Central in 1999 and the NFC South in 2002) and they played in their 2nd NFC Championship Game in 1999. However, because the team could never win that final game to gain their first Super Bowl berth, the Glazer management team fired Tony Dungy following the 2001 playoffs.
After the trying to secure some high profile candidates to be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including Bill Parcells, the former head coach of the New York Giants, Steve Spurrier, the University of Florida head coach, and Marvin Lewis, the highly touted defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, the Glazer family turned their attention to Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Because he was still under contract, in order to hire Jon Gruden, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to compensate the Oakland Raiders with 4 draft picks and $8 million in cash. While the move was costly, it brought them the highly anticipated Super Bowl Championship in 2002, Jon Gruden’s first season as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jon Gruden lured 2 explosive offensive players to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in order to jump start the poor Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. Wide Receiver Keenan McCardell and Running Back Michael Pittman became key cogs in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. With a steady consistent offense to complement one of the best defenses in the league, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled to a 12-4 record and a first place finish in the NFC South. In the Divisional round of the playoffs, in Steve Marriuci’s last game as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crushed the San Francisco 49ers 31-6. In the NFC Championship Game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally won a “cold-weather contest” against Donovan McNabb and the talented Philadelphia Eagles in front of a sold out crowd at Veterans Stadium. That was the last NFL football game played at Veterans Stadium and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers capped off the dominating victory when defensive back Ronde Barber returned a Donovan McNabb pass 92 yards for a late score in the 4th quarter. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had finally advanced to their first Super Bowl, and what better way to win a championship than to do it against Jon Gruden’s former team, the Oakland Raiders. Super Bowl XXXVII was anything but interesting as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in a lopsided contest. The city of Tampa Bay could finally celebrate its first NFL Championship.
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled to losing records in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Jon Gruden led them to the top of the NFC South in 2005 with an 11-5 record. Although the team had big expectations for a good playoff run, the Washington Redskins upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium in the wild card playoffs in a 17-10 defensive struggle. The team’s hopes for another Super Bowl Championship would have to wait until the 2006 NFL regular season. During the 2006-7 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won only 4 games and finished in last place in the NFC South Division. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rebounded during the 2007-8 NFL season winning 9 games and finishing atop a week NFC South division. Despite having home field advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran into the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and lost 24-14 in a disappointing home playoff loss. The New York Giants became the first NFC team to win 3 straight road games in the playoffs to advance to a Super Bowl. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to build off of the 1st place NFC South finish during the 2008-9 NFL season.
Hall of Famers
Only 2 players associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers first ever pick, Defensive End Lee Roy Selmon, was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995. Selmon was voted into 6 consecutive Pro Bowls and he won the Defensive Lineman of the Year award in 1979. Selmon retired in 1984 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers retired his number 63 in 1986. The other Tampa Bay Buccaneer who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, Quarterback Steve Young, is more known for his accomplishments after he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1987 for draft picks and cash. Steve Young played Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for 13 seasons, the first few as a back-up to legendary Quarterback Joe Montana. Steve Young made 7 Pro Bowl appearances, he was voted the NFL’s Most Valuable Player twice, in 1992 and 1994, and he won the MVP award for Super Bowl XXIX following the 1994 season. Steve Young was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005.