Definitions

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay, inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, 25 mi (40 km) long and 7 to 12 mi (11.3-19 km) wide, W Fla., separated from the Gulf by numerous small islands; it receives the Hillsborough River. St. Petersburg is on the western neck, Old Tampa Bay, and Tampa is on Hillsborough Bay, the eastern neck. Tampa Bay has dredged shipping channels. Spanish explorers Pánfilo de Narváez (1529) and Hernando De Soto (1539) landed at Tampa Bay. It is spanned at its mouth by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (often shortened as the Bucs) are a professional American football team based in Tampa, Florida. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team, along with the Seattle Seahawks, joined the NFL in 1976 as expansion teams in the AFC West. The club is currently owned by Malcolm Glazer and coached by head coach Jon Gruden. When the franchise entered the league in 1976, the Buccaneers lost their first 26 games. After a brief winning era in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team suffered through fourteen consecutive losing seasons. From 1996 until 2005 they were consistent playoff contenders, and won Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the 2002 season which has been their only Super Bowl appearance.

Franchise history

1976-1978

The Buccaneers joined the NFL as members of the AFC West in 1976. The following year, they were moved to the NFC Central, while the other 1976 expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, switched conferences with Tampa Bay and joined the AFC West. This realignment was dictated by the league as part of the 1976 expansion plan, so that both teams could play each other twice and every other NFL franchise once during their first two seasons.

The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was originally awarded to Tom McCloskey, a construction company owner from Philadelphia. It soon became apparent that McCloskey had financial problems, so the NFL found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse, a wealthy tax attorney from Jacksonville well known in NFL circles for brokering an unprecedented franchise swap between the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams. A name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers", in honor of the yearly Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa. The team's first home was Tampa Stadium, which had recently been expanded to seat just over 72,000 fans. Steve Spurrier was the quarterback for Tampa Bay during their expansion season.

Tampa Bay started the first two seasons winless with an overall 0-26 record (though the Bucs had beaten the Atlanta Falcons 17-3 in a 1976 pre-season game before their first regular season) before finally winning its first game in 1977 on the road against the New Orleans Saints. Saints Head Coach Hank Stram was fired after losing to the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay went out the next week and won their first home game over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1977 season finale.

1979-1982

The Bucs' situation improved rapidly in 1979. With the maturation of quarterback Doug Williams, the first 1000-yard rushing season from running back Ricky Bell, and a smothering, league-leading defense led by future NFL Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, the Bucs kicked off the season with five consecutive victories, a stunning performance that landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

With four games left in the season, the Bucs needed to win only one of them to make the playoffs. In the first, STP was put all over the goal posts in Tampa to prevent the goalposts from being ripped down in the event of a celebration. Four blocked kicks later, the Bucs wasted the oily substance, falling to the Minnesota Vikings 23-22. STP was wasted again the following week as the Bucs were shut out 14-0 by the Chicago Bears, and in OJ Simpson's final home game in San Francisco, Tampa lost its third straight attempt to clinch a division title against a 49ers team which came in with a 1-13 record. Clinch they did, however, in their final contest at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, which was played in the worst downpour in Bucs history. Finishing with a 10-6 record, the Bucs had their first winning season in franchise history, and also won the Central Division in a tiebreaker over the Chicago Bears. In an upset, the Bucs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 in the divisional round of the playoffs. Because the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the other NFC playoff game, the Bucs hosted the NFC Championship Game the following week in Tampa. The Bucs lost to the Rams 9-0, thanks to great defense by the Rams. In their fourth season, the Bucs seemed on the verge of fulfilling McKay's five-year plan.

The Bucs made the playoffs again by winning their division in the 1981 season and entering the first round during the strike-shortened 1982 season. The 1981 season came down to a thrilling final game at Detroit. The winner would take the Central Division crown and the loser would miss the playoffs. The Lions had not lost at home all season. Although the Bucs trailed early, an 84-yard touchdown bomb from QB Williams to WR Kevin House and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by DT David Logan sealed the shocking win for the Bucs. The Dallas Cowboys rewarded the Bucs' efforts with a 38-0 blowout in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The 1982 season started just as poorly for the Bucs, as they went 0-3 before a player's strike shut down the NFL for seven weeks. When the league resumed play, the Bucs were nicknamed the "Cardiac Kids" for winning five of their next six games all in the final moments to go 5-4 and qualify for the expanded playoff slate. In the first round, the Bucs once again faced the Cowboys at home in Dallas, but the Bucs put up a much better fight, leading the game at the half. Tampa Bay lost 30-17.

1982 would be the last winning regular season under Culverhouse's ownership. Prior to the 1983 season, The Bucs lost Doug Williams to the United States Football League (USFL) and immediately bottomed out at 2-14, starting a string of 14 consecutive losing seasons (the first 13 of which they suffered at least 10 losses). Included in their misery was the drafting of Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson with the first pick in the 1986 draft. Jackson never suited up for the Bucs, instead deciding to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. Jackson would later return for parts of football seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders.

1996-2001

Despite the profitability of the Buccaneers in the 1980s, Culverhouse's death revealed a team close to bankruptcy, which surprised many observers. His son, Miami attorney Hugh Culverhouse, Jr., practically forced the trustees of his father's estate to sell the team, which cast doubt on the future of the franchise in Tampa. Interested parties included New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, the latter of whom publicly declared he would move the team to Baltimore, as the city did not have an NFL franchise at that time. However, in a last-minute surprise, Malcolm Glazer outbid both of them for $192 million, the highest sale price for a professional sports franchise up to that point. Glazer immediately placed his sons Bryan, Edward, and Joel in charge of the team's financial affairs, and the family's deep pockets and serious commitment to fielding a winning team--in Tampa--allowed the Bucs to finally become competitive. The team's performance dramatically improved when the Glazers hired Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy as head coach, jettisoned the old uniform designs (see below), and convinced Hillsborough County voters to raise sales taxes to partially fund the construction of Raymond James Stadium.

During Dungy's first season in 1996, the team continued to struggle, starting the season 1–8. But in the second half of the season they finished 5–2, primarily due to the performance of a defense ranked seventh in the NFL led by Hardy Nickerson and the maturing of Wyche's draftees Brooks, Lynch, and Sapp. Dungy, a devout Christian with an even-tempered personality, quickly brought balance and morale to the team, and his Cover 2 defensive scheme, sharpened to perfection by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and linebackers coach Lovie Smith, became the foundation for Tampa Bay's future success. Their version of Cover 2 was so successful that it became known as the Tampa 2. It has been brought to the Chicago Bears by Smith, Detroit Lions by Rod Marinelli, Kansas City Chiefs by Herman Edwards and to the Indianapolis Colts by Dungy himself, and copied by several other teams.

The team started the season 5–0, picking up where they left off the previous year, and this quick start once again landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated--not once, but twice. The Bucs went 10–6 for their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1982, as a wild-card team. In the Bucs' final home game at Houlihan's Stadium (formerly Tampa Stadium), the team defeated the Detroit Lions 20-10. They lost at Lambeau Field to the eventual NFC Champion Green Bay Packers 21-7. Still, there was reason for optimism, and the expectations were high for the following season.

The 1998 season, the first to be played in the newly constructed Raymond James Stadium, saw the Bucs lose several close games en route to a disappointing 8-8 record. The 1999 season brought much better fortune. On the strength of the NFL's number one overall defense and a surprising performance by rookie QB Shaun King, the Bucs finished the season with an 11-5 record and won their third NFC Central Division Championship. They beat the Washington Redskins 14-13 in the Divisional round, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams in an unusually low-scoring NFC Championship Game, 11-6. The Bucs' loss was controversial, highlighted by the unusual reversal of a pass from King to WR Bert Emanuel, which ended the Bucs' chances at continuing their last-minute drive for a possible win. In league meetings later that year, NFL later changed the rules regarding what constituted an incomplete pass, which was considered a backhanded admission that the reversal was incorrect.

Super Bowl champions

Dungy was released by the Buccaneers following a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles 31-9 in the Wildcard Round of 2001 and soon thereafter hired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, while the Bucs mounted a prolonged and much-maligned search for his replacement. Several potential candidates were offered the job, including University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier, former New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells, and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Spurrier jumped to the Redskins when he was offered the most lucrative salary package ever offered to an NFL head coach, and Parcells eventually passed on the Bucs' offer--the second time he had done so in the history of the franchise. Bucs general manager Rich McKay threw his support behind Lewis. The Glazer brothers were so displeased with the selection of yet another defensive-minded coach that they overruled McKay and took control of the candidate search themselves. They made it clear that their top choice was Jon Gruden. The problem was that he was still under contract to the Oakland Raiders.

While talks with the Raiders were secretly under way, the Glazers publicly pursued another respected offensive mind, San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci. Just when initial reports indicated that Mariucci had agreed to become both the Bucs' head coach and their general manager, Raiders owner Al Davis agreed to release Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay.

The Glazers' shrewd move eventually paid off in acquiring Gruden, but it cost the team dearly. The team hired Gruden away from the Raiders on February 20, 2002, but the price was four draft picks, including the Bucs' first and second round picks in 2002, their first round pick in 2003, and their second round selection in 2004, along with $8 million in cash; the league as a result prohibited any further trading of draft picks for coaches. Gruden, who was frustrated by the limitation of his coaching authority by Davis, was more than pleased to return to Tampa Bay, as his parents lived nearby, and he had spent part of his childhood in Tampa in the early 1980s when his father had worked as a Bucs running back coach and director of player personnel.

Upon his arrival in Tampa, Gruden immediately went to work, retooling a sluggish offense. The league's sweeping realignment sent the Bucs to the new NFC South Division, along with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.

Led by the league's top defense, the 2002 campaign was the Buccaneers' most successful season to date. They won the NFC South title with the team's best ever record, 12-4, and went on to rout Gruden's former team, the Oakland Raiders who had the league's number 1 offense, by a score of 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

2003

Soon after the Super Bowl victory, a growing number of press reports indicated Gruden's lack of patience with general manager McKay. McKay was a major architect of the Bucs rebuilding effort over the previous ten years, and he, like Gruden, had long-established ties to the Tampa Bay area. However, during the 2003 season, the Gruden-McKay relationship deteriorated as the Bucs struggled on the field. In November, Keyshawn Johnson was deactivated by the team ten games into the season for his conduct, which included sideline arguments with Bucs coaches and players. Johnson was eventually traded to the Dallas Cowboys for wide receiver Joey Galloway.

In December, the Glazers allowed McKay to leave the Bucs before the end of the regular season, and he promptly joined the Falcons as president and general manager. Thus, McKay watched his first game as a Falcons executive sitting next to owner Arthur Blank in a Raymond James Stadium skybox. The Falcons defeated the Bucs 30-28. Despite opening the season with a Monday night win over the Eagles in Philadelphia's new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, the Bucs finished the season 7–9. Combined with the Raiders' dismal 4–12 performance, neither Super Bowl team reached the playoffs that year.

2004

For 2004, Bruce Allen was hired as general manager. After Allen's arrival, both John Lynch and Warren Sapp were released, stunning many Buccaneer fans. The distracted Buccaneers began the 2004 season with a 1–5 record, their worst start under Gruden. The fading accuracy of kicker Martin Gramatica did not help matters, as the team lost many close games en route to a 5–11 record.

2005

In the 2005 season, the Buccaneers celebrated their 30th season in the league, and returned to their winning ways. The Bucs selected Carnell "Cadillac" Williams in the first round of the 2005 draft, and the rookie would provide a running game the Buccaneers had not possessed since the days of James Wilder in the 1980s.

After starting 5–1, the team entered a midseason slump hampered by a season-ending injury to starting QB Brian Griese. Replacement starter Chris Simms struggled early, but came into his own leading to the team to a last-minute win over the Redskins. The Bucs won the NFC South Division finishing 11–5. The season ended abruptly, however, with a 17–10 loss in the Wild Card round, in a rematch with the Redskins.

2006

After winning the division in 2005, the Bucs suffered through an abysmal 2006 season. The season was plagued by injuries, with starters such as G Dan Buenning, WR Michael Clayton, RB Carnell Williams, DE Simeon Rice, CB Brian Kelly, and QB Chris Simms all being placed on injured reserve at some point in the season. The season also saw a lot of rookies starting for the Bucs, such as QB Bruce Gradkowski, T Jeremy Trueblood, and G Davin Joseph.

The Bucs started off the season 0–3, with QB Chris Simms throwing only 1 touchdown to 7 interceptions. In the third game of the season, a last-minute loss to the Panthers, Simms's spleen was ruptured, and he was placed on injured reserve for the balance of the season. After their bye week, the Bucs elected to start rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, a 6th-round pick from Toledo. After nearly beating the Saints, Gradkowski lead the team to last-minute wins over the Bengals and Eagles. The success was short-lived, however, and the Bucs lost five of the next six games. Tim Rattay replaced Gradkowski as quartback late in the season, and the team finished 4–12. The aged defense, with 5 starters who had played there for a decade or more, was ranked 17th overall, the first time a Tampa defense was not ranked in the top ten since 1996.

After a disappointing 4–12 effort in 2006, the Buccaneers for the first time in several seasons had money to spend in free agency. They brought in quarterback Jeff Garcia, offensive tackle Luke Petitgout, defensive end Kevin Carter, and linebacker Cato June. On April 28, the Buccaneers drafted Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams with the 4th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. After the draft the Buccaneers picked up tight end Jerramy Stevens and defensive tackle Ryan Sims.

2007

The offseason changes resulted in the Buccaneers winning the NFC South title, finishing with a 9–7 record, and the 4th seed in the NFC. The division crown is the 2nd one in three seasons while under Gruden. In the Wild Card round of the playoffs held on January 6, 2008, the Buccaneers lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants by a final score of 24–14.

Team facilities

In 1975, the Buccaneers built a small practice complex with offices near Tampa International Airport called One Buccaneer Place. As other NFL teams upgraded their facilities, Bucs players and coaches stepped up their complaints about the aircraft noise, cramped offices, small locker rooms and run-down condition of One Buc Place. Even head coach Jon Gruden has sarcastically referred to the facility as "The Woodshed." For much of the team's existence, the Bucs held training camp on the University of Tampa campus. However, since 2002, the team has held training camp in Orlando at the expansive and better-equipped Disney's Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

In August 2006, the Bucs unveiled their new training facility, which had been under construction for the better part of a year. Conveniently located across the street from Raymond James Stadium on the former site of Tampa Bay Center, a large mall that the Glazers purchased in 2002 and later demolished in 2005, this state-of-the-art complex is now the largest for any team in the NFL. Featuring expansive new offices and meeting rooms, two natural grass practice fields, a theatre designed for both team meetings and press conferences, an expanded weight training room, a giant kitchen, a rehabilitation center with three separate pools and a locker room twice the size of the existing one at One Buc Place, the Glazers told building contractors that "money was no object" in the construction of the facility. To that end, plasma televisions are featured throughout--primarily in the offices of the coaching staff--and head coach Jon Gruden's corner office even features a shower with a view of the practice fields. The building is capped off with a giant five-story glass and steel football as a key design element. A third practice field, featuring artificial turf, will be added in the future.

In the second week of September 2007, statues of important figures from the Bucs 2002 Championship season were moved into the lobby area in an exhibit called "Moment of Victory". The life-size statues included players Mike Alstott, Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Brad Johnson, John Lynch, Shelton Quarles, Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp, and head coach Jon Gruden. The statues are modeled after images from the sideline towards the end of Super Bowl XXXVII.

Practices at the currently-unnamed facility will remain closed to the public, although the existing mall parking on the west side of the property is still available for use on game days. The facility is still referred to as One Buc Place, or sometimes by local media as One Buc Palace.

Logo and uniforms

When the team began play in 1976, Culverhouse initially picked team colors of red, green, orange and white. However, the shade of green was too close to that used by the Miami Dolphins. A medium shade of "Florida Orange" was substituted for green. Home uniforms included orange jerseys with white numerals outlined in red--the now-infamous "Creamsicle" uniforms. Road white jerseys originally had orange numerals outlined in red, but these colors were reversed for year two and beyond. The color swap to red numbers with orange trim gave better visibility, especially for television coverage purposes.

Long-time Tampa Tribune cartoonist Lamar Sparkman designed the first team logo. Faced with the difficulty of designing a logo that did not look too much like that of the Oakland Raiders', Sparkman came up with a pirate in a plumed hat and a cutlass in his mouth. The pirate appeared to be winking. He came to be known as "Buccaneer Bruce."

In 1992, the Buccaneers introduced orange pants to be worn with the white jerseys. Prior to the team's season finale in 1995 against the Detroit Lions, lame-duck coach Sam Wyche suggested that the Bucs wear the orange pants with their orange jerseys, but the idea was vetoed by, among others, Pro Bowl linebacker Hardy Nickerson.

For the 1997 season, the Glazers worked with the NFL to develop a more marketable and intimidating look in order to improve the team's image. The Buccaneers changed their team colors to red, pewter, black and orange. "Buccaneer Bruce" was replaced by a red flag displaying a white pirate skull and crossed sabres which is a modified Jolly Roger. The flag was mounted on another sabre. The "Buccaneers" team name was written in a new font, Totally Gothic, and was either red with shadows of pewter or red and white. Orange was used on the uniform to maintain a visual link to the old logo. The football in the new logo is orange, and orange stripes appear on the pants and numerals. Chris Berman nicknamed them "the pirates in pewter pants," a play on the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Pirates of Penzance. The Buccaneers planned to stage a ceremony in which Bruce was to walk the plank of a pirate ship in Tampa Bay, but he was pardoned at the last minute by Governor Lawton Chiles.

The new uniforms were adopted while Raymond James Stadium was still under construction, and the new colors would be prominent at the new facility.

The new uniforms provided a combination of either red or white jerseys with either pewter or white pants. The red-white combination was used only sparingly, and has not been used since 2002. In 2003, the Buccaneers introduced a practice jersey that featured orange piping. In 2004, a pewter practice jersey was used, with numerals in the Totally Gothic font. Since the change in 1997, the Buccaneers have not worn the old uniform, even during league-sponsored "throwback" weekends.

Like many other NFL teams located in subtropical climates, the Buccaneers traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season — forcing opponents to suffer in the darker colors during the hot summers and autumns in Tampa. Additionally, the visitors' bench of Raymond James Stadium is located on the east side of the stadium, which is in direct sunlight for 1 PM EST games. The west sideline is in the shade. In the 1980s, the Bucs generally wore white at home for the entire season including preseason. Since the new uniforms were adopted, the Bucs wear the red jerseys for the final four home games, and for nearly all night home games. In the preseason, the Bucs wear white at home in most situations.

The Buccaneers' 1997 uniform change prompted a 2003 lawsuit by the Raiders, who claimed that the NFL and the Buccaneers had infringed upon key trademark elements of the Raiders' brand, including the Raiders' pirate logo. In the same suit, the Raiders challenged the Carolina Panthers' color scheme, which included silver and black. The Raiders wanted the courts to bar the Buccaneers and Panthers from wearing their uniforms while playing in California. However, since the lawsuit was filed in a state California court, the lawsuit was tossed out because only federal courts have jurisdiction on intellectual property issues.

Facts and records

Losing streaks

The 1976 Buccaneers lost all 14 games during the regular season. They stand as the only NFL team in the modern era to experience a winless regular season. In 1978, the season expanded to 16 games; however, no team has managed to finish 0-16. The Dallas Cowboys in 1989, the New York Jets in 1996, Carolina Panthers in 2001, and the Miami Dolphins in 2007 have come close and lost more games than the Buccaneers, all four teams finishing with a record of 1-15. The Baltimore Colts went 0-8-1 in the strike-shortened 1982 season. A twenty-game road losing streak against AFC teams finally ended with a 17-10 victory over the Denver Broncos on December 26, 1993. In 1980 (against the Bengals at Riverfront Stadium), the Buccaneers began a 27-game losing streak of games played outdoors on AstroTurf. It was not broken until 1995 when the team defeated the Eagles at Veterans Stadium. From their inception, they lost 20 consecutive games in which the temperature at kickoff was below 40 °F (4 °C). The streak was ended in the final week of the 2002 regular season, when they beat the Bears at Champaign.

Records

  • Matt Bryant's 62-yard, game-winning field goal against the Eagles in 2006 marked the third-longest field goal in NFL history.
  • The Buccaneers are the first post-merger expansion team to win a division title, win a playoff game, and to host and play in a conference championship game. This was accomplished during the 1979 season.
  • The Buccaneers are the first expansion team created since the AFL-NFL Merger to win a Super Bowl.
  • The Buccaneers hold several distinctive NFL defensive streaks set during a period from 1999-2003.
    • A record 69 consecutive games with at least one sack. The record (previously 68 by Dallas) was broken on November 9, 2003 against Carolina. The streak ended the following week on November 16, 2003 against Green Bay.
    • 50 consecutive games with at least one sack and one forced turnover. The streak ended on November 16, 2003 against Green Bay.
    • 54 consecutive games with at least one forced turnover (interception or forced fumble). The streak ended December 14, 2003 against the Texans. The all-time record was 71 consecutive games by the Eagles.

Distinctions

  • The Buccaneers are the first team to win a Super Bowl in each of the following circumstances:
    • after having lost at home on opening day (the Buccaneers lost to the New Orleans Saints in overtime)
    • after having gained less than 100-yard rushing per game during the regular season
    • after having been eliminated in the wild-card round of the prior season's playoffs
    • having three interceptions returned for touchdowns
  • The Buccaneers are the only team in the NFC South to have won a Super Bowl.
  • Due to the long-term success of the Buccaneers in running the Cover 2 defense, it has become well known as the "Tampa 2".
  • The Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in both the final pro-football game played at Veterans Stadium, the Eagles' old facility, as well as the first regular season NFL game played in the Eagles' new facility, Lincoln Financial Field. The former was accomplished in the 2002 NFC Championship Game and the latter on the first MNF game of the 2003 season. Coincidentally, both games were won by 17 points.
  • No team that has lost to the Buccaneers during the regular season has gone on to win the Super Bowl, often referred to as the Tampa Bay Curse.
  • As of January 23, 2007, four members from Tony Dungy's coaching staff are head coaches of other NFL teams:
  • Up until December 16, 2007, the Buccaneers were the only NFL team to have never returned a kick-off for a touchdown during the regular season. This distinction ended when Micheal Spurlock returned the 1,865th try 90 yards for the score during the week 15 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Players of note

Current roster

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Retired numbers

Other notable alumni

All-time first-round draft picks

Coaches of note

Head coaches

Coach Seasons W-L-T Division
Titles
Wild Card
Berths
Conference
Championships
Super Bowl
Championships
John McKay 1976-1984 45-91-1 1979, 1981 1982
Leeman Bennett 1985-1986 4-28-0
Ray Perkins 1987-1990 19-41-0
Richard Williamson 1990-1991 4-15-0
Sam Wyche 1992-1995 23-41-0
Tony Dungy 1996-2001 56-46-0 1999 1997, 2000, 2001
Jon Gruden 2002-current 51-51-0 2002, 2005, 2007 2002 XXXVII

Current staff

Cheerleaders

  • The Bucs created an official cheerleading squad in their first season, called the "Swash-Buc-Lers." In 1999, they were renamed as the "Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders.

Radio and television

The Buccaneers' current flagship radio stations are WFUS 103.5 FM and WDAE 620 AM. The play-by-play announcer since 1989 has been Gene Deckerhoff. Former Bucs tight end Dave Moore joined Deckerhoff as analyst for the 2007 season. T. J. Rives works as the sideline reporter.

Broadcast legend and former Green Bay Packers' announcer Ray Scott was the play-by-play man for the Bucs' inaguaral season of 1976, and from 1977 to 1988 Mark Champion, who is now the voice of the Detroit Lions, held that position with the Bucs.

Former Buccaneer Hardy Nickerson served as color commentator for one season in 2006, until he signed with the Bears as a linebackers coach on February 23, 2007. Nickerson had replaced Scot Brantley, who was the commentator from 1999 through 2005. Jesse Ventura, the famous professional wrestler, actor, and former governor of Minnesota, was Deckerhoff's partner on the Bucs radio broadcasts for one year, 1990, and former Buc David Logan held that position after Ventura until his death after the 1998 season. Dave Kocerek and Fran Curci were also color commentors for the Buccaneers during their earlier years.

Ronnie Lane previously worked as a sideline reporter.

The Bucs have broadcast on FM radio since signing with Top 40 station WRBQ in 1992. The team moved to WQYK-FM, in 1994, then to WFUS in 2004.

While regular season and post-season games in the NFL are all broadcast by national television contracts on CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network, the television broadcasts are for the most part handled by the individual teams. Preseason games not picked up for national broadcast are seen on WFLA Channel 8, where they have been televised since 2003. WFTV Channel 9 simulcasts the broadcast in the Orlando area. Chris Myers is the play-by-play announcer with Charles Davis as color commentator. Both Myers and Davis work nationally with FOX Sports. Ron Jaworski previously served as color commentator, until he signed with MNF for 2007.

CBS, FOX and NBC games are shown respectively in Tampa Bay on WTSP, WTVT and WFLA, while they are shown respectively in Orlando on WKMG, WOFL and WESH.

WTOG-TV Channel 44 was the previous home to Buccaneer preseason games for many years, ending in 2002. Former CBS play-by-play and ESPN golf broadcaster Jim Kelly was the play-by-play announcer for many of those games in the 1980s, and Joe Namath was a commentator. In the early years of the franchise, WTVT-13, then a CBS affiliate, broadcast some Buccaneer preseason games. Sports anchor Andy Hardy handled the play-by-play, and for one game in 1978, his broadcast partner was his friend, Florida State alumni and movie actor Burt Reynolds.

Trivia

  • The Buccaneers have never played a regular season game at Buffalo in franchise history. Tampa Bay has played the Bills eight times, all eight in Tampa. One preseason game was held at Buffalo in 1977, though it is not part of official NFL records. The NFL schedule rotation will see the Buccaneers presumably making their first trip to Buffalo in 2009. However, the game could still be chosen as an International game, or could be held in Toronto and further avoid Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Notes and references

External links

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