Recent News

Inclement Weather Cuts First Practice of Training Camp Short for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 25th, 2014 at 11:13 PM
By Michael Compton

Following months of anticipation, the first practice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training camp was cut short at One Buc Place July 25 due to lightning and thunder storms that rolled through the area late in the afternoon.

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Not even 10 minutes into the first round of drills, which began at 4:30 p.m., horns sounded, signaling lightning in the area and sending the team inside. Nearly two hours later, players and coaches returned to the practice field to a round of applause from welcoming fans. The rains came again 40 minutes into the second session, halting practice for the day.

"That's not an ideal first day for us," head coach Lovie Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "When we play Carolina, we could get a rain delay. You have to be able to go in and then come back out.

"You don't change what you've been doing based on one day,” Smith added. “That's why getting too upset right now, that's just not going to happen.”

Despite the lengthy delay, Smith was encouraged that a large number of fans stuck around for the first practice.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aiming to Go from Worst to First in NFC South

July 24th, 2014 at 5:58 PM
By Michael Compton

On the eve of the start of training camp, hopes are high around One Buc Place that this year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers can go from worst to first in the always competitive NFC South.

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New Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who helped build Super Bowl teams in New England, Philadelphia and Arizona, believes the pieces are in place to orchestrate a turnaround and improve on last year's disappointing 4-12 season.

"It's crazy," Licht said in the Tampa Bay Times. “We'll look back at what we've added and… I'm legitimately excited and feel like we have a chance to compete for the (NFC South) division title. I really do.

"You would think, with a first-year head coach and a first-year general manager…we would both have a pass if we wanted to say, you know, I think we need some more time to turn this thing around. But that's not what we think. We think we can make a run at this thing this year. We feel we've got some major pieces in place to do that."

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Start of Training Camp ‘An Exciting Time,’ Says Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith

July 23rd, 2014 at 4:29 PM
By Michael Compton

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith joined the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio July 23, the day before veterans are scheduled to report and 48 hours away from the start of training camp to share his views ahead of the 2014 season.

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The defensive-minded Smith is looking for immediate contributions on offense from the team’s top three draft picks —receiver Mike Evans, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Charles Sims. The Buccaneers need the help shoring up an offense that finished the 2013 season ranked 30th in scoring and last in passing and total yardage.

 “They say you have to have offense to win games, so I’m trying to learn that in my old age,” Smith said. “We just thought those were our best options. We needed some help at the receiver position. We love everything Mike Evans did in college and in our workouts. And it’s the same thing with Austin Seferian-Jenkins. You can’t have too many skilled guys.

“Our rookies have reported, we’ve started the process and I can’t wait to take the next step with these guys.”

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Tony Dungy Issues Statement Regarding His Comments on Michael Sam

July 22nd, 2014 at 1:52 PM
By Michael Compton

One day after creating a stir with his comments in Monday's Tampa Tribune on Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy issued a follow- up statement July 22.

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Dungy’s full statement, published today at profootballtalk.com, appears below.

On Monday afternoon while on vacation with my family, I was quite surprised to read excerpts from an interview I gave several weeks ago related to this year’s NFL Draft, and I feel compelled to clarify those remarks.

I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that I would not have drafted him.  I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team. At the time of my interview, the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael’s first season had been announced.

I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL.  He absolutely does.

I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process.  It should not.

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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Tony Dungy ‘Wouldn’t Have Taken’ Michael Sam

July 21st, 2014 at 9:53 PM
By Michael Compton

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy told The Tampa Tribune that he would not have drafted Michael Sam because of potential distractions to the team.

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“I wouldn’t have taken him,” said Dungy, who is the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth…things will happen.”

The St. Louis Rams used one of the final picks in May’s draft to take Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, in the seventh round.

According to an article on Indystar.com, Dungy addressed Sam’s coming out in February, saying, “The NFL has always been based on merit, and I think that will continue to be the case with Michael Sam and the issue of homosexuality or anything else. Guys who produce and play well will be welcomed into the league.”

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