FRASER HALE | Times
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a news conference on Jan. 22, 1996, to announce that they had picked Tony Dungy as the new head coach. Here, Dungy shakes hands with Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
As Rick Stroud writes, Dungy started in Tampa Bay in 1996, after he had been passed over time and time again for head coaching jobs. Twice in Philadelphia. Once in Jacksonville.
Dungy remained with the Bucs until 2001, when he was fired after losing in the NFC wild-card round of the playoffs to the Eagles.
In 2002 he was hired by Colts, coaching them until retiring after the 2008 season.Full Story
We reported on three Bucs signings Thursday night, but the team confirmed four player signings on Friday, including former Arizona State and Cowboys defensive tackle Davon Coleman.
Coleman, 25, has played in four NFL games over the last two seasons, with three total tackles. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Cleveland native played two years with the Sun Devils, totaling 15.5 tackles for loss, including seven sacks. He's one of three defensive linemen in the Bucs' first signings since Dirk Koetter was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach. The other three, previously reported:
-- WR Bernard Reedy played at Toledo and spent the last two preseasons in camp with the Falcons. He worked with Koetter in 2014, spending the season on Atlanta's practice squad. The Lakewood grad's best chance to make the roster is likely on returns -- he took three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2012 for the Rockets, as well as one punt return. …Full Story
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Vincent Jackson launched the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation on Veterans Day in 2012 to support military families by focusing on the educational, emotional and physical health of military children.
Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson was selected as the winner of the fifth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach presented the award to Jackson live on NFL Network.
USAA will contribute $25,000 in the winner’s name to the official aid societies representing all five military branches.
Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl receiver, launched the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation on Veterans Day in 2012 to support military families by focusing on the educational, emotional and physical health of military children.
Jackson was the 2014 runner-up for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. It was the third year he was nominated.Full Story
DIRK SHADD | Times
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is a strong candidate for two Rookie of the Year awards.
Cam Newton is the talk of Super Bowl 50, but another NFC South quarterback is getting plenty of attention this week in San Francisco.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who has appeared on various media outlets, including CBS, where he threw footballs with pinpoint accuracy while wearing a suit, is a strong candidate for two Rookie of the Year awards.
The first one is the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award, an event starring singer Pharrell Williams, at Pier 70 tonight in San Francisco. …Full Story
The Bucs have made their first signings under new coach Dirk Koetter, with former Lakewood and Toledo receiver Bernard Reedy, former LSU and Packers linebacker Jermauria Rasco and former Falcons defensive end Cliff Matthews signing futures contracts with Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Reedy, 24, spent a year with Koetter in Atlanta in 2014, signing as an undrafted rookie and spending the season on the Falcons' practice squad. He was also with Atlanta in preseason last fall, and will have a chance to compete for the return jobs as well as at slot receiver. Rasco, 23, took a pre-draft visit to the Bucs in April but signed with the Packers as an undrafted rookie, spending almost the entire season on injured reserve before he was waived in Week 17. Matthews, 26, played under Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith (with Koetter) from 2010-14. …Full Story
Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin is in the San Francisco area leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl, and he took a few minutes to talk with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, addressing everything from his pending free agency to Dirk Koetter's promotion to head coach and his pick for Sunday's game.
Martin continues to speak very positively about the potential for him returning to the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent, just as the Bucs have reiterated publicly that the team would like to keep Martin in town with a new deal.
"Right now I'm just enjoying the process," said Martin, who won't be able to talk to any other teams until five weeks from now. "It's all business. My agents are talking to them right now and negotiations are going on. My agent will let me know. ... I love Tampa. I've got a house there. I love to play with them. I love Tampa and Tampa loves me. ... I like what Tampa did last year. We have a lot of potential to be great. That's all that sells me on it." …Full Story
ORLANDO -- Derrick Henry led the nation in rushing, won a Heisman Trophy and led Alabama to a national championship this past season, but he's still working to prove himself as he prepares for April's NFL Draft.
"Quickness, lateral quickness," the former Crimson Tide star said Tuesday before a workout at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, where he's one of 28 draft hopefuls training this spring. "I'm just trying to get better each and every day. That's what we're working on."
As prolific as Henry was this past season, rushing for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns for Alabama, the recent lackluster history of Crimson Tide backs in the NFL puts a question mark on him for some. Trent Richardson was a bust as a top-five pick in 2012, Mark Ingram has yet to rush for 1,000 yards in a season five years after he was a first-round pick, and even Eddie Lacy saw his numbers drop off in his third NFL season.
Tom Shaw, who runs a draft training program at the Disney complex and has worked with 10 former first-round picks, said he's seen Henry projected as a fourth-round pick and fully expects him to go much higher in the draft. …Full Story
The Bucs not only ended up with a large Pro Bowl contingent with five players in Hawaii, but Tampa Bay was well represented on the scoreboard as well, with Doug Martin rushing for a touchdown and rookie quarterback Jameis Winston throwing for two scores.
Martin, who led "Team Rice" with 20 rushing yards on seven carries and a touchdown, also caught five passes for 20 yards -- on his first carry, he was wrapped up for no gain by Bucs teammate Lavonte David, who had five tackles for Team Irvin in their win.
Winston, who got into the game late in the third quarter, threw a 53-yard touchdown to Titans tight end Delanie Walker on his second throw, then added a touchdown pass to Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins on his next drive. Winston finished 6-for-12 for 113 yards with the two scores and lost a fumble. Guard Logan Mankins was also on Team Rice, starting at right guard, as was defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who finished with two tackles.Full Story
Now that Jameis Winston's accuser and Florida State have settled a Title IX lawsuit, expect attention to turn to the ongoing civil suit (and countersuit) between Winston and Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman.
That became obvious Thursday, when one of Kinsman's attorneys confirmed that her legal team subpoenaed the investigations the Bucs and NFL as they vetted the former Florida State star quarterback before the 2015 draft.
Even though a U.S. District Court trial is set for March 2017 in Orlando, a Stetson University law professor said that date seems highly unlikely.
More like March 2018 -- maybe.
"It's not going to go into (next) March," said Charles H. Rose III, the director of Stetson's Center for Excellence in Advocacy. "Civil litigation rarely, if ever, moves that quickly."
That's because the discovery phase can be long and ugly; Rose compared it to the Wild West.
Both sides will argue over what is known and what is in dispute. Then they'll argue over what information is discoverable and what information is not. One side will probably ask for more time. The other side might, too. All of this pushes back a trial date. …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
New Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken was introduced Thursday at One Buc Place.
Todd Monken left a good job as the head coach at Southern Mississippi to return to the NFL, but he is bringing some college pom poms with him.
The Bucs new offensive coordinator, who was introduced Thursday, has a simple philosophy that involves explosive plays and exuberant players — the gun and fun.
"It's about having the talent first. And then, I like having fun," Monken said. "I don't know why it has to feel like such drudgery. I just don't. I've never understood that. I want a fight song! We don't have a fight song! I want a fight song! Isn't a fight song cool? You get to sing a fight song. Call me a college guy. When I was in Jacksonville, they called me a college guy. That's great. I love it. I love coaching, the excitement of it. Why can't it be fun? …Full Story
Dan Henning worked with new Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter in 1994-95 at Boston College.
Among the mentors that new Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter has thanked for helping shape his coaching career is former college and NFL coach Dan Henning, who worked with Koetter in 1994-95 at Boston College. Henning said last week that he and Koetter continue to talk regularly, and he has high expectations for him continuing his success as an NFL head coach.
"I think he's going to do a really good job down there," said Henning, now 73 and retired on the east coast of Florida. "He's well ready to be a head coach in the NFL."
Henning came to work with Koetter by unusual circumstances -- Tom Coughlin had hired Koetter away from Missouri to join his staff at Boston College, only to leave abruptly in February 1994 to become the Jaguars' first head coach. Henning took the job, not realizing Coughlin had hired Koetter as part of his staff. …Full Story
New Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken has coached under many successful college head coaches, including two stints at Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy, who said Monday night that Monken's offensive knowledge will translate well to the NFL.
"He's a smart football coach. Smart football coaches can be successful wherever they're at, whatever the system may be," said Gundy, who worked with Monken from 2002-04 and again on his staff in 2011-12. "He knows the terminology Coach (Dirk) Koetter is going to use since they've already worked together."
Gundy was the offensive coordinator under Les Miles at Oklahoma State when Monken was passing game coordinator and receivers coach -- Rashaun Woods had 17 touchdowns in 2002 and 15 in 2003 while working in that offense. When Miles went to LSU in 2005, Monken went with him, working with Dwayne Bowe and other future NFL receivers. In his first year working with Koetter and the Jaguars in 2007, that offense got 10 touchdowns from former first-round pick Reggie Williams, who had totaled just five in his first three NFL seasons. …Full Story
DIRK SHADD | Times
Jameis Winston was named to ther NFL All Star game Monday night, replacing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He is the first Bucs quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl in franchise history.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's first NFL pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The last pass of his rookie year will be thrown at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Winston was named to ther NFL All Star game Monday night, replacing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He is the first Bucs rookie quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl in franchise history.
The rare honor is a reward for Winston, a Rookie of the Year finalist, who joined Cam Newton and Andrew Luck as the only first-year players to pass for 4,000 yards.
Winston is the fifth Bucs player to be named to the Pro Bowl, joining runniing back Doug Martin, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David and guard Logan Mankins.
While his season started with an INT that was returned for a TD against the Titans, Winston improved steadily, starting all 16 games and passing for 4,042 yards, a club rookie record, with 22 touchdowns and six rushing TDs.
The combined 28 touchdowns are the most by a quarterback in Bucs history and tie for the third most ever by a first-year player in NFL history. He is the first Bucs quarterback to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl roster since Jeff Garcia in 2007. …Full Story
The Bucs have announced a finalized coaching staff for 2016 under new coach Dirk Koetter, with only seven new hires out of 22 total coaches on the new Tampa Bay staff.
Sunday brought the addition of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken and defensive backs coach Brett Maxie, who will join defensive coordinator Mike Smith, special-teams coordinator Nate Kaczor, defensive line coach Jay Hayes, linebackers coach Mark Duffner and secondary coach Jon Hoke among the new hires.
That means Koetter opted to keep nearly all of his offensive staff from 2015: quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian, running backs coach Tim Spencer, tight ends coach Jon Embree and offensive line coach George Warhop are all back, as is assistant offensive line coach Butch Barry. Warhop now also carries the title of "run game coordinator," and offensive assistant Andrew Weidinger has been promoted to carry the title of assistant receivers coach and game management.
Koetter opted to return the strength and conditioning coaches from Lovie Smith's staff, with head strength coach Dave Kennedy back, as well as assistants Joe Vaughn and Chad Wade. Pro scout Zack Grossi was promoted to "assistant to the head coach."Full Story
The Bucs' presence at the Pro Bowl has doubled to four players, with LB Lavonte David and LG Logan Mankins announced as replacements for Super Bowl-bound players on Sunday night.
Denver's victory in the AFC Championship means that OLBs Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware can't play in Sunday's Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and David, selected as an alternate, is now headed to Hawaii for the first time in his four-year career,. Carolina's win in the NFC title game means Trai Turner can't go, so Mankins replaces him for his seventh career Pro Bowl appearance.
David, 26, led the Bucs with a career-best 147 tackles in 2015, also finishing with three sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Mankins, 33, who earned six Pro Bowls with the Patriots, was part of an offensive line that helped Doug Martin finish second in the NFL in rushing.
They will join two Bucs teammates who were previously selected in RB Doug Martin and DT Gerald McCoy. The four Bucs match the team's biggest Pro Bowl showing since they had seven after the 2002 season, when they won Super Bowl XXXVII.Full Story