Previewing the 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule Release

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled out of the gates in 2013, and while they rebounded late to be competitive, a poor season still led to the firing of head coach Greg Schiano. Insert former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, and suddenly there is a ton of optimism in Tampa Bay.

 

For that optimism to continue, however, the Bucs will have to find a way to get their talent to translate into wins. To do that, they’ll need to turn into a better road team. With a pitiful 1-7 showing on the road in 2013, the Bucs will aim for marked improvement with games against the Bears, Lions, Redskins, Browns and Steelers.

 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule at home should prove to be a little easier, especially since that’s where they found most of their success a year ago. They’ll face Green Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis, Baltimore and Cincinnati as they look to improve in 2014.

 

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Bucs Come To Terms On A Deal For S Major Wright

Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns

Bears safety Major Wright is returning to the state where he played his college ball, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Bucs, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The former Florida Gators star had 100 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 15 games with the Bears last season. He will provide depth for the Bucs behind safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson.

Wright will be reunited with coach Lovie Smith, whom he played under in Chicago from 2010-12. Wright was a third round pick by the Bears out of Florida in 2010.

Wright also will rejoin Smith’s his son Mikal, Tampa Bay’s safeties coach, and cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd, who had the same position in Chicago. Wright has nine interceptions in the last three seasons, with 42 starts in that span as well. He was born in Fort Lauderdale and was part of Florida’s national championship squad in 2008.

Buccaneers Defense Gets Mini-Overhaul

mjohnson

Written By: Florida Bengal

One of the biggest moves of the free agency period came before the free agency window officially opened.

Hours before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET start of the 2014 league year, it was leaked that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and free agent defensive end Michael Johnson had agreed to a five-year, $43.75 million contract.

In five years with the Bengals, Johnson racked up 26.5 sacks, defended 25 passes and had three interceptions. Johnson’s sack total dropped from 11.5 to 3.5 last season but he hit career highs in tackles (56), passes defended (9) and fumbles forced (2).

The team also added defensive tackle Clinton McDonald in the afternoon before making its second big splash of the day Tuesday evening with the addition of Pro Bowl cornerback Altteraun Verner on a four-year, $26.5-million deal. The 5-foot-10 corner defended 22 passes and had five interceptions a season ago. He’ll take over as Tampa Bay’s No. 1 corner with the release of Darrelle Revis on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Verner and Johnson will combine to make $15.373-million in 2014, which is less than the $16-million Revis would have made this year.

On offense, the team signed former Giants tight end Brandon Myers on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they added former Bears quarterback Josh McCown.

The team is far from done. The team website confirms that cornerback Charles Tillman (who has a connection to head coach Lovie Smith from his days in Chicago), tackle Anthony Collins, receiver Ted Ginn, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and linebacker Dane Fletcher are all visiting the team.

Buccaneers Unveil New Helmet Logo

bucsnewhelmet022014

The Buccaneers unveiled a new helmet logo Thursday night, Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune reports.

The new design, featuring a chrome facemask and an enhanced Bucs flag along the side, was introduced by Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp and current Tampa Bay Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy during a live NFL Network broadcast.

“This is very unique to the Bucs,” said McCoy. “Nobody else will have this chrome grill. We want everybody to know the Bucs are coming. Look how big this flag is.”

Thursday’s changes are a prelude to a full uniform re-design that will be unveiled at a March 5 news conference at team headquarters.

Sapp and McCoy expressed their delight about a new helmet design that features a more vivid red flag and a pewter shade that appears more distinctive.

“This skull right here, it means business,” Sapp said. “I love this helmet … love it.”

New merchandise will be available to the general public in the coming weeks, following an exclusive pre-order window for Buccaneers season pass members. Additional details regarding merchandise availability will be provided during the March 5 announcement.

“This is an exciting day for the entire Buccaneers organization as we begin the process of introducing our new look by revealing an enhanced logo and new helmet design,” Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer said in a statement. “The logo is much larger and portrays a more intimidating presence, while the chrome facemask is the first used by an NFL team. This is the first alteration to our logo and helmet since the previous re-design 17 years ago and we believe it sets the stage for our transition into this new, exciting era of Buccaneers football.”

The Bucs Sign CFL LB Damaso Munoz

Damaso Munoz

The Buccaneers have signed LB Damaso Munoz, who played the last three seasons for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, recording 243 tackles and seven sacks

In 2010, undrafted rookie linebacker Damaso Munoz attended a mini-camp with the Chicago Bears on a tryout basis. Though the tryout didn’t lead to a contract with Chicago, Munoz was able to keep his professional career alive in Canada, playing the past three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL.

Munoz recorded 243 tackles and seven sacks for the Eskimos from 2011-13 and also stood out on special teams – the former Rutgers player is now looking forward to his latest opportunity to make it in the NFL.

Bucs Sign TE Steve Maneri And CB D.J. Moore

D.J. Moore

The Buccaneers signed two veterans Friday who have played for several NFL teams, including the Bears: TE Steve Maneri and CB D.J. Moore, Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune reports.

Maneri, 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, played four games with Chicago in 2013, including one start. He entered the NFL with the Texans in 2010 as a free agent out of Temple before joining Kansas City’s active roster for the next two seasons. Maneri played in 19 games with nine starts for the Chiefs, recording six receptions for 52 yards.

Moore, 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2009 by the Bears out of Vanderbilt and played in 45 games for Chicago, with two starts in four seasons playing under coach Lovie Smith, now with the Bucs.

Prisco: Bucs To Take WR Sammy Watkins With The 7th Pick

Clemson WR Sammy Watkins

CBS Football Insider Pete Prisco is out with his first mock draft, and he has the Bucs taking Clemson WR Sammy Watkins with the 7th pick.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Clemson WR Sammy Watkins: Vincent Jackson isn’t a kid, and they lack the big-­time speed outside. Could go for a pass rusher.

To see the entire mock draft – click HERE

Bucs Sign Former Eagles QB Mike Kafka

Mike Kafka

The Buccaneers announced signed former Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka.

The Buccaneers also waived three players – tackle Gabe Carimi, running back Michael Hill and quarterback Jordan Rodgers – and released defensive tackle Derek Landri on Monday. All four players joined the team in 2013.