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Are the Buccaneers a Darkhorse to Win Super Bowl LIV Next February?

The Bucs were not very good in the NFC last season after a solid start to the season, but many think that they will once again be able to make their way back to the top of the list in 2019.

NumberFire today came out with an interesting piece entitled “3 Value Bets to Win Super Bowl LIV,” and along with the Colts and Browns, the Bucs are on the list.

Here’s what they had to say about Tampa and their chances to win the big game next year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6000

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2018 season was an utter disappointment, as were many of the seasons under then-coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter was shown the door, and fresh out of retirement the Bucs hired offensive guru Bruce Arians. In his first head coaching job, Arians took the Arizona Cardinals to three straight playoffs from 2013 to 2015 and he will look to do so in Tampa in 2019.

Arians was able to resurrect Carson Palmer in Arizona, and will aim to do similar things with Jameis Winston. Winston has struggled with turnovers in his young career (58 interceptions in 56 games). Palmer was very much turnover-prone; before playing for Arians he had a 1.45 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but under Arians that turned into 1.84.

The play on the Buccaneers’ super bowl odds is really just a bet on the talent level and the addition of a proven head coach in Arians. The offense that the Bucs put on the field week in and week out is arguably one of the most skilled and talented groups across the NFL. It just didn’t seem like Koetter was able to get the most of the young talent.

In the past, Arians got a 1,000-yard and 10-touchdown season out of John Brown in 2015, and helped David Johnson have arguably one of the greatest statistical running back seasons (2,118 rushing and receiving yards & 20 touchdowns) in 2016.

One of the biggest questions will be who will play that Johnson role for Tampa? It might be a position they have to address in the offseason because currently the roster lacks a guy who can excel in both the run and pass game out of the backfield.

As for the defense, it actually showed some signs of improvement over the last six games of the 2018 season. Over that span, they allowed opponents to score 22.5 points per game and had 11 takeaways. That is something that they could potentially build off of heading into 2019.

Having finished 2018 with a 5-11 record, the Bucs will be picking fifth in the 2019 NFL draft and should draw a weaker schedule. In terms of the NFC South division, Drew Brees will be another year older and there is plenty of question marks surrounding Cam Newton and his injured shoulder. And as for the Atlanta Falcons, they have been very up and down in the Dan Quinn era, failing to capitalize on the talent of guys like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

Look for the Bucs to be rejuvenated heading into next season, and with all of the talent on the offense side of the ball paired with a proven offensive wizard at head coach the 60/1 odds seem like a nice longshot to take a chance on.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson Hasn’t Chatted with Bruce Arians, Doesn’t Know About Future

There’s been no chatter as of yet between new Bucs coach Bruce Arians and wide out DeSean Jackson, as TMZ Sports reports that Jackson doesn’t know what is going to come of him with a new regime coming to Tampa.

DeSean Jackson says he has yet to talk with new Bucs coach Bruce Arians … and tells TMZ Sports he has no idea where he’ll play next season.

The Tampa wideout was reportedly disgruntled with his role on Dirk Koetter’s team throughout this past season … and even reportedly requested a trade.

But … per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport — Arians wants to keep D-Jax on the team — and is trying to get in touch with him.

Jackson says that conversation has yet to go down … and when we asked about his football future at LAX — Jackson wasn’t so sure about a return to Florida in 2019.

“That’s what I got an agent for, bro. I don’t know, I just go play, bro. That’s all I worry about.”

Jackson does have one year left on his deal in Tampa … but the Bucs can cut him this offseason without any salary cap ramifications.

Could that mean DeSean plays somewhere else in 2019??

“We’ll see,” he tells us.

Buccaneers Ready to Make Bruce Arians the Teams’ New Head Coach

It sounds like the Buccaneers have got their sights set on a new head coach, as reports from Ian Rapoport say that the team wants to hire former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians to lead the team.

The team gave Arians a physical when they met with him, and his physical condition is of concern, but the team will make sure that he’s healthy before turning the team over to him.

Via, Jay Glazer of FOX explained on Colin Cowherd’s radio/TV show that the Arians interview included a trip to a local hospital. Glazer explained that he’s heard of no team taking that kind of precautionary step regarding a candidate for a head-coaching job.

It’s justified in this specific case. Arians, 66, has had several health issues over the years, included a bout with prostate cancer and a 2016 case of kidney cancer.

Buccaneers Interview Former Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians for HC Opening

One of the most popular coaching candidates on the market was in Tampa on Saturday chatting with the Buccaneers about their opening at the head coaching position.

That candidates is Bruce Arians a coach who many Bucs fans seem to feel would be a great fit for the franchise, and the 66-year-old has said that the Bucs along with Cleveland are the only two spots he’d have interest in coming out of retirement for.

Arians coached part of one season for the Indianapolis Colts, going 9-3, and then for the next five years was the head coach in Arizona before retiring after the 2017 season with a mark of 8-8.

In his time as a head coach, Arians went 49-30-1, and led Arizona to the NFC Title game after the 2015 season in which the Cards went 13-3, but they lost their bid to Super Bowl 50 with a loss to the Carolina Panthers.

It’s not known if the Bucs made Arians a formal offer, or if one if coming in the near future.

Buccaneers Fire Head Coach Dirk Koetter Following 5-11 Season

The Buccaneers made the first official firing of the offseason, as following their final game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, they fired head coach Dirk Koetter.

The Buccaneers canned Koetter after the team failed to make the playoffs for the 11th straight season, this despite the trying to stockpile talent over the past few seasons.

“We sincerely appreciate the hard work and commitment shown by Dirk over the past several years,” Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer said in a statement.

“Working with Dirk has been a pleasure and we wish him and his family all the best in the future. Our search for a new head coach will begin immediately and will be conducted by General Manager Jason Licht.”

Koetter leaves Tampa with a 19-29 career record in the wake of a 5-11 campaign for the Buccaneers. Last year, he went 5-11 with the team but managed to keep his position.

Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson Returns to Practice; Hopeful to Play Sunday

Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson was back on the practice field Wednesday after missing the past three games with an injured left thumb, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.

Jackson had said this week he was “hopeful” that he’d be able to play Sunday against Dallas.

The thumb injury for Jackson took place in the teams’ season-opening win over the New Orleans Saints. He kept playing through the pain, but aggravated the ailment during his team’s Week 12 loss to the New York Giants and has been sidelined ever since.

On the season, Jackson has hauled in 40 receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns.

Buccaneers Veteran CB Brent Grimes One of Four Players Questionable for Sunday’s Game

Buccaneers No.1 cornerback Brent Grimes is officially listed as questionable for the Week 13 matchup against the Carolina Panthers according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.

Grimes is dealing with a knee injury and his status was downgraded after he was unable to practice on Friday.

There is still a decent chance that the 12-year veteran will suit up against their NFC South divisional foes. If that weren’t enough, both Carlton Davis (knee) and M.J. Stewart (foot) have already been ruled out in Tampa Bay’s secondary.

If Grimes can’t go, the Bucs would have no choice to start Ryan Smith, De’Vante Harris, and Javien Elliott. It could be a long afternoon for the Bucs defense against Cam Newton. The 35-year-old Grimes signed a one-year deal to stay in Tampa in March.

Big Day for QB James Winston as Tampa Bay Beats San Francisco 27-9

The Buccaneers were impressive on Sunday, snapping their four-game losing streak by topping the San Francisco 49ers at home 27-9.

Quarterback James Winston made the most of his opportunity, as he threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers big win.

“Jameis played quarterback the way you need to play it in the NFL until you get into desperation time, which we never did today,” coach Dirk Koetter said after the game.

“Jameis wasn’t perfect, but he played a good game. I’m proud of him. It’s been a difficult road,” Koetter added. “He sees what that looks like. He needs to consistently play like that and he can be one of the best.”

The Bucs move to 4-7 on the season with the win.