Established 1974 - First season: 1976
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (often shortened as the Bucs) are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers currently compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the National Football Conference (NFC) South division. Along with the Seattle Seahawks, the team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. The Bucs played their first season in the American Football Conference (AFC) West division as part of the 1976 expansion plan, whereby each new franchise would play every other franchise over the first two years. After the season, the club switched conferences with the Seahawks and became a member of the NFC Central division. During the 2002 league realignment, the Bucs joined three former NFC West teams to form the NFC South. The club is owned by the Glazer family, and plays its home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
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; all three accomplishments occurred during the 1979 season. They are also the first team since the merger to complete a winning season when starting 10 or more rookies, which happened in the 2010 season. In 1976 and 1977, the Buccaneers lost their first 26 games. After a brief winning era in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Then, for a 10-year period, they were consistent playoff contenders and won Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the 2002 season, but have not yet returned to the Super Bowl; thus the Bucs, along with the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets, are the only NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance.
Over the course of 41 seasons, the Buccaneers have compiled an overall record of 256–402–1, with a regular-season record of 250–393–1 and a playoff record of 6–9.
The name "Tampa Bay" is often used to describe a geographic metropolitan area which encompasses the cities around the body of water known as Tampa Bay, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, and Sarasota. Unlike in the case of Green Bay, Wisconsin, there is no municipality known as "Tampa Bay". The "Tampa Bay" in the names of local professional sports franchises, such as the Buccaneers, Rowdies, Rays, Lightning and Storm, denotes that they represent the entire region, not just Tampa.
The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was originally awarded to Tom McCloskey, a construction company owner from Philadelphia. McCloskey soon entered a financial dispute with the NFL, so the league found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse, a wealthy tax attorney from Jacksonville. Culverhouse's handshake deal to purchase the Los Angeles Rams from the estate of Dan Reeves was thwarted by Robert Irsay's purchase of the team, which he then traded to Carroll Rosenbloom in exchange for the Baltimore Colts, a complete trade of teams between two owners. Culverhouse had long been alleged to be in line for an expansion franchise through a settlement of his antitrust lawsuits in which he accused the owners of conspiracy to prevent his purchase of the Rams. A name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers", a reference to the pirate legends of Southwest Florida. The team name was opposed by St. Petersburg businessmen on the grounds that it emphasized Tampa at the expense of other Bay Area cities, until NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle himself met with them to encourage their support. Their uniforms and "Bucco Bruce" winking pirate logo were designed by Tampa Tribune artist Lamar Sparkman, with colors drawn from the state's four major college teams: orange from the universities of Miami and Florida, and red from Florida State and the University of Tampa. They were one of the few teams to wear white home uniforms, forcing opponents to wear their dark uniforms in Tampa's 90° fall heat. The team's first home was Tampa Stadium, which had recently been expanded to seat just over 72,500 fans. Steve Spurrier was the quarterback for Tampa Bay during their expansion season.
Franchise History & Milestones
1974 - 1979
NOVEMBER 4, 1967 : (pre -1974) TAMPA STADIUM DEDICATED – Tennessee defeats the University of Tampa, 38-0 in the first contest played in the facility. The 46,700-seat stadium costs $4.1 million to build.
AUGUST 10, 1968 : (pre -1974) FIRST PRESEASON GAME – Washington defeats Atlanta 16-14 before a crowd of 42,000 in first NFL action at new stadium.
November 1968 : (pre -1974) EXPANSION COMMITTEE FORMED – Suncoast Pro Football Committee is formed with the purpose of securing an NFL franchise for Tampa Bay. The group functions until 1972 when the Tampa Chamber of Commerce formally appoints the West Coast NFL Task Force headed by Tampa businessman J. Leonard Levy.
APRIL 24 : TAMPA BAY AWARDED FRANCHISE – Tampa Bay is awarded the league’s 27th franchise. As part of the award, Tampa Stadium will be enlarged to 72,000 seats.
OCTOBER 30 : MCCLOSKEY SELECTED AS OWNER – Philadelphia construction executive Tom McCloskey is awarded the new Tampa Bay franchise, but soon declines ownership.
DECEMBER 5 : CULVERHOUSE AWARDED OWNERSHIP – Hugh F. Culverhouse, a Jacksonville attorney and real estate investor who had previously declined ownership of the Seattle franchise due to geographic reasons, is awarded the Tampa Bay franchise.
1975FEBRUARY 15 : TEAM NICKNAME ANNOUNCED – After reviewing over 400 name possibilities, an advisory board announces the team’s new nickname will be the Buccaneers.
APRIL 15 : BUCCANEERS UNVEIL LOGO AND COLORS – The team unveils a logo designed by Tampa Tribune artist Lamar Sparkman consisting of Florida orange, white and red.
APRIL 21 : STADIUM LEASE APPROVED – The Tampa Sports Authority unanimously approves a 30-year lease agreement with the Buccaneers for use of Tampa Stadium. Three days later, the Tampa City Council votes 6-1 to approve the lease and expansion to 72,000 seats.
JULY 9 : STADIUM EXPANSION BEGINS – Ground is broken for the expansion of Tampa Stadium, financed by the sale of $13 million in bonds by the Tampa Sports Authority.
OCTOBER 31 : MCKAY NAMED COACH – John McKay leaves the University of Southern California where he had coached four national championship teams, signing a five-year contract to coach the Buccaneers.
NOVEMBER 4 : BUCS PLACED IN DIVISION – Tampa Bay is placed in the AFC West with the understanding that it will switch to the NFC Central the following season.
DECEMBER 27 : BUCS WIN FIRST OVERALL SELECTION – In a drawing held prior to the Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore playoff game, Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse is awarded the first pick in the following year’s NFL college draft while Seattle receives the initial pick in the veteran allocation draft.
FEBRUARY 15 : WARNER BUYS LARGE SHARE OF TEAM – Cincinnati businessman Marvin L. Warner, president of Warner National Corp. and a longtime friend of Hugh Culverhouse, buys a large share of the team.
MARCH 30 : VETERAN ALLOCATION DRAFT – The Buccaneers stock their roster by adding 39 players through the NFL’s veteran allocation draft.
APRIL 2 : FIRST TRADE ANNOUNCED – The Bucs make the first trade in franchise history, acquiring former Heisman Trophy winner QB Steve Spurrier from the San Francisco 49ers for two players and a secondround draft choice.
APRIL 8 : SELMON DRAFTED – Tampa Bay takes Lee Roy Selmon with the first selection in the NFL college draft.
JULY 31 : INAUGURAL SEASON BEGINS – In the team’s first-ever preseason action, the Bucs lose 26-3 at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Coliseum. PK Paul Rajecki’s 18-yard FG goes down as the first points in team history.
AUGUST 14 : FIRST PRESEASON VICTORY – The Buccaneers win their first preseason game, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 17-3 at the Jacksonville Gator Bowl.
SEPTEMBER 12 : REGULAR SEASON OPENER – Tampa Bay loses its first regular season game 20-0 at Houston.
SEPTEMBER 26 : GREEN SCORES FIRST REGULAR SEASON POINTS – In a 14-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills, K Dave Green connects on a 39-yard FG, posting the franchise’s first regular season points.
DECEMBER 11 : FIRST REGULAR SEASON VICTORY – The Bucs tie an NFL record with three interceptions returned
for TDs and end 26 games of frustration with their first regular season victory, a 33-14 win at New Orleans. Over 8,000 fans greet the team when it returns to One Buccaneer Place.
DECEMBER 18 : BACK-TO-BACK WINS – Tampa Bay wins its second game in a row and first at home, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 17-7.
JANUARY 23 : TAMPA HOSTS PRO BOWL – Tampa Stadium is the site of the 1978 Pro Bowl.
OCTOBER 15 : DUBOSE RUNS FOR 100 YARDS – RB Jimmy DuBose becomes the first Buc to rush for 100 yards in a game (109 yards on 24 carries) as the Bucs lose on the road to the Giants 17-14.
OCTOBER 22 : BUCS REACH .500 – Tampa Bay defeats Chicago 33-19 to up its record to 4-4, but injuries ultimately cripple the team during the second half of the season.
JANUARY 3 : CULVERHOUSE BUYS CONTROLLING INTEREST – Hugh Culverhouse purchases Marvin Warner’s minority interest, thereby gaining control of the team.
JANUARY 29 : PEAR BECOMES FIRST PRO BOWL BUC – DT Dave Pear becomes the first Buccaneer to play and start in the Pro Bowl.
SEPTEMBER 30 : BUCS JUMP OUT TO HOTTEST START OF SEASON – The Buccaneers lay claim to the best record in the league by beating the Bears 17-13 at Chicago and running their record to 5-0, the best start in team history and a franchise record for consecutive victories that would not be matched until 1997.
NOVEMBER 25 : BELL REACHES 1,000-YARD MARK – RB Ricky Bell becomes the first rusher in team history to reach 1,000 yards after compiling 101 yards on the ground in a 23-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Bell eventually finishes the season with 1,263 rushing yards.
DECEMBER 16 : BUCS CLINCH FIRST-EVER NFC CENTRAL TITLE – The Bucs defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 3-0 in a torrential downpour in Tampa to win the NFC Central Division and earn the first-ever playoff berth in team history. Neil O’Donoghue drills a 19-yard field goal for the game’s only points as RB Ricky Bell gains 137 yards on the ground.
DECEMBER 20 : SELMON NAMED NFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – DE Lee Roy Selmon becomes first player in team history to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Selmon recorded 117 tackles, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 11 sacks during the 1979 regular season.
DECEMBER 29 : TAMPA BAY WINS FIRST PLAYOFF GAME – Led by RB Ricky Bell’s 142-yard, two-touchdown performance, the Bucs defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 in their first-ever playoff appearance.
1980 - 1989
JANUARY 6: BUCS FINISH ONE GAME SHORT OF THE SUPER BOWL – The team’s first playoff season comes to an
end as the Bucs lose 9-0 to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game played in Tampa Stadium.
JANUARY 7: MCKAY GIVEN CONTRACT EXTENSION – Head Coach John McKay is given a five-year contract extension. It is also announced that he will become the team’s president upon his retirement from coaching.
JANUARY 29: SELMON BECOMES SECOND PRO BOWLER – DE Lee Roy Selmon becomes the team’s second player to see Pro Bowl action.
SEPTEMBER 11 : TAMPA BAY MAKES PRIME TIME DEBUT – The Buccaneers avenge the previous January’s NFC Championship Game defeat (9-0) with a 10-9 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Tampa Bay’s firstever appearance on ABC’s prime time football series (Thursday night game).
NOVEMBER 2 : BUCS RUN WILD IN WIN OVER GIANTS – Tampa Bay running backs account for a team record 244 rushing yards (later surpassed) en route to a 30-13 victory over the N.Y. Giants.
DECEMBER 6: TAMPA BAY DEFEATS ATLANTA, MOVES INTO FIRST PLACE – The Buccaneers, led by QB Doug Williams’ season-best 336 passing yards, pull out a 24-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The win is Tampa Bay’s third in a row and places the team
in sole possession of first place in the NFC Central.
DECEMBER 20: BUCS CLINCH SECOND NFC TITLE IN THREE YEARS – Tampa Bay wins an exciting showdown in Detroit, besting the Lions 20-17 and securing the NFC Central Division title. WR Kevin House reels in an 84-yard touchdown strike from QB Doug Williams and DT David Logan returns a fumble recovery 21 yards for another Buc score.
JANUARY 2: BUCS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFFS – Dallas Cowboys defeat the Bucs 38-0 at Texas Stadium.
SEPTEMBER 20: PLAYERS STRIKE ANNOUNCED – The NFL Players Association announces the beginning of the union’s strike.
NOVEMBER 16: LABOR PEACE REACHED – After a 57-day strike, the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association announce a settlement.
NOVEMBER 29: TAMPA BAY WINS FIRST MONDAY NIGHT GAME AT HOME – After starting off 0-3, Tampa Bay defeats the cross-state rival Miami Dolphins 23-17, marking the first Monday Night victory at Tampa Stadium.
JANUARY 2: BUCS REACH PLAYOFFS FOR THIRD TIME IN FOUR YEARS – QB Doug Williams leads a fierce rally from a
17-point halftime deficit as K Bill Capece’s 33-yard field goal in overtime secures the Buccaneer victory. The team wins five of its last six games, securing each victory in the final minute.
JANUARY 9: DALLAS ENDS TAMPA BAY’S PLAYOFF HOPES – The Dallas Cowboys defeat Tampa Bay 30-17 in the first round of playoffs.
NOVEMBER 6: WILDER SETS SINGLE-GAME RECORDS – RB James Wilder sets team marks for combined yards (239) and rushing yards (219) in a game, helping the Bucs break into the win column for the first time.
JANUARY 22: TAMPA HOSTS SUPER BOWL XVIII – The Los Angeles Raiders defeat the Washington Redskins 38-9 in front of a crowd of 72,920 as Tampa hosts its first Super Bowl.
SEPTEMBER 30: WILDER RUNS FOR 172 YARDS IN WIN OVER PACKERS – RB James Wilder carries the ball a record 43 times for 172 yards in leading Tampa Bay to a 30-27 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers. Wilder eventually goes on to record the best rushing season in Bucs history, compiling 1,544 yards and 13 touchdowns on an NFL record 407 carries.
NOVEMBER 5: MCKAY ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION – Head Coach John McKay announces his resignation, effective at the end of the season. The announcement comes one day after a 27-24 loss at Minnesota with the Bucs owning a 4-6 record.
DECEMBER 16: MCKAY’S FINAL GAME – Tampa Bay defeats the N.Y. Jets 41-21 in John McKay’s final game as a head coach. He finishes an overall 171-128-9, including a 44-88-1 mark as the Bucs’ head coach.
JANUARY 23: BENNETT NAMED HEAD COACH – Hugh Culverhouse names former Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett as John McKay’s replacement.
JANUARY 27: SELMON PLAYS IN FINAL PRO BOWL – DE Lee Roy Selmon plays in his sixth and final Pro Bowl. A herniated disk, which eventually required surgery, is discovered in his back at the game. The injury later forces Selmon to retire after missing the entire 1985 season.
NOVEMBER 10: BUCS RECORD FIRST SHUTOUT SINCE ’79 – Tampa Bay defeats the St. Louis Cardinals 16-0, marking the team’s first shutout since 1979 (vs. Kansas City), and snapping a nine-game losing streak.
SEPTEMBER 7: SELMON’S JERSEY RETIRED – In halftime ceremonies at the season-opener versus San Francisco, six-time Pro Bowler DE Lee Roy Selmon’s jersey is retired. Selmon’s number 63 becomes the first and only jersey in team history to be retired.
DECEMBER 29: BENNETT FIRED – Leeman Bennett is relieved of his position after compiling a 4-28 record as the Bucs’ head coach.
DECEMBER 31: PERKINS NAMED HEAD COACH – Former Alabama Head Coach Ray Perkins is hired as the Bucs’ Head Coach and Vice-President/Football Operations.
MAY 20: TAMPA BAY AWARDED SUPER BOWL XXV – Tampa is awarded the Silver Anniversary Super Bowl to be played on January 27, 1991.
SEPTEMBER 13: BUCS OPEN SEASON WITH ROUT OF ATLANTA (9/13) – QB Steve DeBerg establishes a franchise record with five touchdown passes and the Bucs set marks for most points (48) and largest margin of victory (38) in a 48-10 besting of Atlanta.
OCTOBER 1: STRIKE INTERRUPTS SEASON – The NFL Players Association calls for its second work stoppage in six seasons. After a 24-day strike in which replacement players were used in three games, the NFL and Players Union come to an agreement.
OCTOBER 16: TESTAVERDE PASSES FOR 469 YARDS – QB Vinny Testaverde passes for the second-highest single-game yardage in franchise history (469) at Indianapolis.
DECEMBER 4: UCS DEFEAT EVENTUAL AFC CHAMPION BUFFALO – Tampa Bay’s win over the eventual AFC Champion Buffalo Bills is the first 10-5 score in NFL history.
OCTOBER 8: TAMPA BAY DEFEATS CHICAGO FOR FIRST TIME IN 13 TRIES – The Bucs score 28 first half points (second most in team history) to end 12 games of frustration against the Bears before the largest crowd ever at a Bucs game (72,077).
NOVEMBER 19: BUCS COMPLETE SEASON SWEEP OF BEARS – K Donald Igwebuike’s last-second 28-yard field goal completes the first-ever season sweep of Chicago. The win marks the Bucs’ first at Soldier Field in 10 years (9/30/79).
DECEMBER 24: WR MARK CARRIER FINISHES PRO BOWL SEASON – With six catches for 101 yards versus Pittsburgh, WR Mark Carrier caps off a Pro Bowl season in which he set club records of 86 receptions and 1,422 receiving yards.
1990 - 1999
SEPTEMBER 30: TAMPA BAY JUMPS OUT TO BEST START SINCE ’79 – After beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 in
overtime, the Bucs run their record to 3-1.
DECEMBER 3: PERKINS FIRED – Head Coach Ray Perkins is relieved of his position after Tampa Bay drops to 5-8. Assistant Head Coach/Receivers Richard Williamson is named interim head coach.
JANUARY 23: GIANTS WIN SUPER BOWL XXV (1/23) – The N.Y. Giants win Super Bowl XXV in thrilling fashion, beating the Buffalo Bills 21-19 at Tampa Stadium.
FEBRUARY 4: WILLIAMSON NAMED HEAD COACH – Gay Culverhouse is announced as the team’s new president, Phil Krueger is named general manager and Richard Williamson becomes the full-time head coach.
NOVEMBER 20: COBB SETS TEAM RECORD FOR RUSHING TDS IN A GAME – RB Reggie Cobb establishes a team mark with three rushing scores in a 30-21 Buccaneer triumph over the Detroit Lions.
DECEMBER 8: KREWE OF HONOR CREATED WITH SELMON, BELL AND MCKAY HONORED – DE Lee Roy Selmon, RB Ricky Bell and Head Coach John McKay are inducted into the team’s Krewe of Honor.
DECEMBER 27: WILLIAMSON FIRED – Richard Williamson is relieved as head coach after compiling a 4-15 record.
JANUARY 10: WYCHE NAMED HEAD COACH – Former Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Sam Wyche is
named as Richard Williamson’s replacement. Wyche becomes the fifth head coach in Tampa Bay history.
SEPTEMBER 6: WILLIAMS INDUCTED INTO KREWE OF HONOR – QB Doug Williams becomes the third player inducted into the team’s Krewe of Honor.
DECEMBER 27: COBB RECORDS FIFTH-BEST RUSHING SEASON – The Bucs defeat the Phoenix Cardinals 7-3 as RB Reggie Cobb caps off the fifth-best rushing performance in team history (1,171 yards).
MARCH 18: BUCS SIGN NICKERSON AS AN UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT – Former Pittsburgh Steelers LB Hardy Nickerson signs a three-year contract to become the Buccaneers’ first free agent acquisition under the NFL’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
DECEMBER 29: NICKERSON EARNS PRO BOWL SELECTION – After compiling a team record 214 tackles, Nickerson is voted as the NFC’s starting linebacker in the Pro Bowl and later becomes only the second Buccaneer to be named AP All-Pro.
AUGUST 25: CULVERHOUSE DIES – Hugh Culverhouse dies of lung cancer at the age of 75. The team is placed under control of a three-man trust headed by Culverhouse’s law partner Steven Story, along with Jack Donlan and Fred Cone.
NOVEMBER 8: MCKAY NAMED GENERAL MANAGER – VicePresident/Football Operations Rich McKay is promoted to General Manager.
DECEMBER 4: RHETT RUSHES FOR 192 YARDS – RB Errict Rhett records the second-best single-game rushing total in team history when he rambles for 192 yards on 40 carries (third-most in team annals) in a 26-21 victory over the Washington Redskins. Rhett eventually becomes the first Buc rookie to rush for over 1,000 yards (1,011).
DECEMBER 24: BUCS SELL OUT SEASON FINALE – The Buccaneers are defeated by the Packers 34-19 in front of the first sellout at Tampa Stadium in two years (11/15/92).
JANUARY 16: BUCCANEERS SOLD TO MALCOLM GLAZER – Steven Story announces that, pending NFL approval, the Buccaneers have been sold to Palm Beach investor Malcolm Glazer for the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise.
MARCH 13: NFL APPROVES SALE OF TEAM (3/13) – NFL owners unanimously approve Malcolm Glazer’s purchase of the Buccaneers one day after the NFL Finance Committee gave its unanimous approval at the Owner’s Meetings in Phoenix, AZ.
MAY 10: BUCS SIGN DRAFT PICKS IN RECORD FASHION – With the signing of second-round selection S Melvin Johnson, Tampa Bay becomes the quickest team in NFL history to sign all its draft picks.
JUNE 30: SALE OF THE TEAM IS FINALIZED – Malcolm Glazer officially becomes the team’s new owner after the sale of the team is finalized in Charlotte, NC. Bryan and Joel Glazer are named executive vicepresidents.
JULY 29: SELMON INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME – DE Lee Roy Selmon becomes the first Buccaneer inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Selmon is introduced by his brother and former Buc teammate Dewey.
OCTOBER 15: BUCS MOVE INTO SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE – K Michael Husted’s 51-yard game-winning FG propels Tampa Bay past Minnesota and into sole possession of first place in the NFC Central Division. The victory marks the first time since the final day of the 1981 season that the team has been alone in first place.
NOVEMBER 26: GRUBER MARKS RECORD START – LT Paul Gruber makes his 118th career start, thus surpassing DE Lee Roy Selmon’s team record of 117.
DECEMBER 3: RHETT SURPASSES 1,000-YARD MARK – RB Errict Rhett goes over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year to become only the 12th player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in his first two league seasons.
DECEMBER 27: WYCHE IS FIRED – The team announces that Sam Wyche will not return as head coach in 1996. Wyche leaves his post with a 23-41 record.
JANUARY 22: DUNGY NAMED HEAD COACH – Minnesota Defensive Coordinator Tony Dungy is named as the Buccaneers’ sixth head coach.
FEBRUARY 22: NICKERSON RE-SIGNS WITH TEAM – LB Hardy Nickerson, the Buccaneers’ Most Valuable Player in 1993 and ’95, agrees to a four-year deal to remain with the team.
SEPTEMBER 3: COMMUNITY INVESTMENT TAX PASSES – Hillsborough County voters pass the Community Investment Tax by a 53-47% margin. The tax will fund the construction of a new stadium and practice facility as well as various other community projects.
OCTOBER 8: DUNGY WINS FIRST GAME – Tony Dungy earns his first victory as Buccaneer head coach with a 24-13 victory over his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.
NOVEMBER 17: BUCS DEFEAT CHARGERS FOR FIRST CALIFORNIA WIN SINCE ’80 – Tampa Bay edges the San Diego Chargers 25-17 to earn its first victory in California since 1980 (24-23 vs. San Francisco).
FEBRUARY 13: GRUBER RE-SIGNS – LT Paul Gruber, the team’s designated franchise player and cornerstone of the Buc offensive line for the past eight years, signs a three-year deal to remain in Tampa.
APRIL 9: BUCCANEERS UNVEIL NEW LOGO AND COLORS – The team unveils its eagerly anticipated new logo and color scheme at a noon downtown ceremony. The new logo, consisting of a red pirate flag with a skull and crossed swords, draws instant rave reviews. The team colors are Buccaneer red, pewter, black and orange.
MAY 22: STATE SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF COUNTY, BUCS – The Florida State Supreme Court refuses former Tampa Mayor Bill Poe’s opposition to the stadium. In a 7-0 decision, the Court rules all aspects of the tax are constitutional.
SEPTEMBER 28: BUCS START SEASON WITH FIVE CONSECUTIVE WINS – The Buccaneers match the franchise record for most consecutive wins at the start of a season with five. After a 13-6 season-opening defeat of the San Francisco 49ers, the team rolls on to road victories at Detroit (9/7) and Minnesota (9/14) and home defeats of Miami (9/21) and Arizona (9/28).
OCTOBER 26: MAYBERRY ATTAINS CONSECUTIVE STARTS RECORD – C Tony Mayberry achieves one of the more remarkable achievements in team history by surpassing Dave Logan’s streak of 103 consecutive games started in the team’s 10/26 contest versus Minnesota.
NOVEMBER 9: CULPEPPER BECOMES FIRST TO BAG TRIFECTA TWICE IN SAME SEASON – DT Brad Culpepper enters the team’s sack race with a three-sack performance against Arizona (9/28) in a week-five contest, becoming just the fifth player in team history to do so. Little more than a month later, he becomes the first player in team annals to accomplish the feat twice in the same season with a trio of sacks at Atlanta.
DECEMBER 7: BUCS SET SINGLE-GAME ATTENDANCE MARK – After setting a new single-game attendance record earlier in the season on 9/21 against Miami (73,314), the Bucs eclipse that mark when 73,523 are in attendance for the team’s 6-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
DECEMBER 21: BUCS TIE FRANCHISE RECORD FOR WINS – By virtue of their season-ending 31-15 downing of the Chicago Bears, the Bucs match the club record for most regular season victories in a season with 10, assuring themselves an NFC Wild Card berth.
DECEMBER 28: FIRST PLAYOFF GAME PLAYED IN TAMPA IN 15 YEARS – The Buccaneers defeat the Detroit Lions 20-10 in front of a sellout crowd of 73,361 in the final game played at Houlihan’s Stadium. The game is marked by outstanding individual performances, including FB Mike Alstott’s team playoff-record 31-yard touchdown run in which he barrels through a variety of Lions defenders.
FEBRUARY 1: NFL-HIGH EIGHT BUCS PLAY IN PRO BOWL – As further recognition of the team’s dramatic rise in league prominence, a team-record and NFL-most eight Buc players are selected to play in the Pro Bowl. Joining third-time selection LB Hardy Nickerson are first timers FB Mike Alstott, LB Derrick Brooks, QB Trent Dilfer, RB Warrick Dunn, S John Lynch, C Tony Mayberry and DT Warren Sapp.
MARCH 11: DUNGY RECEIVES NEW CONTRACT – After tying the franchise record for victories in a season with 10, Head Coach Tony Dungy is rewarded by Owner Malcolm Glazer with a new five-year contract that essentially voids out his original contract.
MARCH 18: SAPP SIGNS EXTENSION TO BECOME TEAM’S HIGHESTPAID PLAYER – Pro Bowl DT Warren Sapp agrees to a six-year contract that makes him the wealthiest player in team history and one of the highest paid defensive tackles in the league.
APRIL 30: MCKAY RECEIVES CONTRACT EXTENSION – Owner Malcolm Glazer rewards General Manager Rich McKay with a new five-year contract extension for his efforts in assembling one of the league’s most talent-rich rosters. McKay’s new deal guarantees that he will be with the team through the 2002 season.
AUGUST 2-15: BUCS SELL OUT INAUGURAL RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM SEASON – For the first time in team history, the Buccaneers entire home schedule is sold out before the season begins. Though the Bucs will play seven straight road games (including preseason) to open 1998, the entire sum of single-game tickets for the eight home games in Raymond James Stadium sells out on the first day of availability.
SEPTEMBER 20: BUCS OPEN NEW ERA IN RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM WITH DRAMATIC VICTORY – Raymond James Stadium, already known as ‘The Crown Jewel of the NFL’, officially opens as the Buccaneers take on archrival Chicago. TE Dave Moore’s acrobatic one-handed touchdown catch sparks a 27-point rally as Tampa Bay wins its Raymond James Stadium debut, 27-15.
NOVEMBER 1: TAMPA BAY OUTGUNS UNDEFEATED MINNESOTA IN RAYMOND JAMES SHOOTOUT – The Buccaneers run their Raymond James Stadium record to 4-0 with an eye-opening, 27-24 upset of the previously undefeated Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings’ only regular-season loss of 1998 is powered by a Buccaneer-record 246 rushing yards, including the first dual-100-yard performance in team history by FB Mike Alstott (128 yards) and RB Warrick Dunn (115).
DECEMBER 7: FIRST MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL VICTORY IN 16 YEARS COMES AT EXPENSE OF PACKERS – Having ended a 15-year hiatus from ABC’s Monday Night Football earlier in the year at Detroit, Tampa Bay records its first MNF victory since 1982 with a 24-22 dismissal of Green Bay. QB Trent Dilfer completes 64 and 62-yard TD passes to WR Jacquez Green and WR Reidel Anthony and the Buccaneer defense records eight sacks and a team-record eight forced fumbles.
DECEMBER 27: BUCS BLANK CINCY FOR FIRST ROAD SHUTOUT – Tampa Bay records the third shutout in team history, the first since 1985 and the first on the road with a 35-0 dismantling of Cincinnati in the season finale. FB Mike Alstott ties a team-record with three touchdown runs as the Bucs open a 28-0 lead by halftime.
FEBRUARY 7: FIVE BUCS MAKE REPEAT PRO BOWL VISIT – A five-some of Bucs, the second-largest contingent in team history, represents the NFC in the Pro Bowl; all five are repeat honorees from the team’s NFLhigh group of eight Pro Bowlers in 1998. LB Hardy Nickerson makes his fourth visit, tying TE Jimmie Giles for the second-most in team history, and DT Warren Sapp, LB Derrick Brooks, C Tony Mayberry and FB Mike Alstott all make their second trips.
SEPTEMBER 3: BUCS COMPLETE UNDEFEATED PRESEASON – Rookie QB Shaun King hits rookie WR Darnell McDonald on a three-yard TD pass with seven seconds left, lifting the Bucs to a 16-13 win over host Washington. The victory caps a 4-0 preseason campaign, the franchise’s first in 16 years.
SEPTEMBER 19: SACK ATTACK SMOTHERS EAGLES – Tampa Bay’s swarming defensive line racks up nine sacks in a 19-5 win at Philadelphia. DT Warren Sapp and DE Chidi Ahanotu each collect three sacks, while DE Marcus Jones bags two and DT Brad Culpepper adds one. The nine-sack effort falls one sack short of the team record of 10, set in 1979 at Baltimore.
NOVEMBER 21: GRAMATICA BOOTS ATLANTA – Rookie K Martin Gramatica kicks four FGs, including a game-winning 53-yarder with 58 seconds remaining, to rally Tampa Bay to a 19-10 win over Atlanta at Raymond James Stadium. Gramatica had earlier nailed attempts from 24, 26 and 50 yards. He became the first Buccaneer kicker to boot two 50-plus-yard FGs in one game. The last time a rookie K booted a game-winning FG of that length was San Francisco’s Steve Mike-Meyer, who nailed a 54-yarder against the Rams (11/9/75).
NOVEMBER 28: KING SHINES IN RELIEF ROLE – Rookie QB Shaun King replaces an injured Trent Dilfer (clavicle) and escorts Tampa Bay to a 16-3 win at Seattle. The win marks the club’s first in the Kingdome. King hits WR Jacquez Green for his first career completion, then later lofts a scoring toss to TE Patrick Hape, sealing Tampa Bay’s fourth consecutive victory.
DECEMBER 6: RECORD CROWD LIFTS BUCS TO MONDAY NIGHT WIN – Tampa Bay beats Minnesota 24-17 before a then-record crowd of 65,741 at Raymond James Stadium. The game marks the starting debut of rookie QB Shaun King, who throws two second-half TD passes. Tampa Bay’s swarming defense forces four Viking turnovers, including a 55-yard INT return by CB Donnie Abraham on the third play of the game.
DECEMBER 12: BUCS WIN SIXTH CONSECUTIVE GAME – Tampa Bay rallies for two fourth-quarter TDs to defeat Detroit 23-16 at Raymond James Stadium. The win is the Bucs’ sixth consecutive triumph, breaking the team mark of five consecutive victories (1979, 1997). In the process, Tampa Bay assumes sole possession of first place in the NFC Central Division.
DECEMBER 26: BUCS SET HOME WIN MARK AGAINST PACKERS – Tampa Bay completes its 1999 home slate with a club-record 7-1 mark after a 29-10 triumph over Green Bay. FB Mike Alstott runs for two TDs in the fourth quarter to seal the win. The Bucs’ previous best home record was a 6-2 mark, set in 1984 and 1998. Tampa Bay also clinches its fifth-ever playoff appearance.
2000 - 2009
JANUARY 2: BUCS CLAIM FIRST NFC CENTRAL TITLE IN 18 YEARS – The Bucs beat Chicago 20-6 at Soldier Field to claim their first NFC Central Division title since 1981. Tampa Bay also concludes the regular season with a franchise-record 11 wins. The Bucs rush for 143 yards and hold the potent Bears offense to two FGs. An estimated crowd of 5,000 greets the champs upon their arrival at One Buccaneer Place Sunday night.
JANUARY 8: FOUR BUCS EARN FIRST-TEAM-ALL-PRO HONORS - Four Buccaneers — FB Mike Alstott, LB Derrick Brooks, S John Lynch and DT Warren Sapp — earn first-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press. Tampa Bay could claim five first team AP All-Pro selections in the franchise’s first 23 seasons of existence. The Bucs tied the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams for most players on the 1999 squad.
JANUARY 13: SAPP NAMED AP NFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – DT Warren Sapp earns NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press. In a poll of 50 media members, Sapp receives 19 votes, edging out Tennessee DE Jevon Kearse. Sapp is the first Buccaneer to win the award since Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon won the trophy in 1979. Sapp finished the regular season with 54 tackles and a career-best 12.5 sacks.
JANUARY 15: BUCS RALLY PAST REDSKINS IN DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF – Tampa Bay rallies from a 13-0 deficit to defeat the Washington Redskins 14-13 in an NFC divisional playoff game before a record crowd of 65,835 at Raymond James Stadium. QB Shaun King hits TE John Davis on a one-yard TD toss midway through the fourth quarter to give the Bucs their first and only lead. Tampa Bay’s defense holds Washington’s second-ranked offense to 157 total yards and no offensive TDs. The win propels the Bucs to their first NFC Championship Game in 20 years.
JANUARY 23: TAMPA BAY FALLS ONE WIN SHY OF SUPER BOWL – Tampa Bay’s valiant defensive effort falls short as the St. Louis Rams rally late for an 11-6 win in the NFC Championship Game at the Trans World Dome. The Bucs hold the high-powered Rams offense 22 points below their season average. St. Louis would capture Super Bowl XXXIV the following Sunday in Atlanta.
FEBRUARY 6: SIX BUCS HELP COACHING STAFF DEFEAT AFC IN PRO BOWL – The NFC, led by Tony Dungy and the rest of the Buccaneers coaching staff, whips the AFC 51-31 in the highest-scoring Pro Bowl ever. Tampa Bay is represented by six players – FB Mike Alstott, LB Derrick Brooks, S John Lynch, C Tony Mayberry, LB Hardy Nickerson and DT Warren Sapp. Alstott scores three TDs and Brooks returns a QB Mark Brunell INT for a score.
MARCH 1: BUCS INK 11-TIME PRO BOWLER MCDANIEL – The Bucs snag another former Vikings offensive lineman, signing perennial Pro Bowl G Randall McDaniel to a three-year contract. McDaniel, who spent his previous 12 seasons in Minnesota, owns the NFL record for consecutive Pro Bowl starts with 11. He enters the 2000 season with 170 consecutive starts, second only to Tennessee’s Bruce Matthews (197) among active players.
APRIL 12: BUCS TRADE FOR JETS WR JOHNSON – The Bucs trade their two first-round picks (13th, 27th overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft to the New York Jets for two-time Pro Bowl WR Keyshawn Johnson. Tampa Bay then signs Johnson to an eight-year contract. Johnson’s 305 catches over his first four NFL seasons trail only WR Marvin Harrison (Colts, 311, 1996-98) and WR Andre Rison (Falcons, 308, 1989-92) in league annals. The fifth-year pro can also boast 31 career scoring grabs.
SEPTEMBER 10: BUCS RECORD LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY IN HOME OPENER – Tampa Bay records the largest margin of victory in team history with a 41-0 win over Chicago in its home opener at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs defense extends their streak to 14 quarters against Chicago without allowing a touchdown, and limits the Bears to just 165 total yards, including 49 passing, while forcing four turnovers.
OCTOBER 29: BUCS KNOCK OFF UNDEFEATED VIKINGS – The Bucs offense scores on each of its first four possessions as Tampa Bay snaps a four-game skid and ends Minnesota’s 7-0 start at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay’s 31 first-half points ties the club record for points in a half. For the first time in club history, Tampa Bay scores 40-plus points in a game twice in the same season.
NOVEMBER 26: SAPP SETS SINGLE-SEASON SACK RECORD – DT Warren Sapp breaks DE Lee Roy Selmon’s franchise record for sacks in a season with two — giving him 13.5 for the year — as Tampa Bay downs Buffalo 31-17 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs’ defense notches six sacks overall to surpass the club’s single-season record of 44 in 1997.
DECEMBER 3: DUNN LEADS CLUB-RECORD DAY ON THE GROUND – Tampa Bay sets a club record with 250 yards rushing, including a career-high 210 by RB Warrick Dunn, on the way to a 27-7 victory over Dallas at Raymond James Stadium. Dunn’s performance marks the second-best single-game effort in Bucs’ history. K Martin Gramatica adds a 25-yard FG prior to halftime, tying the franchise record for consecutive field goals made with his 16th straight.
DECEMBER 10: BUCS SET FRANCHISE MARK FOR POINTS SCORED – S Damien Robinson intercepts Miami QB Jay Fiedler at the Bucs nine-yard line with 14 seconds remaining as Tampa Bay holds on for a 16-13 victory at rainy Pro Player Stadium. With the 16 points, Tampa Bay sets a club record for points in a season with 336, eclipsing the previous mark of 335 points in 1984. In addition, K Martin Gramatica breaks his own record for points in a season.
DECEMBER 18: TAMPA BAY CLINCHES SECOND STRAIGHT PLAYOFF BERTH – RB Warrick Dunn scores his third rushing touchdown of the game with 48 seconds remaining as Tampa Bay rallies for a 38-35 win over St. Louis before a national television audience on Monday Night Football. With the win at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs clinch their second straight playoff berth and third in the last four seasons. Head coach Tony Dungy also becomes the winningest coach in franchise history with his 45th coaching victory.
JANUARY 26: CHRISTENSEN PROMOTED TO OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is promoted to offensive coordinator. Christensen coached Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks in 1999 and 2000 after tutoring the tight ends for his first three years from 1996-98.
JANUARY 28: BUCS HOST THIRD SUPER BOWL – Baltimore defeats the N.Y. Giants, 34-7 as Tampa Bay plays host to Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium.
FEBRUARY 4: LEAGUE-HIGH AND TEAM-RECORD NINE BUCS PLAY IN PRO BOWL – Tampa Bay boasts a leaguehigh and team-record nine players in the 2001 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The Bucs’ contingent includes a club-record six starters, but the AFC posts a 38-17 victory.
MARCH 6: BUCS GRAB BRAD JOHNSON IN FREE AGENCY – Tampa Bay ventures into free agency and returns with the biggest name on the market in Washington Redskins QB Brad Johnson. Johnson, who ranks third all-time in completion percentage, signs a five-year contract.
MARCH 23: RICE JOINS THREE OTHER FIRST-ROUNDERS ON DEFENSIVE LINE – Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl DE Simeon Rice signs a five-year contract with Tampa Bay, joining a defensive line that features three other former first-round draft picks. Rice, who established an Arizona franchise mark with 16.5 quarterback sacks in 1999, notched 51.5 career sacks with the Cardinals.
JUNE 10: JOHN MCKAY DIESn – John McKay, the first coach in Buccaneers history, dies of kidney failure due to complications from diabetes at the age of 77. McKay coached Tampa Bay from 1976-1984, leading the team to three playoff appearances, including a trip to the 1979 NFC Championship Game.
SEPTEMBER 16: BUCS SECOND GAME POSTPONED DUE TO TERRORIST ATTACKS – Due to the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, the NFL postpones all of its games on September 16 and 17, including the Bucs’ home contest against Philadelphia. The games are rescheduled for the first weekend in January, with the rest of the playoff schedule, including the Super Bowl, moving back one week. Due to an already-scheduled bye in Week Three, the Bucs have a bizarre, 21-day layoff between the first and second games of the season.
OCTOBER 28: ALSTOTT LEADS ANOTHER HOME POUNDING OF THE VIKINGS – Almost exactly one year after demolishing Minnesota, 41-13, in Raymond James Stadium on 10/29/00, the Bucs prove it was no fluke with a 41-14 decision over the Vikings on 10/28/01. FB Mike Alstott leads the runaway victory with 129 rushing yards, tying a team and personal record with three rushing touchdowns.
NOVEMBER 26: FIRST MNF ROAD VICTORY GIVES BUCS ANOTHER PRIME-TIME WIN OVER RAMS – For the second time in two years, the Buccaneers defeat the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football, following up a 38-35 thriller in Tampa in 2000 with a 24-17 victory at St. Louis in 2001. The win, which stands as the first road win for the Bucs on Monday Night Football in team history, gives the Bucs a measure of revenge in the stadium that saw their run to the 1999 Super Bowl come to an end.
DECEMBER 2: BUCS RECORD THIRD STRAIGHT ROAD WIN – During yet another December surge, the Buccaneers defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 16-13 in overtime, when S John Lynch forces and recovers a fumble at the Bengals’ three-yard line early in the extra period, setting up K Martin Gramatica’s game-winning field goal. Following wins at Detroit and St. Louis, the victory over Cincinnati gives Tampa Bay three consecutive road wins for the first time in franchise history.
DECEMBER 23: BUCS TIE SINGLE-GAME SCORING RECORD IN CRUCIAL WIN OVER NEW ORLEANS – In a contest that would basically eliminate the loser from playoff contention and nearly guarantee the winner a postseason spot, the Buccaneers explode for 48 points in a blowout win over New Orleans. Taking a 30-0 halftime lead, the Bucs cruise to the 48-21 win, tying the team record for points scored in a single game (also against Atlanta, 9/13/97).
JANUARY 14: DUNGY DISMISSED – The team announces that Head Coach Tony Dungy has been relieved of his coaching duties after six seasons. Dungy posted a 54-42 record at the helm and led the Buccaneers to the playoffs in four of his six campaigns.
FEBRUARY 20: GRUDEN INTRODUCED – New Head Coach Jon Gruden is introduced at a press conference at a downtown hotel after becoming the seventh head coach in franchise history. Gruden, 38, spent four seasons (1998-2001) as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
JULY 29: TAMPA BAY STARTS TRAINING CAMP AT DISNEY (7/29) – The Buccaneers begin their first season under new Head Coach Jon Gruden at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. For the first time, Tampa Bay will conduct training camp at Disney after training at the University of Tampa since 1987. The Buccaneers are the first NFL team to conduct training camp at Disney’s sports complex.
SEPTEMBER 8: GRUDEN MAKES BUCCANEERS DEBUT – Jon Gruden, the Buccaneers seventh head coach, makes his regular season debut at Raymond James Stadium in a 26-20 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay trails 20-10 late in the fourth quarter when they post a frantic 10-point comeback to send the game into overtime. The Bucs are forced to punt deep in their own territory on their third possession of overtime. P Tom Tupa lines up to punt, but senses pressure and is forced to pull the ball down and attempt a pass. Saints LB James Allen intercepts the pass in the end zone, giving New Orleans the victory.
OCTOBER 6: TAMPA BAY DEFENSE STIFLES ANOTHER ROAD OPPONENT – For the third straight road contest, the Bucs defense does not allow a touchdown and posts an interception return for a score in a club-record fourth straight game en route to a 20-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The defense ties a then season-high with four interceptions—all in the second half—and adds four sacks against the Falcons. LB Derrick Brooks becomes the first linebacker in NFL history with three interception returns for touchdowns in a single season.
DECEMBER 1: RICE SETS NFL RECORD – In a Week 13 contest at New Orleans, DE Simeon Rice sets an NFL singleseason record by recording his fifth consecutive multi-sack game. His three-sack performance against the Saints highlights a five-game streak that began at Carolina on October 27, during which he totaled 11 sacks, 29 tackles, four forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
DECEMBER 22: BUCCANEERS CLAIM FIRST NFC SOUTH TITLE - Tampa Bay and New Orleans enter their Week 16 contests with the Bucs holding a one-game advantage in the NFC South. New Orleans suffers a 20-13 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday, thereby giving the first NFC South Division title to Tampa Bay before the Buccaneers take the field the following night against Pittsburgh. The division title is the fourth in Buccaneers history.
DECEMBER 29: GRAMATICA LEADS BUCS TO FRANCHISE-BEST 12TH VICTORY – Tampa Bay closes out the first regular season under Jon Gruden with its club record 12th win against the Chicago Bears in Champaign, IL. K Martin Gramatica kicks a career-high and teamrecord five field goals and the Bucs defense registers four interceptions in a 15-0 shutout. The win also marks the second road shutout of the season for the Buccaneers and is the first Tampa Bay victory in 22 tries when the thermometer reads below 40 degrees. With the victory, Tampa Bay finishes 6-2 on the road; the most wins away from home in franchise history, and secures the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.
JANUARY 8: BROOKS NAMED NFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – LB Derrick Brooks, the Bucs all-time leader in tackles, garners NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. As part of the league’s top-ranked defense in 2002, Brooks led the team with 170 tackles and tied for fourth in the NFC with five interceptions. Brooks was also selected to a club-record sixth-consecutive Pro Bowl in 2002 (as was DT Warren Sapp). His four touchdowns on turnovers in 2002 tied for the second-most in a single season in NFL history. He later adds another touchdown on an interception return in Super Bowl XXXVII.
JANUARY 12: BUCS ADVANCE TO NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Tampa Bay qualifies for the NFC Championship Game for the third time in club history by defeating San Francisco 31-6 at Raymond James Stadium in an NFC Divisional Playoff contest. Tampa Bay races to a 28-6 halftime lead, scoring touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the first half. The Bucs force five 49er turnovers and keep San Francisco out of the end zone for the first time in 50 games (including postseason).
JANUARY 19: BUCS CLAIM NFC TITLE – Tampa Bay clinches its first NFC crown and Super Bowl berth with a 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game at Veterans Stadium. The Bucs defense forces three Eagle turnovers en route to securing the club’s first postseason road win in franshise history. CB Ronde Barber paces an outstanding defensive effort and secures the victory with a club-record 92-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
JANUARY 26: BUCS WIN SUPER BOWL XXXVII – The Bucs defeat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego behind a suffocating defense, setting Super Bowl records with five interceptions and three interception returns for touchdowns. It is the first NFL Championship in club history. At the age of 39, Jon Gruden becomes the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl. S Dexter Jackson is named the game’s MVP as the Bucs’ top-ranked defense stifles the Raiders and the league’s number one ranked offense. Tampa Bay limits Oakland to just 62 total yards in the first half, the secondfewest in Super Bowl history, and finishes the game surrendering just 269 total yards and 11 first downs. RB Michael Pittman runs for a season-high 125 yards and WR Keenan McCardell scores two touchdowns. LB Derrick Brooks seals the victory with a late fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown and CB Dwight Smith sets a Super Bowl record by returning a pair of second-half interceptions for touchdowns.
JANUARY 28: WORLD CHAMPIONS PARADE THROUGH TAMPA – Following their 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII, the World Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers parade through downtown Tampa where more than 150,000 fans line the streets and crowd office buildings to celebrate the city’s first major professional sports championship.
JANUARY 30: BUCS SIGN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MONTE KIFFIN TO A NEW CONTRACT – Tampa Bay signs Monte Kiffin, architect of the NFL’s top-ranked defense, to a new, three-year contract. Kiffin, a head coaching candidate, is rewarded for designing the first defense since the 1985 Chicago Bears to lead the league in total defense, fewest points allowed and total interceptions. Tampa Bay’s defense allowed just 196 points in 2002, the fifth-fewest in a single season in NFL history during a 16-game schedule.
FEBRUARY 2: SEVEN BUCS APPEAR ON PRO BOWL ROSTER – Tampa Bay has seven players on the roster for the 2003 Pro Bowl in Hawaii; FB Mike Alstott, LB Derrick Brooks, QB Brad Johnson, S John Lynch, LB Shelton Quarles, DE Simeon Rice and DT Warren Sapp. A total of six Buccaneers, all but Sapp due to an injury, see game action in the 45-20 AFC victory.
AUGUST 2: BUCS DEFEAT THE JETS IN THE 2003 AMERICAN BOWL IN TOKYO, JAPAN – The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened the preseason with a 30-14 victory over the N.Y. Jets in the 2003 American Bowl in their first-ever international appearance at the Tokyo Dome. Tampa Bay, which played in the final game of the 2002 season in its victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, joined the Jets in the first game of the 2003 preseason in Tokyo, Japan. Tampa Bay also conducted a pair of practices at the Tokyo Dome in preparation for the exhibition contest.
SEPTEMBER 8: BUCS DEFEAT EAGLES IN 2003 REGULAR SEASON OPENER – The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers open up the regular season with a convincing 17-0 victory over Philadelphia in the Eagles’ first regular season game at Lincoln Financial Field. WR Joe Jurevicius caught a pair of second half touchdowns, including a spectacular fourth quarter scoring reception in which he deflected the ball over an Eagles defender, spun to his left and dove to haul in the improbable touchdown catch. Tampa Bay’s defense limited the Eagles to just 245 total yards as Philadelphia suffered a home shutout for the first time since 1998.
OCTOBER 26: BUCS POST SECOND SHUTOUT OF THE SEASON – Tampa Bay forces three turnovers and limits Dallas to 178 total yards of offense as the Bucs post their second shutout of the season, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 16-0 at Raymond James Stadium. The shutout marks the eighth in club history, including four over the past two seasons (2002 and 2003).
NOVEMBER 16: BUCS RECORD-SETTING SACK STREAK ENDS AT 69 – Tampa Bay, which had recorded at least one sack in an NFL-record 69 consecutive games, is held sackless by the Green Bay Packers. It was the first time the Bucs defense had failed to register at least one sack since October 3, 1999 at Minnesota. During that 69-game streak, the Bucs defense also became the first unit to register at least one sack and one takeaway in 50 consecutive games since 1963.
DECEMBER 15: ATLANTA FALCONS NAME RICH MCKAY PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER – The Atlanta Falcons name Rich McKay President and General Manager. McKay spent the previous 12 seasons with Tampa Bay (1992-2003), including the past nine years (1995- 2003) as the club’s general manager. Under McKay, the Bucs made five playoff appearances, won two division titles and captured the club’s first Super Bowl championship in 27 seasons with a 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
00 00: FOUR BUCS SELECTED TO THE PRO BOWL – Tampa Bay has four players selected to the 2004 Pro Bowl: LB Derrick Brooks, WR Keenan McCardell, DE Simeon Rice and DT Warren Sapp. Brooks and Sapp are named to the Pro Bowl for the seventh consecutive time, eclipsing Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon’s club record of six total appearances and consecutive appearances at the annual All-Star game.
JANUARY 9: ALLEN NAMED THIRD GENERAL MANAGER IN CLUB HISTORY – The Bucs name Bruce Allen the third general manager in club history. Allen joins Tampa Bay after spending the previous nine seasons (1995- 2003) with the Oakland Raiders, helping the team to three division titles, two AFC Championship Game appearances and a berth in Super Bowl XXXVII.
FEBRUARY 12: BUCS NAME DOUG WILLIAMS PERSONNEL EXECUTIVE – The Bucs reclaim one of the greatest players in club history by naming Doug Williams personnel executive for the team. Williams, who spent the last six seasons (1998-2003) as head coach of his alma mater at Grambling State University, compiled a 52-18 record and led the Tigers to three consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference titles (2000- 2002). A former first-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in the 1978 NFL Draft (17th overall), Williams led the Bucs to the first three playoff appearances in team history (1979, 1981 and 1982), including an appearance in the 1979 NFC Championship Game in just the club’s fourth year of existence.
MARCH 17: BUCS UNVEIL PLANS FOR NEW TRAINING FACILITY – The Bucs unveil plans for their new, 136,320 square foot state-of-the-art training facility, promising a “world class facility” that will be the finest in the National Football League. The spectacular and innovative facility will be built on the Tampa Bay Center mall site across the street from Raymond James Stadium. The signature of the new facility will be its breathtaking entrance, which features the world’s largest football towering nearly five stories tall. Since the team’s inception in 1976, Tampa Bay has been based at One Buccaneer Place, a training facility located near the Tampa International Airport. The new facility will be ready prior to the 2006 season.
MARCH 19: BUCS ACQUIRE WR JOEY GALLOWAY – The Bucs acquire WR Joey Galloway from the Dallas Cowboys for WR Keyshawn Johnson.
AUGUST 14: HURRICANE CHARLEY FORCES BUCS TO RESCHEDULE PRESEASON GAME – Because of the threat of Hurricane Charley, the Buccaneers reschedule their August 14 preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals for Monday, August 16. The Bucs organize a program to collect monetary donations at the contest that will be directed to appropriate Hurricane Charley relief efforts.
SEPTEMBER 18: DERRICK BROOKS AND THE BUCS COLLABORATE TO HELP HURRICANE IVAN VICTIMS – Derrick Brooks Charities and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organize a program to collect monetary donations prior to the game between Tampa Bay and Seattle at Raymond James Stadium on September 19. In addition, Derrick Brooks Charities donates $1000 for each tackle Derrick makes against the Seahawks. All funds collected are directed to appropriate Hurricane Ivan relief efforts in Brooks’ hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
SEPTEMBER 26: BROWN RECORDS 100TH CAREER TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION AGAINST FORMER TEAM – In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVII, Buccaneers WR Tim Brown returns to Oakland to haul in his 100th career touchdown reception, becoming just the fourth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat, with a 16-yard score in the fourth quarter.
NOVEMBER 21: BUCS EARN LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY SINCE 2000 SEASON – Tampa Bay defeats the San Francisco 49ers 35-3 at Raymond James Stadium to post its largest margin of victory since the 2000 season. The Bucs defense limits the 49ers to 26 total yards and two first downs in the first half and finishes the contest surrendering just 197 total yards, while forcing five sacks and two turnovers. The offense is equally impressive, racking up 352 yards as RB Michael Pittman rushes for 106 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns.
NOVEMBER 28: CLAYTON SETS BUCS ROOKIE RECEIVING RECORD – Bucs rookie WR Michael Clayton hauls in eight receptions for 77 yards in the Week 11 contest at Carolina to move into first place all-time in team history for most receiving yards by a rookie in a season. Through 11 contests in 2004, Clayton posts 60 receptions for 828 yards, surpassing WR Lawrence Dawsey’s 818 yards as a rookie in 1991.
DECEMBER 5: RICE RECORDS 100TH CAREER SACK AS BUCS POST NINTH SHUTOUT IN FRANCHISE HISTORY – Tampa Bay records the ninth shutout in franchise history with a 27-0 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Buccaneers DE Simeon Rice records the 100th and 101st sacks of his career, becoming just the 22nd player in league history and only the second active player to reach the 100-sack plateau. The Buccaneers defense records five sacks and forces five turnovers, intercepting QB Michael Vick twice and forcing two fumbles by the Falcons signal caller.
DECEMBER 22: TWO BUCS EARN PRO BOWL HONORS – The NFL announces that two Buccaneers, LB Derrick Brooks and CB Ronde Barber, have been selected to the 2005 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. Brooks, who was selected for the eighth time to the Pro Bowl, becomes the franchise’s all-time leader in Pro Bowl appearances, breaking a tie with former teammate DT Warren Sapp. Brooks’ eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances (1997-04) also establish a new team record. Barber is named to his second career Pro Bowl after making his first appearance in 2001.
DECEMBER 26: BUCS CLAYTON SETS ROOKIE TOUCHDOWN RECORD – Bucs rookie WR Michael Clayton catches a career-high two touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium, moving him into first place for most touchdown receptions by a rookie in franchise history. His six touchdown receptions on the season surpass the previous rookie record of five touchdown catches by WR Kevin House in 1980.
APRIL 23: BUCS SELECT CARNELL “CADILLAC” WILLIAMS WITH FIFTH PICK IN NFL DRAFT – The Buccaneers draft Auburn RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams with their first selection (fifth overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. The selection of Williams marks the fourth time in team history that Tampa Bay has drafted a running back in the first round and the first time since 1997 (Warrick Dunn – 12th overall).
SEPTEMBER 25: WILLIAMS SETS NFL RECORD FOR MOST RUSHING YARDS IN FIRST THREE GAMES – In his first three games, Bucs rookie RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams totals an NFL-record 434 rushing yards, becoming the first running back to begin his career with three consecutive 100-yard performances. Following his record-breaking performance, Williams’ shoes and gloves are displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
DECEMBER 4: BARBER MATCHES OWN CLUB RECORD WITH THREE INTERCEPTIONS – CB Ronde Barber records a career-high tying three interceptions against the New Orleans Saints in Baton Rouge, LA to tie his own club record. His previous three interception performance also came against the Saints in 2001. Barber goes on to finish the season with five picks to lead the Buccaneers and tie for seventh in the NFC.
DECEMBER 11: BARBER BECOMES MEMBER OF EXCLUSIVE 20/20 CLUB – CB Ronde Barber records the 20th sack of his career at Carolina to join the 20 sack/20 interception club. He becomes the first cornerback in NFL history and just the seventh player all time to accomplish the feat.
DECEMBER 21: THREE BUCS NAMED TO PRO BOWL – The NFL announces that three Buccaneers, CB Ronde Barber, P Josh Bidwell and LB Derrick Brooks, have been selected to the 2006 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. It marks Brooks’ ninth consecutive selection to the all-star game, a team record for total and most consecutive appearances. Barber will make his third career appearance and second consecutive while Bidwell will play in his first career Pro Bowl.
DECEMBER 24: BUCCANEERS NOTCH 100TH OVERALL WIN UNDER GLAZER LEADERSHIP – In one of the most thrilling games in team history, the Buccaneers notch their 100th overall win since being purchased by Malcolm Glazer on January 16, 1995. The contest, against the division rival Atlanta Falcons, features four separate occasions in which the score is tied and five lead changes. The epic battle is prolonged when Bucs running back Cadillac Williams scores from six yards out on a fourth down run with 31 seconds remaining in regulation that forces overtime. In the extra period, the Buccaneers block a potential game-winning Atlanta field goal before successfully connecting on a 41-yard attempt of their own with only 54 seconds remaining in overtime. The milestone win emphasizes a reversal of fortunes for the Buccaneers, who prior to being purchased by Mr. Glazer, won just 87 games in 19 seasons.
JANUARY 1: BUCS CLAIM SECOND NFC SOUTH CROWN IN FOUR YEARS – Tampa Bay defeats the New Orleans Saints 27-13 in the final game of the regular season to earn its second NFC South division title in four seasons. Tampa Bay and the rival Carolina Panthers finish the regular season with identical 11-5 records, but the Buccaneers claim the NFC South by virtue of a better divisional record. The division title is the fifth in Buccaneers history.
JANUARY 1: GALLOWAY SETS NEW FRANCHISE MARK FOR TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS – WR Joey Galloway records two touchdown receptions in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints, giving him 10 on the season to establish a new franchise record. Galloway’s 10 touchdown receptions best the previous high of nine, held by WR Kevin House (1981), WR Bruce Hill (1988) and WR Mark Carrier (1989).
JANUARY 1: WILLIAMS SETS BUCS ROOKIE RECORD FOR RUSHING YARDS IN A SEASON – RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams finishes the season with 1,178 rushing yards to set a Buccaneers rookie record. His impressive rookie performance includes a teamrecord six 100-yard rushing games and three of the top 10 single-game rushing performances in team history.
JANUARY 1: BUCCANEERS DEFENSE FINISHES THE SEASON AS THE TOP-RANKED UNIT IN THE NFL – Tampa Bay’s defense finishes the season ranked No. 1 in total defense for the third time (1979, 2002 and 2005) in team history. The 2005 season also marks the ninth consecutive year (1997-2005) the Buccaneers ranked in the Top 10 in total defense, the longest active streak in the league and tied for the secondlongest streak since 1970.
FEBRUARY 2: WILLIAMS NAMED NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams beats out LB Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers, LB Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawks, LB Odell Thurman of the Cincinnati Bengals and LB Demarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys for Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Year honors. Williams is selected by fans on NFL.com with more than one million votes cast during the regular season and playoffs for NFL Rookie of the Week and Rookie of the Year honors.
FEBRUARY 12: BROOKS NAMED 2006 PRO BOWL PLAYER OF THE GAME – Making his ninth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, LB Derrick Brooks earns Player of the Game honors after returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown to catapult the NFC to a 23-17 victory over the AFC in the 2006 Pro Bowl.
AUGUST 21: BUCCANEERS PLAYERS AND COACHES BEGIN WORK AT NEW HEADQUARTERS – Arriving immediately after the conclusion of training camp in Central Florida, Buccaneers players and coaches move into the team’s new 136,320-square-foot headquarters. Unmatched in grandeur by any other professional sports headquarters, the new base of operations spans more than 33 acres and provides the team with unparalleled resources of the highest quality. Some of those include a 7,900-square-foot weight room, technically advanced meeting rooms, three practice fields, a grand auditorium, high-tech coaches’ studios with instant access to game film, a video-editing suite and a state-of-the-art training and rehabilitation area.
OCTOBER 22: BARBER RETURNS TWO INTERCEPTIONS FOR TOUCHDOWNS IN SAME GAME – Facing a Philadelphia Eagles team he had tormented in the past, CB Ronde Barber propels the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 23-21 victory by twice picking off QB Donovan McNabb, returning each interception for a touchdown. Barber’s two TD returns mark the first time in franchise history that a player accomplishes such a feat in a regular season game. His two scores also make Barber the first player in team history to score two defensive touchdowns of any kind in a regular season game.
OCTOBER 22: BRYANT KICKS HIS WAY INTO RECORD BOOKS – With the Buccaneers trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 21-20 with only four seconds remaining in the game, K Matt Bryant produces a last-second miracle, kicking a 62-yard field goal to give the Bucs a 23-21 victory. Bryant’s kick is the second-longest walk-off field goal in NFL history and the third-longest overall field goal in league annals. The previous long for the Buccaneers franchise was 57 yards by Michael Husted (12/19/93).
NOVEMBER 5: BROOKS MOVES INTO FIRST PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY FOR GAMES PLAYED – In front of a home crowd and against the New Orleans Saints, perennial Pro Bowl LB Derrick Brooks plays in his 184th career game, moving into first place in Buccaneers’ history for games played. The veteran defender shows no signs of slowing down as he finishes the contest with a team-leading and season-high 15 tackles, including two for a loss. Brooks finishes the season with 192 consecutive games played and 176 straight starts to lead all active Bucs players in both categories. He also ranks first in team history with 189 total starts.
NOVEMBER 5: ROOKIE QB GRADKOWSKI MAKES HISTORY WITH INTERCEPTION-FREE STREAK (11/5) – After a game against the New Orleans Saints in which he completes 18 of 31 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski runs his mark of pass attempts to 186 with only one interception. That number stands as a record for most attempts in NFL history by a quarterback before throwing a second interception. A week prior, against the New York Giants, Gradkowski became just the third quarterback in league history to throw only one interception in his first 150 pass attempts.
NOVEMBER 13: BARBER MOVES INTO TIE FOR MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN TEAM HISTORY – With his third interception of the season, this time against Carolina Panthers QB Jake Delhomme, CB Ronde Barber notches his 31st career interception. That total places him in a tie for most interceptions by a Buccaneers player in team history with CB Donnie Abraham, who played for Tampa Bay from 1996-2001. Barber’s historic pick comes in front of a Monday Night Football audience with 1:09 remaining in the second quarter of the contest.
NOVEMBER 23: BUCCANEERS PLAY IN THANKSGIVING GAME FOR FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY – For the first time in Tampa Bay’s 31-year history, the Buccaneers participate in one of the NFL’s nationally televised Thanksgiving Day games, squaring off against the Dallas Cowboys. The contest is the third game in an 11-day stretch for the Buccaneers, marking only the fourth time since 1978 that a team has played three games in 11 days, with two of the contests on the road.
DECEMBER 8: BUCCANEERS WELCOME BACK PAST PLAYERS FOR TEAM’S FIRST ALUMNI WEEKEND – Approximately 120 former players representing a little over three decades of Buccaneers football are honored when the franchise holds its first Alumni Weekend. During the three-day celebration, former Bucs players who have given the franchise at least one full season of service watch practice, tour the team’s new facility, participate in a golf event and attend a dinner party and gala at Raymond James Stadium. The weekend’s activities culminate in a halftime tribute during a game against Atlanta in which the players take the field and are recognized by Buccaneers fans.
DECEMBER 19: THREE BUCS NAMED TO PRO BOWL – For the third consecutive season and fourth overall, CB Ronde Barber earns Pro Bowl honors after leading the Buccaneers with three interceptions and 20 passes defensed to go along with his 108 tackles. Barber is later joined by Bucs TE/LS Dave Moore, who is selected as a “need player” by the NFC, and LB Derrick Brooks, who initially was chosen as first alternate at the outside linebacker position. For Moore, the selection represents the first of his career and first for a Bucs tight end since Jimmie Giles was selected in 1985. Moore is the first Buccaneers player to be chosen to the Pro Bowl as a longsnapper and just the third special teams performer to earn the invitation. Brooks is added to the NFC’s roster when Chicago LB Lance Briggs pulls out of the game. His selection marks his 10th consecutive and 10th overall Pro Bowl selection – both team records.
DECEMBER 24: GLAZER FAMILY REACHES 100TH REGULAR SEASON WIN – A 22-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the penultimate game of the season marks the 100th regular season victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since it was purchased by Malcolm Glazer on January 16, 1995. Under the ownership of Mr. Glazer and his family, the club has posted a .521 winning percentage and captured its first Super Bowl championship. Prior to the Glazer family’s ownership, the Buccaneers won just 87 games in 19 seasons, posting a .300 winning percentage.
DECEMBER 31: GALLOWAY REACHES 1,000 YARDS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON – For only the second time in Tampa Bay’s 31-year history, a Buccaneers receiver gains at least 1,000 receiving yards in two straight seasons when Joey Galloway reaches that mark against the Seattle Seahawks. Galloway finishes the season with a team-high 1,057 yards after logging 1,287 yards in 2005, also a club-high. Prior to Galloway’s two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, only Keyshawn Johnson achieved that feat, posting 1,266 yards in 2001 and 1,088 yards the following year.
APRIL 28: BUCS SELECT GAINES ADAMS WITH FOURTH PICK IN NFL DRAFT – The Buccaneers draft Clemson DE Gaines Adams with their first selection (fourth overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft. The selection of Adams marks the first time since 1999 that the Buccaneers use their first-round selection on a defensive player. It is also the highest pick Tampa Bay has used on a defensive player since 1990.
SEPTEMBER 6: BUCS UNVEIL THE LARGEST FLYING NON-US FLAG IN THE NATION – The Buccaneers raise their new team flag, which measures over 4,000 square feet, at One Buccaneer Place following the afternoon practice. Buccaneers players and staff watch the flag ascend the 147.5-ft. pole on the west side of the team’s headquarters as the team readies for its season-opening game in Seattle. At 80’x50’ the flag is the largest flying non-US flag in the nation.
OCTOBER 21: GALLOWAY SURPASSES 10,000 RECEIVING YARDS – With his 46-yard receiving performance at Detroit, WR Joey Galloway surpasses 10,000 career receiving yards. He becomes the eighth active player and just the 28th player in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard plateau.
OCTOBER 21: GARCIA SETS CONSECUTIVE COMPLETIONS RECORD – Facing his former team, QB Jeff Garcia completes a single-game team-record 18 consecutive completions against the Detroit Lions. Garcia has one of his best outings of the season, completing 37-of-45 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions.
OCTOBER 28: GARCIA’S CONSECUTIVE ATTEMPTS WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION STREAK ENDS AT 197 (10/28) – QB Jeff Garcia begins his career as a Buccaneer by attempting 197 consecutive passes without throwing an interception, besting the previous team record by Brad Johnson, who went 187 consecutive attempts without a pick from 2001-2002. Dating back to the 2006 season, Garcia went 217 attempts without an interception in the regular season, the sixth-longest streak since 2001.
NOVEMBER 25: BARBER BECOMES BUCCANEERS ALL-TIME INTERCEPTION LEADER – CB Ronde Barber intercepts his 32nd career pass to move into first place on the team’s career interception list. Barber’s record-setting pick comes off QB Jason Campbell late in the fourth quarter to help Tampa Bay preserve a 19-13 victory over the Washington Redskins.
NOVEMBER 25: CARTER RECORDS 100TH CAREER SACK – In his first season with the Buccaneers, DE Kevin Carter posts the 100th sack of his career, dropping QB Jason Campbell in a win against the Redskins. Carter becomes the 24th player in NFL history to reach the 100-sack plateau.
DECEMBER 16: BUCS EARN THIRD NFC SOUTH TITLE IN SIX SEASONS – Tampa Bay defeats the Atlanta Falcons 37-3 in Week 15 to earn its third NFC South division title in six seasons. Tampa Bay moves to 5-0 in its division for the first time since 1979 while clinching the sixth division title in team history and fourth since the Glazer family took over in 1995.
DECEMBER 16: BUCS POST FIRST-EVER KICKOFF RETURN FOR A TOUCHDOWN – It took 1,865 kickoff returns, but WR Micheal Spurlock records the first kickoff return for a touchdown in team history on his 90-yard return against the Atlanta Falcons. He is one of 140 players to have returned a kickoff for the Buccaneers. The historic return helps propel the Buccaneers to the NFC South division title.
DECEMBER 16: GRAHAM SETS TEAM RECORD WITH SCORE IN SIXTH CONSECUTIVE GAME – RB Earnest Graham, who began the year as a backup running back, scores a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game to set a new team record for most consecutive games with a touchdown. Graham’s touchdown is his teamleading 10th of the year as he finishes the game against Atlanta with 22 carries for 79 yards and one touchdown.
DECEMBER 23: GALLOWAY POSTS THIRD CONSECUTIVE 1,000-YARD SEASON – With a 29-yard reception in the second quarter at San Francisco, WR Joey Galloway becomes the first player in team history to record three consecutive and three overall 1,000-yard receiving seasons while also marking the first time in his 13-year career Galloway accomplished the feat. It goes down as the sixth 1,000-yard campaign of his career.
JANUARY 6: BROOKS BECOMES TEAM’S ALL-TIME LEADER IN PLAYOFF APPEARANCES, STARTS – With his start in the NFC Wild Card matchup against the New York Giants, LB Derrick Brooks becomes the Bucs alltime leader in playoff games played (11) and started (11). Brooks, who already holds the franchise record for most career regular season games and starts, surpasses former teammates FB Mike Alstott and LB Shelton Quarles, who each played in 10 career postseason contests.
JANUARY 24: ALSTOTT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT – Arguably the most popular player in team history, FB Mike Alstott retires after a 12-year career. A secondround selection (35th overall) in the 1996 draft, Alstott ends his career as the club record holder in touchdowns (71), rushing touchdowns (58) and Pro Bowl appearances by an offensive player (six). His 432 points ranks third in Buccaneer history and he is the only non-kicker in club annals to surpass the 400-point plateau. During his career, Alstott amassed 1,359 rushing attempts for 5,088 yards (both second in team history) and caught 305 passes (third in team history) for 2,284 yards. Alstott played in 158 career regular season games as a Buccaneer, seventh-most in team history, with 137 starts, fifthmost in team history, and 10 playoff games (tied for second in team history) with seven starts, including starting at fullback in the Buccaneers’ 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
JANUARY 24: GARCIA EARNS PRO BOWL SELECTION – QB Jeff Garcia is added to the NFC squad for the 2008 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, becoming the lone selection in the annual all-star event for the Buccaneers. Garcia, the NFC’s first alternate at quarterback, replaces Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre. His appearance is the fourth of his career and first as a Buccaneer. It marks just the third time in Buccaneers history that a quarterback has been named to the Pro Bowl, joining Trent Dilfer (1997) and Brad Johnson (2002). Garcia finished the season as the NFL’s seventh-rated passer (94.6) and ranked second in the league with a team-record 1.2 interception percentage.
APRIL 26: BUCS SELECT AQIB TALIB IN NFL DRAFT – The Buccaneers select Kansas CB Aqib Talib with their first selection (20th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. Talib becomes the highest cornerback ever selected by Tampa Bay and just the second defensive back the Buccaneers have ever drafted in the first round.
NOVEMBER 2: ROOKIE SMITH SETS TEAM RETURN RECORD – Buccaneers rookie RB/KR Clifton Smith sets a franchise record for the most return yards by an individual in a single game. Smith racks up 259 total return yards at Kansas City, including a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He becomes only the second player in team history to return a kickoff for a touchdown and the only player in team history to return a kickoff and punt for a touchdown as a Buccaneer.
NOVEMBER 2: GRUDEN BECOMES BUCCANEERS ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COACH – With the Buccaneers 30-27 overtime victory at Kansas City, Jon Gruden becomes the alltime winningest coach in Buccaneers history. The victory is his 57th career win as Buccaneers head coach, surpassing Tony Dungy for the most wins ever in franchise history.
DECEMBER 16: FOUR BUCCANEERS EARN PRO BOWL HONORS – LB Derrick Brooks and rookie RB/KR Clifton Smith are selected to the NFL’s annual all-star game in Hawaii. It marks Brooks’ 11th selection, tops in team history and tied for second in NFL history for most Pro Bowl selections by a linebacker. Despite serving on the Buccaneers practice squad until Week 8 of the season, the undrafted Smith becomes the first kick returner in franchise history to be selected to the Pro Bowl and just the second rookie in team history, joining RB Warrick Dunn in 1997. In addition, Smith is only the third undrafted rookie free agent since 1970 to make the Pro Bowl. Named first alternates, CB Ronde Barber and G Davin Joseph, are later added to the Pro Bowl roster to round out the Buccaneers selections. It marks Barber’s fifth career selection, moving him into a tie for fifth place in team history. Joseph’s selection is the first of his career and marks the first time a Buccaneers offensive lineman is selected since 2000.
JANUARY 15: ANTONIO BRYANT NAMED COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR – In his first season with the Buccaneers, WR Antonio Bryant is named the 2008 Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News. Bryant finishes the season setting career highs and leading the team with 83 receptions for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns.
JANUARY 16: BUCCANEERS DISMISS GRUDEN, ALLEN – The Buccaneers dismiss head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen. Gruden coached the Buccaneers for seven seasons, compiling a 57-55 record during the regular season and 3-2 in the playoffs. Gruden led the Buccaneers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII and three NFC South Division titles. He leaves as the Buccaneers all-time winningest coach.
JANUARY 17: MORRIS AND DOMINIK INTRODUCED AS HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER – The Buccaneers announce Raheem Morris as head coach and Mark Dominik as general manager in a press conference at One Buccaneer Place. Morris, who spent six of the previous seven seasons as a defensive assistant with the Buccaneers, is the youngest head coach in the NFL at the time of his hiring and the eighth head coach in team history. Dominik is the fourth general manager in club history after spending the previous 14 seasons in the Buccaneers personnel department in various capacities.
APRIL 25: QB JOSH FREEMAN DRAFTED IN THE FIRST ROUND – The Buccaneers select Kansas State QB Josh Freeman with their first selection (17th overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. Freeman becomes the highest quarterback selected by Tampa Bay in the first round since Trent Dilfer was drafted sixth overall in the 1994 NFL Draft.
OCTOBER 4: TALIB TIES FRANCHISE RECORD WITH THREE INTERCEPTIONS – CB Aqib Talib picks off QB Jason Campbell three times at Washington to tie CB Ronde Barber’s club record, which he accomplished twice. Talib finishes the season with five interceptions to tie for the team lead and establish a career high.
OCTOBER 25: BUCS PARTICIPATE IN NFL INTERNATIONAL SERIES – In just their second international appearance, and first during the regular season, Tampa Bay falls to the New England Patriots by a score of 35-7 as part of the NFL’s International Series in London. A raucous crowd of 84,254, the largest to watch the Bucs all season, fill historic Wembley Stadium to take in the game.
NOVEMBER 8: BUCCANEERS WEAR THROWBACK UNIFORMS, SELMON ENTERS RING OF HONOR – For the first time, Tampa Bay wears its 1976 Florida orange throwback uniforms in a comeback victory over the Packers. At halftime, Buccaneer legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame DE Lee Roy Selmon becomes the first inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor as the organization also recognizes the Buccaneers 1979 playoff team, with several members of the team in attendance.
NOVEMBER 8: MORRIS, FREEMAN EARN FIRST VICTORY IN COMEBACK WIN OVER GREEN BAY – Making his first career start, QB Josh Freeman rallies the Buccaneers from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Packers to give Head Coach Raheem Morris his first career victory. Freeman becomes the second youngest quarterback to win his first career start since 1970. Defensively, Tampa Bay records six sacks and three interceptions in a game for the first time since 1990.
DECEMBER 20: WINSLOW SETS NEW SINGLE-SEASON CATCH MARK BY A TIGHT END – TE Kellen Winslow records six receptions for 93 yards in a comeback win at Seattle to surpass TE Jackie Harris for most receptions in a single season by a tight end in team history. Harris registered 62 receptions in 1995 before Winslow established the new record, finishing the 2009 season with 77 catches.
DECEMBER 27: BUCS SHOCK SAINTS IN NEW ORLEANS – Trailing 17-0 in the second quarter at New Orleans, Tampa Bay scores 20 unanswered points against the eventual Super Bowl champions to win in overtime on K Connor Barth’s 47-yard field goal. The 17-point comeback ties for the second-largest comeback in team history and it also marks the first time in NFL history that a team that was 10 or more games below .500 defeated a team that was 10 or more games above .500. The defense limits New Orleans to 17 points, tied for the fewest by the Saints in a single game on the season.
DECEMBER 27: WINSLOW SURPASSES GILES FOR MOST RECEIVING YARDS BY A TIGHT END – With his teamhigh 76 receiving yards at New Orleans, TE Kellen Winslow moves past TE Jimmie Giles (786 in 1981) for the most receiving yards for a tight end in a single season in team history. Winslow finishes the season with 884 receiving yards.
DECEMBER 27: FREEMAN ESTABLISHES NEW ROOKIE RECORD FOR SINGLE SEASON PASSING YARDS – Rookie QB Josh Freeman throws for 271 yards in the comeback win against the Saints, moving him past QB Bruce Gradkowski (1,661 passing yards in 2006) for most passing yards in a single season by a rookie in team history. Freeman goes on to throw for 1,855 yards on the season.
JANUARY 3: REEMAN SETS ROOKIE MARK FOR TOUCHDOWN PASSES IN A SEASON – QB Josh Freeman throws his 10th touchdown pass of the season in the season finale against Atlanta to establish a new rookie record for most touchdown passes in a single season, surpassing QB Bruce Gradkowski, who had nine touchdown passes in 2006.
OCTOBER 17: BARBER STARTS IN RECORD 172ND CONSECUTIVE GAME – CB Ronde Barber makes his 172nd consecutive start against New Orleans, surpassing Hall of Fame CB Dick LeBeau for the most consecutive starts by a cornerback in NFL history.
NOVEMBER 21: BARBER RECORDS 40TH CAREER INTERCEPTION – CB Ronde Barber picks off QB Troy Smith for his 40th career interception in a shutout victory at San Francisco to become the first player in NFL history to record 25+ sacks and 40+ interceptions in their career. Barber’s 40 career interceptions are also tops in franchise history.
NOVEMBER 21: BUCCANEERS POST SHUTOUT IN SAN FRANCISCO – Tampa Bay defeats the 49ers 21-0 to become the first team to shut out the 49ers in San Francisco since 1977. It also marks the Buccaneers’ first shutout since December 5, 2004 against the Atlanta Falcons.
DECEMBER 26: FREEMAN THROWS FIVE TOUCHDOWN PASSES – In a 38-15 win against Seattle, QB Josh Freeman throws a career-high five touchdowns with no interceptions to become the youngest quarterback (22) to accomplish the feat since Dan Marino (22) on September 2, 1984.
JANUARY 2: BLOUNT SURPASSES 1,000-YARDS RUSHING – RB LeGarrette Blount rushes for 66 yards in the season finale to finish his rookie campaign with 1,007 rushing yards, becoming just the second undrafted rookie running back in NFL history to finish with over 1,000 yards in a single season, despite just starting in seven games on the season. He also becomes just the third rookie running back in team history to finish with over 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
JANUARY 2: FREEMAN RANKS IN THE TOP 10 ALL TIME IN TD/ INT RATIO – QB Josh Freeman finishes the season with a 25/6 touchdown-interception ratio to rank as the ninth-best ratio in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 20 touchdown passes in a season. He also becomes just the second quarterback in NFL history under the age of 23 to throw six-or-fewer interceptions in a season with 200+ attempts (Dan Marino – 1983).
JANUARY 2: BLOUNT AND WILLIAMS LEAD ALL ROOKIES IN RUSHING AND RECEIVING – Tampa Bay becomes the first team in NFL history to have two different players, RB LeGarrette Blount and WR Mike Williams, lead all rookies in rushing and receiving yards since 1968 (Cincinnati). Blount’s 1,007 rushing yards and Williams’ 964 receiving yards also lead the Buccaneers on the season.
JANUARY 2: WILLIAMS SETS NEW TEAM RECORD FOR TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS – With his 18-yard touchdown reception in the season finale, rookie WR Mike Williams finishes the season with 11 receiving touchdowns to set a new franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season. His 11 touchdown receptions also lead all NFL rookies.
JANUARY 2: BUCS FINISH WITH 10 WINS, DESPITE STARTING 10 ROOKIES – With a 10-6 final record, the Buccaneers become the first team since the merger (1970) to start 10+ different rookies in a single season and finish with a winning record.
JANUARY 2: 10 WINS MARKS BEST SINGLE-SEASON TURNAROUND – The Buccaneers’ 10th win in the season finale against New Orleans, preceded by a 3-13 season in 2009, represents the best single-season turnaround in team history with a seven-game improvement. It also marks the biggest turnaround in the NFL in 2010.
JANUARY 2: BUCS MATCH FRANCHISE-BEST ROAD RECORD – The Buccaneers finish the 2010 season with a 6-2 road record, matching the franchise’s all-time best road record established during the Buccaneers championship season in 2002.
JANUARY 24: PENN ADDED TO PRO BOWL ROSTER – T Donald Penn is added to the NFC squad for the 2011 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, becoming the lone selection for the Buccaneers in the annual all-star event. Penn, the NFC’s second alternate at tackle, replaces Green Bay Packers T Chad Clifton. His appearance is the first of his career and it marks the first time in Buccaneers history that an offensive tackle has been named to the Pro Bowl.
DECEMBER 4: BARTH TIES NFL RECORD – Against Carolina, K Connor Barth became just the third player in NFL history to make four or more field goals of 40 or more yards in one half (50, 47, 46, 44). The four field goals also tied a Buccaneers record for most in a half.
DECEMBER 27: JOSEPH SELECTED TO SECOND PRO BOWL – G Davin Joseph was selected to play for the NFC squad in the 2012 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. It was the second time in Joseph’s six seasons, all with the Buccaneers, that he was honored.
JANUARY 1: BARBER PLAYS MOST GAMES IN FRANCHISE HISTORY – CB Ronde Barber plays in his 225th career game, all with the Buccaneers, surpassing former LB Derrick Brooks (224) for the most in team history.
JANUARY 1: BARTH COMPLETES MOST ACCURATE SEASON IN TEAM HISTORY – K Connor Barth converts 26-of-28 field goals on the season, for a franchise-record 92.9 percent. That rate ranked second in the NFL. In addition, Barth was successful on all 23 of his PATs.
JANUARY 1: KOENEN MAKES MAJOR IMPACT IN FIRST YEAR – After signing with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent, P Michael Koenen compiled arguably the best punting season in franchise history. Koenen set the club record for net average (40.3) by 2.5 yards over the previous mark, while his 45.1-gross average was the second-highest total in club annals. Koenen also set team single-game record for highest gross average (52.2, min. 4) in his first contest as Buccaneer on September 11, against Detroit.
JANUARY 1: FOSTER LEADS ALL NFL ROOKIES IN TACKLES – LB Mason Foster leads all NFL rookies in tackles. His 126 stops also led the team and were the secondmost in franchise history for a rookie. Foster, who started the final 15 games at middle linebacker, also recorded four tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
SEPTEMBER 9: BARBER MAKES 200TH CONSECUTIVE START – CB Ronde Barber made his 200th consecutive start at cornerback in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, extending his streak for the most consecutive games started by a cornerback.
OCTOBER 14: BARBER SCORES AGAIN – DB Ronde Barber returned an interception 78 yards in a 38-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the 45th interception of his career and the eighth he has returned for a score. He has 14 career return touchdowns (eight from interceptions, four from fumble recoveries, one from punt return, one from punt block), the fourth-most return touchdowns in NFL history.
OCTOBER 21: BARBER SETS BUCCANEERS RECORD FOR GAMES STARTED – DB Ronde Barber recorded his 222nd career start against New Orleans, passing former Buccaneers LB Derrick Brooks (221 starts from 1995-08) for the most starts in team history.
OCTOBER 21 00: JACKSON SETS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR RECEIVING YARDS (10/21) – WR Vincent Jackson set a team record and career-high with 216 receiving yards, including a career long 95-yard reception.
NOVEMBER 4: MARTIN’S RECORD-BREAKING DAY – RB Doug Martin had the best game a Buccaneers running back has ever had in a 42-32 victory at Oakland, recording 251 rushing yards on only 25 carries (10.1 avg.) and four rushing touchdowns. His 251 rushing yards were the tenth-most in NFL history, and he became only the second player in league history to record 250+ rushing yards and four touchdowns in the same game.
DECEMBER 2: BARBER PASSES OTTO – DB Ronde Barber passed Hall of Fame C Jim Otto for the seventh-most consecutive starts in NFL history, with his 210th consecutive start.
DECEMBER 26: MCCOY SELECTED TO FIRST PRO BOWL – DT Gerald McCoy was selected to play for the NFC squad in the 2013 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. It was the first time in McCoy’s career that he has been honored.
DECEMBER 2: BARBER TIES PAGE – DB Ronde Barber ties Hall of Fame DE Alan Page for the sixth-most consecutive starts in NFL history, with his 215th consecutive start.
DECEMBER 30: FREEMAN SETS RECORDS – Having set the franchise record for passing yards in a single season against the Rams (12/23), QB Josh Freeman became the first Buccaneer to throw for 4,000 yards in a season against Atlanta. He also set the single-season Buccaneer mark for touchdown passes in a season (27) and career touchdown passes (78).
DECEMBER 13: MARTIN’S ROOKIE MARKS – RB Doug Martin capped off a brilliant rookie season, recording the second-most scrimmage yards (1,926), rushing yards (1,454) touchdowns (12), and rushing touchdowns (11) in franchise history, all of which were rookie records.
JANUARY 15: JACKSON SELECTED TO THIRD PRO BOWL – WR Vincent Jackson was selected to play for the NFC squad in the 2013 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. It was the third time that Jackson was selected to the all-star game, and his first with the Buccaneers.
DECEMBER 26: MARTIN SELECTED TO FIRST PRO BOWL – RB Doug Martin was selected to play for the NFC squad in the 2013 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. Martin became the first Buccaneers rookie to go to the event since Clifton Smith in 2008.
APRIL 21: BUCS TRADE FOR JETS CB REVIS – The Bucs trade a first round pick (13th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft and a conditional draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the New York Jets for three-time All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis. A four-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2009 AFC Defensive Player of the Year, Revis is widely considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
AUGUST 4: SAPP INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME – DT Warren Sapp joins DE Lee Roy Selmon as the only Buccaneers in the NFL Hall of Fame. Sapp is inducted by his daughter, Mercedes.
DECEMBER 4: SAPP ENTERS RING OF HONOR; HAS NUMBER RETIRED – After his Hall of Fame induction in August, Sapp was chosen for the Buccaneers Ring of Honor at halftime of a Monday Night Football contest against Miami. Sapp’s No. 99 was also officially retired by the team.
DECEMBER 26: MCCOY & REVIS SELECTED TO PRO BOWL – DT Gerald McCoy and CB Darrelle Revis were selected to play in the 2014 Pro Bowl. McCoy earns the honors for the second time in his career, becoming only the fourth Buccaneers defensive lineman to earn multiple Pro Bowl berths. It is Revis’ fifth career Pro Bowl selection and his first with the Buccaneers.
DECEMBER 30: SCHIANO, DOMINIK DISMISSED – The Buccaneers announce the dismissal of head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik. Schiano coached the team for two seasons, tallying a 11-21 record.
JANUARY 2: SMITH NAMED HEAD COACH – Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is named as the 10th head coach in Buccaneers history. Smith spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Bears (2004-12). The 2005 Associated Press Coach of the Year, Smith amassed a record of 81-63 with Chicago, earning three division titles, two NFC Championship game appearances and a berth in Super Bowl XLI.
JANUARY 3: MCCOY AND DAVID NAMED FIRST-TEAM ALL-PRO – Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David each earn first-team Associated Press All-Pro honors, becoming the first Buccaneers teammates to earn the distinction since 2005. David joins Hardy Nickerson and Derrick Brooks as the only linebackers in team history to be selevted, while McCoy is the team’s fourth defensive lineman to be honored (Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp and Lee Roy Selmon).
JANUARY 21: LICHT NAMED GENERAL MANAGER – The Buccaneers hire Jason Licht as the fifth general manager in franchise history. In his career, the clubs that Licht has worked for have amassed nine playoff appearances, eight division championship, four conference championships and one Super Bowl title.
MARCH 3: BUCCANEERS AND NIKE UNVEIL NEW LOGO AND UNIFORM DESIGN – As part of a unique and innovative social media rollout, the Buccaneers debut their new NFL Nike Elite 51 Uniform designs, incorporating many of the unique historical aspects of the Tampa Bay area and featuring a refreshed color scheme honoring the franchise’s past and present, while confidently positioning the team for the future.
MAY 5: CONCESSIONS RENOVATIONS AT RAYMOND JAMES – The Buccaneers and Aramark, the team’s food and beverage and retail services partner, announce plans for a comprehensive overhaul of the 14 main concourse concession locations and the construction of four additional beverage stands at Raymond James Stadium.
MAY 10: FIRST-EVER ‘ALL-OFFENSE’ DRAFT BY THE BUCCANEERS – Beginning with their selection of wide receiver Mike Evans with the seventh overall pick, the Buccaneers had their first-ever draft of exclusively offensive players. Tampa Bay used all six of its picks in the 2014 NFL Draft to select players on the offensive side of the ball: wide receiver Mike Evans (first round, seventh overall), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (second round, 38th overall), running back Charles Sims (third round, 69th overall), guard Kadeem Edwards (fifth round, 143rd overall), tackle Kevin Pamphile (fifth round, 149th overall) and wide receiver Robert Herron (sixth round, 185th overall).
MAY 28: BUCCANEERS OWNER MALCOLM GLAZER PASSES AWAY – Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer passes away at age 85. A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide. Since being purchased by Glazer in 1995, the Buccaneers franchise has earned seven playoff berths, five playoff wins, and captured its first Super Bowl championship in 2002.
AUGUST 2: BROOKS INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME – LB Derrick Brooks joins former teammate DT Warren Sapp and DE Lee Roy Selmon as the only Buccaneers in the NFL Hall of Fame. Brooks, the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, is inducted by his son, Decalon.
SEPTEMBER 14: BROOKS ENTERS RING OF HONOR; HAS NUMBER RETIRED – Just as they did in the 1995, Derrick Brooks followed his teammate Warren Sapp, earninig first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, Buccaneers Ring of Honor induction and the retirement of his number - for Brooks, the iconic “double nickel,” No. 55.
OCTOBER 25: GERALD MCCOY SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION – Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy signs a seven-year contract extension, which makes him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
NOVEMBER 16: EVANS IS YOUNGEST PLAYER IN NFL HISTORY WITH 200 RECEIVING YARDS – Bucs rookie wide receiver Mike Evans had a banner day against the Washington Redskins, catching seven passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, en route to a 27-7 Buccaneers victory. Evans’ 209 receiving yards rank as the third-most in team history and, at 21 years old, he is the youngest player in NFL history with 200 receiving yards in a game.
DECEMBER 23: MCCOY SELECTED TO THIRD CONSECUTIVE PRO BOWL – Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was named to the 2015 Pro Bowl, his third consecutive season being honored. He is the first Buccaneers player to earn nominations in three consecutive seasons since Ronde Barber (2004-06) and Derrick Brooks (1997-2006). He joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Warren Sapp (seven) and Lee Roy Selmon (six) as the only Buccaneers defensive linemen to earn at least three Pro Bowl Selections.
DECEMBER 28: EVANS SETS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS – Capping off one of the best rookie seasons in Buccaneers history, Mike Evans catches his 12th touchdown of the year in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints, establishing a new franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a season. Evans finishes the year with 68 catches for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns.
JANUARY 2: MCCOY NAMED SECOND-TEAM ALL-PRO (1/2) – Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, becoming the first Buccaneer to be distinguished in consecutive seasons since Ronde Barber (first-team 2004-05, second-team 2006).
JANUARY 8: KOETTER NAMED OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – Dirk Koetter is named offensive coordinator, following three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, during which time he helped lead the team to a top 10 offense and a top five passing offense.
APRIL 30: TEAM SELECTS JAMEIS WINSTON WITH THE FIRST OVERALL PICK IN THE 2015 NFL DRAFT – With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers select quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston becomes the fifth player ever selected by Tampa Bay with the No. 1 overall pick, joining Vinny Testaverde (1987), Bo Jackson (1986), Ricky Bell (1977) and Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon (1976). The 2013 Heisman winner played in 27 career games at Florida State, positing a 26-1 record and helping lead his team to a BCS National Championship.
AUGUST 6: BUCCANEERS INTRODUCE RED – The Buccaneers introduce their RED movement, designed to change the way female fans connect with their home team and own their individual football experience.
AUGUST 10: LAVONTE DAVID SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION – Linebacker Lavonte David signs a contract extension, which is scheduled to last through 2020 and makes him the highest-paid 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL.
OCTOBER 4: ALSTOTT ENTERS RING OF HONOR – Mike Alstott is the first of two Buccaneers Ring of Honor inductees for 2015, along with former Buccaneers QB Doug Williams. Alstott -selected during halftime against the Carolina Panthers - is the franchise’s alltime leader in total touchdowns (71), and rushing touchdowns (58). His six Pro Bowl selections are a frnachise record for an offensive player.
DECEMBER 2: COMPREHENSIVE RENOVATIONS PLANNED FOR RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM – The Buccaneers and Tampa Sports Authority reach an agreement that would result in a comprehensive renovation of Raymond James Stadium. Phase 1 will include the installation of new, state-of-the-art HD video boards in each end zone, four HD tower displays in each corner of the lower bowl and HD ribbon boards in the center ring of the suite level. The project will also include a new, state-of-the-art sound system and concession upgrades, in addition to the renovation of all luxury suites. The second phase of the renovations will include an extensive renovation of the east and west club lounges, expansions of the general concourse, construction of a team store and other general fan enhancements.
DECEMBER 6: WILLIAMS ENTERS RING OF HONOR – Doug Williams joins Mike Alstott as the second of the Buccaneers 2015 inductions into the Ring of Honor, being inducted at halftime against the Atlanta Falcons. During his five years with the Buccaneers, Williams helped lead the team to three playoff berths and an appearance in the 1979 NFC Championship game.
JANUARY 3: WINSTON FINISHES RECORD-SETTING ROOKIE SEASON – Jameis Winston finishes his rookie season throwing for 325 yards at Carolina, bringing his season total to 4,042, a Buccaneers rookie record and the third-most by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. Winston also accounted for 28 total touchdowns during his rookie campaign, the most ever by a Buccaneers quarterback and tied for the third-most by a rookie in NFL history.
JANUARY 6: LOVIE SMITH DISMISSED – The Buccaneers announce the dismissal of head coach Lovie Smith. Smith coached the team for two seasons, tallying an 8-24 record.
JANUARY 15: DIRK KOETTER NAMED HEAD COACH – After spending the 2015 season as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter is named the 11th coach in Buccaneers history. In his only year with the Buccaneers, Koetter helped guide an offense that set a franchise record for total yards and finished in the top five in total offense in the NFL - the first time doing so in team history.
JANUARY 19: FOUR PLAYERS NAMED TO PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM – The Buccaneers lead the NFL and set a team record after having four players selected to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team, with QB Jameis Winston, T Donovan Smith, G Ali Marpet and LB Kwon Alexander earning spots.
JANUARY 25: FIVE BUCCANEERS SELECTED TO PRO BOWL – With Jameis Winston’s addition to the Pro Bowl roster, he joins linebacker Lavonte David, guard Logan Mankins, running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy as one of five Buccaneers to be selected. Tampa Bay’s five selections are the most for the team since 2002, when seven were chosen.
FEBRUARY 25: WINSTON NAMED PEPSI ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – After earning three Pepsi Rookie of the Week awards during the course of the 2015 season, Winston is chosen as the 2015 Pepsi Rookie of the Year.
FEBRUARY 25: JACKSON SELECTED AS SALUTE TO SERVICE AWARD WINNER – The NFL and USAA award Vincent Jackson the 2015 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the league’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor.
Uniforms & Logos
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 provided better visibility, especially for television coverage purposes.
Long-time Tampa Tribune cartoonist and Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla member Lamar Sparkman designed the first team logo. Faced with the challenge of designing a logo that did not closely resemble that of the other "pirates" in the league, the Oakland Raiders, Sparkman came up with a pirate in a plumed slouch hat, with a large hoop earring, clutching a dagger in his teeth. The pirate appeared to be winking. He came to be known as "Bruce the Buccaneer" or "Buccaneer Bruce" (sometime shortened to "Bucco Bruce"). Sports writer and commentator Nick Bakay once said that Buccaneer Bruce was a pirate who "struck fear in the hearts of no one."
However, there was controversy over where the cartoonist received inspiration for his Buccaneer. Beloit College, located in Beloit, Wisconsin, received a notice from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the college's illegitimate use of their mascot. Beloit College's buccaneer is the mirror image of the Tampa Bay buccaneer, with the creamsicle colors replaced with Beloit's school colors. Athletic Director Ed DeGeorge said Beloit's Buccaneers have used the logo since the early 1980s, when he chose it from a book while ordering decals for the football team's helmets. The NFL's Buccaneers joined the league in 1976. However, the Buccaneers withdrew their claim against Beloit College because of the independent decision to redesign the logo.
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 Lions, lame-duck coach Sam Wyche suggested that the Buccaneers wear the orange pants with their orange jerseys. The idea was vetoed by, among others, Pro Bowl linebacker Hardy Nickerson.
For the 1993 season, following Culverhouse's death, the Buccaneers added a commemorative patch to the right sleeve of their orange away uniforms, which read "Mr C" in cursive script.
1997 – 2013
For the 1997 season, the Buccaneers 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. "Bucco Bruce" was replaced by a red flag displaying a white pirate skull and crossed sabres which is a modified Jolly Roger (similar to that of Calico Jack). 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 pinstriping, and an orange football, was used to maintain a visual link to the former colors. 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. This new color scheme closely resembled that of the Tampa Bay Bandits, the USFL team that played in the region from 1983 to 1985 and had a color scheme of red, silver, black and white.
The new uniforms provided a combination of either red or white jerseys with either pewter or white pants. The red-on-white combination has been used sparingly, but was brought back for a SNF home game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, and it was worn again against the following teams and years; a home game against the New Orleans Saints in 2009, both road and home games against the Carolina Panthers in 2010, and a home game against the Houston Texans in 2011. The Buccaneers reverted to pewter pants with both jerseys under former head coach Greg Schiano.
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.
Like many other NFL teams located in subtropical climates, the Buccaneers traditionally wear their white road jerseys at home during the first half of the season – forcing opponents to wear their 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 games that kick off at 1:00 p.m. Eastern games. The west sideline is in the shade. In 1989, the Buccaneers started to wear white at home to accommodate Vinny Testaverde's color blindness. Vinny Testaverde had bad performances in the darker (orange) uniforms and persuaded head coach Ray Perkins to change the team's home uniform to white. In certain years such as 1989–1991, and in 1996 — the last year of the original uniforms, 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 last few home games, and for nearly all night home games. In the preseason, the Bucs may or may not wear white for their home games. The Bucs have worn their red jerseys for all home postseason games except for a January 6, 2008 playoff match against the New York Giants, where the Bucs wore white instead, as the temperature that day was unseasonably high.
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 California state court, the lawsuit was tossed out because only federal courts have jurisdiction on intellectual property issues.
Wordmark Logo, 1997 - 2013
The Buccaneers unveiled a slightly altered logo and helmet on February 20, 2014. On March 3, 2014, they unveiled the entire new uniform to be used starting in the 2014 season. The jersey numbers feature a high-vis reflective outline, the helmet logo has been revamped, and the facemask now has a chrome-effect coating. The Bucs’ original Creamsicle shade of orange has been reintroduced to the uniform.
Following the uniform change in 1997, the Buccaneers did not wear the old uniform, even during popular league-sponsored "throwback" weekends. The old uniforms were mostly eschewed by the club, and the sale of team merchandise in the old color scheme was scuttled for several years. In 2008, the team revealed that they would be wearing orange throwback uniforms for at least one game in the 2009 season. Their use was in conjunction with the creation of a Buccaneers Ring of Honor, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the 1979 division championship team.
Throwback merchandise went on sale in the summer of 2009, and referred to the orange color, not as "Florida Orange," but as "Orange Glaze." Considerable research was done using photographs and old uniforms to match the original color schemes. The dagger-biting pirate was given a cleaned-up look, and the orange, red and white uniforms debuted against the Green Bay Packers (Tampa Bay's former division rival) on November 8, 2009. Raymond James Stadium was also transformed via orange banners and classic field logos and fonts back to the classic Tampa Stadium look of the late 1970s. The Buccaneers won their first throwback game (their first victory of 2009) behind rookie quarterback Josh Freeman's first-career NFL start. The throwback game was to become an annual tradition, but has been on hiatus since 2013 due to league-wide restrictions suggesting players wear the same helmet throughout the season for safety reasons.
Facts & Records
The expansion Buccaneers lost all 14 games during the 1976 regular season, and the first 12 games of the 1977 season, for a record 26 straight losses. They remained the only NFL team in the modern era to experience a winless season until Detroit went 0–16 in 2008.
- Tampa Bay had a 20-game road losing streak against AFC teams that finally ended with a 17–10 victory at Denver on December 26, 1993.
- In 1980, after beating the Bengals at Riverfront Stadium, the Buccaneers began a 27-game losing streak of games played outdoors on AstroTurf. The streak was broken in 1995, with a victory over the Eagles at Veterans Stadium.
- From their inception, Tampa Bay lost 20 consecutive games in which the temperature at kickoff was below 40 °F (4 °C). The streak ended in the final week of the 2002 regular season, when they beat the Bears at Champaign (Soldier Field was under renovation at the time).
- From their inception in 1976 through 1995, Tampa Bay had a dismal 1–19 record in games played on the west coast. Starting with a noteworthy comeback victory at San Diego in 1996, the club improved slightly in the Pacific Time Zone, going 6–8 over their next 14 such games, including their victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
- Tampa Bay was 0–6 in their first six postseason road games. Their first road playoff win did not come until the 2002 season, in the NFC Championship at Philadelphia.
- From 1990–2001, Tampa lost 13 consecutive games on the road against their division rival Green Bay, including one divisional playoff game. The losing streak was snapped in 2005 when Tampa Bay won 17–16 at Lambeau Field, when the two teams were no longer in the same division.
- From their inception until 2008, Tampa Bay had never won a road game in which they trailed by 10+ points in the second half. The streak was broken with two come-from-behind overtime wins at Chicago (September 28, 2008) and Kansas City (November 2, 2008). The win against Kansas City saw the Buccaneers rally from a 21-point deficit, the greatest comeback in franchise history.
- Tampa Bay is the only team in the NFC South to have finished in the same position more than five times since 2004. The Buccaneers have finished last in the division eight times. The only other team to have finished in the same position five times are the Saints, who have finished in 2nd place five times.
- Tampa Bay is the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to finish last place in its division 5 consecutive years.
- Matt Bryant's 62-yard, game-winning field goal against the Eagles in 2006 was the third-longest field goal in NFL history. It is now sixth—the NFL record is 64 yards (held by Matt Prater, who was with the Denver Broncos at the time).
- 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.
- They are the first team since the merger to complete a winning season when starting 10 or more rookies, which happened in the 2010 season.
- Until December 16, 2007, the Buccaneers were the only NFL team to have never returned a kickoff 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.
- 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.
- Only team without a play of 99 yards or more in their entire history. The team has also never achieved a scoring drive of 99 yards. The team record is 98 yards (4 occasions).