Bucs’ Bruce Arians was not happy with offense on Wednesday

One thing we know about Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is he doesn’t mind telling the truth, and he doesn’t mind relating how he feels about his superstar quarterback.

On Wednesday, the Buccaneers began their joint practices with the Tennessee Titans in Tampa Bay, and according to Arians, Tom Brady did some things well and some things not so good.

“I didn’t think he was very sharp,” Arians said on Wednesday. “Our third-down percentage, I think, was really poor in that one. We took some shots downfield on first down [and] guys were open. He made some really good throws that were dropped, too. We’ll grade the tape, but I didn’t come off the field saying he wowed everybody.”

Arians added on the drop passes:

“They dropped it. Catch it. Sh**, [there] ain’t no excuse,” he said. “They’re perfectly thrown balls – you catch the damn thing.”

According to Brady, Tampa Bay has to learn from what went wrong on Wednesday before the season-opener against Dallas.

“We didn’t connect that much today, so hopefully, we can really learn from today,” Brady said. “I always hate not competing and then saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to learn from it.’ The reality is we’ve got to learn from when things don’t go well – how do we respond early, how do we respond in the middle, and how do we respond in the third quarter?

“I’ve been in games when we’ve been down a lot of points, and we came back and won. Just because it doesn’t go well early, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, you know it will be there tomorrow’ or ‘Let’s figure it out tomorrow.’ We’ve got a lot of learning to do, and we have to push it. We have a certain amount of time before Dallas. Every game is not going to be easy. Every play isn’t going to be easy, but we have to fight our way out of everything.”

This is why you have practices and the preseason, so teams can work through their mistakes and get right for the regular season.

Tampa Bay battles the Titans in preseason game number two on Saturday, and they continue their joint practices with Tennessee on Thursday.

Photo: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Buccaneers’ Antonio Brown: ‘I’m still having fun, still an explosive player’

Last season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown got an opportunity to resurrect his career when he signed with the team last October after he missed most of the 2020 season due to suspension.

Brown, who reunited with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay after the two spent time together in New England in 2019, took full advantage of his opportunity with the Buccaneers. In eight games for Tampa Bay last season, Brown had 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Ultimately, he helped the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl.

After recovering from knee surgery in the offseason, Brown re-signed with the Buccaneers as he agreed to a one-year deal.

Brown has been impressive at training camp. According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, the 33-year-old Brown looks like the guy he saw four or five years ago in terms of his speed.

“This is the healthiest he’s been in a few years,” Arians said on Monday. “He probably needed that procedure, but he wouldn’t do it. That first surgery is always tough. It’s amazing – I was actually talking to Emmanuel Sanders last night about [it]. That’s his first surgery is amazing. It’s remarkable how he takes care of himself. Yeah, he’s playing at a speed I saw four or five years ago.”

Brown added: “I’m putting my hand in the pile and putting my conditioning on display. I don’t take for granted being here. [I’m] thankful I have great health. I thought that [Dr. Neal Elattrache] did a great job along with the team doctors, team staff, and Alex Guerrero. I’ve got the best training guys here. I’m just happy to be here right now and do what I love and play football.”

The 11-year veteran was asked how long he expects to play in the NFL on Monday, and he said the following:

“We’ll see. I’m still having fun, still an explosive player, and still love to play the game,” Brown said. “So, hopefully, it’ll be a long time.”

With Brown, Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Leonard Fournette, and more. Tampa Bay has many weapons on offense, and if that offense can stay healthy, they will be tough to stop in 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers get their championship rings, and yes, they’re beautiful(VIDEO)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, coaches and staff received their Super Bowl LV championship rings at a special ceremony on Thursday evening which was held at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater.

The ring design was the result of a collaborative effort between Buccaneers players and team leadership and incorporates a twist-off top – the first of its kind in the NFL.

Removing the top reveals a stunning hand-engraved, three-dimensional replica of Raymond James Stadium, in honor of the team’s historic win on its home field.

The Buccaneers’ Super Bowl LV rings tell the story of the team’s unforgettable 2020 season by incorporating the most relevant accomplishments into the design details.  Containing 15 carats of white diamonds and 14 karat yellow and white gold, the top of the ring features 319 diamonds. On the top are two Lombardi Trophies – representing the franchise’s two Super Bowl Championships – and the team’s signature flag logo, carved from a red stone. The 319 diamonds represent the 31-9 final score in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV victory.

The Lombardi Trophy on the left represents the team’s most recent Super Bowl Championship and features nine diamonds to represent the nine points allowed by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The two trophies and flag are surrounded by round diamonds. At the top and bottom of the design are the words “World Champions,” which are diamond encrusted. Those two words are connected by eight diamonds on each side, representing the franchise-record eight-game winning streak to end the season.

The ring was produced by Jason of Beverly Hills, a custom-design jeweler who has produced rings for a number of professional championship teams. This is the first NFL Super Bowl ring produced by the company. 

Watch the making of the Bucs championship ring:

Buccaneers begin regular season against Cowboys

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 regular season schedule, released Thursday by the National Football League, is highlighted by five primetime appearances, marking the second consecutive season that Tampa Bay has been scheduled for the maximum number of primetime games.

The NFL also announced the preseason schedule on Wednesday, which features the Buccaneers hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 on Saturday, Aug. 14 followed by the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 on Saturday, Aug. 21. Both games will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys will kick off the 2021 NFL season with a Thursday night showdown on Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Tampa Bay will be making its first appearance in the NFL Kickoff game since its inception in 2002. The Buccaneers and Cowboys have played twice in Week 1, with the most recent meeting occurring in 2009.

Tampa Bay’s first divisional matchup of the year will take place in Week 2 when the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX). Bruce Arians will look to improve on his 12-4 record (includes interim year) against rookie head coaches as first-year head coach Arthur Smith comes to Tampa Bay.

In Week 3, the Buccaneers will hit the road for the first time, traveling to the West Coast to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Tampa Bay’s first ever trip to SoFi Stadium – the site of Super Bowl LVI. The 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Sept. 26, will mark the Buccaneers’ first visit to Los Angeles since setting a franchise record for points scored in a 55-40 win over the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2019.

When Tampa Bay travels to play the New England Patriots in Week 4, it will mark quarterback Tom Brady’s first trip back to Foxborough as a visiting player, facing the team with which he won the first six of his NFL-record seven Super Bowl titles. The Patriots are the last remaining team that Brady has not beaten over the course of his historic 21-year career. He will get the chance to pick up that win on Sunday Night Football, with an 8:20 p.m. kickoff on NBC.

The Buccaneers will be looking for their fourth consecutive home win against the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS. Overall, the Buccaneers have won five of their past six matchups with the Dolphins, and Miami has never beaten Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa Bay plays its third primetime game of the season in Week 6 on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) when the Buccaneers travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field. Tampa Bay will be playing in Philadelphia for the first time since 2015, when the Buccaneers earned a 45-17 win.

The Buccaneers will attempt to win their third consecutive home meeting with the Chicago Bears in Week 7 at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS). The matchup will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the two teams have played one another.

Tampa Bay and the division rival New Orleans Saints will go head-to-head for the first time in 2021 on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX). It will be the first matchup since the Buccaneers defeated the Saints, 30-20, in the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. Tampa Bay will play on Halloween for the first time since 2010 when the Buccaneers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 38-35.

Following a Week 9 Bye, the Buccaneers head to FedExField to face the Washington Football Team. FedExField was the site of the Buccaneers’ 31-23 Wild Card victory on their path to a Super Bowl LV championship. Including the postseason, the Buccaneers have won three of their past four road meetings with Washington dating back to 2010. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

For the second consecutive season, Tampa Bay will play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers and Giants are matching up for the fifth time in as many years, marking the longest streak of consecutive seasons the two franchises have met.

The Week 12 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts marks Bruce Arians’ second trip back to Indianapolis since he served as the Colts interim head coach in 2012, and his first with Tampa Bay. Arians owns a 6-0 record all-time at Lucas Oil Stadium, including five wins as an interim head coach. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

After a Week 13 road meeting with the Falcons on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX), a pair of conference title game participants from last season will match up in Week 14, as the Buccaneers host the Buffalo Bills. The Bills most recent trip to Raymond James Stadium came in 2013 when Tampa Bay topped Buffalo, 27-6, earning the third consecutive home win against the Bills.

Tampa Bay will play back-to-back divisional games in Weeks 15 and 16, hosting the Saints on Sunday Night Football on Dec. 19, at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) and visiting the Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 26, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX). The Week 15 game will mark Tampa Bay’s fourth appearance on Sunday Night Football over the past two seasons.

The Buccaneers will take on the New York Jets in Week 17 at 1 p.m. ET (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 2, before concluding the season with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 9, vs. the Panthers in Week 18, as part of the NFL’s first 17-game season in league history.

 

QB Blaine Gabbert re-signs with Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today re-signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert. 

According to the Tampa Times Rick Stroud, it’s a one-year deal worth $2.5-million. Gabbert backed up Tom Brady last season and is expected to do so again in 2021.

Gabbert, 31, appeared in four games with the Buccaneers last season, completing 9-of-16 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He was originally signed with Tampa Bay back in 2019 2019 but spent his first season with the Buccaneers on Injured Reserve due to a shoulder injury.

The 11-year veteran, who was a first-round pick (10th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft, spent three seasons with the Jaguars (2011-13) before playing for the San Francisco 49ers (2014-16), Arizona Cardinals (2017) and Tennessee Titans (2018).

Gabbert has appeared in 60 career games, with 48 starts, completing 851-of-1,514 passes for 9,206 yards. He has thrown 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions for a 72.3 passer rating. 

Bucs add Shipley, Lewis to coaching staff

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that the team has hired Thaddeus Lewis and A.Q. Shipley to the team’s coaching staff.

Lewis, 33, will take over as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach, replacing Antwaan Randle El, who was named wide receivers coach for the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason. Lewis remains in Tampa Bay after spending the 2020 NFL season as a representative of the Bill Walsh coaching fellow program, during which he worked as an assistant to the offense. Prior to arriving in Tampa Bay, Lewis spent two years as an offensive analyst at UCLA under Chip Kelly from 2018-19.

The Opa-locka, Florida, native was a four-year starter at quarterback for Duke (2006-09), where he set school records for career passing yards (10,065) and passing touchdowns (67) and added nine rushing touchdowns. He also set Duke’s program record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception at 206. He was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award – presented to the nation’s top quarterback – in his senior season in 2009. Lewis then went on to spend parts of eight seasons in the NFL (2010-17) with the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. He played in seven career games, making six starts, recording 115 completions for 1,296 passing yards and five passing touchdowns, adding one rushing touchdown.

Shipley, 34, is set to begin his coaching career with Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant following his 10-year NFL playing career. He entered the league as a seventh-round selection (No. 226 overall) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Shipley spent the 2009 season on the Steelers’ practice squad before joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad in 2010 and remaining with the Eagles through the 2011 preseason. In 2012, Shipley joined the Indianapolis Colts, appearing in 14 games, with five starts. He was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, where he appeared in all 16 games, making nine starts. Shipley then re-joined Indianapolis in 2014, playing in 15 games, with five starts for the Colts. He then spent five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals from 2015-19 before spending his final season with Tampa Bay in 2020, playing in five games, with two starts.

For his career, Shipley played in 110 career regular season games, with 72 starts, and two postseason contests. He played for Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Arizona and Tampa Bay, covering eight of his years spent in the NFL. The Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, native played collegiately at Penn State.

Bucs exercise fifth-year option on Vita Vea

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exercised the fifth-year contract option on defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team announced on Monday.

Vea, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, contract will run through the 2022 season. According to spotrac.com, he will have a base salary of $2.5 million in 2021 and a base salary of $7.6 million in 2022. 

In his first three seasons, the 26-year-old Vea has started 29-of-34 regular-season games played, recording 73 tackles (11 for loss), 19 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks, and three passes defensed.

After missing 11 games in 2020 due ankle injury, Vea appeared in both the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl for Tampa Bay.

With Vea starting 21 games up front from 2019-20, the Buccaneers became the first defense since the Minnesota Vikings (2006-08) to lead the NFL in rushing yards allowed in back-to-back seasons. Since 2019 Tampa Bay has allowed 77.2 rushing yards per game and 3.43 yards per rush – both marks rank first in the NFL during that span.

Bucs’ GM: ‘Shaq’s(Barrett) contributions have been vital to our success as a team’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, the team announced on Wednesday.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a four-year deal worth up to $72 million. He gets $36 million fully guaranteed.

“Shaq has made a profound and immediate impact on our defense from the day he stepped into the building two years ago,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “From leading the league in sacks in 2019 to leaving his mark during our postseason run to Super Bowl LV, Shaq’s contributions have been vital to our success as a team, and we look forward to continuing that success in the years ahead.”

The  28-year-old Barrett has played in and started 31-of-32 regular season games for Tampa Bay over the last two seasons, accumulating 115 tackles (30 for loss), 53 quarterback hits, 27.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, five passes defensed and one interception. He earned both Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in his first season with the Buccaneers in 2019.

Barrett played a key role in the Buccaneers pursuit of Super Bowl LV, recording eight quarterback hits and 4.0 sacks over the course of the team’s four-game title run to cap off the 2020 season.

The seven-year veteran was a focal point of the 2020 Buccaneers defense, which led the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (80.6) and finished sixth in total yards allowed per game (327.1). Between the regular season and postseason combined, Tampa Bay also led the NFL in takeaways (34), tackles for loss (107) and quarterback hits (142), while finishing tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the most sacks (58.0).

Bringing back Barrett is huge, which will only help Tampa’s chances of winning another Super Bowl. Tom Brady was huge in the playoffs, but Tampa Bay does not win a title without Barrett and that defense.

Gronk returns to Buccaneers on one-year, $10 million deal

Rob Gronkowski will help Tom Brady try to get another Super Bowl title. According to reports, Gronk and the Buccaneers have agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal.

Gronkowski, who retired after the 2018 season, came out of retirement last season and was traded by the Patriots to the Buccaneers last April.

Last season, Gronkowski, 31, had 46 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. In the postseason, the 10-year veteran had eight receptions for 110 yards and two big touchdowns in Super Bowl LV.

Gronkowski was honored as one of five tight ends selected to the NFL 100 All-Time Team and one of two chosen for the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Decade Team for the 2010s.

Tampa Bay continues to their best to bring the group back that won the Super Bowl last season, and bringing Gronk back will definitely help.

 

Buccaneers tag WR Chris Godwin

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have applied its franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, the team announced on Tuesday.

Godwin, 25, is expected to make around $16 million next season. Last season, Godwin finished second on the Buccaneers with 65 receptions and 840 yards. He also tallied seven receiving touchdowns for Tampa Bay, which tied for second among all Buccaneers in 2020.

In the playoffs, Godwin recorded 16 receptions for 232 yards and one touchdown. His 16 postseason receptions and 232 receiving yards each marked the most in a single postseason in franchise history.

In his four seasons with the Buccaneers, Godwin has totaled 244 receptions for 3,540 yards (14.5 avg.) and 24 touchdowns. He earned both Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 2019 after a career season, which saw him finish third in the NFL in receiving yards (1,333).

Godwin is a dynamic receiver, and with him and Evans together, Tampa Bay has one of the better wide receivers tandems in football. It should be interesting to see if they will bring free agent WR Antonio Brown back, which makes the wide receivers room even better. However, for now, Evans and Godwin will be together for at least another year.