Bucs’ Ryan: ‘The number one thing about coming here was winning a championship’

Logan Ryan won two Super Bowls with Tom Brady in New England, and he’s hoping to do the same with Brady in 2022.

Ryan signed with the Buccaneers, the team announced Thursday.

According to reports, it’s a one-year deal.

 “The number one thing about coming here was winning a championship, and that’s what I’m here to do and help with,” Ryan said Thursday. “Being a teammate of Tom [Brady], that’s what he’s about—playing football at the highest level, practicing football at the highest level. Obviously, the expectation and standard is championship, each and every year and each and every day. So I was excited to have that opportunity. That’s what I’m playing for at this point in my career, and it makes a lot of sense. This is a great organization. But, I think the championship opportunity, to go compete for that, and to have a talented roster around me [allows] me to come in and be a great teammate, do great things in the community, and win a championship.”

Tampa Bay lost safety Jordan Whitehead to the Jets in free agency, and they are hoping the 31-year-old Ryan can replace what Whitehead brought to the table. The nine-year veteran has a lot of versatility as he played both corner and safety in his career. He also a leader, and last season he was one of the team captains for the New York Giants.

 “Come in and be a great player, period,” Ryan said about what he brings to the Buccaneers. “They know I’m a great teammate. Bring experience; I have some experience, in the secondary. It’s a great, young group, but I just have a little experience to me. Just be a great communicator – help shore up the communication. Some disguise is what I do well. So, some of my strong suits are just a natural fit of what they needed. But versatility is my calling card in this league – it got me 10 years here. So, whatever position that may be, that’s up to Todd Bowles to play me wherever he wants to play me.

“I’ve just got to be able to learn it all. It’s a really talented group. I knew there was an opening there when the young, talented safety (Jordan Whitehead) went to the Jets; I knew there was an opportunity there for myself to play with Mike Edwards, [Antoine] Winfield, Carlton Davis, [Sean] Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, and all those guys. Like I said, I know the roster really well from watching a lot of film and hearing the recruiting pitch a couple years ago. They have a really good group back there.”

Since entering the league in 2013, Ryan’s 95 passes defensed rank sixth in the NFL. He has recorded at least eight passes defensed in eight of his nine career seasons, marking the most such seasons by any player since he entered the league. 

Ryan has recorded 10.5 of his 13.0 career sacks over the past four seasons, ranking second among all NFL defensive backs in sacks since 2018, trailing only Jamal Adams (19.5). Over the last three seasons, Ryan has also developed a knack for knocking the ball loose, ranking tied for third among all defensive backs with nine forced fumbles.

 

Leonard Fournette returns to Tampa Bay

Tom Brady is back; Chris Godwin is back, and now Leonard Fournette has returned.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed re-signed Fournette, the team announced Wednesday.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a three-year deal worth $21 million.

The 27-year-old Fournette returns to Tampa Bay for a third season after leading the Buccaneers in both rushing yards (812) and rushing touchdowns (eight) in 2021.

Since joining the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2020, Fournette has played in 27 regular-season games, with 16 starts, recording 277 carries for 1,179 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He has also contributed 105 receptions for 687 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

The five-year veteran has played in and started five playoff games since joining the Buccaneers and stands as Tampa Bay’s all-time leader in both career postseason rushing yards (351) and scrimmage yards (555) while ranking second in rushing touchdowns (five), scrimmage touchdowns (six) and receptions (27).

During their run to the Super Bowl in 2020, Fournette put forth one of the best statistical playoff performances in NFL postseason history, leading the team in rushing yards (300), rushing touchdowns (three), scrimmage touches (82), scrimmage yards (448), scrimmage touchdowns (four) and receptions (18) during the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

He also became one of just three players in NFL history to record a touchdown in all four of their team’s playoff games in a single postseason, joining Larry Fitzgerald (2008) and Terrell Davis (1997). Fournette’s 448 scrimmage yards marked the most in team history for a single postseason and the ninth-most in NFL history for a single postseason. 

Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, came to Tampa Bay after spending his first three NFL seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-19). 

Davis on return to Tampa: ‘Who wouldn’t want to come back and compete for another ring with the G.O.A.T?’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today re-signed cornerback Carlton Davis III.

According to Josina Anderson, it’s a three-year, $45 million deal.

In 2021, the 25-year-old Davis started all ten games in which he played for a defense that finished fifth in fewest points per game allowed (20.8) and seventh in fewest yards per play allowed (5.16). Davis did miss seven games last season due to a quad injury.

“Carlton is a fantastic player. I’ve said for a few years that I thought he was one of the top cornerbacks in this league, and he has continued to grow,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians via a statement from the team. “He’s a great tackler, excellent in man-to-man defense, a very physical corner, and has the length you want. He has everything you are looking for to be a shut-down corner. He’s also developed off the field so much, leading our social justice program and all the things he’s doing for our organization. He’s a huge, huge asset to our football team.”

According to Davis, the return of Tom Brady played a role in his decision to rejoin the Buccaneers. 

“ObvIously, having Tom come back automatically makes us a contender again. Who wouldn’t want to come back and compete for another ring with the G.O.A.T? When I heard the news, it definitely played into some of my thought process going into my decision.”

Davis’ 48 passes defensed since the start of the 2019 season are the most in the NFL during that span. He is also tied for the league lead in games with multiple passes defensed (13) and has the most games with at least three passes defensed (six).

Over his four seasons with the Buccaneers, Davis has amassed 205 tackles (nine for loss), 52 passes defensed, six interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles. He has also started all six of Tampa Bay’s playoff games over the past two seasons, including Super Bowl LV, recording 28 tackles and four passes defensed.

Davis has appeared in 51 regular-season games, making 50 starts, for the Buccaneers since the team selected him in the second round (No. 63 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.

 

 

 

Bucs’ Arians on Brady: ‘He is still playing at a championship level’

Tom Brady is back!! The seven-time Super Bowl winner announced his return to the game via Twitter Sunday night.

In February, the 44-year-old Brady officially announced his retirement, a few weeks after the Buccaneers lost to the Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

In 2020, Brady led the Buccaneers to the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.

After the announcement of his return to football, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians reacted:

Statement from Licht:

“We are thrilled that Tom has decided to come back this season. We said we would leave all options open for him should he reconsider his retirement and today’s announcement is something we have been preparing for in recent days. Bruce and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back. Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run.”

Statement from Arians:

“Tom Brady loves to play football as much as anyone I have ever been around. As Tom said, his place right now is on the football field. He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season. We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship.”

Tom Brady never acted his age, which was a good thing

The rumors were swirling last weekend that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady would call it quits, and now it’s official.

On Tuesday, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL after 22 seasons. He announced his retirement via Instagram.

Brady never acted his age throughout his remarkable career, which was a great thing.

In 2001, and at age 24, Brady led New England to a Super Bowl victory in his first season as the team’s starting quarterback(second season in the league), earning his first of five Super Bowl MVP awards and his first of 15 career Pro Bowl selections.

Just two seasons later, in 2003 and at age 26, Brady guided New England to another championship on the heels of a 14-2 regular season, culminating with his second-career Super Bowl MVP honor. It began a stretch of five-straight seasons in which Brady guided his team to a double-digit win total – a stretch that included back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 2003 and 2004.

He appeared in an unprecedented eight consecutive AFC Conference Championship Games from 2011-18, advancing to the Super Bowl in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Brady hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three more times in New England at age 37(2014), 39(2016), and 41(2018).

At age 40, Brady became the oldest player to win the league’s MVP award when he did so in 2017, leading the NFL with 4,577 yards passing in addition to his 32 touchdowns.

In his first season in Tampa Bay in 2020, the 43-year-old Brady, who was oldest player to start and win a Super Bowl, led Tampa Bay to a 15-5 overall record, capturing the franchise’s second Super Bowl title and earning Super Bowl MVP honors in the team’s 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He was oldest player to  be name Super Bowl MVP.

Brady’s 40 passing touchdowns in 2020 marked the most by a player in his first season with a team in NFL history, while his 4,633 passing yards ranked as the second-most by a player in his first season with a team, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 4,659 yards in his first season with the Denver Broncos in 2012.

In 2021, at age 44, Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316), passing touchdowns (43), completions (485), and attempts (719), joining Drew Brees (2008) and Peyton Manning (2013) as the only players to have led the league in all four categories in a single season since 1991. His 5,316 passing yards marked a career-high and the third-most in NFL history. Brady’s passing and yardage totals in 2021 each set new single-season franchise records as he guided the Buccaneers to an NFC South division title.

Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in Super Bowl wins (seven), Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards (five), Pro Bowl selections (15), regular-season wins (243), playoff wins (35), total wins (278), pass completions (7,263), passing yards (84,520) and passing touchdowns (624). 

What a run, and based on his career, it’s safe to say that Brady never acted his age.

Bucs’ Brady on retirement: ‘I haven’t put a lot of thought into it’

For most of Sunday’s divisional-round playoff matchup, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were having a difficult time with the Los Angeles Rams.

Los Angeles led the Buccaneers 27-3 in the third quarter. At that point, it appeared the world champions’ goal of repeating was done. However, the Bucs slowly worked their back and tied the game at 27 late in the fourth.

But, Matthew Stafford hit Cooper Kupp on a 44-yard strike that set up Matt Gay’s 30-yard game-winning field goal at the buzzer to give the Rams a 30-27 victory at Raymond James Stadium.

With the win, the Rams host the 49ers in the NFC Championship game next Sunday.

“Yeah, we were down a bunch, and a lot of guys made a bunch of different plays to get us back into it,” Brady said postgame. “And they just made one more than us. So, kind of back and forth, we got off to a slow start which we certainly didn’t want to do against a good football team like that, who plays well from ahead. It made us pretty one-dimensional. But, you know, it is always tough losing at the end of the year. Obviously, we showed a lot of fight, but at the end of the day, you lose a game, you lose a game.”

Brady completed 30-of-54 passes in the game for 329 yards and one touchdown, but at age 44, the logical question is, have we’ve seen the last of him in the NFL. Well, we didn’t get that answer postgame.

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, so you know, we will just take it day by day and kind of see where we are at,” the 22-year veteran said. “Truthfully, guys, I’m thinking about this game. I’m not thinking about anything past five minutes from now.”

If Brady retires, which could happen, clearly he goes down as the G.O.A.T. He won seven Super Bowls, which is just ridiculous; however, based on what we saw out of him in 2021, he still is playing at a high level as he led the league in passing yards and touchdown passes. Of course, if he wants to come back, Tampa would like him back. Brady’s magic number for retirement was 45, so maybe that means one more year, or maybe not. 

We’ll see what happens going forward. 

 

 

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘We’re going to come back hungry, but this season was far from a failure’

For the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium Sunday, they needed to play close to a perfect game. Unfortunately, they were far from perfect. Philadelphia turned the ball over three times, leading to 14 points for Tampa Bay. 

After three quarters, the Buccaneers led 31-0 and would defeat the Eagles 31-15 in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. 

Tom Brady completed 29-of-37 passes in the game for 271 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.

With the win, Tampa Bay will host the winner of Cardinals-Rams in the divisional round, while the Eagles go home and think about next season.

In his first career playoff start, the 23-year-old Jalen Hurts, the youngest Eagles quarterback to start a playoff game, struggled. He was 23/43 for 258 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions. Many of those 258 yards came when the game was out of reach. 

“We didn’t do our jobs good enough, I didn’t do my job good enough – communicating and doing the little things,” Hurts said. “I could have been better, definitely, and I think there are a ton of different areas where we can kind of shoulder this as a team, but I take accountability for my actions and everything.”

The biggest question for the Eagles coming into the season, and the biggest question as the season ends, is Hurts, the team’s franchise quarterback. The second-year quarterback got a ringing endorsement from his head coach postgame.

“Again, we’re all going to say for today’s game he didn’t play his best game, as we all know,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “But you don’t take the body of work that he had for 17 weeks – and I know he didn’t play two games, so 15 weeks – and put everything on this game. I know we’re all judged on the last game that we play, I understand that and fully get that, but I felt like Jalen grew throughout the year, and he got better as a passer, and he got better reading the defenses, getting the ball to the right place. 

“He developed so much in his ability to extend plays of not only making plays with his feet but also making plays downfield on the scramble. I know the one today; he scrambled and threw the interception. He had some other scrambles that were good throws. So, I feel really good with what we have in place right here at the quarterback position. I thought he had a great year, and he came a long way, and that’s what I expect from Jalen because of the type of football character he has, the type of character he has, the toughness that he has, the love for football that he has. I can’t say enough good things about Jalen, the person, and the player, so I feel good about him. I know again, this wasn’t the game that any of us are going to be satisfied with – me, him, multiple guys on that football team, but I’m really pleased with how he came along this year and the leader he is on this football team.”

Despite the loss, Hurts feels the future is bright in Philadelphia.

“I’m not going to make any expectations for anything, but I know for us as a football team, the sky is the limit,” Hurt said. “And I’ll reiterate, nobody likes this feeling. Nobody likes this feeling. Nobody likes this feeling. We’ll do the things we need to do so we don’t feel this feeling again. I think with the guys that we have, especially in the youth, the young guys we have, we’re hungry. We’re going to come back hungry, but this season was far from a failure. It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from it. So, we’ll take it as a lesson; I’ll definitely take it as a lesson. My third year starts tomorrow.”

The Eagles’ 2021 NFL season was a success, but Philadelphia will have an interesting offseason. They have three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. Do they use those assets to trade for a quarterback, or do they use them to build a team around Hurts? 

After the way he played against Tampa Bay, there will be questions about Hurts, and the Eagles will have to answer those questions in the offseason.

Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game’

On Sunday, Jalen Hurts and the upstart Philadelphia Eagles(9-8) will try to go on the road and defeat Tom Brady and the world champion Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Before losing a meaningless game to the Cowboys in Week 18, the second-year quarterback had the Eagles on a four-game winning streak, and after starting 3-6, the Eagles have won six of their final eight games.

In Week 6, Hurts and the Eagles fell to the Buccaneers 28-22 at Lincoln Financial Field. In that game, Philadelphia was down 28-7, but the Eagles trimmed the lead to 28-22 with just under six minutes left, but they could not get the ball back. 

Hurts, who was 12/26 for 115 yards, touchdown, interception and two rushing touchdowns in the regular season matchup against Tampa Bay, won big on the collegiate level, including winning a National Championship at Alabama, but this is the NFL, and he’s playing Brady in the playoffs, so it won’t be easy.

According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia will have to play very good football to defeat Tampa Bay.

“It’s going to take everybody’s best effort, but the process remains the same of how we go about our business, right? When it’s about the process when you’re process-driven, and you’re results-aware, then you don’t ride the highs and lows of the season,” Sirianni said on Monday. 

Sirianni expects Hurts to be ready against the Buccaneers when it’s all said and done.

“I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game, and he’s going to prepare the same way he has prepared,” he said. “I know, from the outside, it looks like it’s a bigger game and everything, but to us, we understand the consequences of losing, and when you win – you’re done if you lose, so we understand that.

“But our process remains the same through it all, and I’m confident in our process. I’m confident in [QB] Jalen [Hurts’] process that he’s going to go out and be ready to play in this game.”

On paper, the Buccaneers are the better team, and for the Eagles to defeat Tampa Bay, they will need Hurts to be at his best, and they will need the team to be at their best.

However, no matter what happens, 2021 is a successful season for the Eagles.

Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell, Rob Gronkowski react to Antonio Brown

It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s over. Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown quit on his team as he ripped off his jersey, waved to the crowd, and left Tampa’s 28-24 victory over the Jets Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The 33-year-old Brown, who signed with Buccaneers last season, has had his share of issues over the years, including being suspended three games this season for having a fake vaccination card, but he’s talented, and he helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl last season. However, on Sunday, he waved goodbye to the fans and maybe his NFL career.

After the Buccaneers'(12-4) comeback win over New York(4-12), head coach Bruce Arians, who cleared COVID protocols to coach Sunday, said AB’s time with the team is over.

“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

Tampa Bay got off to a slow start Sunday and trailed for most of the game until Tom Brady, who, according to ESPN Stats & Info, tied Drew Brees for the most game-winning drives(53) of any quarterback since 2000, connected with wideout Cyril Grayson on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left.

Back to Brown, Brady, who lobbied for Brown to be a Buccaneer, asked people to have compassion for the wide receiver.

“I think everybody should hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it,” Brady said. “We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best.”

Le’Veon Bell, who played with Brown in Pittsburgh, has nothing bad to say about his former teammate.

“He’s still one of my close friends,” Bell said. “Like you won’t hear me talking bad about AB at all. Obviously I understand things happen, but he’s one of my closest friends that I’ve been around. Close teammate, overall good person. Obviously, some bad decision-making sometimes but you know, he’s human. He’s not perfect.”

Brown’s refusal to play will cost him a lot of money. According to Spotrac, Brown needed eight  catches to unlock a $333,333 bonus. He also needed 55 receiving yards to unlock another $333,333 bonus. He also needed just one receiving TD to unlock another $333,333 bonus.

No matter how you feel about Brown, this is sad. He clearly has some issues that he has to work through. The hope was that he could work through those issues while playing football, but it’s clear, he may need to step away from the game to get right.

For Buccaneers, their focus is the playoffs, as they hope to repeat. 

Sadly, they will be doing it without Brown.

Watch below as Rob Gronkowski, Bell, and Brady react to Antonio Brown:

 

Bucs’ Brown: ‘I can’t control what people want from me; I can’t control what people write about me’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were without wideouts Mike Evans(hamstring) and Chris Godwin(ACL) against the Carolina Panthers(5-10) Sunday, but fortunately, they got back Antonio Brown, who missed the past eight games with an ankle injury and suspension due to allegedly misrepresenting his vaccination status.

The Buccaneers went on the road and routed the Panthers 32-6 to win their seventh division title in franchise history. At 11-4 with two games left, Tampa Bay is one game behind the Packers(12-3) for the best record in the NFC.

Back to Brown, in his return, he came up big! Brown had 10 receptions for 101 yards. Since entering the league in 2010, Brown has recorded 23 games with 10-or-more receptions – the most-such games in the NFL during that span. In addition, Brown’s 46 100-yard receiving performances since 2010 are the second-most in the NFL during that span.

However, after the game, the questions shifted to the alleged misrepresentation of his vaccination status, which he did not want to discuss.

When asked about being supported by Bruce Arians after another controversy, Brown said the following:

Next question, next question,” Brown said. “We just want to talk about this game… I don’t want to talk about that. You guys are all drama. It’s all about football. We’re going to talk about Carolina, or I don’t want to talk to you guys.”

When asked about the injury that kept him out, Brown said the following:

“It’s a lot of drama you guys create, a lot of drama that people create who want stuff from me. That’s a part of life, that’s a part of being in the position. I can’t control what people want from me; I can’t control what people write about me; I can’t control what people say about me.”

With Godwin gone for the season, the Buccaneers will need Brown going forward. Say what you want about him, he’s a playmaker, and if the Buccaneers want to repeat, they are going to need what he brings to the table.

Watch below as Brown talks return against Carolina: