Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Return to Old School

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Winuvas, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Return to Old School

    Coach Winuvas coming to Tampa

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    A new attitude is coming into the Bay area. The Glazer family has called a press conference today to announce a new era in Buccaneer football.

    "The Glazers and myself are happy to welcome Coach Winuvas to our family," general manager Mark Dominik started. "Coach Winuvas took a young Kansas City team and worked to make them younger and more talented. We hope that he can do the same thing here. He has an eye for talent and is skilled in coaching up all facets of the game. We think he can take us to the next level on the way back to respectability."

    Dominik continued, saying, "Coach and I will work together to look over the personnel we have in place and see what we need to change and what we need to stick with. He will have final say over all personnel decisions."

    Coach Winuvas then came to the podium, clad in all old school colors of the Buccaneers. The bright orange, red, and white was a surprise to all in the conference room.

    "We'll get this thing going right. These colors are colors of pride. Tampa had success in the 'new' logo, but these colors started it all. So it shall again. We are donning the old uniforms for the rest of the year. The teams we play will learn to fear the orange. We will bring it every week. Every quarter. Every play. There will be no give in this team. These guys are playing for jobs. And so am I. So we're gonna get out there, and get things rolling," was Coach Winuvas' statement.

    Coach took a few questions, mainly about his offensive/defensive gameplans.

    "I think we will bring our west coast style of offense to this team as well. That will mean a bit of learning for a lot of guys here, especially young Josh Freeman. On defense, we don't have the personnel to run my 3-4 style, but I plan on running an attacking 4-3 defense. I just have to evaluate my secondary and see what they have in store. I'll need to run these guys through some practices and see what I have there."

    "My biggest challenge is learning personnel really quickly. I knew my guys in KC very well, since I hand picked most of them. I definitely have my eyes on some of those guys if they come up in free agency late this year or next year. But my main focus is on finding out what I have here and getting them back on track in Tampa Bay," Coach said after getting asked about what his biggest hurdle was.

    Hopefully the new coach can get Tampa started back on the road to recovery. But he was 1-9 with Kansas City before coming here to Tampa. Is that a product of bad talent, or bad coaching, or, worse yet, both?

    Keep up with the Bucs on the franchise website:
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  2. Claven

    Claven OMFL-Redskins

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    Welcome to the NFC South Winuvas. Good to have you. Since your 1-9 please feel free to let me win our week 13 game.

    NFC South should be fun with Nate, Winuvas, Wajo, and myself. Minor toughest division in the OMFL.
     
  3. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    I'm not that good, Claven. Just happy to be here right now.
     
  4. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas, First Practices

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    The first few practices have been hit and miss for Coach Winuvas' tastes. He's seen some good and some bad. But he's quite happy with his good and even with the bad.

    "I see effort," Coach Winuvas said after a Friday practice before the Falcons game on Sunday. "I see talent making effort, and that is key. Effort without talent is good, but talent without effort is not. I see us practicing hard, which means we'll play hard."

    Coach is working on installing a more attacking style 4-3, which is far different from his favored 3-4 defense. He is also quickly getting rookie quarterback Josh Freeman up to speed on his west coast style playbook.

    "Josh has lost a lot of confidence during the season. We basically have to build him back up again. Give him short reads, quick reads, get the ball out. We'll run to help him as well with Derrick Ward and (Carnell) Cadillac (Williams). He's got a special arm and a lot of talent and desire. As far as the defense, we don't have the personnel to run a 3-4, and I don't honestly have the cap space to get us there. So I work with what I have. Not to say that the personnel is bad, though. This defense has some special players," Coach Winuvas said when questioned about early personnel decisions.

    Coach has also shown a willingness to go after old players he favors, signing linebacker Scott Fujita and wide receiver Mark Bradley, both of whom played for him in Kansas City earlier in the season.

    "Mark (Bradley) was a guy I really didn't want to cut. If I could have had a 56 man roster he would still be in KC. I'm just glad he was still available. Scott (Fujita) I signed and liked, but again, was a guy I cut for cap reasons. He's still a solid player in this league and can teach guys like Geno Hayes and Quincy Black how to play in the OMFL at linebacker."

    Coach Winuvas also showed a quick thought process, signing and cutting 12 players in his first few days with the club, including former Pro Bowl right tackle Jon Runyan.

    "The previous ownership made some bad moves, honestly," Coach Winuvas said about his changes. "Mainly I'm trying to get cap penalties paid off so we can get some pieces in place next year, along with getting room for draft picks. We'll be picking high, but I want to make sure we can get some holes plugged up next year. For now, we'll work with what we have."

    Coach Winuvas seemed curiously optimistic about the whole endeavor of taking over a 1-9 team after leaving a 1-9 team.

    "To be fair, I made some bad moves in Kansas City, but I feel the team is ready for year two and beyond. This team I think will surprise the NFC South the rest of the way."

    He also smiled when asked why the old colors were becoming the new colors again.

    "These are heritage," he said, pointing at his hat which donned the old school Buccaneer logo in orange and red. "Guys like Lee Roy Selmon, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Young, Errick Rhett, Lawrence Dawsey, Alvin Harper, Warren Sapp...they all wore this. They all suffered. Now we're suffering. When did the suffering end? When they changed uniforms. So we're changing back. And besides, if we get the defense going the way I want, we can say 'orange crush' again. Haven't been able to say that since the old Denver uniforms went away."

    Coach Winuvas laughed, then began yelling at his defense to stiffen up in a 7 on 7 drill. I'll say this about Coach Winuvas - he still has desire to teach and succeed.

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  5. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Q and A: Week 12

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Antoine Buckman: Coach Winuvas, thanks for sitting down with me after that game out there. Great victory, by the way.

    Coach Winuvas: Thanks, Antoine. Hell of an effort those guys put out there today.

    AB: So your gameplan was run the ball, protect Josh Freeman's confidence, and harass Matt Ryan. Assess your gameplan after one game.

    CW: Well, AB, I think it worked out pretty well. Josh didn't go deep much, but he didn't need to. I wanted to not 'have' to have him try to win the game. Derrick Ward was solid behind that offensive line. Kudos to those guys. They were opening holes all game long. And the defense was solid until the fourth quarter. We'll have to work on conditioning and finishing out games in practice this week.

    AB: Derrick Ward had his first 100 yard game of the season in week 12. What made him so successful today versus the rest of the season before?

    CW: Well, Antoine, we ran him. When you're always playing from behind you don't run the ball much. We played with a lead today, and Derrick (Ward) got to get a head of steam going. He's a good back. All of the halfbacks are good quality.

    AB: Talk about the muff punt by Clifton Smith midway through the first quarter.

    CW: Just a bad play. Should have called for a fair catch and didn't. He had the rest of the game to think about that mistake. We can't afford to make dumb errors like that, and he knows better. We'll get his head on straight.

    AB: How about the receiver group? Anything good to say at this time?

    CW: Well, Jerry (Porter) was good running crisp routes. Eddie (Royal) is gonna be a star soon in this league. Hopefully we can get an idea on if we have a good #2 and #3 receiver on the roster for next year.

    AB: Offensive line was solid this week, protecting Freeman and opening up holes. Evaluate those guys for me.

    CW: AB, these guys are young and they love to punish people. They are physical and aggressive and they have the mentality of defensive linemen. That is great stuff. Aaron (Sears) is playing out of position right now, but he's performing well at center for us. Davin (Joseph) at right guard is a beast. Jeremy (Trueblood) is getting quality reps at right tackle and showing some promise. Left tackle worries me a bit, but I think with some coaching up Donald (Penn) will be fine there for a while protecting Josh's (Freeman) backside.

    AB: Defensively, a solid approach all game until the fourth. Talk about that.

    CW: Well I am not used to running a 4-3 type of defense. I prefer the 3-4 but I use what I have. Got some guys transitioning into different positions. They did a good job rushing Matt Ryan today. Hopefully they keep it up. As far as the fourth quarter though, I let up a bit on playcalling, and the defense fed off that. I have to keep being aggressive in my playcalling. So I blame that on me. The defense feeds off what I call, so if I let up, so do they. We'll fix that in practice this week.

    AB: So, Coach, how does a win feel?

    CW: Feels good, AB. But this game is over. The guys will have Monday off, then we focus on Carolina.

    AB: Any early scouting on the Panthers? Division rival and all.

    CW: Their offense is centered around DeAngelo Williams, and why not? He's one of the best backs in the OMFL. He's dangerous any time he gets the ball. Antonio Bryant is gonna enjoy playing against us since we traded him to the Panthers. Steve Smith is deadly. We're going to have our hands full with those guys. We have to pick our poison there. On defense, we HAVE to contain Julius Peppers. Chip him, cut him, do whatever it takes to contain him. I think we both have similar philosophies. Run the ball, play good defense, and control the clock. So whomever can exert their will on the other will win. Coach Claven is a helluva coach, and he can make the difference for them.

    AB: No faith in your own ability, Coach?

    CW: You're only as good as your win-loss record, AB. And right now I am 2-9 this season between the Chiefs and Bucs. So, in all fairness, I am coaching to prove I belong here, just like these players here are playing to prove they belong here in the rebuilding process. I take it one game at a time.

    AB: Okay, Coach. Well, that is all I got for you. I'll see you in Carolina this Sunday.

    CW: Looking forward to it, AB. Have a good day.

    Coach Winuvas appears to be focused. Let's see how his second game in Tampa goes.

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  6. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Tampa Tough, but Loses Late

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    [​IMG]

    Josh Freeman attempts to complete a pass in Carolina versus the Panthers




    Tampa Bay played a full 60 minutes on defense this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers on the road. However, a few big plays by the Panthers was the difference as the Buccaneers fell 17-14 in a hard fought defensive battle in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

    The battle of the grizzled veteran Panther quarterback Jake Delhomme and young rookie Josh Freeman definitely went to Freeman on this day. Delhomme was erratic, completing 12 of 23 passes for 150 yards and 5 interceptions. Freeman went 18 of 31 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Where the two teams were drastically different was in the backfield, however. Buccaneers halfback Derrick Ward ran 20 times for only 57 yards and a touchdown. Panthers halfback DeAngelo Williams ran 19 times for 152 yards and a touchdown, and also gathered 6 receptions for another 87 yards of offense.

    The game started with a defensive stand by both teams, then Tampa got rolling and moved the ball down the field, scoring on a 4 yard run by Derrick Ward to go up 7-0 early in the second quarter. Turnover after turnover by Delhomme with short fields netted nothing but 2 long missed field goals by Mike Nugent, both of them 50+ yards.

    "Mike Nugent is NOT the reason we lost this football game. Our offense failed to get him in a situation for him to have a chance to succeed," Coach Winuvas yelled at reporters after the fifth question about whether or not Coach Winuvas was looking for another kicker.

    Carolina finally got their offense in gear in the second half, focusing less on passing the ball and more on running it down Tampa Bay's throat with DeAngelo Williams.

    "I said before the game that DeAngelo (Williams) was a special player. He proved it today. He was the difference," Coach Winuvas commented during his press conference.

    Williams got them close, but Jake Delhomme ultimately scored the first points for Carolina on a quarterback sneak from 1 yard out at the midpoint of the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw DeAngelo Williams prove his worth as one of the top backs of the OMFL, running right on a pulling play and taking it 47 yards to the house to go up 14-7.

    Josh Freeman then grabbed the reins of the offense and engineered a drive that almost saved Tampa's hopes in this game, converting 2 fourth down conversions and completing one of them to Eddie Royal for a 10 yard touchdown. The only problem with the drive was that the Buccaneers left more than 3 minutes for the Panthers offense. And the Tampa Bay defense, while stalwart, had nothing left to hold the Panthers at bay.

    Carolina drove down the field with a consistent punishing running game behind their star, DeAngelo Williams, and with 5 seconds left, sent Rhys Lloyd out for a chip shot field goal of 23 yards to win the game.

    Both defenses were up to the task, though. Carolina got 4 sacks of Josh Freeman, 2 of them coming from young defensive end Everette Brown. Stud defensive end Julius Peppers had only 2 tackles and one sack. The Panthers' front four were aggressive all game, dominating the line of scrimmage against the young Buccaneer offensive lineman.

    "We contained (Julius) Peppers, but we forgot about the other guys," Coach Winuvas said. "They dominated us. Our line got no push all game long."

    The Bucs, though, got their own share of pressure and turnovers. Linebacker Quincy Black and cornerback Roderick Hood got 2 interceptions each, and free safety Tanard Jackson made a superb one handed interception as well. Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka had 6 tackles and a sack. The Buccaneer defense also kept Steve Smith in check, holding him to 2 receptions for only 30 yards. But getting six turnovers, one on a fumble, was not enough to put Carolina away for his young offense.

    "When you get that many turnovers against a good team and can't score with them, you deserve to lose. And we did. Credit to Carolina. They never gave up, and they beat us. They deserved to win," Coach Winuvas said during his press conference. "But I am proud of these guys on my sideline and their effort. They never gave up either. I, as a coach, let them down with my offensive playcalling. I have to give my offense a chance to score and I didn't. I'll get that fixed during practices this week."

    Coach Winuvas took all the blame for the loss this week. Hopefully this will be a learning step for the young coach and Tampa Bay will see dividends pay off.

    Keep up with all Buccaneer coverage on the franchise website:
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  7. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Q and A: Week 13

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Antoine Buckman: Coach, thanks for sitting down with me after a tough loss.

    Coach Winuvas: No problem, AB.

    AB: Your defensive schemes seemed to work well until the last drive today. Talk about that.

    CW: Well, we definitely got turnovers on defense, and we gave the offense short fields a lot today, which is exactly what I want from the defensive side of the ball. The defense played well enough to win. (Linebacker) Quincy (Black) and (cornerback) Roderick (Hood) got two interceptions each. They played their butts off trying to contain (Panthers halfback) DeAngelo Williams, but he's just that special of a player.

    AB: Offense was stymied a bit, especially running the ball. What was your strategy there?

    CW: Well, I'm still trying to not rely on Josh (Freeman) to carry the load for us on the offensive side of the ball. Unfortunately, we could not bust their front four with our running game. They were more physical than us, and they dominated the line of scrimmage with their defensive front. Give the Panthers all the credit; we could not move them all game long. As a result we leaned on Josh a bit, and he did some good things. He didn't make a bad decision all game long. He took some sacks that he probably should not have, but he didn't make a big mistake either. I'm proud of his performance.

    AB: Talk about that run by DeAngelo Williams in the fourth that put the Panthers up 14-7.

    CW: Well, AB, it looked like it was a simple power O play, but DeAngelo took it outside the tackle and broke containment and we had no backside help. And with his speed, it doesn't take much green to make it seven points quickly.

    AB: What about the drive that Freeman engineered after that to tie it back up.

    CW: Josh (Freeman) showed a lot of moxie. Got two big fourth down conversions, one of them being the touchdown toss. The guys in that huddle are starting to believe in him, and he's got a good presence out there it seems like. He was crisp on that drive. I don't think he missed but one pass on it, and with no running game to help, that is a small miracle.

    AB: Coach, I'll ask but I know what you're going to say: comment on kicker Mike Nugent and his performance today.

    CW: Okay, I will...Mike Nugent is our kicker the rest of the season. Fans, media, DON'T pin the loss on two missed field goals. They were from 52 and 55 yards out. You want to pin this loss on somebody? Pin it on me. Our defense got SIX turnovers, and we had short fields on most of them, and we can't come away with points. That is the fault of our offense, and that comes from me, since I have say on playcalling both offensively and defensively. Last week it was my defensive playcalling. This week it's my offensive playcalling. Do NOT blame Mike Nugent. I have complete faith in the guy. He's my guy.

    AB: Coach, you have the New York Jets coming into town this week. Any preliminary thoughts?

    CW: Well, they are a team struggling right now with a rookie quarterback and a young but talented squad that is probably a year or two away. Sound familiar? *laugh* But seriously, they are a good defense but their offense is struggling to click right now. Hopefully we'll be able to have them come in and cure what is ailing us right now and get us back on a winning course.

    AB: Coach, best of luck to you next week.

    CW: Thanks, AB. See you at the game.

    Coach Winuvas is optimistic about next week's game versus New York. Is there something he may not be saying just yet? Stay tuned for more news!

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  8. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Q and A: Week 14

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Antoine Buckman: Coach Winuvas, thanks for sitting down with me after a victory versus the Jets today.

    Coach Winuvas: No problem, AB. Glad to be here.

    AB: So, Coach, talk about your offense today. What happened with the running game?

    CW: Kris Jenkins happened. That guy is a beast inside and clogged up all our inside running attack. We tried going outside a bit, but their pursuit was all over it most of the time.

    AB: Any thoughts of changing starters?

    CW: Not at all. Derrick (Ward) is our starter, and (Carnell) Cadillac (Williams) is our backup. Our offensive line just has to execute and give Derrick a chance to explode into the second level.

    AB: Evaluate Josh Freeman's performance today.

    CW: Well, Coach (Rex) Ryan's defense really did a good job at confusing Josh. He was rattled early and made a real poor decision and threw into some coverage in the first quarter. At halftime I tried to calm him down a bit, protect him a bit better with blocking schemes. He really responded in the fourth quarter.

    AB: Leads me right into my next question, Coach. *laughs* 24 points in the fourth quarter after getting shut out the first three quarters? What happened?

    CW: We went to a quick strike attack, letting our receivers make plays. We kept the reads quick and short for Josh (Freeman), and he played well in that setup. We mixed in a bit of running just to keep the Jets honest, but it was mostly a quick strike passing attack, hitting crossing routes and getting our west coast offense kicking.

    AB: How about your defense? Discuss your schemes today.

    CW: Well, my mentor is Coach (Rex) Ryan, so it was an honor to match wits against his defense with mine. Like I've said before, I would like to run a 3-4 setup, but with my personnel I can't right now. I'm using a scheme similar to what former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson ran in Philadelphia. Trying to get some pressure with my front four and timely blitzing. It seems to be working so far.

    AB: Yeah, I agree, Coach. I did some research on stats during your tenure here in Tampa. In 3 games, the team has gotten 9 of its 19 sacks and 9 of its 22 interceptions. The more aggressive style seems to click right now.

    CW: Well, I made my name on defense, AB. It's just a matter of getting a grasp on the offensive side of the ball. The team is getting better at execution as I am getting better at managing game situations.

    AB: Another key stat, Coach, is that points allowed has gone done every game since you've taken over. 21 points, then 17, then 13. Any predictions for next week versus Seattle?

    CW: I predict nothing. But I will say that Seattle is playing lights out right now. Coach Moogle has his guys playing with fire right now. Matt (Hasselbeck) is playing good football right now, and their passing attack is one of the OMFL's better ones. Their defense is solid up the middle with (middle linebacker) Lofa Tatupu and (defensive tackle) Colin Cole. We're going to have to figure out how to keep that offense off the field and execute a solid offensive ball control attack. I'll sit down and come up with something I hope.

    AB: Well, Coach, good luck in Seattle and I'll see you there.

    CW: See you there, AB.

    Coach Winuvas is not optimistic about his chances in Seattle. But he also wasn't optimistic about his chances against then division leading Atlanta. He pulled the upset then. Can he do it again?

    Stay tuned for all your Buccaneer coverage on the franchise website:
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  9. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Fires Team Up

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    [​IMG]

    Tampa Bay running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams during practice today.


    Coach Winuvas is teaching while learning in Tampa these days. Today, he tried to teach a little something about humility to his players after starting his new coaching stint at 2-1.

    Coach Winuvas walked into the locker room with a playoff chart with standings for each division. He had two teams highlighted: the Kansas City Chiefs and his own Buccaneers. Each have 3 wins and 10 losses on the year. The coach then began his speech.

    "Men, see that record for the Chiefs right now? When I left it was 1-9. 1-9! Here I am 2-1. Sounds impressive enough. But we're still 3-10."

    Coach waited a moment to let the initial message sink in.

    "We are not a good football team right now. That is what our record says. And I am not a good coach right now. That what my record this year says. But that isn't what I see out there on the field. I see 53 guys learning to work together towards one goal: one game, one victory, one week's time. I am seeing lots of effort out there in practice, and in our games. And you guys are helping me get better as a coach. Together, we may not do much this year, but I want these last three games to be scary for our opponents. I want them to fear us. Because we have nothing to lose. Nobody believes in us except us. And having nothing to lose makes us very dangerous. I want us to go to Seattle and make those guys AFRAID to see us ever again. I want us to go to New Orleans and CRUSH their playoff hopes. And I want us to play Atlanta again and let them know it wasn't a fluke a few weeks ago."

    The team was hooting with excitement at this point, yelling for Coach Winuvas to keep pouring the heat on the fire. He obliged.

    "So, win or lose, effort 100% every snap, every inch of the field, every quarter, every game. Three games left in our season. Let's go out there and make them FEAR THE ORANGE..."

    Yelling and screaming ensued. His message definitely hit home. Afterwards, I spoke to a few players and got their comments on his speech after a grueling practice session, even by Coach Winuvas' standards.

    Quarterback Josh Freeman: "Coach is doing a good job of inspiring us right now. I got a lot of confidence to finish out the season on a good note and put the first 9 games behind me."

    Wide receiver Eddie Royal: "I'm gonna bust my (expletive) to get some W's in these last three."

    Defensive tackle Chris Hovan: "I'm ready to hit somebody. Let's play right now!"

    Middle linebacker Barrett Ruud: "Coach Winuvas has a good scheme in place and us younger guys are feeding off it, and the vets are playing younger right now. It's good to see."

    Running back Derrick Ward: "I can't wait to play Seattle. I want us to run it on 'em. Dominate up front and me get 100 yards."

    Talking to Coach Winuvas afterwards, I asked him what he thought of giving such a grand speech.

    "Look, AB, we got three games left and we go home for the winter. There isn't a playoff for these guys, and they know that. But I want them to know that we all are playing for our jobs right now. I could get fired. Hell, maybe I should be fired. But as long as I am getting effort from these guys, all 53 of them, then I won't get fired. Because these 53 playing with 100% effort can take on any team in this league and win. I truly believe that, and I don't think another coach could get all 53 guys playing with 100% effort on this team right now," Coach Winuvas said. "I think that this is a real good fit for me, and with another year to fill some holes, I think the NFC South, and the NFC in general, might have to fear the orange. We're not there yet, but myself and (GM) Mark (Dominik) are working to get some cap space fixed and looking at who might be available in the draft and in free agency."

    Well, I'm not a football player, but I was ready to run through a wall for Coach Winuvas after his speech. Hopefully that translates to solid efforts in the Buccaneers' three remaining games: on the road versus Seattle, a divisional game at New Orleans, and home to end the season with a divisional showdown with the Atlanta Falcons. And some wins wouldn't hurt this reporter's feelings either.

    Keep up with all Buccaneers coverage on the franchise website:
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  10. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Bucs Dress, Play Like Bucs of Old

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    [​IMG]

    Derrick Ward scoring the only touchdown for the Bucs

    Tampa Bay dressed in their creamsickle orange colors, and then played like the Bucs of 1994 by getting destroyed by the Seattle Seahawks 49-13 at Qwest Field this Sunday.

    Seattle started the game as a successful team should against a bad team: they marched down the field with their successful passing attack, finishing the drive with a 22 yard pass to Deion Branch for a touchdown. The Buccaneers then came out to the field on offense and worked the ball down the field. Unfortunately, Josh Freeman threw an interception to Rashean Mathis, who then returned the pick for a touchdown, putting the Seahawks up 14-0.

    The Bucs, however, did not detract from their west coast short passing attack and running attack. Marching down the field utilizing halfback Derrick Ward, the Buccaneers scored on a 40 yard pass from quarterback Josh Freeman to Ward, bringing the game to 14-7. A couple of exchanges of possessions led to a late field goal by Tampa Bay kicker Mike Nugent for a score of 14-10. Seattle then put together a great one minute drive, scoring on the last play of the half to get a 21-10 lead.

    The wheels for the Bucs fell off in the second half, however, as Seattle made adjustments defensively that Coach Winuvas had no answer for offensively. Two fumbles, one by Derrick Ward and one by Eddie Royal, were returned for touchdowns, and a third touchdown scored by Edgerrin James on a 6 yard run put the game completely out of reach for the young Buccaneers team.

    "They are a better team than us, point blank. And I called bad plays in our passing game that didn't give Josh (Freeman) a chance to be successful. He made only one real bad decision, but otherwise I didn't do him any favors," Coach Winuvas said after the game. "Our defense was okay, but when you're down by 32 after 3 quarters, there isn't much you can do."

    Tampa Bay's main offensive weapons were halfback Derrick Ward and tight end Chris Cooley. Derrick Ward ran the ball 20 times for 148 yards and the lone touchdown on the day on his only reception. Cooley had 6 receptions for 52 yards. Quarterback Josh Freeman had his first bad game under Coach Winuvas, completing 15 of 25 passes for 188 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.

    Seattle had its usual cast of characters come through. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was 13 of 18 for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. Halfback Edgerrin James had 14 carries for 53 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall had 6 catches for 55 yards, and Deion Branch had 2 receptions for 35 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    "We got outcoached, outplayed, outhustled, and just plain beat," Coach Winuvas said at the post game press conference. "Coach Moogle is a force to be reckoned with. If we continue to play like that the rest of the season, all of us will be looking for jobs next year."

    Tampa goes to New Orleans next week, while Seattle goes to Green Bay to take on the Packers.

    Keep up with all Buccaneers coverage on the franchise website:
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  11. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Q and A: Week 15

    [​IMG]

    Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman takes questions on Monday after a 49-13 loss to Seattle this Sunday

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Antoine Buckman: Coach, thanks for sitting down after a loss like that today.

    Coach Winuvas: Good and bad, AB, I'll be here.

    AB: So what happened today? Seems like the team imploded on you out there.

    CW: Well, (expletive), AB, when you have 5 (expletive) turnovers, and 3 of them go back for (expletive) touchdowns, anyone would give it up. The guys played hard all game though. Can't question their effort, just playcalling and execution.

    AB: Let's talk about those 3 turnovers that turned into 21 Seahawk points.

    CW: Well, the first one hurt, as we were driving and (quarterback) Josh (Freeman) got hit as he was trying to throw it to (Derrick) Ward in the flat. (Cornerback Rashean) Mathis just made a great play and took it to the house. Even after going down 14-0 I felt like we could keep up with them. The second touchdown came on a Derrick Ward fumble, which is unusual for him. The third one came on (wide receiver Eddie) Royal's fumble. We definitely are not good enough to win when we are -4 in the turnover battle. (expletive), we're not good enough to win when we are AHEAD +4 in the turnover battle. Just look at our game against Carolina.

    AB: So talk about Derrick Ward's performance today, other than the fumble.

    CW: He got going pretty good today. I was surprised with our execution in run blocking against a pretty good front seven for Seattle. If our passing game could have been more consistent, it would have been a better game. But Derrick was solid and running hard. Got almost 150 today and was the only guy playing well on offense.

    AB: Josh Freeman appeared to regress a bit in this game. What happened there?

    CW: Between a few bad decisions and bad playcalling, Josh wasn't set up to win today. He made a few throws into coverage, but to be fair, Seattle's secondary was jumping some short routes and made some plays as well.

    AB: Defense didn't play bad. Talk about that.

    CW: Well, the defense allowed 28 points. The offense allowed 21. (Seattle wide receiver) Brandon Marshall killed us early, and when we focused on him, (quarterback Matt) Hasselbeck hit Deion Branch in the middle of the field for touchdowns. Coach Moogle had a pretty good gameplan. But until the third quarter meltdown we had, I truly feel we could have pulled it out and won, even down 21-10 at halftime.

    AB: Why is that, Coach?

    CW: Well, this may be his coaching style, but I never felt like he (Coach Moogle) was pushing us around. I felt like, for the most part, we did well on both sides of the ball in the trenches, even though we didn't sack Hasselbeck. Maybe we were confusing him (Hasselbeck) a bit with our scheme, or maybe he (Coach Moogle) was taking it easy on a rookie coach. Who knows? All I know is that their defense made us PAY for our mistakes, and we couldn't make them make mistakes. That doesn't bode well for a bad football team.

    AB: Next week you go to New Orleans to take on a desperate Saints team in a nice rivalry game. Any ideas?

    CW: Well, I wasn't here for the first game, but from what I studied of game stats, it looks like we just didn't capitalize on turnovers and our running game was shut down. I don't think that will be the case this time around as far as running is concerned. On defense we HAVE to pressure Brees and force him to throw away from Devery Henderson. Brees has to feel rushed and that gives us a chance. If we can control the clock and our turnovers, I think we have a decent shot to make sure that the Saints don't go anywhere for the playoffs just like us.

    AB: Well, Coach, I'll see you in New Orleans in a few days. Thanks again for the time.

    CW: No problem, AB. Hopefully our guys will put forth a better result next week.

    Coach sounds a bit shaky after the whipping he just received at the hands of one of the OMFL's better teams. Will some Cajun cooking fix his team? Or will the Saints' "Voodoo" spell doom for Coach Winuvas?

    Keep up with all of your Bucs news on the franchise website:
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  12. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas rachets up offensive practice

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    Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman working on play action drills in practice this Tuesday.

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    With one week to go in the Buccaneers season, Coach Winuvas has put the offense to work with two a days going into their game with Atlanta this Sunday.

    The reasoning: poor offensive play. The Buccaneers have scored 19 points in their last two games, both losses to the Seahawks and Saints. The passing game has been particularly painful to watch as Josh Freeman has gone from being a serviceable rookie quarterback to just plain bad, completing only 55% of his passes in the last two games while throwing for under 250 yards with a touchdown and 4 interceptions.

    "Josh is making bad decisions right now, and it shows. We just have to get back to what we do well: run the ball, control the clock, and not ask Josh to throw the ball much," Coach Winuvas said during a short press conference between practices on Tuesday.

    The defense, while enjoying success under Coach Winuvas' zone blitzing schemes, are being worn out by being on the field too much in the last two games, and it shows. Tampa's defense allowed only 13 points in the first half to the Saints, but the offense could only muster 6 points while being given good field position in the game.

    "We as a coaching staff have to analyze what we are doing as well, so the blame isn't squarely on Josh (Freeman), or any one particular player on offense. The receivers have to get open, the tight ends have to be better in their route running, and the offensive line needs to hold their blocks in the passing game better," Coach Winuvas analyzed during the between-practice conference.

    Coach Winuvas has stressed a quicker pace with his practices, allowing the players to run in half gear to give them more speed.

    "I want the offense to get better at being quicker in practice, so it will seem slower in real game situations, if that makes sense," Coach said. "If we speed it up out here on the practice field, then the regular field will seem slow by comparison."

    Josh Freeman, a shotgun only quarterback while in college at Kansas State, has said that he has had trouble adapting to the dropback setup that Coach Winuvas prefers, but he's enjoying the learning curve and the challenges it has with it.

    "Coach has faith that I can be successful in this system. While it has been a big change reading defenses while dropping back, it will make me better in the future. So while I'm taking lumps now, I'll be better for it next year and in the future for this team," Freeman said after practice.

    Coach Winuvas also make some roster changes to the depth at quarterback, cutting veteran Byron Leftwich and recently signed free agent Jared Lorenzen to get another former Chief, Matt Gutierrez, and New York Jets castoff Eric Ainge for quarterback depth.

    "Gutierrez is a good guy to have at #2 (quarterback), I think. He's accurate with a solid arm and can be good if we need him to play due to injury (to Freeman). (Erik) Ainge is a guy I studied up on a bit and has some talent but needs work," Coach Winuvas said when asked about roster moves. "Leftwich is a good guy, and I wish him well, but we needed the cap space. He'll find a home next year I think. Lorenzen was a guy I signed and he just never got into a groove on the practice field that I felt comfortable with."

    When asked about the Falcons, Coach Winuvas was short and to the point.

    "We beat them in Week 12. They've gotten better, we've gotten worse. Now we have to prove it wasn't a fluke."

    Will they though? Or will they be fighting for the #1 draft pick?

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     
  13. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Tampa Offense Lacking in Saints Rout

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    New Orleans QB Drew Brees shrugs at coaches after a Brian Westbrook touchdown run against the Bucs this Sunday.

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Good news for Tampa Bay fans (the three that are left): the Buccaneers defense is solid and can hold their own against any team in the OMFL. The bad news: their offense could not score against a high school defense right now. The proof is in the score of the Saints/Bucs game: 24-6.

    Both teams' defenses showed up to play in this game. The Buccaneers got the first points of the game on a Mike Nugent field goal midway through the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead, a lead that would stand up thanks to stout defense on Tampa's part to keep the vaunted New Orleans offense off track.

    "We targeted (New Orleans wide receiver Devery) Henderson a good bit with our zone coverage schemes, keeping 2 guys in that area at all times," Coach Winuvas said after the game. "We wanted him contained to keep New Orleans from breaking the big play. He still got his touches, though."

    Devery Henderson caught six balls for 72 yards and a touchdown, that touchdown coming in the second quarter late to give the Saints a 7-3 lead going into the half.

    However, like most of Coach Winuvas' games in Tampa orange, the second half brought no adjustments on offense, and a tired defense could not keep up with the Saints. An 85 yard breakout run by Saints running back Brian Westbrook on the first play from scrimmage in the second half made it 14-3, and with the Buccaneer offense showing no life, the game was over at that point for the most part. A Mike Nugent field goal late in the third quarter got it to 14-6, which is as close as Tampa would get. Two late Garrett Hartley field goals and a interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Fabian Washington sealed the deal for the Saints.

    Josh Freeman was anemic and looked timid on the field, completing only 11 of 25 passes for 92 yards and one interception. Derrick Ward worked hard for his 94 yards on 20 carries against one of the best defenses in the OMFL. Jerry Porter was the lead receiver for Tampa, getting 3 catches for 35 yards. Linebacker Quincy Black led the defensive effort with 6 tackles, and defensive tackle Chris Hovan had the team's only sack of Brees on the day.

    "We could not get consistent pressure on (New Orleans quarterback Drew) Brees, and he made us pay for that," Coach Winuvas said of his defensive effort.

    Brees was efficient and accurate, completing 13 of 19 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Brian Westbrook carried 15 times for 149 yards, but other than the 85 yard breakout run was contained well by Tampa Bay's defensive scheme. Other than Devery Henderson, no other receiver stood out, with only 1 other receiver catching 2 passes of 8 receivers catching a pass (Brian Westbrook had 2 catches).

    "We have to go to the drawing board on offense. I'll be working hard on that during practices this week. I plan on working a scout team against the offense, and giving most of our defensive starters a breather in practice," Coach Winuvas commented after the game. "To be frank, we are playing (expletive) right now, and it shows. Hopefully we can summon up some quality offensive play against Atlanta and give him a game."

    Coach Winuvas also talked about draft plans with what will almost certainly be a top ten pick.

    "We have lots of needs to fill, to be honest," he said. "(General manager) Mark (Dominik) and I have some ideas on what we are looking at. We're discussing what we want to do in year 2, and I can't comment much further on it until we sit down after the season and evaluate our personnel and see where we need to get younger and more talented."

    Coach Winuvas sounds like he has no answers on offense right now, and it shows. Will he figure it out in time to beat Atlanta a second time this year, or will he be content with working towards next year?

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  14. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Coach Winuvas Q and A: Week 16 Cancelled

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    To those folks that were expecting our normal question/answer segment from week 16, Coach Winuvas had the following statement:

    "I want to apologize to Antoine Buckman, the Tampa Tribune, and all Tampa Bay fans for that performance against the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday. I want to focus on getting this team ready for Atlanta, so our agreed meeting time between myself and Mr. Buckman was cancelled on my part. I have to focus on my job. I hope fans and the media understand that. I assure you that I will have a full press conference and a question and answer session with Mr. Buckman on week 17's performance after the game against the Falcons this Sunday. Thank you, and keep rooting for us."

    He assured me in person while making this statement on multiple occasions that he would be available for questions after the week 17 game versus the Falcons. We'll come back then with news from that game.

    Keep up with Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  15. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Bucs Dominate, Win Late

    [​IMG]

    Buccaneers MLB Barrett Ruud (right) and SS Jermaine Phillips (left) converge on Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez in game Sunday

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Well, Raymond James Stadium was almost sold out this Sunday to watch the final regular season game of the OMFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And finally, the team as a whole came through to give fans a glimpse of 2010-11 with a 20-17 victory over the division rival Atlanta Falcons.

    The game was like a heavyweight bout: both teams starting slow to feel out their opponents. Atlanta elected to kick to start the game, and after unsuccessful drives by each team to start, the Buccaneers marched down the field on the arm of Josh Freeman and the legs (and hands) of Derrick Ward. Halfway through the first quarter, Freeman hit Ward on a 19 yard touchdown pass to put Tampa Bay ahead 7-0.

    The Bucs' defense would make it stand throughout the first quarter, but special teams this day would be the bane of Tampa's existence. After a Mike Nugent field goal midway through the second quarter to put the Bucs up 10-0, Falcons return man Jerrious Norwood ran the subsequent kickoff back to the Tampa Bay 3 yard line. One play later, fullback Ovie Mughelli rumbled in for a Falcons touchdown.

    No scoring occured after that until a bad decision by Josh Freeman broke the game open for Atlanta. On an out route that was clearly covered, Freeman threw directly to cornerback Tye Hill, who proceeded to run the interception back for an Atlanta touchdown to put them up 14-10. A Jason Elam field goal with 3 minutes to go in the fourth put Tampa Bay down 17-10. Down, but not out.

    Freeman quickly engineered a drive to get the team down the field, going to the short passing game and running with Derrick Ward. The big play came on a pitch to Ward, who took it 56 yards to the Falcon 1 yard line. A rumble by fullback B.J. Askew put the game at 17-17.

    The Falcons then went to their own two minute drive. However, quarterback Matt Ryan threw an ill advised pass across the middle which was picked off by Tampa Bay nickel cornerback Torrie Cox, who returned it to the 40 yard line of Atlanta. Three plays later, with :32 seconds on the clock, Tampa Bay put up the final points of their season with a Mike Nugent 39 yard field goal to make it 20-17.

    The Buccaneers dominated the game statistically, however. They ran for 172 yards as a team to Atlanta's 51, passed for 188 yards as a team to Atlanta's 95, and dominated time of possession with a nearly 2 to 1 advantage. In total offense, Tampa Bay had 360 yards to Atlanta's 146. Josh Freeman went went 21 of 32 in his final game of the year, with 195 yards and a touchdown to go with 2 interceptions. Derrick Ward ran the ball 24 times for 142 yards, and caught 4 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Chris Cooley caught 7 passes for 31 yards. On the defensive side, Torrie Cox was the hero with the only turnover for Tampa Bay. However, linebacker Quincy Black logged 4 tackles and the team had 2 sacks and timely pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

    For the Falcons, Matt Ryan had an off day, going 10 of 25 for 110 yards and an interception. Running back Michael Turner had 9 carries for 48 yards in limited usage. Wide receiver Roddy White had 4 catches for 48 yards. Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton had 6 tackles and an interception in a stellar defensive showing on his part.

    "Well, we're going home, and Atlanta is going to the playoffs, but I think we're in their heads a bit," Coach Winuvas remarked after the game. "I will say this though to whomever plays 'em in the playoffs: Coach Wajy is probably upset, and will try to take it out on you."

    The team, and Coach Winuvas, finished 4-12 in their campaign. Coach Winuvas went 1-9 with Kansas City, and 3-3 with Tampa Bay. Hopefully, with a solid draft, some quality free agents, and a new outlook on the team, he can get it turned the right way in 2010.

    Keep up with all your Buccaneers coverage on the franchise website:
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  16. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Bucs Fans: Some Hope for '10-'11 Season

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Okay, so the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't going to the playoffs this year. They finished the year at 4-12. But...there are some high points with the new coaching regime of Coach Winuvas coming into play. Here are some stats to give all you Bucs fans and readers of the blog hope going into next year:

    1. Coach Winuvas finished the year at .500, going 3-3. Two of those wins came against the Atlanta Falcons, who are currently representing the NFC South in the OMFL Playoffs.

    2. The defensive intensity definitely went up with Coach Winuvas' scheming ways, even with using a defensive set he doesn't care for. Using a more aggressive, blitzing style 4-3 defense (Coach Winuvas has said repeatedly if he could he would run the 3-4), in six games the team logged 10 sacks, 10 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles while allowing 1487 total yards and 144 points. That equates to 247.8 yards per game and 24 points per game allowed. In the other eleven games prior to Coach Winuvas coming in, the defense logged 11 sacks, 13 interceptions, and 9 forced fumbles, with 3542 total yards and 377 points allowed total for a per game average of 322 YPG and 34.27 PPG. That's almost 100 yards less allowed per game and 10 points less per game allowed under Coach Winuvas.

    3. Derrick Ward was supremely happy to see Coach Winuvas and his run first attitude come through the door. Under the new coach, Ward carried the ball 129 times for 601 yards and 1 rushing touchdown in 6 games. In the other 11 games prior to the coaching change, Ward ran the ball only 82 times for 339 yards and a touchdown.

    4. Josh Freeman got better with Coach Winuvas guiding him into the "West Coast" offense. Through 11 weeks, Freeman completed 60% of his passes (132-220) while throwing for 1607 yards, 8 touchdowns, and a whopping 25 interceptions. In the last 6 games of the season, the completion percentage hasn't suffered much (59.87%, on 91-152), and Freeman has thrown for 965 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. The decisions are getting better, and another year in this offense could have Freeman soaring up the elite quarterback ladder.

    5. Offensive production as a whole has gone up since Coach Winuvas came to town. In six games the Coach has gotten 1604 total offensive yards and 106 points, which equals out to 267.3 yards per game and 17.3 points per game. In the first eleven games of the season, the team accumulated 2726 total offensive yards and 210 points. While the points per game have gone down (19.1 to 17.3), the yards per game have gone up (from 247.8 in the first eleven), mainly because of the final reason on this list....

    6. The Buccaneers were in every game of the final six games except for one, the Seahawks loss 49-13. A last second field goal to the Panthers got them a loss, but they fought tooth and nail throughout. The Saints game, while a "blowout", was close for the first half until Tampa's defense got worn out. Only 2 of the previous eleven games were the Buccaneers in the game until the end (the Redskins game in week 4 and the Dolphins game in week 10). Coach Winuvas has them fighting, which is a good start with a young squad.

    So there you go, Bucs fans. Six reasons to believe that 2010 will be the "Year of the Orange". If the front office can fix a few holes, and the draft is good to Tampa Bay, a much better record than 4-12 can be expected.

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  17. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Tampa's Offseason Quiet...Too Quiet

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    The offseason has officially begun for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coach Winuvas, usually very chatty about his ideas for his team, has been close-lipped about his plans for the upcoming draft and possible moves to be made. However, some sources in the organization close to the coach have given me a few key things to look out for:

    1. A big time trade involving Chris Cooley. The leading receiver for the Bucs last year, Cooley is an All-Pro level receiving tight end. With some depth at the position with Tony Scheffler (acquired in a Broncos trade earlier in the year) and Leonard Pope (free agent signee), look for the Bucs to actively shop Cooley around. The word is that Coach is looking for some defensive line help, as well as a halfback, wide receiver, or a cornerback.

    2. First round draft pick. The Baltimore Sun has done up a mock draft, with the Buccaneers in the #9 overall spot taking RB LaRon James out of Northern Arizona. My sources have said that is pretty well on the mark, but not to be surprised if the Bucs go quarterback with that pick. With three stellar quarterbacks coming out in this draft, if one of them falls to that nine spot, Josh Freeman will have some competition in camp come next year.

    3. Free agency deals? The Bucs will gain back a lot of cap room after the season officially ends. With lots of teams having to go through their rosters and make mandatory cuts per league rules, Tampa Bay is looking to be aggressive in the market to get a cornerback, defensive lineman, halfback, or wide receiver. If certain trades happen to go through (namely with Chris Cooley, above), this list will get smaller in scope and more aggressive in need.

    4. Trade rumors other than Cooley? The Bucs are in need of talent; that much is obvious. While Coach Winuvas won't directly say it, someone in the organization is (albeit on the condition of anonymity): he is looking to wheel and deal with draft picks and players. He doesn't have a lot of bullets in the gun, but whatever he has he's looking to use to bolster his needs. Other guys on the block include (if not cut): RB Correll Buckhalter, RB Carnell Williams, WR Eddie Royal, DT Chris Hovan, LG Aaron Sears, RG Davin Joseph, LT Donald Penn, CB Roderick Hood, and possibly even TEs Tony Scheffler and Leonard Pope are available for the right price (even if Cooley is dealt). Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was quoted as saying, "We are in full listening mode right now for any offers on players. Coach Winuvas has said that middle linebacker Barrett Ruud is not available, but if the price is right, I will override him in that stance. If anyone wants to contact us, our phone lines are open."

    Looks like the Bucs are in blowup mode, but do they really need to be? Guess it depends on what deals can/will be made.

    Keep up with all the Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  18. weblink21

    weblink21 Walk On

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    Nice write up. I hear the Ravens like both Cooley and Royal, but I have not been able to confirm that rumor yet.
     
  19. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Offseason Pre-Draft: Excitement in Tampa

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers definitely are taking an interesting approach to the free agency period and to trading in general. They are shooting for quality in those areas, not quantity.

    The first big acquisition (or re-aquisition) of the offseason in free agency came with the signing of wide receiver Antonio Bryant to a one-year deal. After getting many suitors, Antonio decided on the Bucs after a lucrative offer.

    "This is the place that wanted me most. So that is where I went," Bryant said.

    Bryant provides the Buccaneers with a solid number 1A receiver alongside speedster Eddie Royal, giving Freeman another weapon in a now potent (on paper) offense. Along with slot receiver Jabar Gaffney, Tampa Bay now has three solid targets for their 3WR sets. With youngster Sammie Stroughter up and coming quickly, the Bucs are set for a while on offense, at least at the wide receiver position.

    The next big target was cornerback. While they were aggressive on attempting to attain Aaron Ross, Coach Winuvas decided to go with a more veteran presence in Andre Goodman, recently of the Vikings. Goodman, 31, is still got all the speed that made him a desirable corner earlier in his career and has combined that with excellent man and zone cover skills, making him a prime candidate to play at the #2 corner beside Aqib Talib.

    "This was a huge deal for us. Having two great cover guys (Talib and Goodman) allows us to do more with stunts, blitzes, and have faith that those guys will stick to their assignments," Coach Winuvas said shortly after the signing was announced.

    Wanting to stick with a veteran base at corner, Coach Winuvas then called up Samari Rolle, who accepted a veteran minimum to play at nickel/dime corner.

    "Coach Win wanted me, and I still feel I can play in this league," Rolle said when he was announced as a Buc. "I will do whatever it takes to get back to the OMFL Bowl: play safety, corner, backup these guys here, teach. I'm here to win."

    At this time there are still some other contracts in limbo awaiting approval, but Coach Winuvas is confident he has a good bunch coming into camp.

    "With these guys and our draftees coming in, we'll evaluate the talent we have and get a solid 55 man roster fielded. We may not match up on paper talent wise, but I think our coaching and schemes will make up for it," Coach Winuvas said about his roster plans.

    As far as trades go, while some teams (Saints, Cardinals, 49ers, Jaguars) have gone all out to make huge splashes, the Bucs have been content to fly under the radar a bit with their one trade so far: acquiring halfback Darren McFadden and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly from the Raiders for their first and second-round draft picks.

    "When we cut (defensive tackle Chris) Hovan, I was worried about having a veteran up the middle to plug the running game. I didn't see (Tommy) Kelly coming to us, but I'm glad he's here. It gives (defensive tackles) Marcus (Thomas) and Roy (Miller) another year to learn and develop. And what can you say about (Darren) McFadden. The guy is electric when he's healthy," Coach Winuvas beamed about the trade.

    Basically, Tampa Bay acquired the 4th overall pick from 2 years ago for a 9th overall pick, and a talented defensive player for their 41st overall pick. Both picks would probably not have seen as much talent coming in as they got in this deal.

    "We analyzed the deal, and, for what we were looking to get in the first round, we didn't see that value falling to us. We wanted to go halfback/defensive end/defensive tackle, so in the end we got what we wanted for where we would have been drafting. So good all the way around, I say," Coach Winuvas said.

    The core of the team stayed intact, including quarterback Josh Freeman, who at one point was rumored to be replaced in a trade involving Eddie Royal.

    "I heard the rumors, but Coach Winuvas took a look at my improvement in reading defenses during the voluntary workouts and told me, 'Josh, you're our future. (expletive) that rumor," Josh Freeman said during a press conference.

    Coach Winuvas seconded that comment.

    "I told Josh then that if we can improve our team, we will no matter what. He knew that. I even told him what I was looking for. But things change, and his improvement during the offseason was key. Josh worked really hard on his mechanics and studying defenses. He wants to be great. So now (general manager) Mark (Dominik) and I are getting him pieces to make him better."

    On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Winuvas has not changed much, keeping the core pretty much intact. He lost only one starter (Hovan) off a defense that showed remarkable improvement under his tutelage, and has gotten better at cornerback (a big weak point last year) and deeper at middle linebacker.

    "We're still going to attack, and now with better coverage skills in our secondary that makes the attacking style that much better," Coach Winuvas said.

    Coach is hoping that Mathias Kiwanuka at defensive end can return to the form that made him a force on the New York Giants defensive line, while getting young hybrid linebacker/defensive end Jarvis Moss into the equation on the other side. A solid front four is the key to Coach's scheme.

    "If they (front four) are solid and can generate a rush, then that's more guys we bring into coverage to knock down a pass or get turnovers. We HAVE to be more aggressive about getting turnovers, and more importantly, scoring with them. If we can get better with our takeaways, we'll be in every game. And if we are in the game, the other coach should worry," Coach Winuvas said when asked about his front four. "If we have to blitz, fine, but if we can get pressure with four, we'll be a scary team to play every Sunday. I guarantee you that."

    What about the offense?

    "Well, we have weapons for (Josh) Freeman now. He's got no excuses. The line only changed one player at center, (Steve) Justice, and we added a quality receiver, quality halfback, and we still have two premier tight ends in Chris (Cooley) and Tony (Scheffler). Any formation we have is a possible passing situation. If Josh (Freeman) can take care of the ball and feed both Darren (McFadden) and Derrick (Ward) the ball on the ground, we'll scare everyone we play."

    With the draft still looming, he's hoping to get some depth, and maybe some starters, with his later picks.

    "Honestly, I'm looking at a few lower-scouted guys," Coach Win said. "I got a few positions in mind I'm targetting, and if I can get better than what I have on the roster, I will get it, no matter the position."

    Coach Winuvas sounds pretty confident about his team. But everyone is confident before the week one kickoffs begin. Can he carry that confidence to the field for more wins, however? That is truly what Buccaneers fans want, and hope, for in 2010-11.

    Keep up with all your Buccaneers coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     
  20. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Bad "Moon" Rising in Tampa: Offseason and Draft Update

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Well, Tampa Bay did not have a lot of activity in the actual draft process as far as picks go. But they tried to connect with potential and need at the same time, and, in this reporter's opinion, succeeded for the most part.

    With their first pick in the third round (73rd overall pick), the Buccaneer's front office sat dormant most of the day. Coach Winuvas paced the war room, however, hoping (to no avail) that someone would ring him up wanting All-Pro tight end Chris Cooley. Coach also was busy organizing his draft board. He had written about 30 players that he hoped would be available at his pick at #73. His main target: a right tackle to push underachieving Jeremy Trueblood. And Coach Winuvas got lucky, as most people were grabbing outside linebackers, halfbacks, and wide receivers (not to mention cornerbacks). No one was really looking at offensive line, and when his pick came up, Coach wasted no time.

    "Xavier Moon, right tackle," he quickly announced to the commissioner.

    With the fourth round pick, Coach Winuvas addressed another need: defensive line. Coach went for another potential stud in Jordan Kanda, right end.

    "With both these picks we solidify some depth issues, give some push to some of our vets on the team, and prepare for next year all at the same time. With our trade to Oakland, we got four really good players that we value very highly. All four can contribute at some point during the season, and we have high hopes for (defensive tackle Tommy) Kelly and (running back Darren) McFadden. (Xavier) Moon will push (Jeremy) Trueblood at right tackle, and if Trueblood doesn't shape up, he may see the bench. Jordan (Kanda) at defensive end gives us a solid hybrid guy who can play end or tackle in our scheme. He has some raw pass rush ability and instincts which we need from our defensive guys. Hopefully we can make some more moves to get some more instincts and toughness on defense," Coach Winuvas announced to OMFL.com correspondent Adam Chiefsman after his picks were in and done.

    Coach Winuvas has made changes to the roster, but mostly on the offensive side of the ball this offseason, adding a ton of weapons (and protectors) for second year quarterback Josh Freeman.

    "Last year he had two or three options. Now he has five or six," Coach Winuvas commented. "With more options, there is going to be a quicker progression on pass plays, and with more speed in Darren McFadden at tailback, we have the ability to bounce outside quicker and exploit mismatches."

    Coach also commented on the usage of McFadden with already signed (and talented) halfback Derrick Ward.

    "Ward is our north-south guy this year and will be the main focal back. McFadden will get in there as well, possibly even as a halfback to Ward's fullback, in spots. McFadden will return kicks and punts and will also see some action in the slot area. Hopefully we'll get him 5-10 touches a game, and increase his workload more as the season progresses. His rookie year he was hobbled a bit from overuse, so I don't want to run him dry and hurt him, and our team, further down the road."

    Defensively saw little action, other than adding defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and rookie end Jordan Kanda. It did see the exit of veteran defensive tackle Chris Hovan and cornerback Roderick Hood.

    "(Chris) Hovan really hurt me to cut. He's been a pillar in this community for a while now. He was good last year but we need to get younger there and he isn't that. Roderick (Hood) was a cut for cap reasons. We were hoping to possibly grab him back, but there was a premium on cornerbacks we did not foresee," Coach Winuvas said. "I am confident that (Tommy) Kelly and (Jordan) Kanda, as well as our free agent signee Andre Goodman at corner, will solidify and galvanize this defense against anything the OMFL has to throw at us."

    Coach Winuvas' first game comes against a team that many believe had the best draft in the OMFL, the San Francisco 49ers. Adding prized OLBs Torian Watts and Josh Snead to a Pro-Bowl linebacker in Patrick Willis makes this team dangerous as the first test of the new season.

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     
  21. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Reunited, and it feels so....Odd?

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    It's been a little under a year since Coach Winuvas, while with Kansas City, traded star halfback Larry Johnson (and others) to the Cincinnati Bengals. Who predicted that, when cut by Cincinnati due to cap issues, Coach Winuvas would be the only coach to call Johnson up to give him a chance to play?

    Larry Johnson didn't.

    "I'm honestly humbled and surprised that Coach Winuvas called me. He wanted to know how I was feeling and if I felt I had anything left. When I responded that I did, he offered me a veteran minimum deal. I told him I would wait to see if any other offers came up, but they didn't. I called him back and asked if he was sure he wanted me. He said yes. So I'm here."

    Coach Winuvas was just as shocked about the situation to an extent.

    "Look, LJ (Larry Johnson) and I had bad blood when I shipped him out of KC. I know it. You (the media) knows it, and LJ knows it. He wasn't giving effort. I am hoping that since he was teamless, his effort would be up and help this young team get better. I have confidence in him to lead us into battle."

    To do due diligence to this story, I even called up former Chiefs blogger, and now OMFL.com blogger Adam Chiefsman and asked him a few things about their "relationship".

    "There was no 'relationship' there," Chiefsman remembered. "Coach Winuvas wanted it his way, and Larry wasn't cooperating. So he shipped him out. Coach Winuvas has mellowed a bit since his days in KC. So has Larry. I think this go around will be a lot better than the first run, especially behind a better offensive line and better talent."

    Larry Johnson joins a stacked backfield, with incumbent Derrick Ward and newly acquired Darren McFadden at halfback.

    "We will continue to run first. With this backfield now, we are going to be a force on the ground, which will help our passing options," Coach Winuvas briefly commented after the signing.

    Large amount of talent in the backfield in Tampa now. Will there be enough footballs to go around?

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     
  22. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Options Aplenty for QB Freeman

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Wow, does anyone remember the offense last year for Tampa Bay? How many passing options did Josh Freeman have? Here they are:

    1. Tight end Chris Cooley
    2. Wide receiver Eddie Royal
    3. Running back Derrick Ward

    The other wide receivers on staff were Jerry Porter (an aging vet signed late by Coach Winuvas, and played well), Sammie Stroughter (rookie last year who didn't see much playing time), Jabar Gaffney (great slot receiver but not a #2 as he was originally placed on the roster), and Mark Bradley (a solid #4 or special teams guy but not a #3 as he was on the roster).

    Now fast forward to this year. Here are Josh Freeman's options:

    1. Tight end Chris Cooley
    2. Wide receiver Eddie Royal
    3. Wide receiver Antonio Bryant
    4. Running back Darren McFadden
    5. Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney
    6. Tight end Tony Scheffler
    7. Running back Derrick Ward
    8. Running back Larry Johnson
    9. Wide receiver Sammie Stroughter

    Yeah. A LOT longer of a list, I know. The major acquisions of the offseason (Bryant and McFadden) join an improved receiving corps, with second year man Sammie Stroughter having a great camp and Jabar Gaffney settling well into his slot role (his more preferred role). With the recent signing of veteran halfback Larry Johnson, this gives Freeman tons of options to work with. The big question is: Is too much a good thing?

    "No," Coach Winuvas answered bluntly. "I want Freeman to find the open guy and I want that guy, the open guy, to be his target. I don't care if one of those guys you mentioned gets twenty catches in a game and the rest get none, as long as Josh (Freeman) is hitting open targets and moving this offense down the field, we'll be great."

    With all the talk about the offense in the offseason, there was little if any movement on defense.

    "The only needs we had were to get a corner to play second fiddle to Aqib (Talib), and we did that in Andre Goodman. I'm comfortable with our linebacking corps, and our defensive line is solid. We're not great individually, but we play great team defense and that will be our way. If we can get lucky and get improvement on defense, I will welcome it, but for now I'm comfortable running this group out there on Sundays," Coach said when asked about defensive offseason moves.

    With such a passion for a 3-4 defensive set (considering his background under Rex Ryan, a master of the 3-4 scheme), it was rather surprising to see Coach Winuvas stick with 4-3 type players when scouting trade prospects and the like.

    "Honestly, it would take a massive overhaul to get this team 3-4 ready. And I liked what I saw out of them last year running a more aggressive 4-3 and getting away from that 'Tampa 2' style. I would rather take a solid defense and coach them up then blow it all up and start anew," Coach Winuvas responded when asked about a possible change in defensive philosophy. "Coach (Rex) Ryan always told me to be flexible and aggressive with schemes. So I'm doing that."

    The team's first test will come against a very much improved 49ers team that overhauled their defense in the offseason, adding four youngsters with immense speed and talent to aid middle linebacker Patrick Willis.

    "Those guys will be a phenomenal first test for our new offense," Coach Winuvas said of the 49ers. "They will fly to the ball non-stop and be tough to run on and pass on. We just have to match their talent on defense with tenacity and toughness. Go out and hit them in the mouth and see how they respond."

    This Sunday will be a good indicator of whether or not Coach Winuvas' schemes on offense can be successful. Here's hoping they are.

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     
  23. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    New Season, Same Ol' Bucs

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    If you had tickets to attend the opening game of the 2010-11 season at Raymond James Stadium this Sunday, and you were not a 49ers fan, allow me to express my sympathies for having to watch the game you witnessed this Sunday. Tampa Bay came in with high hopes, which were very quickly dashed by a superb San Francisco defense and very porous play on the defense and special teams side of the ball in a 42-24 loss.

    The game started with a nice drive down the field by Tampa Bay, taking about 3 minutes and ending with a Mike Nugent field goal. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, 49ers kickoff returner/wide receiver Mike Thomas ran it back 106 yards for a touchdown.

    Getting back out on the field, the offense again moved the ball fairly well down the field, finishing the first quarter off with a 3 yard touchdown pass to fullback B.J. Askew. The first quarter ended with the Bucs having gained 106 yards in offense to San Francisco's 0. Yet Tampa Bay was only up 10-7. Their special teams woes would continue throughout the day as San Francisco won the battle of field position all day, consistently starting drives with only 60-65 yards of field to go until the end zone.

    A safety on a poor decision by Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman made the score 10-9, and San Francisco immediately made the Buccaneers pay for that error with a quick strike scoring drive, with 49ers quarterback Nate Davis hitting Michael Crabtree for a 16 yard touchdown.

    New acquisition at halfback Darren McFadden then put on a rushing clinic, breaking tackles and running through and past defenders for a 55 yard romp to retake the lead 17-16. Two promising San Francisco drives late in the second quarter led to Joe Nedney field goals and a 22-17 halftime lead.

    The second quarter saw a lot of adjustments from the 49ers, and apparently none from the Buccaneers. The offense stalled on key drives early in the 3rd quarter, and while the defense played decent, two field goals and a Glen Coffee touchdown began to put the game out of reach.

    The only turnovers of the game came from Josh Freeman - a costly fumble deep in Bucs territory gave the 49ers a touchdown, and an interception to rookie phenom outside linebacker Josh Snead was taken back for the dagger, a pick six.

    A late meaningless drive by Tampa Bay ended with a Darren McFadden 3 yard burst to make the final score 42-24.

    Overall, Josh Freeman had his moments, going 16 of 27 for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He hit nine different receivers, with his favorite target being Eddie Royal, with 4 catches for 77 yards. Darren McFadden was electric in his first game as a Buccaneer, getting 11 rushes for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. Larry Johnson also saw action, getting 6 carries for 23 yards. On the defensive side, Barrett Ruud saw a return to Pro-Bowl form, getting six tackles, and sharing that same total was outside linebacker/defensive end Jarvis Moss.

    On the 49ers side, Nate Davis was erratic but effective, going 10 of 19 for 136 yards and one touchdown. Donald Brown, newly acquired from Indianapolis, ran the ball 18 times for 71 yards. Michael Crabtree had 4 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. Rookie free safety Prince Justin had 5 tackles, and phenom Josh Snead had 3 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown.

    "Overall, I'd say we got our *expletives* kicked throughout. We sucked *expletive* in special teams, we sucked *expletive* on defense, and we sucked *expletive* for the most part on offense. We did absolutely nothing in the second half. Nothing. We played like absolute horse *expletive* in the second half. I'm embarrassed to be out there when our team is playing like such horse *expletive*. This team better be real *expletive* ready to go a long time in practice this week, because I've half a mind to tell them all to go *expletive* home and don't bother coming back to their lockers. No *expletive* questions. I'm leaving," was Coach Winuvas' entire post game conference.

    For my personal safety, I think I'll wait a few days to do our week 1 Q and A session. I think, no, I know, that Coach Winuvas is angry, and rightfully so. Hopefully this will light a fire under the team and get them motivated to play better against Cleveland next week.

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  24. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Practices Closed to Public; Changes Afoot in Tampa?

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Coach Winuvas, usually very open to fans and the media, today bluntly closed off practice to the public. While most people would not be able to attain information at all, I have a very credible source that tells me why: a possible change to the 3-4 defense may be in order.

    A source (who talked under condition of anonymity) revealed that Coach Winuvas was running drills with Jarvis Moss back at his listed outside linebacker position. Since the coach took over, Moss was playing at right defensive end. Mathias Kiwanuka was also spotted at outside linebacker as well, a position he played his rookie year with the New York Giants.

    While the Buccaneers don't have the tradition 3-4 personnel in place, the coach seemed to be very intent on attempting the transformation. Nothing has officially been said from the Buccaneers' coaching staff or front office on this issue. However, with news leaking of Mathias Kiwanuka being on the trade block, this could be a very quick check to see if Coach Winuvas' current personnel can possibly transition early to a 3-4 from the 4-3. As news trickles in and more sources can be found, I'll report back.

    Keep up with all your Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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  25. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Johnson, others Shipped to Pittsburgh

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    Well, Coach Winuvas again bid Larry Johnson adieu from his team. But this time, it was with a tinge of regret. This time, it was without anger at production, but for improvement of the team. Johnson, along with outside linebacker/defensive end Jarvis Moss, and tight end Tony Scheffler were sent to the Pittsburgh Steelers for halfback Rashard Mendenhall, middle linebacker Lawrence Timmons, and defensive end Evander Hood.

    "I had a good feeling about Larry (Johnson) this time. This trade isn't about his unhappiness with his role; rather, it is about getting both teams what they need. Larry will run hard for Pittsburgh and Coach Jeremy, and we get some big playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. I wish Larry Johnson the best of luck this time, and I actually mean it this time. Larry, make me proud!" Coach Winuvas said when announcing the deal.

    Larry Johnson echoed the sentiment.

    "Coach Winuvas was gracious in giving me an opportunity to play when no one else would. Now Pittsburgh needs my services, so I'm going there to run hard for Coach Jeremy. I thank the Buccaneers and Coach Winuvas for giving me a chance to prove my worth, and for allowing me to continue to prove it in a new uniform."

    In the trade, Tampa Bay loses some depth at the tight end position but now has a legitimate middle/outside linebacker pass rush threat in Timmons, who is slated to play left outside linebacker in a Buccaneers' uniform. Hood, a solid pass rushing end/tackle in Pittsburgh, will fill the void left by departing Jarvis Moss.

    "Hopefully, with (Evander) Hood and (Mathias) Kiwanuka on the edges, we'll get a sustained four man rush all game long and force teams to keep guys in to block, which means less people for us to cover with more guys. This is a win-win for both teams," Coach Winuvas said about the trade.

    All players on both teams are slated to start for their teams this coming Sunday.

    Keep up with all Bucs coverage on the franchise website:
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