Your Subtitle text

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


1976-89  1990-99   2000-2009
Coaches   Hall of Famers  
Retired Numbers

The History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 1976: Coached by legendary USC coach John McKay the Buccaneers played their first season in the AFC West with understanding that the following year they would move permanently to the NFC Central. The Bucs would select Defensive End Lee Roy Selmon with their first draft pick and traded for Steve Spurrier to give themselves a veteran Quarterback. On September 12th the Buccaneers played their first regular season game in Houston against the Oilers, and were shut out 20-0. A week later they played their first game at Tampa Stadium against the San Diego Chargers, once again they were shutout, losing 23-0. A week later the Bucs finally got on the board with three Dave Green Field Goals. However, they still lost at home to the Buffalo Bills 14-9. The Bucs lost their next two games as well before facing their expansion brothers at Tampa Stadium. With both teams fighting for their first ever win the Seattle Seahawks stunned the Bucs with a last minute Field Goal 13-10. A week later it was heartbreak again as they played it close all game with Miami Dolphins before losing 23-20. It would be the last close game the Bucs would play all season. Already 0-7 the Bucs would continue to lose, being shutout a total of four times on the way to an embarrassing 0-14 season, in which they were outscored a total of 412-125. The Buccaneers had ended their first season, and were still waiting for their first win. The team will forever be remembered as the worst in the history of the NFL as Coach John McKay once replied "He was all for it," when asked about his team's execution.

: Now playing in the NFC Central the Buccaneers did not fare any better being shutout six times on the way to losing their first 12 games.  Overall it gave the Buccaneers an embarrassing 26 game losing streak. In those 26 games the Bucs lost by less than a Touchdown three times. However, on December 11th the Bucs futility would finally come to an end in New Orleans, as the Bucs beat the Saints 33-14 behind three interceptions returned for Touchdowns. When the team got home to Tampa, over 8,000 fans had gathered to greet them. A week later the Bucs won their first home game beating the St. Louis Cardinals 17-7, to close their second season with a 2-12 record.

: After losing their first two games the Bucs won their next two games to sit at .500 for the first time ever. The Bucs would alternate wins and losses over the four weeks, and were actually playing solid football at 4-4. However, injuries would cripple the Bucs as they lost seven of their last eight games to finish with a 5-11 record.

: The Bucs started off their fourth season on the right note by beating the Detroit Lions 31-16 at Tampa Stadium to start the season with a win. The Bucs would go on to win their first five games, becoming the story of the season. However, the team would start to struggle and their playoff hopes sat in jeopardy entering the final week of the season with an 8-7 record. Playing in a torrential downpour in Tampa the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs 3-0 to win the NFC Central with a 9-7 record. Among the stars of the surprise season was Running Back Ricky Bell who rushed for 1,263 yards, and Defensive End Lee Roy Selmon who Defensive Player of the Year. In their first playoff game in Bell was the star again scoring two Touchdowns and rushing for 142 yards as the Bucs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 at Tampa Stadium. Just two years after ending their 26-game losing streak the Bucs were facing the Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Stadium for a trip to the Super Bowl. However, the Bucs were washed away losing the NFC Championship Game 9-0 in the rain.  


  Coach John McKay                Doug Williams                    Ricky Bell                            Lee Roy Selmon

1980 : The Bucs got off on the right foot again winning their first two games. However, the magic would not return as the Bucs struggled with injuries on the way to a disappointing 5-10-1 season. However, Quarterback Doug Williams provided a bright spot passing for 3,396 yards.

: The Buccaneers play mediocre football all season, but find themselves in the thick for the race for first place in a weak NFC Central. A late season three game winning streak highlighted by 336 passing game form Doug Williams would put the Bucs in the driver's seat. However, after a heartbreaking 1-point loss at home to the San Diego Chargers, the Bucs need a win over the Lions in Detroit to win the division. The game was close throughout as Dog Williams hit Wide Receiver Kevin House on an 84-yard Touchdown strike to lift the Bucs to a 20-17 win. However, the Bucs season would end quickly with a 38-0 shellacking in Dallas form the Cowboys.  

: The Bucs lose their first two games before a two month player strike interrupts the season. When the players returned the Bucs still struggled losing to the Cowboys 14-9 in Dallas. Facing a 0-4 start the Bucs would get their first win a week later with a 23-17 Monday Night win over the Miami Dolphins at Tampa. The win would be the spark the Bucs needed as they won five of their last six games, including their final three games to qualify for the playoffs with a 5-4 record. However, once again their season would end in Dallas with a 30-17 loss to the Cowboys. Following the season the Bucs would lose Quarterback Doug Williams to the USFL.

: Without Doug Williams the Bucs would from the start losing their first nine games, giving fans flashbacks of 1976. The Bucs would finally get their first win in Minnesota as Running Back James Wilder rushed for a team record 219 yards in a 17-12 win over the Vikings. The Bucs would win only one more game the rest of the season, finishing with a dreadful 2-14 record.

: The Buccaneers struggle early again losing seven of their first ten games, as Coach John McKay announces he would retire following the season. The Bucs would end the season on a strong note winning their final two games to finish with a 6-10 record, as Running Back James Wilder ended the season with 2,229 All-Purpose Yards. Following season the Bucs would sign Quarterback Steve Young away from the USFL.   

: Under new Coach Leeman Bennett the Buccaneers would struggle out of the gate losing their first nine games, before shutting out St. Louis Cardinals 16-0 at Tampa Stadium. The Bucs would go on to win just once more, finishing with a 2-14 record for the second time in three seasons. Meanwhile, Quarterback Steve Young would have a rough debut being sacked 21 times in limited action.  

: Prior to the season the Bucs were embarrassed in the NFL draft when, top draft pick Bo Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy refuses to sign and chooses to play baseball with the Kansas City Royals. On the field the Bucs were in an even greater embarrassment finishing with a 2-14 record, as Steve Young has a horrid season being sacked 47 times while throwing just eight Touchdown passes. Following the season Coach Leeman Bennett would be fired and replaced by Ray Perkins.  

: The Bucs use the top pick for another Heisman Trophy winner, this time they are able to come to terms with Quarterback Vinny Testaverde, which led to trading of Quarterback Steve Young to the San Francisco 49ers. However, Testaverde would have to wait for the starting job, as Steve DeBerg got the season started on the right note throwing five Touchdown passes in a season opening win over the Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Stadium. The Buccaneers would get off to a solid start winning four of their first seven games. However, the Bucs would lose their last eight games to finish with a dreadful 4-11 record, their fifth straight season with ten or more losses. Testaverde would eventually see some action passing for 1,081 yards in limited action.   

: Vinny Testaverde is given the starting job at Quarterback, and struggles right away; throwing 35 interceptions to just 13 Touchdown passes, as the Bucs finished with a terrible 5-11 record. However, the Bucs were bad all over even losing a game against the Colts in Indianapolis when Vinny passed for a team record 469 yards.

: Despite an improved season from Quarterback Vinny Testaverde the Buccaneers still struggle to a 5-11 record, for their seventh consecutive season with ten or more losses. Highlighting the lost season was an impressive season in which Wide Receiver Mark Carrier set a franchise record with 1,422 yards.

: The Buccaneers get off to a solid start winning four of their first six games. However, the Bucs ship would sink again during a six game losing streak. The Bucs would snap the losing streak with a 23-17 win over the Falcons in Atlanta. However, it was not enough to save Coach Ray Perkins job, as he was fired and replaced by Richard Williamson. Under Williamson the Bucs would lose two of three games to finish with a 6-10 record.

: In Richard Williamson's first full season as Coach the Buccaneers would get off to a miserable start losing their first five games, on the way to another last place 3-13 season. Among the major disappointments was Quarterback Vinny Testaverde who passes for 1,994 yards and throws just eight Touchdown passes to 15 interceptions. Following the season Coach Williamson would be fired and replaced by Sam Wyche.

: Under Sam Wyche the Bucs get off to a solid start winning three of their first four games. However, the Bucs would fall again losing five straight games, and 10 of 11 on the way to a 5-11 season, which was their tenth straight with ten or more losses. Following the season Quarterback Vinny Testaverde was released after six mainly disappointing season. Making matters worse former Quarterback Steve Young, won the NFL's MVP award with San Francisco 49ers.

: Despite a solid 3,054 passing season from Quarterback Craig Erickson the Buccaneer woes continue losing five of their first six games on the way to another wretched 5-11 season.

: The Buccaneers lose their patriarch when Hugh Culverhouse who was owned the team since its founding dies at the age of 75. Trying to tart from step one again the Bucs draft Quarterback Trent Dilfer with their first round pick. Dilfer would struggle in limited time a he threw just one Touchdown pass to six interceptions, as the Bucs lost 9 of their first 11 games. The Buccaneers would finish the season on a strong note winning 4 straight, highlighted by a 192-yard game for Running Back  Eric Rhett. However, with a chance to end 12 years of frustration, the Bucs dropped their season finale at Tampa Stadium to the Green Bay Packers 34-19, the loss would drop the Bucs to 6-10 on the season.

: Prior to the season the Buccaneers are sold to restaurateur Malcolm Glazer. The Bucs would get off to a solid start winning five of their first seven games, to find themselves in first place on October 15th. However, the Bucs would lose seven of their last nine games, ending 12 straight seasons with 10 or more losses. Following the 7-9 season Coach Sam Wyche is fired and replaced by Tony Dungy. Among the disappointments was Quarterback Trent Dilfer who threw just four Touchdown passes to 18 interceptions.

: In Tony Dungy's first season at the helm the Buccaneers hit rough waters early losing their first five games and eight of nine overall. However, the team would finish the season on a strong note winning five of their last seven games. The Bucs at 6-10 would suffer their 14th straight losing season, but with a score of young talented players hope was beginning to return to Tampa. 

: Prior to the final season at Tampa Stadium, which had recently been named Houlihan's Stadium a year earlier the Buccaneers got a new look, discarding the old effeminate red and orange pirate, for a meaner sleeker look feature a red pirate flag on a pewter helmet. The Bucs would use the new Pewter Power to have them flying out of the gate winning their first five games. However, the ship would hit rough seas as they lost three games in a row. Instead of sinking the Bucs righted the ship and would go on to earn a Wild Card spot with a 10-6 record. Highlighting the Bucs successful season was Trent Dilfer who had a solid season passing for 21 Touchdowns, Mike Alstott the powering fullback who bulldozed his way for seven Touchdowns and countless first downs, and Warrick Dunn who captured the Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the Bucs first playoff game in 15 years the Bucs slaughtered the Detroit Lions 20-10 behind the powerful running of Alstott in the final game at Houlihan's Stadium. However, their season would come to an end a week later with a 27-7 loss in Green Bay to the Packers.

: To assure their new stadium is ready the Buccaneers start the season by playing their first two games on the road. Unfortunately both games were against playoff teams, and the Bucs lost both. The Bucs would finally open Raymond James Stadium on September 20th, as the Bucs rallied from an early deficit to beat the Chicago Bears 27-15. However, an early tough schedule and offensive struggles would cause the Bucs to get off to a rough start. The Bucs would finally reach the .500 mark by handing the Minnesota Vikings their only loss on the season 27-24 at the Pirate Ship. However the Bucs were not able to capitalize on the momentum as they lost their next three games. With their playoff hopes all but gone the Bucs would win three games in a row to keep hope alive, but a 20-16 loss to the Redskins in Washington sealed their fate, as the Bucs needed to win their last game to finish with a disappointing 8-8 record. Following the season the Bucs would use a second Round draft pick to select Kicker Martin Gramatica, a move that came after Michael Husted missed seven key Field Goals.

: The Bucs take on rough waters early as they drop their season opener 17-13 to the New York Giants in Tampa. A week later the Bucs would recover as their defense smothered the Eagles to the tune of nine sacks in a 19-5 win in Philadelphia. The defense would carry the weight most of the season, as the Bucs offense seemed in neutral at times as the Bucs got off to a disappointing 3-4 start, in which the defense only allows 20 points twice. However, the offense only managed 20 once, leading to Shaun King being inserted at Quarterback. King's play was not spectacular but it seemed to give the team some spark, as they embarked on a six game winning streak to catapult themselves into first place. After a aberrational 45-0 loss to the Raiders in Oakland the Bucs won their last two games to claim the NFC central with a franchise best 11-5 record, earning them a first round bye, as Warren Sapp won Defensive Player of the Year honors. In the Divisional Playoffs the Bucs would overcome a 13-0 deficit in the 3rd Quarter to beat the Washington Redskins 14-13 before a record crowd of 65,835 at Raymond James Stadium. In the NFC Championship Game in St. Louis the Bucs held a precarious 6-5 lead late in the 4th Quarter over the Rams. However, the Rams would take an 11-5 lead with a little over two minutes left. The Bucs would drive right down the field and appeared to be on the move when Shaun King hit Bert Emmanuel on a key pass that would have kept a game winning drive alive. However, instant replay would overturn the call and the Bucs ship was sunk, even though most angles showed Emanuel made the catch. 

: To give the offense an added dimension the Buccaneers acquire Wide Receiver Keyshawn Johnson from the New York Jets. The trade paid immediate dividends as the Bucs won their first three games in impressive fashion. However, the Bucs would blow a 17-3 lead in the 4th Quarter to the Jets, which seems to send the Bucs into a tailspin as they lost four straight games. The Bucs would right the stern with a 41-13 rout of the previously Minnesota Vikings at the Pirate Ship, as the Bucs seven of their next eight games. Sitting at 10-5 the Bucs needed a win in their final game to win the NFC Central. However, the game was in Green Bay and the temperature was below 40 conditions in which the Bucs had never won before. The Bucs appeared to have the game won as Martin Gramatica set up for a 35-yard Field Goal with time winding down in regulation. However, the usually reliable Gramatica's kick was offline, and the Packers would win the game in Overtime 17-14. The Bucs would have to settle for a wild card spot with a 10-6 record. In the Wild Card Game in Philadelphia the mercury dipped below 40 again as the Bucs were frost bit with a 21-3 loss to the Eagles.  

: The Bucs in hopes to revitalize the offense sign Free Agent Quarterback Brad Johnson. However, the offense remained stagnate, as the Bucs played mediocre football and sat 4-5 through their first nine games. With playoff hopes fading the Bucs would stun the Rams 27-24 in a Monday Night thriller in St. Louis. The win was the spark the Bucs needed as they won three straight games  and five out of six to qualify for the playoffs as the sixth seed with a 9-7 record. However, the season was still considered a major disappointment as the offense struggled all season, which led to rumors that Bill Parcels was in line to become the next coach, as it was understood the Bucs needed to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia to save Ton Dungy's job. The game was over before it began as the Bucs were rocked in Philadelphia 31-9. Within a few days it would become official as Dungy was forced to walk the plank. However, Parcels had a last minute change of heart and the Bucs were forced to scramble. Over the next few weeks the Bucs ship looked in complete disarray, as they could not come up with a replacement. Dungy himself would even land work before the Bucs made a deal with Oakland Raiders that allowed them to sign Coach Jon Gruden to take over the Bucs stern. 

: With Jon Gruden taking over as head coach the Buccaneers began the season with renewed hope playing in the newly formed NFC South Division. However, the Bucs old struggles crept up in the season's first game as they lost to the New Orleans Saints at home 26-20 in overtime after rallying from a 17-point deficit.  The Buccaneers would quickly rebound behind their dominant defense as they won five straight games allowing only one Touchdown while Linebacker Derrick Brooks scored three times. The Buccaneers would enter a key matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles with a record of 5-1. Their they would get off to a strong start as Brooks set a NFL record for Linebackers with his 4th TD return. However, the Bucs old struggles in Philadelphia would rise again as they lost 20-10. The Bucs loss to the Eagles would be a bump in the road as their top rated defense helped the Bucs to improve to 8-2 heading into a key matchup with the Green Bay Packers at home. Against the Packers the Bucs defense was at its best sacking Brett Favre three times and picking off four passes in a 21-7 win. The game was not without its controversy as Warren Sapp and Packers Coach Mike Sherman got into a heated war of words after the game after Sapp injured tackle Chad Clifton during a interception return with a vicious but clean hit. After a disappointing loss in New Orleans the Buccaneers defense again frustrated one of the top Quarterbacks in the NFL as Atlanta Falcons dynamo Michael Vick was frustrated and limited to nine yard rushing and 125 yards passing in a dominant 34-10 Buccaneers win. After narrowly beating the Detroit Lions the Buccaneers road to the Super Bowl seemed in peril as they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-7 on Monday Night with Quarterback Brad Johnson on the sideline. With a record of 11-4 the Bucs entered the final game of the season needing a win for a first round bye in the playoff. However, to do so they would have to end 0-39 losing streak in sub 40-degree weather. Playing with Rob Johnson in at Quarterback the Bucs defense did it all completely shutting down the Chicago Bears as Martin Gramatica hit five field goals in a 15-0 win. The win completed the Buccaneers season at 12-4 a franchise best, as Derrick Brooks was named Defensive Player of the year, in a season of several defensive MVPs including NFC sack leader Simeon Rice. After the Buccaneers offense struggled in the final two games it was clear they needed the bye week for Quarterback Brad Johnson to fully heal. When they played their first game in the Divisional Round against the San Francisco 49ers Johnson would get off to a shaky start as he threw an interception on the Bucs first possession. However the Bucs top rated defense buckled down and kept the 49ers off the scoreboard. Brad Johnson would not make another mistake as the Bucs jumped out to a 28-6 halftime lead on the way to an overwhelming 31-6 victory that catapulted them into the NFC Championship Game. Heading into the NFC Championship it seemed as if everything was against the Bucs as they headed to Philadelphia, where their previous 2 seasons ended in disaster for the final game ever at Veterans Stadium. Things got bleaker as the Eagles had a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game after a long kickoff return by Brian Mitchell. The Buccaneers would catch their breath as a steady drive on their first possession led to a Martin Gramatica Field Goal. After stopping the Eagles on their next possession the Buccaneers offense made a big game changing play as Joe Jurevicius, who was playing with a heavy heart after his son was born severely premature, turned a third down reception into a 74-yard game deep into Eagles territory. The heroic catch and run set up a Mike Alstott Touchdown that gave the Bucs a 10-7 lead. After another long Brian Mitchell kick return led to a tying field goal, Keyshawn Johnson showed his playing making abilities catching 32 passes including one for a Touchdown to give Tampa a 17-10 halftime lead. In the second half the Bucs defense took over as the Buccaneers added a field goal to take a 20-10 lead. As time was Ronde Barber put the dagger in the Eagles by returning a Donovan McNabb interception 94 yard for a Touchdown he could have run all the way to San Diego as the Bucs beat the Eagles and the ghosts of the Vet 27-10 to go to their first Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXVII
: For Jon Gruden Super Bowl Week was a circus as he faced the team he had coached a year previously the Oakland Raiders. Gruden knew the Raiders offense so well, that he at times portrayed Raiders Quarterback Rich Gannon in practice, using the same single calls. However, the Buccaneers defense had its back against the wall early as Brad Johnson threw an interception on the Bucs first possession. However, the defense rose to the occasional and held the number one offense in the NFL to a Field Goal. The Bucs would quickly tie the game on their next possession. Knowing the Raiders offense would begin to pay off as two Dexter Jackson interceptions to give the Bucs a 6-3 lead. While the Bucs defense was shutting down the Raiders offense the Bucs offense was starting to break down the Raiders defense as a long drive led to a Mike Alstott Touchdown. The Buccaneers would pad their lead to 20-3 as Keenan McCardell caught a Touchdown pass in the final minute of the first half. The Bucs defense had completely taken the Raiders out of the game by allowing just three first downs 62 yards total offense. The Bucs would get off to a strong start in the second half as they extended their lead to 27-3 on a 14-play 89-yard time consuming Touchdown drive. With the Raiders in panic mode the Bucs scoring defense would put down the clamps as Dwight Smith picked off Rich Gannon for a 44-yard interception return to give the Bucs a 34-3 lead. However, the Raiders would not give up as they scored three touchdowns to take get back within two touchdowns at 34-21. With time winding down the Bucs defense would again rise to the occasion as Derrick Brooks return an interception 44 yards for a Touchdown to give the Bucs a 41-21 lead with 1:18 left. The return by Brooks sent the Buccaneers into celebration mode as Dexter Jackson was voted MVP for his two early interceptions that set the trend for the game. However, their defense was not done scoring as Dwight Smith returned his second interception 50 yards for a Touchdown that put an exclamation point on the Buccaneers 48-21 Super Bowl Victory. 

: Coming off their Super Bowl Championship great things were expected again for the Buccaneers, as they got off to a great start spoiling the grand opening of the Philadelphia Eagles new stadium on Monday Night Football 17-0 as Joe Jurevicius made a spectacular highlight reel catch. However in Week 2 the Bucs began to hit rough waters as Jurevicius was essentially lost for the season with a knee injury in their home opener the following week against the Carolina Panthers. The game would provide further frustration as the Bucs appeared to have the game won with a Touchdown on the game’s final play. However Martin Gramatica's PAT was blocked and the game went to overtime tied 9-9, where the Panthers eventually won the game with a Field Goal. The Bucs recovered with a win over the Atlanta Falcons the following week and appeared to be in great shape leading the Indianapolis 35-7 with a little over five minutes left in the game. However the Colts would make a stunning comeback with 28 points to send the game to overtime where the Colts would win 38-35. Making matters worse both Mike Alstott and Brian Kelly were lost to season ending injuries. The Bucs would stay afloat as they won 35-13 the following on the road against the Washington Redskins, but every win was followed by a loss as the Bucs continued to play .500 ball. Eventually the absence of their power running game would catch up to the Bucs as they fell below .500 in a 27-24 loss to the Panthers that ended their hopes of winning the NFC South in Week 10. Devastated the Bucs continued to struggle playing sluggish football in a 20-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers the following week at home. A few days later the Bucs frustrations boiled over as Keyshawn Johnson who sulked all season over his usage in the offense was benched for the remainder of the season. Without Keyshawn the Bucs beat the New York Giants on Monday Night Football 19-13 to keep their fading hopes alive. However a week later the Bucs offense was stuck in neutral as they were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10. The Bucs would end up splitting their final four games to finish the season in third place with a disappointing 7-9 record.

: Changes began to roll through Tampa as Warren Sapp and John Lynch were both allowed to walk away from the team, while Keenan McCardell was trying to force his way off the team by holding out. When the season started the Bucs struggled right away losing their first 4 games as newly acquired Wide Receiver Joey Galloway was lost for eight weeks after an injury in Week 1 while QB Brad Johnson struggled, leading to his benching. In Week 5 the Bucs would turn to 2nd year QB Chris Simms, who would be injured in his first game leading to Brian Griese who would take over and lead the team the rest of the way as they won their first game against the New Orleans Saints 20-17. Over the next eight games the Bucs played better climbing to 5-7 as Griese showed promise leading the offense while rookie Wide Receiver Michael Clayton was having a solid year with 1,193 receiving yards with seven touchdowns. However, with a chance to climb back in the playoff race the Bucs suffered back to back heartbreaking losses that would knock the wind out of their sales as they went on to lose their final four games on the way to sinking to last place with a disappointing 5-11 record.

: The Buccaneers got off to a fast start thanks to their top draft pick RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, who had a historic first three games as he rushed for 434 yards on 88 carries as the Bucs got off to a 3-0 start. However, in Week 4 Cadillac showed some early wear and tear as he rushed for just 13 yards on 11 carries and left with an injury as the Bucs beat the Detroit Lions 17-13 to improve to 4-0. However, with Cadillac in the shop the following week the Bucs were stunned by the New York Jets 14-12. Williams would be out again the following week as the Buccaneers beat the Miami Dolphins in a Sunshine State Showdown 27-13. However, in the game the Buccaneers would lose Quarterback Brian Griese for the rest of the year to a knee injury. After the bye week with Chris Simms starting the Bucs offense looked lost as they were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers 15-10 despite not allowing a Touchdown. Following a 34-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers dropped them to 5-3 the Buccaneers season appeared to be slipping away as they trailed the Washington Redskins 35-28 late in the 4th Quarter. The game would end up being a coming out party for Chris Simms as he passed for three Touchdowns including a 30 yarder Edell Sheppard with 58 seconds remaining; from there Coach Jon Gruden gambled and had Mike Alstott run in for a two point conversion that gave the Buccaneers a dramatic 36-35 win. Reenergized the Bucs won again the following week against the Atlanta Falcons as Cadillac Williams ran for 116 yards. After splitting their next two games the Buccaneers stunned the Carolina Panthers on the road 20-10 to pull into a first place tie in the NFC South. However, a December trip to face the New England Patriots exposed many holes in the Bucs as they lost 28-0. However they would recover to win their next two games and would capture the Division Title with a record of 11-5 as Cadillac Williams who rushed for 1178 yards and scored six Touchdowns was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, in the playoffs the Buccaneers young offense would struggle as Cadillac was limited to 49 yards and Chris Simms committed three turnovers including a interception that set up the Redskins first Touchdown, and a fumble that was returned for the second, as the Buccaneers lost the game to the 17-10, despite limiting the Redskins to just 120 yards total offense.

: From the start of the season, injuries played a factor for the Buccaneers, as Rookie of the Year Cadillac Williams played all year with nagging injuries, and failed to reach 1,000 yards rushing. Things were even worse for Quarterback Chris Simms who suffered a ruptured spleen in a heartbreaking 26-24 loss in Week 3 to the Carolina Panthers as time expired to drop the Bucs to 0-3. Simms, who needed emergency surgery, would be lost for the remainder of the season as Bruce Gradkowski took over. Gradkowski played well in his first start, but the Bucs lost another heartbreaker falling to 0-4 with a 24-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Trailing the Cincinnati Bengals 13-7 in the final minute of Week 5, the Buccaneers finally got their first win as Gradkowski found Michael Clayton in the end zone for a thrilling 14-13 win. There were even more thrills the following week as the Buccaneers stunned the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21, as Matt Bryant nailed a 62-yard field goal as time expired. The kick was just one yard short of the NFL record, was shown all over the highlight shows, and gave Buccaneers fans something to cheer about in an otherwise dreadful season. Following those two thrilling wins the injuries continued to mount, as the Buccaneers finished in last place with a dreadful 4-12 record. Following the season there would be changes throughout the roster as Shelton Quarles retired, while Simeon Rice was released. Although Chris Simms was expected to return the Buccaneers made a deal to get Quarterback Jeff Garcia from the Philadelphia Eagles.

: With new Quarterback Jeff Garcia the Buccaneers stumbled in their first game, losing on the road to the Seattle Seahawks 20-6. In their home opener Garcia found a grove with Wide Receiver Joey Galloway as they hooked up on two touchdown passes, including one that went for 69 yards as the Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints 31-14. A week later it was the defense that made the difference as the Buccaneers shut down the St. Louis Rams in a 24-3. The defense again excelled a week later as the Buccaneers won on the road for the first time; beating the Carolina Panthers 20-7, despite losing Cadillac Williams for the season with a severe knee injury. Without Cadillac the Buccaneers seemed to be spinning their wheels, as they dropped three of their next four games and found themselves sitting at 4-4. Needing a win the Buccaneers looked to their defense again as they halted their skid by beating the Arizona Cardinals 17-10. The Buccaneers would regain the lead in the NFC South a week later as they beat up the struggling Atlanta Falcons 31-7, as Ernest Graham started to fill the hole left behind when Cadillac Williams was injured. The Bucs win streak would hit three, despite losing QB Jeff Garcia, as the defense led by Ronde Barber continued its strong play creating six turnovers as the Bucs beat the Washington Redskins 19-13. Playing without Garcia, the Buccaneers would win their fourth in a row beating the Saints on the road 27-23, as backup Quarterback led a last minute scoring driver connecting with TE Jerramy Stevens on a four yard Touchdown pass with 14 seconds left. The win had the Buccaneers sitting at 8-4, with the division all but locked up. McNown would be unable to deliver the magic two weeks in a row as the Buccaneers win streak ended with a 28-14 loss on the road to the Houston Texans. A week later the Buccaneers would see the end of a much longer streak, as Michael Spurlock returned a first quarter kickoff 90 yards to give the Bucs a 14-3 lead over the Falcons. It was the first time ever, in the 32-year history of the Buccaneers that they had a kickoff returned for a Touchdown. The kick return and an earlier interception return from Ronde Barber enabled the Buccaneers to keep the pressure of Jeff Garcia's back, as they won the game easily 37-3 to clinch the division championship. With the NFC South in their pocket, and no chance to earn a bye week the Buccaneers rested many of their top players in the final two weeks of the season as they dropped both to post a season record of 9-7. Against the New York Giants in the Wild Card round the Buccaneers looked solid in the first quarter, grabbing a 7-0 lead on a Touchdown by Earnest Graham. However, it would be short lived as the Giants dominated the rest of the game scoring the game's next 24 points, before the Buccaneers scored a late cosmetic touchdown as the Giants began an improbable march to the Super Bowl with a 24-14 win.

: Coming off their disappointing playoff exit, the Buccaneers had a full blown Quarterback controversy as Brian Griese was signed to battle Jeff Garcia for the starting job. After Jeff Garcia started and lost the season opener on the road to the New Orleans Saints 24-10, Griese took over and helped led them to a 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the home opener. Griese was starting again a week later as the Bucs rallied to beat the Chicago Bears in overtime 27-24. The Bucs would win a third straight game as their defense picked off Aaron Rodgers three times in a 30-21 win over the Green Bay Packers. A week later the Bucs would lose Brian Griese to an elbow injury as the Denver Broncos defense sank the Bucs offense in a 16-13 win. However, the Buccaneers quickly recovered with Jeff Garcia under center winning three of their next four games before the bye week. After the bye the Buccaneers continued to play strong football, winning three games in a row, as they sat at 9-3 atop the NFC South and appeared to be sailing towards the playoffs. With a chance to lock up the division title the Buccaneers defense all of a sudden was exposed allowing 21 points in the fourth quarter as they slipped out for first place after a 38-24 loss on the road to the Carolina Panthers. The loss would put a hole in the Bucs ship as they followed it up with a 13-10 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Returning home for the final two games things would not get any better as they allowed 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, as they lost their third straight game to the San Diego Chargers 41-24. Despite losing three in a row the Bucs still had a shot at the playoffs heading into the final week of the season against the lowly Oakland Raiders at home. However, the Buccaneers saw a ten point lead evaporate in the final ten minutes, as the Buccaneers lost their fourth straight game 31-24 with the Raiders closing the game with 17 unanswered points. The loss ended the Buccaneers season at 9-7 without the playoffs, and led to wholesale changes as the organization decided to rebuild. The troubles started when Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin announced he would leave the season at the end of the year to join his son's coaching staff with the University of Tennessee. The Bucs defense which had been one of the top rated units in the NFL played awful football in their season ending four game losing streaks. The losing streak would bring an end to the Jon Gruden era, as the Bucs decided to five the coach that won a Lombardi Trophy after seven seasons. The Bucs also decided to part ways with Derrick Brooks, Jeff Garcia, Ike Hilliard, Joey Galloway, Warrick Dunn, and Brian Griese as they began to rebuild from scratch with new Coach Raheem Morris.

2009:  The 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 34th season as a franchise in the NFL. The Buccaneers looked to improve on their 9–7 record from their 2008 season and 3rd place finish in the NFC South but failed to do so as they finished the season at 3–13, missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
The Buccaneers played seven of their home games at Raymond James Stadium. One of their home games was played at Wembley Stadium, as part of the International Series, in which they lost to the New England Patriots 35–7.
The Buccaneers unveiled a Ring of Honor to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1979 franchise. Lee Roy Selmon was the first inductee when the team wore throwback uniforms on November 8 against Green Bay that they won 38–28.

John McKay 1976-1984
Leeman Bennett 1985-1986
Ray Perkins 1987-1990
Richard Williamson 1990-1991
Sam Wyche 1992-1995
Tony Dungy 1996-2001
Jon Gruden 2002-2008
Raheem Morris 2009-Present

 Hall of Famers:
Randall McDaniel G 2000-2001
Lee Roy Selmon DE 1976-1984
Steve Young QB 1985-1986

 Retired Numbers:
40 Mike Alstott FB 1996-2006
63 Lee Roy Selmon DE 1976-1984

Return to Team Histories                                       Return to Top of Page

Website Builder
- auction6 - sale2