Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stadium: Raymond James Stadium | Coach: Dirk Koetter
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense18th101.0 (24th)245.4 (16th)
Defense23rd117.2 (22nd)250.8 (22nd)

Schedule

1:00 pm EDT
Sun Sep 10
at MIA
1:00 pm EDT
Sun Sep 17
CHI
1:00 pm EDT
Sun Sep 24
at MIN
4:05 pm EDT
Sun Oct 1
NYG
8:25 pm EDT
Thu Oct 5
NE
4:05 pm EDT
Sun Oct 15
at ARI
1:00 pm EDT
Sun Oct 22
at BUF
1:00 pm EDT
Sun Oct 29
CAR
1:00 pm EST
Sun Nov 5
at NO
1:00 pm EST
Sun Nov 12
NYJ
1:00 pm EST
Sun Nov 26
at ATL
1:00 pm EST
Sun Dec 3
at GB
1:00 pm EST
Sun Dec 10
DET
8:30 pm EST
Mon Dec 18
ATL
1:00 pm EST
Sun Dec 24
at CAR
1:00 pm EST
Sun Dec 31
NO

Standings

NFC
South
Overall
W-L-T
Division
W-L-T
Atlanta11-5-05-1-0
Tampa Bay9-7-04-2-0
New Orleans7-9-02-4-0
Carolina6-10-01-5-0
1493125207
Buccaneers' J.R. Sweezy: Contract recently reworked
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Sweezy, who signed a five-year deal worth more than $32.5 million with the Bucs last offseason but never played a down to a back injury, had the final four years of his contract recently reworked, Jenna Laine and Field Yates of ESPN.com report.

The 28-year-old guard was one of the prize acquisitions for the Bucs leading up to the 2016 campaign after several stellar seasons in Seattle, including the Seahawks' 2014 championship campaign. However, a back surgery that took place shortly after the signing eventually led to him missing minicamps, training camp and all of the preseason and regular season. Sweezy was cleared to resume training at the end of the season, but the team naturally wanted to reevaluate the terms of the contract and implement some protections against another prolonged absence specifically due to back-related issues. Accordingly, the Bucs shifted half of what had been a $2.5 million roster bonus for 2017 into per-game roster bonuses that can be achieved for each game that Sweezy is on the 53-man or on injured reserve for any injury unrelated to his previous back problem. Injury waiver language as well as split salaries and base salary escalators tied into Sweezy playing at least 70 percent of the snaps over the next three seasons are also part of the revamped terms, providing the club protection while giving the sixth-year pro a chance to earn the full value of his contract if he remains sufficiently healthy. "No one wants to be back out there helping the team more than J.R.," said coach Dirk Koetter. "He's back training again and now we're ready to take it to the next step. Besides having surgery, nothing has changed from J.R. the player who played so well for the Seahawks before we signed him."

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1493122473
Buccaneers' Ali Marpet: Drawing rave reviews at center in OTAs
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Marpet, a career guard being tried at center in OTAs, has the endorsement of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "He's so athletic. He can pull. He can make all the blocks. He's highly intelligent, very intelligent. I truly believe, and you can stamp this and quote it: I believe Ali Marpet will be a dominant -- not good -- dominant center," said McCoy.

Marpet will be entering his third NFL season in 2017, meaning McCoy has two years' worth of head-to-head battles against him in practice to serve as a point of reference. McCoy specifically points to Marpet's motor as another key trait in his favor, noting that the young offensive lineman "only knows one speed." The 24-year-old has never snapped in a college or NFL game, but the Bucs clearly believe his array of physical and mental skills will be more than sufficient to allow him to make a successful transition. Coach Dirk Koetter and his staff are open to trying different offensive line combinations after a 2016 season that saw the team rank 24th in rushing yards (1,616) and rushing yards per game (101.0) while also checking in 29th in yards per rush (3.6).

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1493121416
Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy: Determined to step up play in 2017
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

McCoy is determined to take his fourth-quarter production up a notch in 2017 following conversations with several fellow Pro Bowlers in January, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "It hit home to the point where I re-evaluated myself, my whole career, up to this point,'' McCoy said. "The gist of what it is, is I haven't done enough to lead this team. Simple as that. If this team goes to the next level, as much as you need a franchise quarterback and those things are great, this organization, this team to win a Super Bowl was built on defense. That guy in the middle is what makes everything roll."

McCoy described his conversations with the unnamed players as a "reality check" as to what his impact, or lack thereof, had been in crunch time over the last few seasons. The multi-time Pro Bowler came to the conclusion that despite the well-deserved accolades he's received throughout his first eight campaigns, not enough of his sacks have come in the fourth quarter. A majority of McCoy's fourth-quarter sacks have occurred with the outcome of the game already decided, and last season, McCoy managed just two sacks in the final quarter of games overall. Plus he failed to notch any QB traps in the last four games altogether, a key stretch when the Bucs were in the midst of a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Motivated by the realization that he has plenty of room for improvement in key moments, the 29-year-old has already vowed to make the 2017 campaign a turning point in that regard. "My approach to everything will be different. The media. My workouts. Practice. The meeting room. Games. Something has to change. ... I was just always taught when more than one person is saying the same thing, there's got to be some truth to it.''

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1493091617
Buccaneers' Mike Evans: Looking to take on greater leadership role
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Evans is looking to be a more vocal leader entering his fourth season, particularly in the wake of veteran Vincent Jackson's departure, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Bucs' No. 1 wideout will be joined in the starting lineup by veteran DeSean Jackson this season, but entering his fourth season in Tampa, it's Evans who feels the duty of assuming a more overt leadership role in the receiving corps. In addition to V-Jax, valued locker room figures Louis Murphy, Cecil Shorts and Russell Shepard have also departed since midseason last year, making Evans one of the elder statesmen of the incumbent group. The towering pass catcher sees himself in a similar position to Jameis Winston, who was much more of an assertive presence within the offense in just his second season last year. One of the most definitive paths to being perceived as a true leader is to continue churning out Pro Bowl-caliber seasons the likes of 2016, when Evans tallied a career-best 96 catches for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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1493090981
Buccaneers' Derel Walker: Receives strong endorsement from Mike Evans
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Walker, an offseason acquisition from the CFL, has received high praise from fellow receiver Mike Evans for his work since arriving in Tampa, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "He can go up and get the ball. He's sneaky athletic. He's sneaky fast. His 40 time doesn't show how fast he is. He plays fast, strong hands and he's one of the hardest workers I've ever been around."

Walker and Evans were college teammates at Texas A & M, with the former going undrafted in 2014 and failing to stick with the Titans after spending training camp and the preseason with the club as an undrafted free agent. The 25-year-old eventually headed north of the border, where he proceeded to rack up 198 receptions for 2,699 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Edmonton Eskimos over 30 games across the 2015-16 seasons. Walker certainly has a chance to stick on a Bucs receiving corps that badly needs an infusion of speed, and the early endorsement from the team's No. 1 wideout -- as well as his impressive work in OTAs thus far -- both help his cause.

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