BUCCANEER BIRTHDAYS There are two former Tampa Bay players who celebrate birthdays on February 19th but with differing backgrounds to their times playing for the Buccaneers. NT Mike Stensrud played the 1987 season for the Bucs and started all 12 non-strike games but unlike Santa, failed to provide even a single sack.  He will be 63 today and can look back on a 10-year NFL career with five different teams. LB Bruce Carter arrived in 2015 as a free agent from the Cowboys on a pretty hefty salary but lasted only one season after being outplayed by then-rookie Kwon Alexander and was released.  He will be 31 today and can look back on being a 2011 2nd round pick by Dallas.  
2019 OPPONENTS HOME:  Arizona, Houston, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans and NY Giants. LONDON:  Carolina. AWAY: Jacksonville, LA Rams, Seattle, Tennessee, Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans and Detroit.
REVIEWING THE 2018 SEASON 30  JOSH SHAW Games 4  Starts 0 Claimed on waivers before the Week 11 game with San Francisco. Played in four games primarily on special teams before named a gameday inactive the final two weeks. Played three seasons in Cincinnati, appearing in 47 games with 14 starts. Was released in camp in 2018 and played in four games for Kansas City before being released. Click here for his profile page
FREE AGENCY REVIEW - BUYER BEWARE Early in the 2018 free agency period, some Buccaneer fans were screaming for anyone to be signed to improve the roster.   Within 48 hours, five players had been signed but how did they perform?   Were they value for money? Mitch Blackwood looks into the money paid out for the likes of Ryan Jensen, Vinny Curry and others and wonders if teams should just stay away from the whole process.    Baseball is undergoing a re- evaluation of talent as the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are finding out and a new analytical approach to how to build an NFL roster could well be the result.  For now, look back at the millions of dollars paid out by the Bucs and wonder why. Click here for the full article
OFF-SEASON READING RECOMMENDATION Any regular visitor to the excellent website THERINGER.COM run by Bill Simmons will know about Michael Lombardi.  The former NFL GM has a twice-weekly podcast in which he speaks more deeply about the league and games than any other media outlet and is essential listening for serious fans.  Now he has written a book which I cannot speak more highly of - it is brilliant.   Yes it blows smoke up Bill Belichick’s ass for a number of pages as Lombardi has worked for and been friends with the six- time Super Bowl winner for decades but the stories he tells and the insights he gives into the game are revolutionary.  You will never think about clock management in a game the same way when you have read this.   Buy it - you will not regret it.
ROSTER UPDATE - VINNY CURRY RELEASED Mitch Blackwood does know his stuff - two days after he wrote a piece looking back at the Bucs’ 2018 free agency class and suggesting that the former Eagles DE was a prime target to be released, Vinny Curry was an ex-Buc saving $8M on the salary cap in 2019.    Next week he will give you the Powerball numbers too.
FIVE OFF-SEASON RECOMMENDATIONS One of the best writers at ESPN.com is Bill Barnwell and he has put together a very interesting piece in which he looks at five moves the Buccaneers should consider for their off-season. From salary dumps to salary re-structurings and potential free agents to bring in, Barnwell does talk a lot of sense in this piece.  He also has an excellent podcast which is well worth subscribing to for NFL news throughout the calendar year. Click here for the full article