2017 season
Tampa Bay Bucs 27 Philadelphia Eagles 10 January 19, 2003 -  And on to San Diego Click here for game reports and video highlights from this game It was cold and the Bucs always lost in the cold.  It was in Philadelphia and the Bucs always lost in Philadelphia.  And it was the NFC Championship game and the Bucs always lost those too.   Not this time, in spite of falling behind 7-0 inside the opening minute, Coach Jon Gruden’s team came up with one big play after another including WR Joe Jurevicius’ 71-yard run and catch that set up the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter and the Bucs never trailed from then on. With the Eagles down by ten inside the final minutes, CB Ronde Barber stepped in front of a Donovan McNabb pass, returned it 92 yards for a score and not only sent the Bucs to the Super Bowl but erased so many bad memories in the process. `Ding, dong, the witch is dead” said Gruden. We won a game in cold weather; we won a road playoff game and we scored a touchdown here at the Vet. Hopefully some of those stories will go away now.''
Six former Bucs have birthdays on January 20th but none are exactly who you would call franchise names or easily remembered. RB Eddie Hunter (1987)  53 K Rian Lindell (2013)  41 DT Tony McDaniel (2015)  33 LB Jim Peterson (1976)  68 S Ivory Sully (1985-86)  61 LB Jeremiah Trotter (2007) 41
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POSITIONAL REVIEW - THE RUNNING BACKS The Bucs had a four-headed monster playing running back in 2017, all of whom saw extensive time in the backfield with their own specific roles and skill sets.  But the 2018 Buccaneer backfield could look considerably different due to a combination of performance and contract positions. The cap hits for the four backs for the 2018 season are as follows:- Player Cap hit Doug Martin 6,750,000 Jacquizz Rodgers 1,600,000 Peyton Barber Exlclusive Rights Free Agent 540,000 salary in 2017 Charles Sims is an unrestricted free agent Barber ended the year as the starter and has no real leverage on his 2018 position outside of really accepting whatever the Buccaneers offer him.   I would expect a two-year deal paying not much more than the minimum with some performance bonuses would be offered and then training camp and potential other arrivals would give him to maintain his hold on the role. Doug Martin has certainly worn out his welcome with a combination of NFL suspensions, poor performance and then a team-imposed game suspension as well.  He has had two of the best rushing seasons in franchise history but also four of the most disappointing.   None of his contract is now guaranteed after his PED offense and there was no signing bonus when he signed his extension in 2016 to affect this year’s cap.  The Bucs can release him with no hit for 2018. Sims has been a useful third down back but not much more and you can expect to see him play the free agent market when March rolls around.   Rodgers has one year remaining on his contract but would expect to be back simply because you cannot see the Buccaneers losing Sims and Martin and allowing a third member of their quarter to go as well. The 2018 draft is loaded with good running backs even if some wannabe Buc pundits think the No.7 overall pick is the spot to take one.   Have you seen how bad our defensive line is?    But the existing four horsemen will definitely be down to three and more than likely two when the 2018 season rolls around meaning a couple of new faces could be carrying the ball for Tampa Bay later this year.