2011 - The Youngry Bucs completely collapse
The general consensus around the NFL going into the 2011 season was that the Buccaneers were one of the NFL's real up and coming teams and most pundits picked them for a wildcard berth based on their 10-6 campaign in 2010. The coaching staff remained intact and all the stories out of the locker room were positive about the spirit under Raheem Morris.
The draft brought defensive front line help in the form of sack artist Adrian Clayborn from Iowa and fellow DE Da'Quan Bowers who was at one time was tipped as the potential first overall pick before injuries curtailed his career at Clemson. The Bucs nabbing him at No.51 was seen as a potential major steal for the second round risk.
The off-season was seriously curtailed by a lockout after the owners and the NFLPA haggled for months over a new labour agreement. Eventually training camp opened but only one newcomer arrived as the Bucs stole punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen away from division rivals Atlanta.
Free agent departures|
John Gilmore (Pittsburgh), Barrett Ruud (Tennessee), Maurice Stovall (Detroit), Carnell Williams (St.Louis)
Kyle Moore (released), Stylez G White (released)
Free agent arrivals
Michael Koenen (Atlanta)
Key rookie additions
Ahmad Black (5), Da'Quan Bowers (2), Adrian Clayborn (1), Mason Foster (3), Luke Stocker (4)
Raheem's team quickly jumped out to a 3-1 mark but the crispness from the previous season seemed to be lacking. A complete shellacking in San Francisco was followed by a narrow win over the Saints to take the Buccaneers to 4-2 as they prepared to head over to London for the second time in three years.
Arriving on the Monday before the Wembley encounter, the spirit around camp in Surrey was upbeat and British Buccaneer fans were invited to watch a closed practice on the Friday before the game and spend time with the likes of Gerald McCoy and LeGarrette Blount who would miss the game through injury.
The game was never as close as the 24-18 scoreline might indicate but few Buc fans realised that this would be the first loss in a series of 10 to end the season. Defeat followed defeat and the run defense was getting gashed for over 200 yards a game most Sundays.
There was little doubt that the team had thrown in the towel by the time the season finale rolled round and the scoreline was 42-0 Atlanta in th second quarter before the Falcons called off the dogs and allowed the score to reach some kind of respectability.
But the damage had been done and Raheem's dream team of spirit and enthusiasm had been completely lost. He and his coaching staff were relieved of their duties shortly after the season ended and the Bucs began a search for a new head coach once more.