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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Name Mike Bajakian New Quarterbacks Coach

January 23rd, 2015 at 3:58 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Friday that they have named Mike Bajakian the new quarterbacks coach. Bajakian, who takes over for Marcus Arroyo, comes to Tampa Bay from the University of Tennessee, where he was the team’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

The Volunteers won the 2105 Taxslayer Bowl after going 4-1 in the final five games of the season behind the play of freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Under Bajakian’s tutelage, Dobbs set a Tennessee single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a win over South Carolina. The team also tied a school record in the game, racking up 645 yards of offense.

Bajakian has previously worked in the NFL, working as offensive quality control for three seasons (2004-06) under current Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith. He was a member of the 2006 Chicago Bears team that won the NFC Championship and played in Super Bowl XLI.

Judging by Bajakian’s experience with versatile quarterbacks, his hiring may be a signal that the Buccaneers are interested in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

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Former Buccaneers Quarterback Brad Johnson Admits to Having Footballs Tampered with Before 2003 Super Bowl

January 21st, 2015 at 11:05 AM
By Michael Compton

With the NFL investigating whether or not the New England Patriots violated league rules by deflating footballs in their AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson tossed the Buccaneers into the narrative Wednesday morning.

According to an article on Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, Johnson admitted to paying to have footballs tampered with in order to make them easier to throw and catch before the 2003 Super Bowl between the Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. Johnson said he paid $7,500 to have the footballs scuffed prior to Super Bowl XXXVII, which was won by the Buccaneers.

“I paid some guys off to get the balls right,” Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times. “I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them.”

Johnson’s surprising admission promises to be big news as the NFL continues its investigation of the Patriots ahead of this year’s Super Bowl. A key difference in the two situations is that the scuffed balls that Johnson paid for were also used by the Raiders. The Patriots are accused of deflating only the balls they used in the game, thus potentially giving them an edge over the Colts.

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Marcus Mariota and Jamies Winston Among 74 Underclassmen Declared Eligible for the Draft by NFL

January 19th, 2015 at 6:38 PM
By Michael Compton

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers holding the first pick in this year’s draft, Monday’s announcement from the NFL declaring the 74 underclassmen granted eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft was of great interest to the front office at One Buc Place.

Among the names released are Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston. Both highly-coveted quarterbacks figure to attract plenty of attention early in this year’s draft.

Additional underclassmen expected to go early in the draft include Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, USC defensive end Leonard Williams and defensive ends Randy Gregory from Nebraska and Shane Ray from Missouri.

The 2015 NFL Draft is slated for April 30-May 2 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago. This is the first time in 27 years that the Buccaneers hold the first overall pick in the draft.

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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tony Dungy and John Lynch Among Hall of Fame Finalists Again

January 9th, 2015 at 10:17 AM
By Michael Compton

The NFL announced on Thursday that former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy and safety John Lynch were among the 15 finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Phoenix on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

“Last year, it was an honor to be on hand to see Derrick Brooks and Aeneas Williams enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and it would be truly special to make a second consecutive trip to Canton this year to celebrate Tony and John getting in,” said Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. “Tony has played a large role not only in my career, but in my life, as one of my early mentors and I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for this ultimate career achievement. John was one of the cornerstones to all the success that we enjoyed here in Tampa, and his work ethic and passion for the game are things that made him one of the truly elite players to ever play the safety position. I wish them both the best of luck getting in this time around.”

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Buccaneers Hire Falcons OC Dirk Koetter as Offensive Coordinator for 2015 Season

January 8th, 2015 at 7:58 PM
By Doug Rush

When Jeff Tedford stepped down as the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith wanted to find someone to work with his offense and he didn't have to look too far out of the division to find that guy.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network has reported that the Buccaneers have hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to be the team's new offensive coordinator for the 2015 season.

When Mike Smith was fired as the head coach of the Falcons almost two weeks ago, both Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan packed up their belongings from the team office just after the team lost their season finale to the Carolina Panthers and many felt neither would be back with Atlanta since Smith was sent packing after seven seasons.

Before coming to Atlanta, Koetter was the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007-2011 under Jack Del Rio, but when he was let go, Koetter landed the job with the Falcons and became an instant favorite with franchise quarterback Matt Ryan.

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