Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers is currently part of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League and currently based in Tampa, Florida. The team, along with the Seattle Seahawks, joined the NFL in 1976 as expansion teams.
The Buccaneers joined the NFL as members of the AFC West in 1976. The following year, they were moved to the NFC Central. The club is currently owned by Malcolm Glazer and coached by head coach Raheem Morris.
The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was originally awarded to Tom McCloskey, a construction company owner from Philadelphia. McCloskey soon undergone a financial dispute with the NFL, this event led the league to find a replacement in the person of Hugh Culverhouse, a wealthy tax attorney from Jacksonville well known in NFL circles for brokering an unprecedented franchise swap between the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams.The nickname “Buccaneers”, has a reference to the pirate legends of Southwest Florida.The team’s first home was Tampa Stadium, which had recently been expanded to seat just over 72,500 fans. Steve Spurrier was the quarterback for Tampa Bay during their expansion season.
Since 1997 they have been consistent playoff contenders, and won Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the 2002 season.
The Bucs made it to the playoffs again, after their first playoff appearance in 1979, by winning their division in the 1981 season. The 1981 season came down to a thrilling final game at Detroit. The winner would take the Central Division crown and the loser would miss the playoffs. Although the Bucs trailed early, an 84-yard touchdown bomb from QB Williams to WR Kevin House and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by DT David Logan sealed the shocking win for the Bucs. The Dallas Cowboys rewarded the Bucs’ efforts with a 38–0 blowout in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The 1999 season brought much better fortune. On the strength of the NFL’s number 3 overall defense and a surprising performance by rookie QB Shaun King, the Bucs finished the season with an 11–5 record and won their third NFC Central Division Championship. They beat the Washington Redskins 14–13 in the Divisional round.
Led by the league’s top defense, the 2002 campaign was the Buccaneers’ most successful season to date. They won the NFC South title with the team’s best ever record, 12-4, and went on to rout Gruden’s former team, the Oakland Raiders who had the league’s number 1 offense, by a score of 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.
The offseason changes resulted in the Buccaneers winning the NFC South title in the 2007 season, finishing with a 9–7 record, and the 4th seed in the NFC. The division crown was the second one in three seasons under Gruden.
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