The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team and were placed in the AFC. Their first head coach was John McKay. While it’s typical for expansion teams to have a losing season in their first year, Tampa’s was exceptionally bad and they went winless. They only played one season in the AFC before restructuring put them in the NFC.
In 1977, Doug Williams was growing into his position as quarterback, and the results on the field showed as the Bucs won their division the following year. The Cardiac Kids would also make the playoffs in 1981 and ’82. Those were unfortunately the last they would see for a while. Due to a dispute concerning salary, Williams left before the ’83 season. This would help throw the team into a tailspin.
In 1995 the Glazer family purchased the team and the Bucs drafted future hall-of-famer Warren Sapp, who would quickly become very popular with fans. The new ownership was doing everything they could think of to produce a winning team, from the drafting of Sapp to the hiring of Tony Dungy as head coach and even updating the uniform.
Dungy brought in the Tampa 2 defense and by 1997 the team went to the playoffs. In 1998 the Bucs moved into their current home; Raymond James Stadium. The following year, 1999, the team would go on a string of four consecutive playoff seasons. They won the division in ’99 but Dungy was fired after the wildcard loss in 2001. Dungy had the team on a run and new coach Jon Gruden was about to give a big push.
In 2022 the Bucs went 12-4 and took the Lombardi trophy after winning what would become known as the Pirate Bowl against the Raiders. In 2003 the team struggled on the field in part due to the internal strife between Gruden and general manager McKay. After releasing McKay, the team still struggled to regain their footing but in ’05 would recapture the division title. After a disappointing and injury-plagued 2006, the team went on a spending spree in free agency and the draft. That would win them another division title. But after a poor 2008, Jon Gruden was fired and Raheem Morris was promoted to head coach.
Under Morris, the next season was even worse, but a dramatic turn-around in 2010 left the team with high hopes and high expectations for 2011. Expectations Morris was unable to meet. Attendance was dropping off, TV blackouts had begun and the entire coaching staff was left looking for new employment. New coach Gregg Schiano came in talking about the Buccaneer Way, but other than words, not much changed. Except for rifts between the coach and some players. After the 2013 season, Shiano was fired and Lovie Smith was hired. During the
coaching tenure of Lovie Smith and then Dirk Koetter, the Bucs just couldn’t get it going.
In 2019 Bruce Aurians was made coach, and in 2020 the Bucs were Super Bowl champs once again. In 2021 they were division champs. In March of 2022, Aurians resigned and Todd Bowles was promoted to head coach. And the Bucs winning ways continued with another division championship.
The Bucs are on a roll and this playoff train shows no signs of stopping. 2023 will be a great year for Bucs fans! Come watch the team on NFL Webcast as they go after their rivals the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.
NFL Webcast is the only free streaming service with no annoying pop-up ads and free of even more annoying blackouts. Instead, you are provided with multiple HD streams so you can watch on any device from anywhere. Bring that Champa Bay pride to NFL Webcast and talk with other fans during the game in our live chat! The 2023 season is upon us…LET’S GO BUCS!!