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  • Tue., Sep. 08, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Back to Football Forum with the Buccaneers Luncheon The Tampa Bay Buccaneers invite local business leaders and Bucs fans to enjoy lunch and a 2015 season preview with Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, along with various players.

  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 9:00 AM EDT Buccaneers Academy FDOT Backpack Caravan While getting ready for their own kickoff on the football field, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are proud to also help kick off the school year for young Bay-area Bucs fans!
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Downtown Tampa SIEGE Celebration The Bucs will “SIEGE” Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park to celebrate the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Tampa’s historic Hispanic roots and the beginning of our regular season! This fun, free event will feature autographs from Bucs Legends, the Buccaneers Street Team, a Buccaneers Cheerleader performance and various food truck vendors!
  • Thu., Sep. 10, 2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT Launch Party for RED, the Buccaneers new Women’s Movement

    Join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10th from 6pm-9pm at Raymond James Stadium to be a part of the Buccaneers all-new RED, the Women’s Movement!

  • Sat., Sep. 12, 2015 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Back to Football Celebration at Glazer Children’s Museum Celebrate the season opener with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by joining us at a special Back to Football event at the Glazer Children’s Museum!
  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 4:25 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Titans Week 1
  • Tue., Sep. 15, 2015 12:00 PM EDT UnitedHealthcare Learning Garden Build UnitedHealthcare volunteers, Bucs players, cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will construct Learning Garden kits at One Buccaneer Place that will teach students about growing healthy, sustainable foods.
  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Saints Week 2
  • Tue., Sep. 22, 2015 12:00 PM EDT UnitedHealthcare Learning Garden Delivery Buccaneers staff will install Learning Gardens in seven Buccaneers Academies.
  • Sun., Sep. 27, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Texans Week 3
  • Tue., Sep. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation Vehicle Unveiling The new and improved Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation will be unveiled at Twin Lakes Elementary School!
  • Sun., Oct. 04, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Panthers Week 4
  • Tue., Oct. 06, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Rookie Club: Metropolitan Ministries LAMPLighters Fall Festival The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Club, Cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will interact with the children through games, dancing, arts & crafts, and more during Metropolitan Ministries' Fall Festival.
  • Sun., Oct. 11, 2015 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT Treasure Chests 5K Run/Walk & Corporate Challenge

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the third-annual Treasure Chests 5K Run/Walk & Corporate Challenge highlighting the NFL-wide Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebration.

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Bucs Defense Building Something Special

Posted Dec 9, 2013

Following their best performance of the season, Tampa Bay's defenders are seeing great things ahead and striving to become a unit the team can count on week-in and week-out



STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mostly healthy, Tampa Bay's defense has a chance to finish the 2013 on a strong note
  • LB Mason Foster is encouraged by the team's mix of veteran leadership and young talent
  • Tampa Bay has risen to 13th in the league in yards allowed and tied for 11th in points allowed
During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' three-game winning streak in November, the most prominent storyline was the poised and efficient work of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month.  Glennon posted a 119.7 combined passer rating in the Bucs' November games, which also included an overtime loss at Seattle, and Tampa Bay nearly doubled its scoring from roughly 14 points per game in the first eight to almost 28 in the next four.

Still, it's worth noting that the Bucs only improved their offensive ranking from 31st to 28th during that span, and that in two of those three wins they were held below 270 total yards.  Tampa Bay's defense (and, more often than not, the special teams), has been just as important to the team's second-half turnaround, helping the Bucs win four of five after starting out 0-8.  Moreover, the Bucs' injury woes have been largely concentrated on offense, as the starting defense remains largely intact in the season's final month.  The Buccaneers won't make the playoffs in 2013, but they do have a chance to show that they are on the cusp of putting together yet another excellent defense, which has long been the franchise's trademark.

Against Buffalo on Sunday, running back Bobby Rainey broke off an 80-yard touchdown on the second play of the game and Glennon executed a brilliant scrambling 38-yard scoring pass to Vincent Jackson two drives later.  However, for most of the day, it was Tampa Bay's defense that stole the show, racking up seven sacks and four interceptions and allowing just 214 yards and six points.  Buffalo's fourth-ranked rushing attack could muster just 67 yards, including a mere 22 for C.J. Spiller and 12 for Fred Jackson.

Tampa Bay's offense had its finest day three weeks earlier in a 41-28 drubbing of Atlanta.  As is the case in almost every season, however, there are days when the offense shoulders most of the load and days when it is on the defense to secure the win.  The Buccaneers' defense took center stage against Buffalo, and they want to be the type of unit that can be counted on to do so every week, much like the famous Tampa Bay D of the mid-'90s to early-'00s.

"When we go out there, we want to make plays," said linebacker Mason Foster, who had one of the Bucs' four interceptions off Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel.  "We want to take control of the game because we know that we can. We know we’ve got the players in our room to do it. Gerald [McCoy] always says, ‘If they don’t score, we win,’ so you’ve just got to try your best to keep playing great, making great plays, getting the ball back. We want to be a great defense. We feel like we’re a lot better than what our numbers have shown in the win column. We feel like we’re a lot better than that, and we’re trying to come out here and prove it, finish this year strong."

-- LB M. Foster and his defensive teammates had a lot to celebrate on Sunday against Buffalo
Actually, the numbers aren't that, beyond the all-important 4-9 in the standings.  The Bucs have risen to 13th in the NFL in yards allowed and tied for 11th in points allowed.  There are a couple more severe tests waiting before season's end, including a home date next Sunday against the NFL's 11th-highest scoring team, San Francisco, and a season finale in New Orleans against Drew Brees and company.  Still, the Bucs think they can continue building defensive momentum through the final month of the campaign.

“We’ve been able to – with the exception of [linebacker] Jonathan Casillas – been able to stay relatively healthy on that side of the ball," said Schiano.  “Going forward it’s exciting, but I’m more concerned about going forward to next Sunday, six days from now. I think that we need to get our guys [ready], and this is going to be quite a challenge. We’re going to need our veteran guys. That’s where we have some veteran guys that have played at a high level and that are relatively healthy for this time of year."

In fact, the Buccaneers have a pretty promising mix of proven veterans in their prime and young standouts who look to be on the verge of stardom.  Cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson provide veteran savvy; fourth-year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is probably headed to his second straight Pro Bowl, is already an unquestioned leader; and linebacker Mason Foster, linebacker Lavonte David, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, safety Mark Barron and cornerback Johnthan Banks are all in their third year or less and producing big numbers.

It's an impressive collection of talent, but also a hard-working group that sees the possibility of greatness and is determined to get there.

“There are a lot of great defenses in this league, a lot of great defensive players, so it’s tough to say," said Foster.  "But at the same time, I know everybody that plays on this defense personally, and they’re all my good friends, like my brothers. I know how hard they work and how much everything means to them, how much football means to them.

"I’m excited. These guys work hard day-in and day-out. We compete on a daily basis, trying to get better. I think the sky’s the limit for us. We’ve just got to keep working and keep progressing. Guys are getting smarter and understanding the defense [better] each and every day. We’ve got a lot of great, young players on this defense, so I’m excited."