DE Mawuko Tugbenyoh was signed back to the practice squad on Tuesday
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to move down in the draft…no compensation necessary.
You may not hear that next April, but right now the Bucs would happily give up their 22nd spot in the draft for the 31st spot, since only a Super Bowl championship could bring about such a trade over the next month.
The National Football League released the selection order for the 2001 draft on Tuesday, giving a first peek at what will take place next April. The order is based on each team's record during the 2000 season, with strength of schedule breaking ties among teams with the same records. After the first round, in each succeeding round, the teams in a tied 'segment' rotate from top to bottom.
With only that taken into consideration, the Buccaneers would pick 22nd, as the third of four NFL teams that finished 10-6. Tampa Bay's opponents finished with a combined 128-128 record, a .500 winning percentage that was better than that of New Orleans' or St. Louis' opponents but worse than the .516 of Indianapolis' foes.
However, the Bucs could drop precipitously in the draft order if they can advance to Super Bowl XXXV. The winner of the Super Bowl always picks last, the runner-up, second-to-last. The Bucs could also drop below Indy or rise above St. Louis or New Orleans depending upon each team's advancement in the playoffs. The Bucs would not drop below teams with better records, such as the 11-5 Philadelphia Eagles, unless they make the Super Bowl.
Here is the beginning selection order for the first round of the 2001 draft:
|19.||New York Jets||9-7||145-111||.566|
|20.||New Orleans *||10-6||112-144||.438|
|21.||St. Louis *||10-6||120-136||.469|
|22.||Tampa Bay *||10-6||128-128||.500|
|30.||New York Giants *||12-4||114-142||.445|
- Subject to Playoffs
Within a tied segment above, non-playoff clubs are given priority over playoff clubs. Priority of playoff clubs within a tied segment will be based on their advancement in the playoffs, but they will not drop out of their tied segment unless they participate in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl champion will select 31st and the runner-up 30th.
The Bucs made a move on the practice squad on Tuesday, in effect reversing a switch it had made the previous week.
DE Mawuko Tugbenyoh, who was first signed to the team's practice squad on December 14, then released on December 22, is back, having been re-signed on Tuesday. TE Randy Thomas, who was signed on the 22nd to take Tugbenyoh's place, has been released.
The Bucs' 2001 Postseason Guide hit the desks of the team's media members on Tuesday, measuring in at 190 pages, printed front and back.
It takes a little advanced planning, but Tampa Bay's communications department has created this impressive document every playoff year since 1997. With national attention increasing exponentially during the postseason, teams are motivated to provide unfamiliar media with as much information in one package as possible. If it happens to look flashy, even better.
This year, the cover is graced by images of Warrick Dunn, Martin Gramatica, Donnie Abraham and John Lynch. That could be a good sign for that quartet.
In 1997, the Bucs' postseason guide featured FB Mike Alstott on the cover, along with LB Hardy Nickerson. In the two playoff games that followed for Tampa Bay, Alstott racked up 101 combined rushing and receiving yards, scored two of the team's three touchdowns and set a Buccaneer playoff record with a 31-yard run.
After missing the playoffs in 1998, the Bucs won the NFC Central last year and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Instead of featuring individual shots on the postseason guide cover this time around, the Bucs chose a collective image of the Bucs' swarming defense. Another prescient choice. Tampa Bay played St. Louis and Washington, the league's first and second-ranked offenses, during its run and allowed a total of one offensive touchdown.
LB Derrick Brooks made two tackles against Green Bay on Sunday. On the second one, he hurt his right shoulder and was done for the afternoon.
As a result, Brooks finished the season with a team-leading 179 tackles, falling short of the 180-stop mark for the first time since 1996. He thus missed out on a chance to become the first player in team history to register four consecutive 180-tackle seasons.
That's a rather arbitrary mark, of course, and it doesn't change the fact that Brooks now has 952 tackles in his career. The only player in team history with more is Nickerson, who compiled 1,028 stops from 1993-99.
Brooks expects to be back in the lineup when the game starts in Philadelphia next Sunday. He believes the Eagles will be a difficult but somewhat familiar challenge.
"They know how to win close games," said Brooks. "They're kind of similar to us – they hang around, hang around and make plays at the end to win the game. So we expect it to be a close ballgame. They have a very good defense and an offense that makes plays with its quarterback. It's an offense very similar to Green Bay's, so a lot of things we saw last week we're going to see this week."