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Latest News for the Bucs | Brianna's Blitz 

Recapping the previous week during the bustling 2023 offseason

Ryan Neal Bri's Blitz_

Bucs Sign Ryan Neal 

On Thursday, the Buccaneers signed Neal to a one-year contract, bringing PFF's No. 4 graded safety in 2022 to Tampa Bay. Neal bolsters a Bucs' secondary that has seen the departure of safeties Mike Edwards (Chiefs) and Keanu Neal (Steelers) in free agency, while Logan Ryan remains unsigned. Ryan Neal joins Antoine Winfield Jr. and Nolan Turner as the only safeties on the current Bucs' roster. Neal originally joined the Seahawks in 2019 after brief stints with the Falcons and Eagles. The former undrafted free agent out of Southern Illinois emerged as a starter for Seattle in 2022, stepping in for an injured Jamal Adams. He posted a career-high 66 tackles, adding one sack, four tackles for loss, one interception, eight passes defensed and a forced fumble in 10 game starts (14 played) last season. His contribution on the field garnered 14 votes for the Associated PressAll-Pro team, including three first-team selections. Neal ranked sixth among all safeties in the All-Pro balloting. Overall, Neal has played in 47 games with 19 starts, amassing 160 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, three interceptions, 16 passes defensed and one forced fumble throughout his NFL tenure. 

Todd Bowles confirmed that Winfield will move into a full-time role at free safety in 2023 after he served in a hybrid role in nickel packages last season. With the absence of Edwards in the lineup, Neal could start at strong safety for the Bucs. Tampa Bay may look to upgrade in the Draft for a player to compete with Neal, but the former Seahawks' standout adds experience to the unit. 

"Last year was really big and this year I just want to make that set in stone – set the statement: I'm a starting safety," Neal described upon his arrival in Tampa Bay. "I want to come here and add value to the defense – I never want to take away from a room, you always want to add to it. I can't wait to meet my teammates, the rest of my coaches – anywhere I can add value, that's my whole goal this year."

In speaking with local media on Thursday, Neal elaborated on his impression of the Bucs' defensive scheme under Todd Bowles and the way safeties are utilized. He expressed his excitement to play for Bowles and the Bucs' multiple-look backfield. 

"Even game-to-game, we'll watch tape on them for the teams we would be playing and stuff like that – one thing about [Todd Bowles] is he's a mastermind. He never ran the same thing, so it was kind of hard trying to figure out what was going on. It was like, who's doing what? You don't know who's doing what, who's going where. I think it'll be really cool for me. I've done a lot of different things in our defense for the past four years – been in multiple positions. It'll be cool to see how [versatile] I can be. I'm looking forward to the challenge, man. I'm always looking to see if I can affect the game anywhere – that's always been a goal of mine. I'm excited to play for Coach [Bowles] – it'll definitely be exciting."

Bucs Make Two Additions to Coaching Staff 

On Wednesday, the Bucs filled a couple of vacancies on Todd Bowles' coaching staff. The club announced the hiring of Jordan Somerville as assistant quarterbacks coach and David Raih as offensive analyst. Somerville will work alongside Thad Lewis, who was promoted from assistant wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach in 2023, replacing Clyde Christensen. Raih will assume a new role on Bowles' staff.

Raih most recently served as the offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach at Vanderbilt in 2021. Previously, Raih spent seven years in the NFL as the wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals (2019-20) and in various roles for the Green Bay Packers (2014-18). Under his tutelage, Cardinals' wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins earned first team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2020. Additionally, Davante Adams broke out for his first 100-catch and 1,000-yard receiving season in 2018 while Raih served as his position coach. Raih began his coaching career as a coaching intern at UCLA (2008-09) before accepting roles at Iowa (2010-12) and Texas Tech (2013). 

Somerville spent the past season as an offensive analyst for the University of Oregon - an offense that ranked sixth among Power 5 programs in scrimmage yards per game (500.5) and 10th in points per game (38.8). While Somerville worked alongside the quarterback unit, he helped Oregon starter Bo Nix emerge as one of the best passers in the country after transferring from Auburn. Nix finished fourth among all Power 5 quarterbacks in passer rating (165.7), while also finishing top 10 in passing yards (3,593), passing yards per attempt (8.78), and passing touchdowns (29). Prior to his season with the Ducks, Somerville served as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of New Mexico for two seasons (2020-21). He began his coaching career as the run game coordinator/offensive line coach at the American Leadership Academy (2016) before spending three seasons at Arizona State as a student assistant (2017-18) and graduate assistant (2019).

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