Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The Answer Man, Series 2, Vol. 21

The Buc fans’ inside man takes a nostalgic stroll through his first year of work, then gets to work on such topics as defensive rankings, overtime and expansion sisters

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You know what's coming up in just a few short weeks, don't you?

No, not the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2005 training camp. I mean, yes, the start of camp is less than two weeks hence, but that's not what I'm talking about.

No, this is big. It's the one-year anniversary of the Answer Man's debut!

Last year, on August 9, in the middle of my more mundane tasks at training camp (think of the messes 90 very large men can create on a daily basis), I penned "The Answer Man, Volume 1." I'd give you a link to it here, but it's not much to look at, as I only answered three questions, and they were relative softballs, regarding a rookie fullback, a direct snap and the transactions page on Buccaneers.com.

Three questions! Hah, those were the days.

Obviously, I've expanded my word count drastically over the course of the year; some may say that's an improvement and some may not. At least I think it's fair to say that we've covered a lot of topics, you (collectively) and I. As my first anniversary here on Buccaneers.com approaches, then, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at some of the more interesting things we've learned together.

To wit...

From Volume 4 last August: The terms "one technique" and "three technique" as applied to the offensive line refer to types of players,, not types of moves. As Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach Rod Marinelli said: "A three-technique is more of a high-energy, high-motor, explosive player who is going to get one-on-one pass-rush a lot more. He's a penetrator. He's got to be the disruptor; he's got to create some havoc. The one-technique is usually to the bubble and he's going to get the heavy run game, the heavy double-team, all those doubles coming off with the power running game."

From Volume 6 last September: The 53-man roster with eight inactive players on game day is, in effect, a compromise regarding the loss of the partial-season injured reserve option.

From Volume 10 last October: The NFL Rulebook is a very boring read. Oh, and it would do you no good to purposely lateral the ball out of bounds to stop the clock in the closing seconds of a game. You would be penalized five yards, 10 seconds would be run off the clock and the ticker would begin again as soon as the ball was spotted.

From Volume 17 last November: Players are not allowed to switch jersey numbers during the season. We found this out during a discussion of players who had been Buccaneers, left to play elsewhere, then returned. Once-and-again Buccaneer Dexter Jackson eventually got his #34 back, but not until after the 2004 season ended.

From Volume 20 last December: Buccaneer players are required to "weigh in" every Wednesday and Thursday. This isn't a particularly important part of the week for most players, who have no incentive clauses or weight issues to worry about, but they still have to do it. During training camp, weights are taken before and after every practice, and there are sometimes dramatic mid-day fluctuations.

From Series 2, Volume 1 this January: The reason you often see receivers suddenly point to the sideline just before a play begins has nothing to do with the receivers' teammates or coaching staff. When a player does this, he is checking with the line judge to make sure that he is not lined up offside. The official will tell them whether or not they're in the right position, so that they don't get a penalty. It becomes something of a ritual for some receivers.

From Series 2, Volume 4 this February: Strangely, over the last five years or so, teams that send their coaching staffs to the Senior Bowl seem more likely to draft players off of the team they didn't coach during the week. The Bucs bucked that trend a bit by taking Alabama DT Anthony Bryant in the sixth round this year, but in general it has been a common thing for teams to draft players off the opposite squad.

From Series 2, Volume 10 this March: Almost all Defensive Rookies of the Year are first-round draft picks. Over the last decade, only one player who won that award was not a first-round pick (Pittsburgh LB Kendrell Bell), and he was taken in the second round. It's a little more egalitarian on the offensive side, where five of the last 10 ROYs have not been first-rounders.

From Series 2, Volume 13 this April: If a punt is blocked, the punting team may recover the ball behind the line of scrimmage and advance it for a first down. However, if an extra point attempt is blocked, the kicking team may not recover the ball and advance it for a two-point conversion. In the latter scenario, a PAT is dead as soon as it is clear that the kicking team has failed.

From Series 2, Volume 16 this May: A yard is actually a yard. Three feet. Thirty-six inches. It's not an optical illusion. Seriously, this was a question asked and answered. One fan thought that either the NFL was playing fast and loose with its yardage measurements or the football was three-feet long. Fortunately, there are some other redeeming qualities to this volume, including the beginning of our lengthy Bucs-in-the-movies discussion.

From Series 2, Volume 18 this June: Even with the new rules forbidding the "horse-collar" tackle, it is legal to bring a player down by his hair. The NFL's director of officiating equated being tackled by, say, a handful of dreadlocks to being brought down by the jersey.

From Series 2, Volume 20 this very month: Edell Shepherd is the only Buccaneers wide receiver who occasionally plays without gloves. Shepherd mainly does it as a training technique – if he can catch everything in practice without gloves, then he'll be even better with the hand aid during games – but he sometimes even plays without them in games. He plays it by how he feels on that day.

In case you didn't notice, that was one link per month, for the 12 months that I've been holding down this gig. Here's hoping I'm around for a similar column next July.

Now, on to your latest questions.

**

(NOTE: I got a few more "Bucs-in-the-movies" entries in the e-mailbag this week, including a reference to the Burt Reynolds movie "Semi-Tough." Though they were good e-mails, I'm officially calling the topic dead. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the discussion.)

  1. Parker of Deltona, Florida asks:

I know the Buccaneer defense has been in the top 10 for many seasons now. Just how many years straight has it been, and how does that stack up against all time streaks? It has to be one of the longest runs.

Answer Man: No kidding…as I type this, Monte Kiffin is standing right outside my door here at One Buccaneer Place. Mind you, this is smack dab in the middle of that last vacation period coaches get before training camp. I'm not sure Monte is fully familiar with the concept of "vacation," however. How about that guy?

Kiffin has been at the helm of the Bucs' defense for nine years, about to start a 10th, and his crew has ranked in the top 10 for eight of them. The last eight, in fact, from 1997 through 2004. And, yes, that is one of the all-time streaks.

In fact, if the Bucs can keep it going for two more years, it will be as long as any team has ever done it.

Now, before we get into the specifics, I want to make this clear: We're only going to be considering the time from the NFL-AFL merger on. That would be 1970. This only makes sense. I mean, in 1950 there were only 13 teams in the league, so ranking in the top 10 wouldn't mean much, would it? Even in 1960, there were only 13 NFL teams, with another eight in the AFL, and the two leagues' stats were kept separately. There were 18 teams in the NFL in 1969 (and another eight in the AFL), so top 10 was starting to mean something there, but you could still finish 10th and be in the lower half of the league.

In 1970, however, the AFL and NFL merged and formed a 26-team league. Now, top 10 is starting to mean something.

That season was also the beginning of the longest run of defensive top 10 finishes in (post-merger) league history. The Dallas Cowboys, who would lose to Baltimore in Super Bowl V that year, finished fourth in the league in defense behind such memorable stars as Cliff Harris, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan and Herb Adderley.

That kicked the Cowboys off on a run of 10 straight seasons in the top 10. During the decade of the '70s, Dallas would put up these 10 defensive finishes (in order): fourth, third, fifth, fifth, fourth, sixth, seventh, first, second and eighth.

And that is the only streak that ranks ahead of the Bucs' current run of eight seasons, though there are two others that were just as long. One of them is quite predictable (I think): Pittsburgh, from 1972-79. The other is probably a tougher guess: L.A. Rams, from 1973-80.

It stands to reason that such a streak would become harder to maintain the more teams are added to the league. Top 10 out of 32 teams (or 30, as was the case when the Bucs' streak began) is at least slightly more impressive than top 10 out of 26 or 28 teams. It might also be fair to say that such streaks became harder to maintain – as did any sort of dynastic effect – when the new free agency system was introduced in 1993. The Steelers had no problem keeping together a defense full of such Hall-of-Fame bound defenders as Mel Blount, Mean Joe Greene, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.

Thus, it's probably no accident that there were three streaks of at least eight seasons in the 11 seasons from 1970 to 1980, but there has been only one since. In fact, of the other four streaks that reached at least five seasons from 1970-2004, none included a season any later than 1991.

In other words, when discussing sustained defensive dominance in the NFL's current era, the Buccaneers stand alone.

Here are the eight longest streaks of consecutive seasons in the top 10 of the NFL's defensive rankings since 1970:

TeamStreakSeasons
Dallas Cowboys101970-79
Tampa Bay Buccaneers81997-2004
Los Angeles Rams81973-80
Pittsburgh Steelers81972-79
New York Giants71981-87
Chicago Bears61983-88
San Francisco 49ers61986-91
Denver Broncos51975-79
* active*

Like the Cowboys were during the '70s, the Bucs have rarely been in danger of breaking their streak. The lowest ranking for Dallas was eighth, which was the last year of their streak, and they were only as low as seventh twice. The Bucs did "slip" to ninth in 2000, but that is their only ranking worse than sixth during the streak. Here's how the two streaks compare in terms of yearly rankings:

**Dallas, 1970-79****Tampa Bay, 1997-2004**
**Season****Rank****Season****Rank**
1970419973
1971319982
1972519993
1973520009
1974420016
1975620021
1976720035
1977120045
197822005??
197982006??

The Cowboys' streak ended when they fell to 17th in the defensive rankings in 1980. However, we should point out that Dallas finished third in total defense in the NFL in 1969 and fourth in 1968. There were only 16 teams in the league at the time, but even if you double that number and concurrently double the Cowboys' rankings to sixth and eighth, they would still seem to equate to top-10 finishes. Thus, you might consider the Cowboys' streak – and thus the Bucs' target – to be 12 seasons instead of 10.

By the way, Kiffin was outside my door when I started writing this answer. He's no longer there. One good guess as to his current whereabouts: watching film in a darkened office.

**

  1. Trevor of Tampa, Florida asks:

**Answer Man, this question has been plaguing me for 10 minutes now. If a game goes into OT and no team scores, the game is tied. What would happen if a superbowl went into OT, and no team scores? Split the Lombardi in half? Make twice as many superbowl rings?

I'm sure memorabilia and jersey retailers would appreciate this, but this mind-boggling situation might be to much for a fan to take. But, I'm sure you can set the record straight. Thanks!**

Answer Man: I know that sometimes I choose a question to which probably 75% of my readers knows the answer, and I imagine that must be frustrating to some of you. But these questions need to be answered, too. Trevor needs his peace of mind just like the rest of us.

The overtime rules for the regular season and the postseason are almost the same, but they differ in one crucial way: No ties allowed!

A playoff game will go as many extra periods as necessary until one of the teams scores. The second overtime period does not begin anew but rather is a continuation of the action, much like the second quarter continues from the first quarter during regulation play.

This was true even before the NFL instituted a regular overtime in 1974. Before that, any game that was tied at the end of regulation was a tie, unless it was in the playoffs, in which case they would continue playing. That's how Kansas City and Miami ended up playing the longest game in NFL history on Christmas Day of 1971. It was the divisional playoffs, and it was tied at the end of regulation. Neither team scored in the first overtime, but Garo Yepremian's 37-yard field goal won it for Miami at 7:40 of the second overtime period.

That game is often known, poetically, as "The Longest Game." There is also "The Greatest Game," which is how people often refer to the 1958 NFL title game. The Baltimore Colts won that one, 23-17, over the New York Giants on December 28, 1958 on Alan Ameche's one-yard touchdown run. More than 50 million people watched on television as the NFL played its first ever sudden-death overtime.

A total of 22 playoff games have gone into overtime, beginning with the Greatest Game and ending, at the moment, with the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-17 win over the New York Jets in last season's divisional playoff round on January 15, 2005. Five of those have gone into a second overtime, most recently the Carolina Panthers' 29-23 win over the St. Louis Rams on January 10, 2004. That one ended one play and 10 seconds into the second overtime, when Jake Delhomme hit Steve Smith for a 69-yard touchdown.

The Jets and Chargers nearly made it to a second overtime this past January, but New York won it, 20-17, on Doug Brien's 28-yard field goal with five seconds to play in the first overtime.

So nobody's going to go all Solomon on the Lombardi Trophy, and nobody's going to get all the way to the Super Bowl and then kiss their sisters. There can be only one winner in any playoff game.

Contrastingly, as I've said before, there are two words in Super Bowl! This is a big pet peeve for the Answer Man, but my efforts to educate seem to be failing. Please, it's Super Bowl, not Superbowl.

Thank you.

**

  1. Joe of Tampa, Florida asks:

Hi. In light of our 30th season, I thought it would be cool if you did a little comparison to our sister-team, the Seattle Seahawks, as far as like playoff appearances, total yardage, number of winning seasons...any cool milestones or stats that you could come up with. Just to see how the 2 teams stack up against each other with 29 years of stats. Thanks. Please note that the Bucs will go 0-16 this year if you don't do this for me.

Answer Man: Well, that's a hollow threat if I've ever heard one.

That being said, the Answer Man is superstitious when it comes to sports, and since I can't possibly track this fan down among the 20,000 "Joes" in Tampa, I thought it best not to trifle with him. What if he has some sort of "in" with the football gods?

So, yes, Joe, I'll do your comparison, since it would be so cool and all. Not much need for a preamble; just see the chart below. I will say this by way of introduction, in case someone out there is confused by Joe calling Seattle our "sister team:" The Bucs and Seahawks came into the league together, in the 1976 expansion. That was the first bit of expansion by the league since the 1970 merger that we've discussed so much in recent weeks, bringing the league to 28 teams. It would not increase to 30 for another 19 years, until Carolina and Jacksonville joined the party in 1995.

29-Year Comparison of 1976 Expansion Teams Seattle and Tampa Bay

CategorySeattleTampa Bay
Head-to-Head5-11-5
Overall Record214-238-0172-279-1
Overall Winning Pct..473.382
Overall Home Record127-100107-118
Overall Road Record87-13865-161
1970s Record25-3517-43
1980s Record78-7445-106-1
1990s Record70-9067-93
2000s Record41-3943-37
First Winning Season1978 (9-7)1979 (10-6)
Total Winning Seasons128
First Playoff Season19831979
Total Playoff Seasons78
Overall Playoff Record3-76-7
Division Titles34
Conf. Champ. Appearances13
Super Bowl Appearances01
Super Bowl Victories01
Total Yards Gained140,492130,186
Total Yards Allowed152,932141,596
Total Points Scored9,2567,682
Total Points Allowed9,7269,286
Top-10 Off. Rankings62
No. 1 Off. Rankings00
Top-10 Def. Rankings411
No. 1 Def. Rankings02
Hall of Famers1 (Steve Largent)1 (Lee Roy Selmon)
AP NFL MVPs00
AP Off. Players of the Year00
AP Def. Players of the Year2^3#
AP Off. Rookies of the Year01~
AP Def. Rookies of the Year00
Total Pro Bowl Berths6766
*Key: * .500 seasons not included ^ S Kenny Easley, 1984; DT Cortez Kennedy, 1992 # DE Lee Roy Selmon, 1979; DT Warren Sapp, 1999; LB Derrick Brooks, 2002 ~ RB Warrick Dunn, 1997

Seattle has an edge in a good number of these categories, largely thanks to the Buccaneers' 0-26 start in 1976-77 and Tampa Bay's rough times through most of the '80s. The Seahawks also have a healthy lead in the all-time Bucs-Seahawks series.

However, it's safe to say that the Bucs are ahead in a few categories that mean the most: Division titles, conference championship games and, especially, Super Bowl victories.

In an individual player honors, it's very even. The two teams have had almost exactly the same number of Pro Bowl bids over the last 29 years, and each team has exactly one player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Neither franchise has had an MVP or an Offensive Player of the Year, but the Bucs (3) and the Seahawks (2) have combined for an impressive five Defensive Players of the Year over those 29 seasons.

A look at the yardage and point totals over that span gives an indication that the Bucs have generally been better at fielding strong defenses, while the Seahawks have fared better on offense. That idea is also reflected in the top-10 rankings in both categories.

There, comparison done, Joe. So now how many games do the tea leaves say the Bucs are going to win in 2005?

**

  1. Jack Ivers of Brisbane, Australia asks:

Hello A.M. I am an avid follower of your column from the land down under. I would like to know whether any Australian has been drafted in the NFL Draft. P.S. Bring a Bucs game down here

Answer Man: Personally, the Answer Man would love to see a Bucs game played in Australia, particularly if I was allowed to go. Chances seem slim, though, considering the NFL has played only one of its previous 55 "international" games in Australia, and the Bucs have been involved in only one of those 55 games.

But we'll get to that in a minute, when we answer the next question. Your query, Jack, is about Australians in the draft.

The Answer Man has turned up one: Defensive end Colin Scotts, who was drafted by the (then) St. Louis Cardinals in 1987. He went pretty high, too, as the Cards tabbed the University of Hawaii standout in the third round, 70th overall.

Unfortunately, Scotts' NFL career didn't last long, as he played just two seasons with the Cardinals. A recent news article the Answer Man located on Scotts on the web, in which the Australian speaks about the movie he is pitching on his life in Hollywood (the concept: "Crocodile Dundee in a helmet"), says he played 10 seasons in the NFL, moving to the Houston Oilers after his time with the Cardinals. That may be an exaggeration, however.

After playing in seven games with three starts as a rookie for the Cardinals, Scotts spent the entire 1988 season on injured reserve for the team, after its move to Arizona. He was indeed picked up as a free agent by Houston in 1989 through Plan B (a fairly toothless precursor to unrestricted free agency), but he doesn't appear on the Oilers' all-time roster and he's not in the 1990 media guide. Then again, the article in question doesn't specifically say that Scotts played 10 years in the league, so perhaps he worked for Houston or another team in a different capacity.

Anyway, Scotts was the first Australian-born player drafted into the NFL. The Answer Man didn't find evidence of any others, though Hawaii punter Mat McBriar was considered a possibility to be picked in 2003. Instead, he went to Denver as an undrafted free agent, was traded to Seattle for a conditional draft pick a few months later and eventually signed with Dallas before the 2004 season.

McBriar won the job in Dallas and had a fine season, averaging 42.4 yards on 75 punts and dropping 22 kicks inside the 20 last year. He is not, however, the first Australian punter in the NFL, nor the most famous (at least not yet). Those honors would go to Colin Ridgway and Darren Bennett, respectively.

Ridgway, a track star who competed in the high jump in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, played half of one season with the Cowboys in 1965. He is the first Australian-born player in the NFL to which the Answer Man can find reference.

Bennett is the most accomplished Australian in the NFL, and he has set the bar high enough that it will be difficult to match, even though he has personally made efforts to help other athletes from his country into the league's consciousness. Over 10 seasons (1995-2004), the first nine of them with the San Diego Chargers, Bennett has played in 159 games and averaged 43.5 yards on 828 punts. He also owns an excellent career net average of 36.6 yards per kick. He made the Pro Bowl following his 1995 rookie season, then again in 2000, and was named to the NFL's Team of the Decade for the 1990s, selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bennett was a 29-year-old free agent when he got a tryout with the San Diego Chargers in 1994, a season he spent on the practice squad. That's because he also played 12 seasons in the Australian Rules Football League for the East Fremantle Sharks, West Coast Eagles and Melbourne Demons.

Anyway, Jack, the answer to your question is yes, Colin Scotts in 1987. The other three players mentioned above made it into the league but were not drafted.

**

  1. Chris Jackson of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia asks:

**G'day Ansa bloke, I just noticed the North-most Buc fan last week, so I thought I'd be the south-most (if you check an atlas and look exactly where Hobart is in Tassie you'll know what I mean!). I'm also 21 and have only known about the great sport of 'Gridiron' for 6 or 7 years or so...so excuse my ignorance.

My question is- have the Bucs (as a team) ever been to this great dry island of Australia??? And if not, WHY NOT!!! Would they ever consider playing in Sydney for the Oz Bowl (Chargers and Skins I think) like a few years ago? They went to Japan last year, so why not here? Where we play football with no helmets, eat kangaroo hamburgers and drink a slab of beer for breakfast!!! I'd love the opportunity to see some... I mean all, of these guys in action!!! The best that I could do was get engaged, and plan the Wedding in Hawaii 2007- Pro Bowl!!! and hope guys like DJ, Cadillac, Ronde and Rice have a big year!

Anyway, I know I've rattled on for too long... but hopefully you'll help me out! Cheers mate, Jacko.**

Answer Man: I had to put these two questions together in the column because, while I'm impressed to have received two questions from Australia, this one from Chris makes me wonder. I mean, it seems so…I don't know…over-the-top "Aussie," like it was read off the back of an Outback's coaster, particularly in contrast to Jack's letter. Is Chris here pulling my leg, or just really enthusiastic?

Anyway, I'm going to assume that you and Jack are countrymen, Chris, and treat your question on the up-and-up. I hope you're not making a fool of me.

As I started to say in the previous answer, there has been just one NFL exhibition game staged in Australia, the one you mentioned in 1999, though it was between San Diego and Denver, not Washington. With Bennett on the squad, San Diego's inclusion in the game was no accident.

That is actually the last game the NFL has played outside of the states that was not set in either Japan or Mexico. That's not a real healthy trend for the thought of a return Down Under, as awesome as the Answer Man thinks such a trip would be.

And, as I mentioned in answering Jack's question, it would be a mighty coincidence of the NFL did go back to Australia and the Bucs were one of the two teams chosen. In 29 seasons, they've been invited overseas just once (not that the coaching staff is complaining), and that was only after they won the Super Bowl. (Actually, truth be told, the Bucs were informed that they would be headed to Tokyo in 2003 a few days before they won the Super Bowl).

The Answer Man did get to go on that trip, Chris, and it was a great time, as well as a strong showing for our boys, who beat the Jets, 30-14. I'd vote for another trip, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

**

  1. Richard Schilling of Breinigsville, Pennsylvania asks:

My knowledgeable friend, please do not think this is another "When is training camp?" question; it is more specific than that. I'd like to know two things about camp: 1) Are you going to make any appearances during camp? and 2) Are there any activities that are unique to each day beyond the actual practice? I need to pick one day among August 1-4 to attend camp and would hate to find out that I missed "Try on the Answer tights" day.

Answer Man: You can bet I'll be there, old friend. In fact, training camp last year was when I got the green light to start my column. If you remember those days, I sharpened my teeth on such toughies as "better grilling, charcoal or gas?" and generally tried to tie things up in about 1,000 words. Oh, how times have changed.

That being said, don't expect to run into me there, as I'll be moving about in my civvies. And I'm not giving up the identity of my alter ego, so don't even ask. However, if you want to organize your own "Try on the Answer tights" day in the stands, I won't stand in your way. Know this: They are tight.

As to the uniqueness of the various practices, well, there isn't much. Training camp is very much characterized by routine; the team practices at the same times almost every day and varies very little in its hourly schedule from one day to the next. Actually, I think that's what makes it so effective when Coach Gruden makes a sudden change in the schedule, throws a curve ball like a trip to the movies or something like that, as he invariably does each summer.

You can see the daily practice schedule here and feel relatively good about it remaining accurate, unless weather prohibits any of the workouts. I can offer you a few bits of advice though.

One, the afternoon practices on the first and the fourth are special teams only (that's what the "ST" marking on the schedule means) and thus they are likely to be without some of the more well-known veterans. They are also shorter and, all in all, less interesting than a regular practice.

Two, you're better off shooting for a morning practice, for several solid reasons. If a practice is going to be rained out, it's more likely to be one of the later ones. During the rainy season here in Florida, most of the showers roll in quick in the afternoon. Also, even though it's hot all the time during camp, it's usually hotter at the afternoon practice than it is in the morning. And, finally, if a player is slightly injured and being held to a one-a-day practice schedule, he's more likely to work out in the morning and skip the afternoon.

Every now and then, a specific drill livens up a practice a little bit. For instance, the team might hold a full-contact goal-line drill, with the winning side promised an extra hour before curfew. That's always fun. Unfortunately, I'm not privy to a schedule that detailed, so you'll have to hope for the luck of the draw.

If I were you, Richie – and that would mean I'd have my own endless list of amusing e-mail addresses on your personal web site – I'd shoot for the morning practice on August 2 or August 3. Good luck! See you there (but you won't see me)!

**

  1. Gravy of Somerset, Pennsylvania says:

In case the Bucs didn't know, the fan poll results are incorrect. If you add all of the percentages, they equal 101%.

Answer Man: Do my eyes deceive me, or have I just been insulted by someone named "Gravy?"

Actually, I guess Gravy was taking the whole Buccaneers organization to task, or at the least the management of Buccaneers.com. Unfortunately, the criticism isn't going to stick.

See, those numbers weren't incorrect, Gravy, they were rounded. You'll notice if you check out whatever poll is on the site right now, that all of the percentages are expressed as simple integers, without a decimal point or any tenths or hundredths of a number. That is the product of this "rounding" process I just mentioned.

When you take a group of fractional numbers that equal 100 and round them to the nearest integers, you will sometimes get a group of integers that no longer exactly equal 100. Here's a very simple example:

If you had a poll with seven answers, and each answer in the poll had received exactly one vote, then each answer would have received 14.28571% of the vote (even that is rounded off at five decimal points).

The poll would then show the results for each answer to be 14%, since 14 is the closest integer to 14.28571. Now, if you happened to check out the poll at that exact moment, you would probably come to the same conclusion as you did before: The Bucs have a faulty poll, because the seven percentages only add up to 98%.

Since I don't know when you viewed the poll, or even which poll question it was, there's no way for me to know what numbers you encountered. But it would be just as easy for the combined numbers to go over 100, as you said they did when you saw it, as to go under 100, as they did in my example above. Here, I'll make one up:

Once again we have a poll with seven possible answers. After seven votes have been cast, three of the seven answers have received two votes each, one has received one vote and the other three have received none.

Now, as we see above, the answer that received one vote would have 14% of the vote on our display. Each of the three answers that received two votes would have 28.57143% of the vote, and that would display as 29%. The other three would obviously have 0% of the vote.

So, here's what we have: 14, 29, 29 and 29. And that adds up to 101.

Most of the time, the numbers will add up to 100, even when rounded. Still, from time to time, you're going to see the results you got the other day. Please try not to panic.

**

  1. Jeremy Loya of Gold Canyon, Arizona asks:

Has there been anyone that went in the Supplementary Draft who made it big in the NFL?

Answer Man: Four words for ya: Ber Nie Ko Sar.

In 1985, the Cleveland Browns were very interested in Kosar, the Miami quarterback who had been declared eligible for that summer's supplemental draft. They were so interested, in fact, that they traded several future picks to Buffalo in order to get Buffalo's first-round pick in 1986. Cleveland then utilized that pick to take Kosar in the supplemental draft, and he proved worthy of the Brown's desires. (Incidentally, as we mentioned in Series 2, Volume 17, that is how the Bucs ended up with the first overall pick in 1986, the one they used on Bo Jackson. Buffalo would have gone first had they retained the pick, but it had already been exercised by Cleveland. (For more on how the supplemental draft works, check out this recent article on Buccaneers.com.)

Kosar eventually played 12 seasons in the NFL (1985-96), the first eight-and-a-half with Cleveland. He threw for 23,301 yards, completed 59.3 of his passes and had a 124-87 TD-INT ratio. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1987 and was an inspiration to sidearm passers everywhere.

Actually, I can give you a decent list of former supplemental-draft picks who went on to nice NFL careers, though I have to give credit to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, who printed it last year. The list includes WR Cris Carter, LB Brian Bosworth, RB Bobby Humphrey, WR Rob Moore and QB Dave Brown.

Carter is obviously the most accomplished of the group; in fact, though I led with Kosar you'd probably have to consider Carter the most accomplished supplemental draft pick ever. He is, after all, the second-leading receiver in NFL history, behind only the great Jerry Rice.

Bosworth is really more notable for what he wasn't, that being a star-caliber NFL player. He went into the supplemental draft in 1987 because he had graduated a year early at Oklahoma and because, well, he already had a very high national profile, a ready-to-go image a la Deion "Prime Time" Sanders. However, after signing the richest contract for a rookie to that date with the Seattle Seahawks, Bosworth lasted only three seasons before a shoulder injury forced him out of the game. Unfortunately (some would say) that led to a film career that includes such notable entries as "Stone Cold" (his debut), "Black Out" and, most recently, "The Longest Yard."

Bobby Humphrey lasted four seasons in the NFL, three with Denver, after being taken in the 1989 supplemental draft. He was an immediate hit, posting 1,151 and 1,202 yards in his first two seasons, respectively, and earning a 1990 Pro Bowl berth, but he was out of the league by 1992.

Rob Moore had a much longer career, and a nice one at that. He entered the league in 1990 and played his first five seasons with the New York Jets, and the next six with the Arizona Cardinals. Moore had 44 catches as a rookie and 37 over his last two seasons combined, but from 1991-98 he was good for at least 50 receptions and 726 yards ever year, peaking at an awesome 97-1,584-8 line in 1997. Moore made the Pro Bowl twice, in 1994 and 1997, and finished with 628 career receptions for 9,368 yards and 49 touchdowns.

Dave Brown's career was almost as long as Moore's, lasting from 1992-2001, but he was basically a starter for just three years, from 1994-96 with the New York Giants, and never really ascended to star status. He and Moore ended up as teammates with the Cardinals from 1998-2001. In all, Brown completed 892 of 1,634 passes for 10,248 yards, 44 touchdowns and 58 interceptions.

So I'd have to say yes to your original question, Jeremy. Carter, Kosar and Moore unquestionably hit it big in the NFL, and Humphrey and Brown had their moments. Since you sent in your question, the league conducted its latest supplemental draft, and Miami took USC defensive end Manuel Wright in the fifth round. The Dolphins will give up their fifth-rounder in next year's draft as a result, but they'll be more than happy with that transaction if Wright can join the list of success stories above.

By the way, the Bucs have dipped into the supplemental draft before. In the summer of 1987, the utilized their 1998 third-round pick to take Miami nose tackle Dan Sileo. It didn't really work out for Tampa Bay, as Sileo played in only 10 games with no starts for the Buccaneers.

**

  1. Clinton of Tampa, Florida asks:

Answer Man, quick I need your help, there is a question that has been harassing me, actually ........ a gang of them. Well first, how many Bucs have been Heisman Trophy winners (at least that the Bucs have drafted), and how many and who are all the Buccaneers that have been named any sort of M.V.P., for the NFL in the offensive or defensive category, or special teams? Please help me, you can be my sidekick. Help me defeat them. Thanks (if you answer my question) lol. c-ya

Answer Man: Me by your sidekick? It is to laugh.

Still, I'd be happy to stomp out these questions that have been harassing you. I hope they weren't giving you too much trouble. I mean, these aren't exactly the toughest ones I've ever heard.

In fact, we can knock them all out in just a couple paragraphs, which is obviously a rarity for the Answer Man.

First of all, the Bucs have had three former Heisman Trophy winners play for them: quarterback Steve Spurrier (Heisman in 1966), quarterback Vinny Testaverde (1986) and wide receiver Tim Brown (1987). Only one of those three players was drafted by the Buccaneers – Testaverde, first overall in 1987.

The Bucs have drafted one other Heisman winner: Auburn running back Bo Jackson in 1986 (he won it in 1985). However, Jackson never signed with nor played for the Buccaneers, choosing to pursue a baseball career first before eventually joining the NFL with the Raiders.

The Bucs have never had an overall NFL MVP, nor an Offensive Player of the Year. However, they have had three Defensive Players of the Year: Lee Roy Selmon in 1979, Warren Sapp in 1999 and Derrick Brooks in 2002. They have also had the Offensive Rookie of the Year once, with Warrick Dunn in 1997. In all cases, I am referring to the Associated Press awards.

There, we have defeated them. You're welcome.

**

  1. David B. Neider of Yuma, Arizona asks:

**Greetings oh flowing fountain of football information.

A few questions that ties to your quarterback trivia. How many Superbowl winning quarterbacks have had a losing season the next year? How many Superbowl winning quarterbacks have been traded the following season? Have any Superbowl quarterbacks retired right after winning the Superbowl? Has any quarterback ever won Superbowls for more than one team? Has any quarterback ever played for a team that lost the Superbowl, and then won one with another team? Please feel free to answer any or all of these.**

Answer Man: Geez, everybody's either from Australia or Arizona this week.

David's question refers to my study last week of teams that have had the most Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks on their rosters at some point. I think it was a fairly interesting discussion, read it if you like. David's questions are some natural follow-ups. Let's take them one at a time…

How many Superbowl winning quarterbacks have had a losing season the next year? I think this question is a little unnecessarily harsh on the quarterback. Surely a losing season the next fall isn't only his fault. Still, I'll provide the answer: Six.

Notice, you didn't ask me who, just how many. So, six…yep, that's my answer.

Alright, alright, I'll give you the names: Bart Starr in 1968, Jim Plunkett in 1981, Joe Montana in 1982, Phil Simms in 1987, Doug Williams in 1988 and Brad Johnson in 2003. Again, I think this list makes it clear that this situation could happen to just about any quarterback. Also, in many of these cases the Super Bowl-winning quarterback was injured or otherwise split time the following season.

How many Superbowl winning quarterbacks have been traded the following season? None, not surprisingly. In fact, only one Super Bowl-winning quarterback moved to a new team the following season: Trent Dilfer, who won with Baltimore in the 2000 season and was with Seattle by the start of 2001. That wasn't a trade, however; Dilfer signed with the Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent. John Elway retired after Super Bowl XXXIII. Joe Montana didn't play in 1991, the season after winning XXIV, but that was due to injury, and he was still with the 49ers in 1992.

Have any Superbowl quarterbacks retired right after winning the Superbowl? Yeah, Elway. You knew that, didn't you? Is this a test?

Has any quarterback ever won Superbowls for more than one team? No, unless you want to give Jim Plunkett credit for winning with both the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Raiders.

Has any quarterback ever played for a team that lost the Superbowl, and then won one with another team? Nope. Doug Williams got close, I guess, losing the NFC Championship Game with the Buccaneers in 1979 before winning the Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1987.

You're a previous contributor to this column, David, so I also wonder if you're just trying to get my dander up by your repeated use of "Superbowl" instead of Super Bowl. You know the Answer Man hates that.

**

  1. M.J.P of Tampa, Florida asks:

Why isn't Joe J. (#83) included in the 2005 Free Agency Tracker list?

Answer Man: Joe, who obviously took great pains not to spell Joe Jurevicius' last name, is referring to a running story here on Buccaneers.com called the 2005 Free Agency Tracker. This story was first posted at the beginning of the 2005 NFL free agency period in early March and was designed to keep track of where all of the Bucs' free agents ended up, whether it was back in Tampa or on another team.

Jurevicius is not included in that story, but this isn't some kind of conspiracy, M.J.P. All of the men on the list were players who became free agents via free agency; that is, they had contracts through the end of the 2004 league season but those contracts expired when the 2005 season began. That included unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights free agents.

Jurevicius was not in any of those groups. He had an existing contract for 2005 but became a free agent when he was released by the Buccaneers. This happens in virtually every NFL city every spring these days. The same was true in Tampa with Brad Johnson, Ian Gold and Mario Edwards. If you look at the NFL's list of free agents for every team, you will not find these names listed there, either.

Basically, the lists are kept this way so that one may easily see a team's free agency "gains" and "losses." The Bucs are thought to have "lost" Cosey Coleman, for instance, because he became a free agent and signed with another team. In the same way, they "gained" Anthony Becht. Jurevicius is not considered a free agency loss because the Bucs' purposely let him go.

**

Alright, we've got a few "quickies" to finish out this column. As always, these are questions that either require very little embellishment or have been answered in previous columns.

  1. Garrett of Jupiter, Florida asks:

Has there even been an NFL team that played in the superbowl in their home city that very year? If so, how many teams (if any) won that superbowl contest?

Answer Man: Oh, great. Now Super Bowl is not only one word, it's not even capitalized. No respect.

I've answered this one before, but it was admittedly a pretty long time ago, in Series 2, Volume 2, way back in January. The basic answer is no. Well, kind of. The Los Angeles Rams faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV, and the game was played in L.A., though not on the Rams' home field. The Rams played their games at the Memorial Coliseum, while the Super Bowl was played at the Rose Bowl.

**

  1. Larry of Edmonton, Canada asks:

I will be in Orlando from the 6th of august until the 13th, could you please tell me what times the buccaneers will be holding practice sessions? many thanks, Larry

and…

Ed Sulik of Stratford, Connecticut asks:

Do you have an approximate time for practices, based on passed years, at Disney World. I will be in Disney between Aug 7th and 12th.

Answer Man: I'm beginning to think that the people who submit questions to me aren't the same ones who read my column, since we answer this question every week. Still, I'm happy to do it, because I know how much everyone is looking forward to this training camp.

The Bucs will practice every morning from the sixth through the 11th, though that last one is just a walk-through, since the team's preseason opener is on the 12th. They will also practice in the afternoon every day from the seventh through the 10th. Morning workouts start at 8:30, afternoon ones at 2:45. There are no practices on the 12th, the day of the game at Tennessee, or the 13th, the players' day off after a game.

Click here to see the complete daily practice schedule for training camp.

**

  1. Richard Fears of Riverview, Florida asks:

What is the current overall win and lost record and winning percentage for the Bucs since they started in the league in 1976?

Answer Man: The Buccaneers are 172-279-1 all-time in the regular season for a winning percentage of .382. They are also 6-7 in postseason play.

**

And with that, the Answer Man will be signing out. There are a lot of cleats to be polished before the start of training.

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