Reminder: Herm Edwards picked the Bucs to go to the Super Bowl

Herm-EdwardsA lot of people were high on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into the 2014 season. They made a seemingly great coaching hire in Lovie Smith and acquired a veteran quarterback who was coming off a great year with the Chicago Bears in Josh McCown. No one had more faith in Tampa Bay than Herm Edwards.

Back in May, Edwards predicted that the Bucs and Pittsburgh Steelers would square off in Super Bowl 48. The ESPN analyst, who worked as an assistant with the Bucs from 1996-2000, felt that the Bucs would have an improved roster, better coaching and strong defense. Did anyone watch Thursday Night Football?

While it should be noted that the Bucs were without defensive leader Gerald McCoy, they were absolutely destroyed by the Atlanta Falcons. Tampa Bay’s 56-14 loss could go down as the worst for any NFL team this season. The Bucs were down 56-0 heading into the fourth quarter before Atlanta took its foot off the gas.

Analysts swing and miss all the time, and we usually let them slide. Predicting outcomes in football is arguably more difficult than any of the other four major sports, as teams go from first to last and last to first each season. Having said that, I wonder how Herm is feeling about his NFC champ these days. I bet he’d like a mulligan.

Josh McCown signs with Bucs; will have chance to start

Josh McCown BearsJosh McCown signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday. The deal is reportedly worth a total of $10 million and includes playing time incentives as well as a $3 million incentive for making the playoffs.

With Greg Schiano having been fired and Lovie Smith now in charge, McCown should be given a legitimate opportunity to earn the starting job in training camp. Former NC State quarterback Mike Glennon was clearly Schiano’s guy and played well at times, but Smith has no loyalty to him and will likely lean toward the veteran if the competition is close.

McCown proved last season that he is more than capable of being an effective starter in the NFL when Jay Cutler missed several games with injuries. The 34-year-old veteran appeared in eight games for the Chicago Bears and threw 13 touchdowns and only one interception. Some will credit Marc Trestman’s offense for McCown’s success, but he protected the ball better than Cutler and was able to spread it out more. His presence helped Alshon Jeffery break out as a star.

The move makes a lot of sense for both sides.

Buccaneers fire Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik

Greg-Schiano-BucsThe Tampa Bay Bucaneers have reportedly fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik, according to Jay Glazer or FOX Sports.

The Bucs managed to get hot after losing their first eight games of the season, but they ended up losing their final three and finishing with a 4-12 record. In Schiano’s first year with the team last season, Tampa Bay finished with a 7-9 record after losing five of its last six games.

Following the Bucs’ 0-8 start, most people felt that it would be a miracle if Schiano made it through the end of the season. Tampa then won four of five games from Weeks 10 through 14 and it appeared that Schiano had made the right decision in going with rookie quarterback Mike Glennon over the veteran Josh Freeman. The success was short-lived.

Given the fact that the Bucs also chose to fire their GM, it seems like they are trying to completely clean house.

We read various reports throughout the season about players who felt that Schiano was an a-hole who tries to be like Bill Belichick despite never having accomplished anything at the NFL level. Given the reputation Schiano has developed over the past two years, it would not be surprising to seem him return to college ball next season.

Buccaneers try trick play on kickoff return, lose fumble return for touchdown (GIF)

Bucs fumbleThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers were actually looking like a real football team for the past month, but then they went out and did a typical Bucs thing to remind everyone they still have a long way to go.

The Bucs had just fallen behind 23-14 to the San Francisco 49ers with about four and a half minutes left in their Week 15 game, so they probably figured they had to try something to give them an edge in their comeback attempt. That decision led them to try a trick play on their return kick return. It didn’t work out.

The Bucs tried to do a reverse where one returner would hand off to the other, but they botched the exchange and fumbled it. Kendall Hunter recovered the fumble and returned it for the easy touchdown to make it 30-14 and ice the victory.

Good job, good effort Bucs.

GIF via @corkgaines

Buccaneers fans in hazmat suits mock Greg Schiano over MRSA

Greg Schiano Bill Sheridan

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have become such a disaster this season that fans are only going to their games in order to make fun of the team. Take for instance these two fans seen above. They dressed up in hazmat suits to mock the Bucs, who have had three players infected by MRSA this season. In fact, the Atlanta Falcons had a special cleaning crew come in last weekend to disinfect the visiting locker room after the Bucs left. One fan had head coach Greg Schiano’s name on his suit, while the other wrote Bill Sheridan, the name of the team’s defensive coordinator.

Those weren’t the only fans making references to MRSA at the game. Another fan was wearing a bag over his head that said “Schiano is worse than MRSA.” Just watch that disgruntled fan pump up the crowd while the team was getting crushed by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter on Thursday:

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Cleaning crew in hazmat suits scrubbed visiting locker room at Georgia Dome for MRSA after Bucs left

A cleaning crew in hazmat suits came in to scrub the visitor’s locker room at the Georgia Dome for MRSA after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left following their 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, FOX 13 reports.

The Buccaneers have been affected by MRSA this season. Three of their players — Carl Nicks, Johnthan Banks, and Lawrence Tynes — have been infected. Banks played in the game, but Nicks and Tynes did not.

MRSA is a bacteria responsible for difficult-to-treat infections.

The situation with the Bucs is similar to what happened with the Cleveland Browns in the last decade. From 2003-2008, at least six Browns players had staph infections.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the New England Patriots also scrubbed down the visiting locker room following the Buccaneers’ departure after a preseason game in August.

Below is another photo shared by FOX 13 reporter Kevin O’Donnell:

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Carson Palmer: Buccaneers were contacting my agent all offseason

Carson-Palmer-CardinalsThe more we hear, the more it sounds like Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano never planned to stick with Josh Freeman as his quarterback of the future. On Wednesday, Schiano announced that Freeman will be benched this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. If you believe Carson Palmer, the Bucs already tried to phase Freeman out during the offseason.

Palmer told reporters on Wednesday that the Bucs expressed a great deal of interest in acquiring him last spring before he was traded to the Cardinals.

“My agent said that Tampa had been contacting him a lot,” Palmer said, according to the Buccaneers official website. “I would have been very excited to be there. Their organization has a lot of good players across the board, but like I said, I’m excited and happy to be where I am. I’m excited about our future.”

This basically confirms what we already knew and what was previously reported — Freeman has never been Schiano’s guy. If he was, the team would not have drafted Glennon in the third round back in April. It was only a matter of time before Freeman was holding a clipboard. His poor play during the first three games of the season merely accelerated the process.

H/T Around the League