|Sun 9/18||@ Vikings||1PM|
|Sun 10/9||@ 49ers||4:05PM|
|Sun 10/23||BEARS (in London)||1PM|
|Sun 11/06||@ Saints||1PM|
|Sun 11/20||@ Packers||1PM|
|Sun 11/27||@ Titans||1PM|
|Sun 12/11||@ Jaguars||1PM|
|Sat 12/24||@ Panthers||1PM|
|Sun 1/1||@ Falcons||1PM|
|Fri 8/12||@ Chiefs||W 25-0|
|Thu 8/18||PATROITS||L 31-14|
|Thu 9/1||@ Redskins||7:30PM|
TAMPA, FL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Communications) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed 2013 NFL Draft pick DT Akeem Spence.
Spence (6-1, 307) was selected in the fourth round (100th overall) out of the University of Illinois. He started all 38 games he played for the Fighting Illini, totaling 186 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 26 quarterback pressures in only three years. Spence was a member of the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists as a junior, while also earning second-team All-Big Ten honors from Phil Steele. Spence was selected first-team All-Big Ten by The NFL Draft Report after his sophomore season and earned Freshman All-American honors from College Football News, the FWAA, Phil Steele and Rivals.com.
A native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Spence attended Fort Walton Beach High, where, in addition to his football prowess, he was a state weight-lifting champion.
(via Tampa Bay Buccaneers News Release) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed 2013 NFL Draft selection DE William Gholson.
Gholston (6-6, 281) was selected in the fourth round (126th overall) from Michigan State University, where he played in 36 games, recording 142 tackles, 13 passes defensed, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 30 tackles for loss, the 10th-most in Michigan State history. Gholston earned second-team All-Big Ten honors following both his sophomore and junior seasons and was a quarterfinalist for the Lombardi Award (lineman of the year). As a junior, led all FBS defensive linemen with 10 passes defensed and set a Michigan State school record for passes defensed by a defensive lineman.
A Detroit native, Gholston was a high school All-American at Southeastern High School and participated in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.
TAMPA, FL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Communications) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed 2013 NFL Draft selections DE Steven Means and RB Mike James.
Means was selected in the fifth round (147th overall) out of the University at Buffalo, where he started every game his final two seasons, finishing his career with 185 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. A second-team All-MAC selection his senior season, Means finished fourth in school history with 18.5 sacks and 10th in school history in tackles for loss with 29.5.
James was a sixth round selection (189th overall) from the University of Miami where he started 17 of the 50 games he played in, including every game his senior season. During his collegiate career, James collected 1,386 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 312 carries (4.4 ypc avg). He also registered 67 receptions for 585 yards (8.7 avg) and 17 touchdowns. James was one of 11 FBS players named to the 2012 AFCA Allstate Good Works Team, and was also a finalist for the 2012 Pop Warner Award, given annually to individuals who act as a positive influence and role model.
The Bucs have said for months that they would welcome Ronde Barber back. On Wednesday, Barber declined the invitation. Ronde Barber officially ended his Buccaneers career after sixteen seasons in the pewter and red. Thursday following his press conference carried live on 620 WDAE, Barber joined Steve Duemig on 620 WDAE and talked about how difficult it was to say goodbye.
“Maybe aside from my very first Sunday in ’97 when I played, it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be” said Barber.
Last year at 37 years old, Barber was asked to switch from his natural cornerback position to free safety - a transition the 1997 draft pick made smoothly, even flourishing in his new role, recording 92 tackles, one sack, and four interceptions in 2012 - the most tackles since 2006 (98) and interceptions since 2008 (4).
With all his accomplishments on the field, Barber credited the people off the field for making him what he came to be with the Buccaneers.
“You come away from it realizing that it’s not about you. As much as it is, it’s really about the people that helped you get there” said Barber. “As today was a celebration about me, in my mind it was as much as a celebration of all those people.”
At 215 consecutive starts Barber has seen it all: three general managers, four head coaches, countless quarterbacks, five Pro Bowls, and one Super Bowl.
His teammates have gone on to the Hall of Fame or are on their way. One day, Barber may meet them in Canton but for now Barber isn’t going anywhere.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here. Now that I’m done and I don’t have to lift weights and put on five pounds of muscle every year, the (golf) swing is getting good” Barber said.
General manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano released a statement in March that they would let the veteran set his own timetable, and Barber took them up on the offer, waiting nearly two months to decide that the time had come to hang up his cleats.
When you’ve given everything you have for 16 seasons to one organization, the organization will allow you that time.
Barber was drafted by the Bucs in the third round of the 1997 Draft and played in only one game his rookie season. Back then, the NFL didn’t even record tackles. The following year Barber started nine games, then in 1999, 15 - beginning his amazing 215 consecutive start run.
During his career, Barber racked up 1,428 tackles - second in franchise history, behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks - 28.0 sacks, 47 interceptions, eight interception return touchdowns, 243 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and six additional touchdowns on fumble returns and blocked/deflected punts. He also played in 10 playoff games with nine starts, recording 50 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one interception return touchdown, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
Barber is the only player in the history of the NFL to have 25 or more sacks and 40 or more interceptions. His 28.0 sacks are second-most all-time among defensive backs, and the most all-time by a cornerback. He tops the Buccaneers' record book with his nine interceptions returned for touchdowns (including postseason), and his 14 total regular-season return touchdowns put him fourth in NFL history.