Category: Tampa Sports

Tampa Bay Bucs Schedule Release — What You Need To Know

While it is often reiterated to the press so often that it seems like a cliche, it is the absolute truth to say that the NFL has something going on the entire year. This week, just a week before teams head to Texas to make their respective draft picks, the schedules were released for all 32 NFL teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule, like all teams, has some really difficult patches that will truly test the mettle of the Bucs squad.

To begin the season the Bucs have quite the gauntlet: Week 1 they travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints, then in weeks 2 and 3 they’ll take on the top-level Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. It goes without saying that the Eagles are last year’s champion, and taking them on at home early in the season will be a serious bellwether for how much of a contender this years Bucs team will be. Interestingly, the Bucs will only have on Monday night game this season — and that will be the aforementioned Week 2 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tampa fans have every right to feel a little irked at the lack of Monday night and nationally televised game, as while they may not have been a top team last year they do have an exciting squad to watch. Additionally, the Bucs bye week comes extremely early in the season (during Week 5) which means they’ll have a long stretch of football every Sunday to close out the year.

Of course, with injuries and trades and draft picks still to come it is impossible to determine exactly how difficult the Bucs schedule is going to be when the season starts. Still, by using last year’s records we can get a semi-accurate gauge of the road ahead. According to For The Win (a blog on USA Today) the Bucs have the 4th toughest schedule in all of football
. Only the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers are projected to have a more difficult slew of opponents.

As excitement builds and we grow closer to things like the draft and training camps, Bucs fans are rightfully beginning to feel the excitement build. While the schedule release may be merely a tiny morsel in the long NFL offseason — at least it is something to hold us over!

Tampa Bay’s New Direction for Day Five Starter:

Jake Odorizzi is with Minnesota and Alex Cobb is still unsigned as a free agent. That’s two of Tampa Bay’s starting pitchers from 2017 no longer with the club. Compounding things is one of the Rays top relievers from last year, Tommy Hunter, is now with the Phillies. Manager Kevin Cash has a lot of work to do this spring getting his pitching staff in order in time for March 29th, when Tampa Bay opens the 2018 season against the defending American League Champion Boston Red Sox.

One possible bright spot for the rotation could have been righty Jose De Leon. A top prospect in the Rays organization, he suffered a serious injury to his right elbow and could be gone for an extended period. Another top prospect who may have helped Tampa Bay later in the year, Brent Honeywell, is also gone for the year. The MVP of last year’s All-Star Futures Game, Honeywell underwent Tommy John surgery in February.

This has led Cash to try a different approach for the 2018 season. Instead of the typical five-man rotation, the Rays will have four regular starting pitchers, then on the fifth day, call it the multi-headed starter. Cash stated the fifth turn through the rotation would be reserved for three or four pitchers coming out of the bullpen, pitching to each batter in the opposing line-up once.

One of those relievers who’ll likely get a lot of fifth day action is the newest Ray, Daniel Hudson. Acquired from Pittsburgh in the Corey Dickerson trade, Hudson is an eight-year Major League veteran, the bulk of those years in Arizona, where he was a 16-game winner in 2011. Another key veteran to come out of the bullpen for the Rays on the fifth day is Sergio Romo. Acquired last year from the Dodgers, Romo was an integral part of the Giants bullpen in their world championship years of 2010, 2012, and 2014. Your text to link…

The biggest concern with Cash’s plan has to be what happens should he have to use a lot of relievers for the third or fourth man in the rotation?

USF Women’s Basketball Eagerly Awaiting Seeding

With just four days until the unveiling of the Women’s March Madness bracket the University of South Florida Bulls are ready to celebrate the culmination of a successful regular season and move on to the high-pressure stakes of the postseason. It’s been a heck of a year for the Bulls, finishing with an impressive 26-7 overall record and notching a 13-3 record within the American Conference, good for second in the conference behind perennial women’s power UConn. Indeed, it was the Huskies of UConn who beat USF in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship to cap off their undefeated regular season. The Huskies have had USF’s number all season long, as they were responsible for 3 of the 7 losses the Bulls suffered this year. Bulls fans everywhere will be hoping that whatever part of the bracket the team ends up on, that it will be far away from UConn.

Speculation abounds over what seed the Bulls will garner themselves, with the common belief being that it will fall somewhere in the 3-5 seed range. Their strength of schedule is not all that impressive, finishing with the 74th most difficult schedule in D1 Women’s hoops, but they are currently ranked #19 in the country and are led by Senior forward Maria Jespersen who has picked up her play significantly down the stretch. This season has been another impressive notch on the belt of Coach who has now been at the helm for 18 seasons, turning the program into a perennial contender. After the tournament selections becomes official on Tuesday, Fernandez will have led his team to March Madness for a school-record 4 seasons in a row.

While the skill necessary to routinely make the tournament can’t be understated, it goes without saying that Fernandez and his team will be wanting to make a deeper run than they have in previous seasons. Despite his rock-solid consistency, Coach Fernandez has yet to lead the Bulls past the second round of the tourney. However, many analysts seem to believe that this USF team is poised to break into the Sweet 16, and maybe even beyond.

As the selections draw nearer and nearer USF’s players, coaches, and fans will be waiting in anticipation to see when and where they will be slotted — and once that’s figured out, the real fun begins!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Look Forward to Draft

During the 2016 NFL season most experts agreed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the most surprising teams in the league and that they also showed a lot of signs of promise. While the Buccaneers had a great 2016 and were expected to take a big step forward, the team did not perform very well in 2017. This resulted in a final record of 5 wins and 11 losses, which placed them into last place in the division. To make matters worse, the team looks like they will continue to have their hands full as the other three teams in the division made the playoffs and will come back just as strong next year.

There are many reasons why the Buccaneers had a hard time continuing their positive momentum last year. One of the main reasons was due to injuries. During the season, several key players suffered injuries and missed a lot of time. This included injuries to Mike Evans and Doug Martin, two of the key pieces to the offense. This made it hard for young quarterback Jameis Winston to develop cohesion and the whole team suffered.

Now that the season is over and the team is moving into the offseason, Tampa Bay will look for ways to improve their team for the future. One of the biggest days of the year will be the NFL Draft in which the team will have a very high pick in the first round. Most experts agree that the team needs to focus on improving its defense (http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Buccaneers-Mock-Draft-Roundup-30/4704e7b1-f9a9-4d94-b484-9d6ade521e6d). While the team did not do greatly offensively, the return of some key players and further development at quarterback will help.

Some of the top targets for the team during the draft will be Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James. Fitzpatrick is a DS from Alabama and was a clearly dominating player all year. James was a safety at Florida State and can be a huge run and pass stopper.

While they are focused on rebuilding through the draft, they also recently cleared some cap space. This included releasing running back Doug Martin. Martin just finished his 6th year in the league and is a former All-Pro player. However, he has been injured a lot recently and had an expensive contract.

TAMPA BAY SPORTS

First place Tampa Bay Lightning are showing the Canadians that they are a force to be reckoned with. Tamp Bay is a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern conference. More commonly known as the BOLTS, a name inspired by Phil Esposito.

Esposito is best known from his days as a Canadian broadcaster. He was also a coach, a player, and former professional ice hockey executive. He is a respected member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Esposito’s successes included playing 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Hockey News

The name came as a suggestion when during the summer months in Tampa the storms produce Strong Lightning Bolts in the sky. Hence the name “The Bolts” or Tampa Bay Lightning was born.

Billionaire Jeffrey Vinik, the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning who purchased the brand almost a decade ago, had a good feeling about this team from the very start. Tampa has produced so many great sports teams. As an financial analyst, Vinik knew there was much growth potential demographically in the Tampa area.

This will be another exciting year for the Bolts as they travel to Canada in Winnipeg Winnipeg Manitoba to face off with the Central division leaders the Winnipeg Jets.

The Bolts and the Jets played very well going into the weekends All Star break. The Tampa Bay Lightning are on a three game winning streak as the Winnipeg jets are now three out of four games win. Sports

This weekend all eyes will be on the Super Bowl and Tom Brady. As Minnesota hosts the 52nd Super Bowl this Sunday. Good luck to the Philadelphia Eagles and to the New England Patriots. May the best team win.

SUPER BOWL 52

I am personally a Hockey aficionado and admit that I too will be eating wings and pizza and drinking beer and rooting for one of the teams this Sunday. Which team, I have no favorite. I am on the bandwagon so to speak. Maybe one day the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host a Super Bowl or win it! The fun and the excitement is part of the adventure.

After the Super Bowl is over, there are still a few months of great hockey coming. Go Bolts! Make some Lightning happen!

Lightning Show No Signs of Slowing Down:

Here it is, halfway through the NHL season. At this point, it is pretty clear who are the contenders, who are on the bubble, and who have zero hope of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are clearly in the first category. Not only are they contenders, they remain the best team in the league. As of January 10th, the Bolts are 31-9-3, good for 65 points, the most in the league. Just behind them is the surprise team in not just the NHL, but in all of sports, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who are 29-10-2 with 60 points. If anyone expects the bottom to fall out sometime for the Lightning, don’t plan on it. Yes, they did lose back-to-back games the first week of January — one of those loses coming in a 2-1 shootout versus Montreal. But Tampa Bay is 7-2-1 in its last ten games. They also went 11-2 for the month of December. After a run like that, a little bump in the road is expected. But the Lightning responded from those back-to-back losses with back-to-back wins over Detroit and Carolina.

The Lightning are tops in the league in several key categories. They rank number one in goals per game at 3.7. Six players are at double digits in goals, with Nikita Kucherov collecting 27. The defense has been just as strong, with Tampa Bay allowing 2.4 goals per game, the 2nd best average in the NHL. Along with Andrei Vasilevskiy having a 2.10 GAA, only two players on the roster have a plus-minus rating in the negative numbers. The defensemen can also get into the scoring act as well, as the blue liners have put up 30 goals this season, led by Mikhail Sergachev with eight. Your text to link… They are also third in the power play at 24.7 percent.

The Lightning’s winning ways have allowed them to build up a 12-point lead over Boston and Toronto in the Atlantic Division, and that’s with the Bruins recent 8-0-2 run. The only way for Tampa Bay to lose its hold on the division is with an epic collapse. That, however, appears unlikely.

Lightning Take On Struggling Coyotes On Game 2 Of Roadtrip

After blanking the Blues on game 1 of their road trip, the Lightning looks to pile on another win in Arizona tonight.

With a record of 22-6-2, the Lightning leads the Atlantic Division with 45 points and a 5 game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Coyotes sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a record of 7-21-5 with only 19 points. One could easily say that tonight’s game could be a trouble-free night for Tampa Bay. However, mismatches like this could also end up being a trap game from the division-leading Lightning.

Consider that the Lighting is heading into game 2 of a road trip, playing three time zones away from their home site. During their last road trip, the Lightning lost three out of four games. That included a shutout against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. The Tampa Bay side may not have a sure thing in Glendale tonight.

Then again. Let’s look at the Coyote’s numbers on their home ice. Arizona has a record of 3-8-1 at Gila River Arena. One of worst in the NHL. By the looks of the Coyote’s home record, the odds should favor the Lightning. However, there is some additional data to suggest that tonight’s game may be closer than expected.

Last season, the Lightning went 0-2 against Arizona, being outscored by 5-3 in both matches. With more than a couple of games to give in the Atlantic Division, the Lightning may not put on their best effort in order to preserve some energy for the rest of their road trip.

Also, Arizona will have some incentive to play harder in front of their home crowd. And the Coyotes may find themselves in a sort of comfort zone given that 9 of their next 11 games will take place at home.

Overall, tonight’s match may be more competitive than the teams’ respective records suggest. Look for a high scoring game that may end up going into overtime. If that is the case, the Coyotes may have an outside chance to steal a game against the Lightning.

Former Tampa Bay Player Attacked By A Shark

If you are familiar with the movie Jaws, then you probably know how dangerous sharks can be if they bite you in the water. One former Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player had an encounter with a shark that can be said to be taken out from the Jaws movie. In case you are wondering, he did survive to tell the tale.

Warren Sapps, who played as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Bucanners, got bit by a shark while he was lobstering in the waters off Florida. Fortunately for Sapps, the bite was relatively minor. The incident occurred near the Florida Keys while Sapps was lobstering or catching lobsters.

Sapps is an NHL hall of famer who Tampa Bay Bucanners fans will remember and respect through time. Despite getting bit by a shark, the former NFL player did not let the incident bring him down or stop his lobster hunting adventure. Warren put gauze on the bite and even laughed it off. He even posted a photograph of the shark bite on twitter joking the shark got a piece of me. Sapps, who was in good spirits, then posted a photograph of himself catching lobster. The shark may have gotten a piece of him, but he had caught some delicious lobster for dinner he continued to joke!

I don’t think I would be able to continue diving after getting bit by a shark. It takes a lot of guts and grits to keep going after that. Then again, I am not a former NFL defensive tackle player. Warren Sapps showed that even when the going gets tough or you get bit by a shark, it pays off to have some humor and to make light of the situation.

So why did the shark bite former NFL player Warren Sapps? It seems the sharks also prey on the lobsters in that area. Another more hilarious theory is that the shark was coming in to tackle Warren Sapps but failed and managed to only bite him instead.

South Florida defeated by undefeated UCF

Despite the narrow defeat, the University of South Florida’s star quarterback Quinton Flowers ruled the field. On national television and before his fellow college students and alumni, Flowers set multiple USF records including single-game passing yards and total-yardage records.

Flowers faced off against the undefeated University of Central Florida Knights. Quinton Flowers is becoming known for being a runner more than a thrower, but managed to throw for 500 yards. UCF was the nation’s top scoring offense, prior to kickoff. Flowers managed to pull of some great plays despite some questionable coaching by Charlie Strong. This is Flowers’ last collegiate football game. Flowers has not said whether he will enter the draft.

Flowers performance over the year was incredible to sports analysts, some noted that if this was a mid-season game, he may have been considered as a heisman contender. However, he now faces a mid-level bowl game either in Annapolis, Maryland or Birmingham, Alabama. Quinton Flowers managed to out-gain the Knights 605 yards to UCF’s 533 yards.

Questions are now focused on Coach Charlie Strong and whether he will remain at University of South Florida. His playcalling has been questioned many times during the season and has led to some major upsets including their defeat against UCF. A victory against UCF would have put them one step closer to being in the Peach Bowl. UCF’s victory marks the first time in program history of finishing unbeaten in regular season.

Despite Flowers’ strong performance, the game came down to special teams. Near the end of the game, UCF’s Mike Hughes found an opening and ran for a 95-yard touchdown. In only 53 seconds, UCF took an eight-point lead. Flowers’ has also been a positive influence on University of South Florida, both on and off the field. The future of Flowers’ has yet to be determined.

Tennessee Recruiting Former Tampa Bay Football Coach

The Tampa Bay Bucs former coach Greg Schiano maybe headed to Tennessee. The Tennessee Vols are working on finalizing a deal with current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano to be Tennessee’s new coach. Tenneessee has been searching for a new coach and was temporarily focused on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. Mullen was waiting to see what happened with the coaching position at Florida. Greg Schiano previously coached at Rutgers and delivered them a 68-67 record over 11 seasons. Despite that record, he brought one of the nation’s worst football programs and turned it around with six bowl appearances in his last seven seasons.

Schiano was previously sought after by high-profile colleges including Michigan but decided to go to the NFL after the 2011 season. Schiano was fired in 2013 and returned to college football with Ohio State. Schiano is Ohio State’s defensive coordinator. Tennessee athletic director John Currie fired Vols coach Butch Jones with two games still to be played. Schiano was later implicated as a witness in the Penn State child rape scandal. Schiano worked at Penn State University from 1990 to 1995 in a variety of roles, first as a graduate assistant and later a defensive backs coach. He then later worked for the Chicago Bears and then the University of Miami as a defensive coordinator. Schiano has never coached in the Southeastern Conference.

Should this deal be official, it’s unclear if Greg Schiano will be coaching Ohio State’s defense in the Big Ten Championship or in a possible bowl game or playoff chase. Schiano has turned Ohio State’s defense into one of the nation’s elite defenses in the last two seasons. He’s produced multiple first-round draft picks in the defense side of the game. Ohio state fans are waiting to see what happens, while Volunteer fans are excited.