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michael89156

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: March 24, 2013, 12:08:16 AM



2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers nostalgia evident at meetings




 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has fond memories of his time in Tampa, which included the 2002 Super Bowl team.



 By TBO.COM | Staff
Published: March 23, 2013


TAMPA --


What a time it was.
 
The glory days of the Buccaneers are 10 years old, but reminders were everywhere as owners and coaches gathered last week at the plush Arizona Biltmore for the annual NFL March meetings.
 
Former members of the organization kept bumping into each other during an evening reception on the lush manicured lawn behind the front lobby.
 
New Jets general manager John Idzik, who spent 11 years as a Bucs administrator in a variety of roles, was enjoying some appetizers when he found himself in a steely bear hug.
 
It was just Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin stopping by to say hello, offering his congratulations as Idzik embarks on the daunting task of turning the Jets around.
 
As the men embraced, the conversation turned to the old One Buc Place, the cramped, decrepit headquarters playfully dubbed "The Woodshed,'' where the 2002 club trained to bring a Vince Lombardi Trophy to Tampa.
 
"Those were the days,'' said Idzik, who then lauded the Jets practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. "In some ways, I miss that place.''
 
Tomlin, accompanied by his two boys, nodded in agreement.
 
"That was a special group of men who accomplished special things,'' said Tomlin, who coached the Bucs secondary from 2001-05 before joining the Vikings as defensive coordinator.
 
Over in another corner stood Titans general manager Ruston Webster, who spent 18 years with the Bucs in scouting and personnel.
 
Atlanta president Rich McKay would have been at the party, but the former Tampa Bay GM had to fly back to Atlanta for a day to finalize plans on the construction of a new downtown football stadium for the Falcons.
 
By Wednesday, McKay was standing next to Commissioner Roger Goodell at a podium, addressing the media as chairman of the NFL's Competition Committee.
 
At this point, memories are all Bucs fans have to cling to. Tampa Bay has gone five seasons without a postseason berth and a full decade without a playoff win.
 
Blackouts are the rule, rather than the exception, at Raymond James Stadium and the Bucs have finished last in the NFC South four times in the past seven years.
 
But Bucs nostalgia is in full swing.
 
Last month, Warren Sapp joined the late Lee Roy Selmon as the only Tampa Bay players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
 
When Mercedes Sapp presents big No. 99 on Aug. 3, shortly after training camp opens in Tampa, the Glazer family and GM Mark Dominik will be on hand, leading the cheers in Canton, Ohio.
 
Next year's Hall of Fame class could usher in linebacker Derrick Brooks, who earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors during the magical 2002 season.
 
In Dallas, a Bucs revival is in full swing.
 
The Cowboys, desperate for a new look, reached out for some old pewter, hiring Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator and Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach.
 
That's the same tandem that helped guide the '02 Bucs to the NFL's No. 1 defense.
 
"Monte with Rod is a lethal combination,'' Tomlin said. "Those guys are football purists. I imagine they're both somewhere in the bowels of that facility right now with trash cans set up, talking about how to defend the A, B and C gaps. I grew up professionally with those guys. They're special people, and I'm blessed to be associated with them.
 
"I think there's a lot of people around this league looking forward to watching their tape. Those are the type of guys who put tape out there that's food for all of us.

jerseybucsfan

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#1 : March 24, 2013, 06:52:30 AM

Comments like "that's all they have" are unnecessary potshots. The Vucs missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker in 2010 and had a three-game improvement after a bad 2011. Most here aren't that apocalyptic. Very easy to imagine a playoff berth soon.

In Verner We Trust

tbc_bucs

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#2 : March 24, 2013, 09:53:20 AM

Comments like "that's all they have" are unnecessary potshots. The Vucs missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker in 2010 and had a three-game improvement after a bad 2011. Most here aren't that apocalyptic. Very easy to imagine a playoff berth soon.

I agree and I'm hopeful. Only a few people on the roster have experienced a playoff berth and fewer have won some in the last 10 years.

I hope they're hungry for it (I said hungry, not "youngry")


The Anti-Java

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#3 : March 24, 2013, 04:45:06 PM

Comments like "that's all they have" are unnecessary potshots. The Vucs missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker in 2010 and had a three-game improvement after a bad 2011. Most here aren't that apocalyptic. Very easy to imagine a playoff berth soon.



2013 Bucs.  Freeman plays well, defense is much improved.  They go 11-5, get a wildcard.


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