PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook had an exclusive interview with Bucs Co-Chairman Joel Glazer at the NFL Owners Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona and asked Tampa Bay’s ownership that very question.
“No,” Glazer said for the 2019 – but didn’t rule it out for 2020 and beyond.
“We are always looking at everything and seeing where we can change things in our organization and make things better,” Glazer told PewterReport.com. “Whether it is our stadium, on the field, off the field, uniforms, looks – so everything is always on the table and under discussion.”
Tampa Bay tweaked its logo, uniform and helmet in 2014, 17 years after the team’s red and pewter look debuted in 1997 during the second year of the Tony Dungy era. The Bucs previously had a white and orange ensemble that featured Bucco Bruce, a winking pirate, from 1976-96. Those creamsicle uniforms were widely laughed at around the league, largely because of the on-field product, as the Bucs only had three winning seasons and three playoff appearances in the team’s first 21 years of existence wearing those uniforms.
When the Glazers switched to a more modern, menacing pirate look in 1997 with the red and pewter uniforms and a pewter helmet featuring a red pirate flag with a skull and two crossed swords, the Bucs became instant winners, finishing that season with a 10-6 record and ending a 13-year playoff drought. The Bucs would win a total of four NFC South division titles and a Super Bowl from 1997-2013 and produce nine winning records in the first 17 seasons with the original red and pewter uniforms.
The Glazers updated the red and pewter uniforms during Lovie Smith’s first season in 2014, changing the facemask to a chrome color and going with a more modern look with jersey numbers that look like digital clock numbers. Some fans have opposed the new jerseys, being especially critical of the garish jersey numbers, but the fact that Tampa Bay has produced a record of 27-53 on the field likely has a lot to do with the hard feelings over the Bucs’ current look.
The Glazers and the NFL recently introduced an alternate all-red uniform featuring a full red jersey with pewter numbers and red pants for the NFL’s Color Rush Thursday night games four years ago. The Bucs have worn the all-red uniforms a total of five times – beginning in 2015 when the team played at St. Louis on Thursday night.
Tampa Bay debuted the Color Rush uniforms at home on Monday Night Football in 2016 against the Falcons. The next year, the Bucs wore their all-red jerseys at home against New England on Thursday Night Football and wore them twice last year in games against Carolina and New Orleans. The Bucs are 1-4 in the alternate all-red uniforms.
The Glazers brought back the Bucco Bruce throwbacks for the first time in 2009 in a Josh Freeman-led win over the Green Bay Packers, and the team had a few more years of throwback games until a new rule in 2013 forbid NFL players from having more than one helmet in a season due to the league’s concern over concussions and player safety.
Because Tampa Bay’s regular helmets were pewter, and the throwback helmets were white, the Bucs were no longer allowed to revert back to their old Bucco Bruce uniforms for a throwback game. That rule disappointed both the Glazers and Bucs fans.
“Absolutely, and we know our fans love the throwback games,” Glazer said. “We love the throwbacks and that is something we have talked to the league about and they understand our plight. It is always being constantly reviewed.”
Meanwhile, the Bucs’ all-red uniforms will provide an alternate look for the 2019 campaign.
And Glazer told PewterReport.com that he didn’t rule out a throwback game with the team’s classic red and pewter look from 1997-2013 because it could be pulled off with Tampa Bay’s current pewter helmet featuring throwback decals.
“Yes, and again, we have talked about all of these different things internally, and things will be coming down the pike,” Glazer said.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org