Bucs QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Getty Images
The 2016 season saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers turn the corner and post a winning record for the first time since 2010. The Bucs improved their win total by three, going from 6-10 in 2015 to 9-7 last year thanks in part to PewterReport.com’s 2016 Bucs MVPs.
These players and this Tampa Bay assistant coach deserve a good deal of credit for the team’s turnaround during the 2016 campaign, which saw the Bucs achieve an 8-5 record at one point with a chance to win out and earn a playoff berth. Expectations will be high in 2017 as this young and talented Tampa Bay team learned to expect to win – not just hope to win – this past season.
This year’s PewterReport.com 2016 Buccaneers MVPs are presented by Bespoke and Co., the official custom clothier of PewterReport.com. Bespoke and Co. is located at 3305 W. Bay To Bay Blvd. in Tampa. David Kahn and his team of professional clothiers offer everything from custom-fit suits, shirts, slacks and shoes for the business professional to custom-fit jeans. Several Tampa Bay players use Bespoke and Co. for their game-day attire. To schedule measurements and a custom fitting with Bespoke and Co., call Kahn at (813) 857-7876 or visit their website bespokeandcofl.com.
2016 BUCCANEERS SEASON MVPs
QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans
The last two PewterReport.com Bucs Season MVPs were Evans (2014) and Winston (2015), so it’s only fitting they share the spotlight in 2016 after record-setting seasons. It was too difficult to choose between Evans and Winston, and because each of their success is tied to each other, PewterReport.com decided to give Bucs Season MVP honors to both offensive stars.
Evans was the main weapon on offense for the Buccaneers, catching 96 passes for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. Evans, who made his first Pro Bowl, recorded career highs in receptions and yardage and his 12 TDs tied his own franchise record set in 2014. The 6-foot-5 receiver showed improved concentration when catching the ball and kept his emotions in check while producing his third straight 1,000-yard season.
As for Winston, he passed for a franchise-record 4,090 yards and threw 28 touchdowns, which also set a new team record for a single season. While he still needs to make strides in downfield accuracy, he did improve from a 58 percent passer as a rookie to a 60 percent passer last year. What made Winston share the MVP honors with Evans was not only his QB play, but his leadership. Winston’s letter that he penned to his teammates was viewed as a big catalyst for the team’s five-game winning streak, the team’s longest since the Super Bowl season in 2002, in November that keyed a potential playoff run for the Bucs.
2015 QB Jameis Winston
2014 WR Mike Evans
2013 LB Lavonte David
2012 LB Lavonte David
2011 DE Adrian Clayborn
2010 CB Ronde Barber
2009 FS Tanard Jackson
2008 WR Antonio Bryant
2007 DE Greg White
2006 WR Joey Galloway
2005 DE Simeon Rice
2004 DE Greg Spires
2003 DE Simeon Rice
2002 LB Derrick Brooks
2001 CB Ronde Barber
2000 LB Derrick Brooks
1999 FB Mike Alstott
1998 FB Mike Alstott
1997 DT Warren Sapp
1996 FB Mike Alstott
1995* RB Errict Rhett
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
2016 BUCCANEERS DEFENSIVE MVP (Season MVP Runner-Up)
MLB Kwon Alexander
Because Evans and Winston, an offensive player, gets the honors for PewterReport.com’s 2016 Buccaneers Season MVP, we always flip to the opposite side of the ball for the other MVP award, which in this case is the 2016 Buccaneers Defensive MVP. After starting the season with 17 tackles and a sack in a 31-24 win at Atlanta in Week 1, Alexander went wire to wire as the team’s leading tackler, and finished with a career-high and team-best 145 stops this season. He had five double-digit tackle games, including three straight to end the 2016 campaign. Alexander’s 21 tackles and a forced fumble against Dallas came in a nationally televised game and led to him being named a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in his career. Alexander finished the year with three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and the first pick-six of his career. Perhaps more importantly, his knowledge of the game grew immensely under new defensive coordinator Mike Smith and he became the true quarterback of the Bucs defense.
2015 LB Lavonte David
2014 LB Lavonte David
2013 WR Vincent Jackson
2012 RB Doug Martin
2011 RG Davin Joseph
2010 QB Josh Freeman
2009 TE Kellen Winslow
2008 MLB Barrett Ruud
2007 QB Jeff Garcia
2006 CB Ronde Barber
2005 WR Joey Galloway
2004 WR Michael Clayton
2003 WR Keenan McCardell
2002 QB Brad Johnson
2001 WR Keyshawn Johnson
2000 RB Warrick Dunn
1999 LB Derrick Brooks
1998 LB Derrick Brooks
1997 QB Trent Dilfer
1996 LB Hardy Nickerson
1995* LB Hardy Nickerson
2016 BUCCANEERS SPECIAL TEAMS MVP
P Bryan Anger
Anger was one of the less heralded free agent signings in Tampa Bay at the beginning of the 2016 season, but an argument could be made that he was the team’s best free agent addition. Anger, who also served as a holder for field goals and extra points, averaged 45.9 yards per punt with an impressive 42.7 net average. He teamed with Josh Robinson, Russell Shepard and Ryan Smith to have 37 punts downed inside the 20-yard line with just five touchbacks. Anger’s deep punts helped set up a safety by defensive end Robert Ayers in a victory against Chicago, and an interception by linebacker Lavonte David that was returned 10 yards for a key touchdown in a win at San Diego. Anger, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate, was rewarded for his stellar season with a five-year contract extension worth $17 million and averaging $3.4 million per season.
2015 WR Russell Shepard
2014 K Patrick Murray
2013 LB Adam Hayward
2012 LB Dekoda Watson
2011 K Connor Barth
2010 K Connor Barth
2009 KR-PR Clifton Smith
2008 KR-PR Clifton Smith
2007 P Josh Bidwell
2006 K Matt Bryant
2005 P Josh Bidwell
2004 LB Keith Burns
2003 P Tom Tupa
2002 K Martin Gramatica
2001 RB Rabih Abdullah
2000 K Martin Gramatica
1999 K Martin Gramatica
1998 LB Shelton Quarles
1997 PR Karl Williams
1996* Entire Special Teams
Bucs DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
2016 BUCCANEERS ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR
Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith
When Dirk Koetter was named head coach last January, replacing Lovie Smith, his first call to arms was to improve Tampa Bay’s defense in 2016. While assembling a tremendous staff of assistant coaches, Koetter tabbed former Atlanta head coach and Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith to run the Bucs defense. Mike Smith’s multiple defensive scheme was refreshing after Lovie Smith’s predictable, vanilla coverage schemes that led the Bucs to allow opposing QBs to complete 70 percent of their passes. As a result, Tampa Bay ranked 30th in third down conversions allowed in 2015. Under Mike Smith, the Bucs improved mightily on third downs and ranking first with a league-low 34.4 conversion percent in 2016. The Bucs also improved in points allowed, going from 26th in 2015 to 15th last year. Tampa Bay also produced more takeaways with 29, which ranked third-best in the NFL, and the Bucs’ 17 interceptions, ranked fourth-best in the league. The Bucs tied their mark of 38 sacks from a year ago despite suffering several injuries at the defensive end position. Over the final eight weeks of the season Tampa Bay ranked fourth in points allowed with 17.1 per game, while leading the league with 13 interceptions, tying for a league-low six touchdown passes allowed and holding opponents to a 72.9 passer rating, the second-lowest mark in the NFL during that span. Tampa Bay recorded 21 sacks during the final eight weeks of the season, tied for the fifth-most in the league during that span. Smith, who interviewed for head-coaching vacancies in Jacksonville and San Diego this offseason, signed a contract extension with the Buccaneers and remains committed to improving the team’s defense in 2017.
2015 OC Dirk Koetter
2014 LBs Hardy Nickerson
2013 STs Dave Wannstedt
2012 WRs P.J. Fleck
2011 STs Dwayne Stukes
2010 OC Greg Olson
2009 STs Rich Bisaccia
2008 STs Rich Bisaccia
2007 DBs Raheem Morris
2006 STs Rich Bisaccia
2005 QBs Paul Hackett
2004 WRs Richard Mann and DL Rod Marinelli
2003 DBs Mike Tomlin
2002 DC Monte Kiffin
2001 DC Monte Kiffin
2000 DL Rod Marinelli
1999 DC Monte Kiffin
1998 DBs Herm Edwards and DC Monte Kiffin
1997 DL Rod Marinelli
996* STs Joe Marciano
2016 BUCCANEERS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
DE Noah Spence
Spence takes the 2016 Buccaneers Rookie of the Year honors ahead of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III due to his playmaking ability. Hargreaves had just one interception during his rookie season. Yet Spence, who showed grit and determination in playing with a shoulder injury for most of the season that required surgery last week, recorded 5.5 sacks during his first season in the NFL, which ranked fifth among all rookies. Spence had 22 tackles, three forced fumbles (which was second on the team) and two passes defensed in 2016. Spence was a key player during Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak as he recorded 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles while being named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month in November. Spence recorded 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the team’s 14-5 win over Seattle and showed the ability to possibly become a double-digit sacker in the future.
2015 QB Jameis Winston
2014 WR Mike Evans
2013 QB Mike Glennon
2012 LB Lavonte David
2011 DE Adrian Clayborn
2010 WR Mike Williams
2009 WR Sammie Stroughter
2008 CB Aqib Talib
2007 FS Tanard Jackson
2006 G Davin Joseph
2005 RB Cadillac Williams
2004 WR Michael Clayton
2003 CB Ronyell Whitaker
2002 FB Darian Barnes
2001 FS John Howell
2000 LB Nate Webster
1999 K Martin Gramatica
1998 LB Jamie Duncan
1997 RB Warrick Dunn and CB Floyd Young
1996 FB Mike Alstott and CB Donnie Abraham
1995* LB Derrick Brooks
*Indicates the first year that the award was given by PewterReport.com (formerly known as Buccaneer Magazine and BucMag.com in the 1990s)
On Tuesday, PewterReport.com will feature its 2016 Pewter Player Awards with more honors for the team’s other notable performers, including Most Improved Player and Most Disappointing Player awards.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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: email@example.com
Very good picks, all of them, Scott.
Have to agree with all your picks. Enjoyed seeing who the choices were earlier also.
In 2009 Tanard Jackson won the MVP, as I read that I just shook my head and wondered where he is now. What a bummer that guy turned out to be. All for smoking wacky tabacky ( not an issue for me).
Now I am onboard with Kwon being runner up, but, there is always a but.
Anger should get a co-MVP with him. His season was that good. I think he won 3 games for us as a PUNTER. Great signing for the BUCS.
But as I really look at it Kwon might actually be the real MVP. Fantastic season for him, and he is still just a kid.
Winston was equally great. Fantastic season, for him, and he’s still just a kid.
Evans was doubled teamed all year and posted insane numbers. Fantastic season for him, and he still just a kid.
Noah Spence shone very bright. Fantastic season for him, and he’s still just a kid.
I hope when these player I just mentioned read this they don’t take offense to being called “kid”. I state they are kids that have potential for greatness.
KIDS ARE ROCKIN”
Man oh man, things are definitely looking good.
Hey Chevette- I totally agree with you on Anger and Kwon. GREAT years by both of those guys. You are correct, the future is VERY bright for us.
Hey Scott- I can get on board with ALL of these. you rightly point out that JW increased his completion percentage and his off the charts leadership skills. Here is where I struggle. by my count, JW had 24 total turnovers, that’s 1.5 TO’s per game. I don’t think we will be a consistent playoff team until he quits turning it over at such a high rate. Given that i think everyone would acknowledge the importance of TO ratio, in my mind JW had a VERY GOOD, not MVP type of year. Just my opinion. Thank you for a great article.
Yes our future is VERY bright! Licht has built a very promising stable of players in his few years here. This off season, I’m sure he will address our need for a WR2 and bolster out Oline. Imagine what Jameis and co will do with that!
Defensively, Kwon is the clear leader with VH3 and Spence coming on strong and showing improvement. Now that Smitty’s locked in for a few years, we can focus on finding players to build up the defense.
Great things are coming for sure!
Mike Evans is a top 3 to 5 wide out in the nfl but Jameis W. is not a top 10 qb so don’t understand you would put the two together . Going to a school in Florida does not automatically make you a great player…Does it?.
Sunshine – “MVP” means most valuable player to the team, not of the league. Clearly Evans and Winston were the most valuable members of our offense, and throughout the course of the season, the offense was the better unit (though the defense improved significantly in the second half).
I’m pretty sure a poll of the players would result in the same choices.
Good choices for sure. The future is very bright. Something I haven’t said for a long time. We have great head coach offensive coordinator. Great defensive coordinator, and a great young QB that will improve every year.
Spence was great playing through that shoulder injury.
Go Bucs 2017!!!!’
I whole heartedly agree with your picks.
One note after watching playoff games were how many FG’s were made from 50 or more yards out!
I REALLY hope we get that part of special teams worked out, and I hope RA is the answer. Maybe next year he is special teams MVP. Go Bucs
Seems we here on PW pretty much agreed with Scott’s MVP and defensive MVP.
For a different awards opinion on the defensive side of the ball, from the Professional Football Writers of America, today they named Vernon Hargreaves III to the All Rookie Team. VHIII is the first Bucs All Rookie since 2012 (Mark Barron) and the first CB since 1996 (Donnie Abraham).
VHIII may not have had huge splash play stats (INTs and PD), in part because he started slow on the learning curve, and he initially started on the slot before later on moving outside … but he was so effective alongside Brent Grimes (who led the league in PD with 24) by the middle of the season that most quarterbacks didn’t throw the ball his way at all. VHIII was third on the team in tackles at 68, finishing just ahead of Lavonte David and well above Brent Grimes, plus he helped his teammates out like Keith Tandy when they made their INTs.
There is another kid I forgot.
VHIII IS ROCKIN TOO
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