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BUCCANEERS HOST ATLANTA - SB Nationassets.sbnation.com/assets/263977/notes_20.pdf · BUCCANEERS HOST ATLANTA IN 2009 SEASON FINALE BUCCANEERS VS FALCONS The Buccaneers lead the all-time

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  • BUCCANEERS HOST ATLANTA IN 2009 SEASON FINALE

    BUCCANEERS VS FALCONSThe Buccaneers lead the all-time series 18-14 and have won six of the last 10 meetings with the Falcons. Since the NFC South was created in 2002, the Buccaneers own a 9-6 series edge, including season sweeps in 2002, 2005 and 2007 on the way to NFC South titles. Tampa Bay is 11-6 all-time at home against the Falcons, including wins in four of the last fi ve meetings at Raymond James Stadium. The two teams fi rst met in 1977, with Atlanta notching a 17-0 win at Tampa Stadium (11/27/77). The Bucs picked up their fi rst win the next season, a 14-9 win that evened Tampa Bay’s record at 2-2, marking the fi rst time the club hit the .500 mark. Tampa Bay’s 48-10 home victory to open the 1987 season represents the most points ever scored by a Buccaneer squad in the regular season, a mark that was later tied.

    GAME INFORMATIONDate: Sunday, January 3, 2010Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ETSite: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)2009 Records: Tampa Bay 3-12, Atlanta 8-7Network Television: FOXPlay-by-Play: Dick Stockton, Analyst: Charles Davis, Sideline: Laura OkminNational Radio: Compass Media NetworksPlay-by-Play: Lee Hamilton, Analyst: Curtis ConwayBucs Radio: US 103.5, fl agship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. RivesLast Game: Tampa Bay won at New Orleans 20-17 OT; Atlanta won vs. Buffalo 31-3

    LAST GAME RECAPTampa Bay 20, New Orleans 17 (OT) - 12/27/09NEW ORLEANS – Trailing 17-0 in the second quarter at New Orleans, Tampa Bay scored 20 unanswered points to win in overtime on K Connor Barth’s 47-yard fi eld goal and capture its second consecutive victory. The 17-point comeback tied for the second-largest comeback in team history and it also marked the fi rst time in NFL history that a team that was 10 or more games below .500 defeated a team that was 10 or more games above .500. The Buccaneers rushed for a season-high 176 yards, includ-ing 114 on the ground in the second half and overtime while the defense held New Orleans to 17 points, tied for the fewest by the Saints in a single game this season. Additionally, the Saints were held scoreless in the sec-ond half, the fi rst time this season they did not score in a half. The Saints capped their fi rst drive with a RB Pierre Thomas eight-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. QB Josh Freeman was intercepted near midfi eld on the Buccaneers next possession and six plays later, QB Drew Brees hit WR Robert Meachem on a 30-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 lead with 1:32 left in the fi rst quarter. The teams traded fi eld goals in the second quarter as the Saints held a 17-3 advantage at halftime. Following a Saints punt to open the second half, the Buccaneers drove to the New Orleans’ 12-yard line, but Freeman was picked off in the end zone. Tampa Bay’s defense forced a Saints punt on the resulting possession and the Buccaneers of-fense took over at its own two-yard line. Eight plays later, RB Carnell Wil-liams scored on a 23-yard run to pull the Buccaneers closer at 17-10 early in the fourth quarter to equal the longest scoring drive in team history. The Saints advanced into Buccaneers territory on their next possession, but LB Geno Hayes forced a WR Marques Colston fumble that CB Ronde Barber recovered. Tampa Bay took possession and drove to the Saints 19-yard line, but failed to convert on fourth-and-one, giving New Orleans the ball back with just under fi ve minutes remaining in the game. The Saints were forced to punt six plays later and WR Micheal Spurlock returned the punt 77 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with 2:25 remaining. It marked the fi fth-longest punt return in team history as Spurlock became just the second player in team history to record both a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns. New Orleans advanced to the Buccaneers 19-yard line on their fi nal possession of regulation, but K Garrett Hartley’s 37-yard fi eld goal sailed wide left. The Buccaneers won the overtime coin toss and drove 48 yards in 11 plays without attempting a pass to set up Barth’s game-winner.

    2009 SCHEDULE

    2009 Schedule & Results (2-12) Sept. 13 DALLAS (FOX) L, 34-21 Sept. 20 at Buffalo (FOX) L, 33-20Sept. 27 N.Y. GIANTS (FOX) L, 24-0Oct. 4 at Washington (FOX) L, 16-13Oct. 11 at Philadelphia (FOX) L, 33-14Oct. 18 CAROLINA (FOX) L, 28-21Oct. 25 NEW ENGLAND (CBS) L, 35-7 (London - Wembley Stadium)Nov. 1 ByeNov. 8 GREEN BAY (FOX) W, 38-28 Nov. 15 at Miami (FOX) L, 25-23Nov. 22 NEW ORLEANS (FOX) L, 38-7Nov. 29 at Atlanta (FOX) L, 20-17Dec. 6 at Carolina (FOX) L, 16-6Dec. 13 N.Y. JETS (CBS) L, 26-3Dec. 20 at Seattle (FOX) W, 24-7Dec. 27 at New Orleans (FOX) W, 20-17 OTJan. 3 ATLANTA (FOX) 1:00

    HOME GAMES IN ALL CAPS - All Times Eastern*Nationally-Televised Game

    FOR THE HISTORY BOOKSThis past week at New Orleans, the 2-12 Buc-caneers defeated the 13-1 Saints, marking the fi rst time in NFL history that a team 10-plus games below .500 defeated a team 10-plus games above .500. On top of that, the Buc-caneers trailed 17-0 in the second quarter and scored 20 unanswered points to win in over-time. The 17-point comeback tied for the sec-ond-largest comeback in team history.

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta22

    2009 STATISTICAL COMPARISON

    A look at how the teams match up in the latest NFL rankings:Category Tampa Bay Atlanta Total Offense 26th (292.9 ypg) 17th (336.7 ypg)Rushing Offense 23rd (105.8 ypg) 17th (112.9 ypg)Passing Offense 25th (187.1 ypg) 13th (223.8 ypg)Total Defense 26th (363.5 ypg) 23rd (358.4 ypg)Rushing Defense 30th (156.5 ypg) 17th (111.4 ypg)Passing Defense 11th (206.9 ypg) 28th (247.0 ypg)Points Scored 28th (15.6 ppg) 12th (22.9 ppg)Points Allowed 27th (25.3 ppg) 18th (21.0 ppg)Sacks t27th (27) t27th (27)Sacks Allowed t15th (32) t7th (26)Turnover Margin 24th (-6) t10th (+4)

    Team Leaders Tampa Bay Atlanta Rushing Yards Carnell Williams (781) Michael Turner (871)Passer Rating Josh Freeman (61.0) Matt Ryan (81.1)Receptions Kellen Winslow (72) Tony Gonzalez (80)Receiving Yards Kellen Winslow (828) Roddy White (1,087)Sacks Stylez G. White (6.5) Jonathan Babineaux (6.0)Interceptions Aqib Talib (5) Brent Grimes (5)

    NFL RANKINGS

    TEAM RANKINGSCategory NFL NFCRushing Yards Per Attempt (4.2) 18 9Sacks Allowed Per Pass Play (6.1) 15 7Kickoff Return Avg. (26.7) 1 1Punt Return Avg. (11.6) 3 2Defense: Net Punting Average (34.5) 2 1Defense: Kickoff Return Avg. (18.9) 1 1

    INDIVIDUAL RANKINGSCategory NFL NFCClifton SmithKickoff Return Avg. (29.1) 1 1Punt Return Avg. (10.1) 11 6

    Aqib Talib Interceptions (5) 10t 6t

    Stylez G. WhiteSacks (6.5) 29t 14t

    Carnell WilliamsRushing Yards (781) 23 12Third and One Rushing % (85.7) 11 3

    Kellen WinslowReceptions (72) 19t 9tThird Down Receptions (22) 12t 7t

    ALL-TIME SERIES

    The Buccaneers lead the all-time series 18-14 and have won six of the last 10 meetings with the Falcons. Since the NFC South was created in 2002, the Buccaneers own a 9-6 series edge, including season sweeps in 2002, 2005 and 2007 on the way to NFC South titles. Tampa Bay is 11-6 all-time at home against the Falcons, including wins in four of the last fi ve meetings at Raymond James Stadium. The two teams fi rst met in 1977, with Atlanta notching a 17-0 win at Tampa Stadium (11/27/77). The Bucs picked up their fi rst win the next season, a 14-9 win that evened Tampa Bay’s record at 2-2, marking the fi rst time the club hit the .500 mark. Tampa Bay’s 48-10 home victory to open the 1987 season represents the most points ever scored by a Buccaneer squad in the regular season, a mark that was later tied. Tampa Bay also posted a six-game winning streak in the series beginning with a victory in 1997.

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 33

    HEAD-TO-HEAD

    Tampa Bay leads 18-14 (Regular Season)Season Result Site 1977 L, 17-0 Tampa1978 W, 14-9 Tampa1979 L, 17-14 Atlanta1981 W, 24-23 Tampa1984 W, 23-6 Tampa1986 L, 23-20 (OT) Tampa1987 W, 48-10 Tampa1988 L, 17-10 Atlanta1990 W, 23-17 Tampa1991 L, 43-7 Atlanta1992 L, 35-7 Tampa1993 W, 31-24 Atlanta1994 L, 34-13 Atlanta1995 L, 24-21 Tampa1997 W, 31-10 Atlanta1999 W, 19-10 Tampa2000 W, 17-14 Atlanta2002 W, 20-6 Atlanta W, 34-10 Tampa2003 W, 31-10 Atlanta L, 30-28 Tampa2004 L, 24-14 Atlanta W, 27-0 Tampa2005 W, 30-27 Atlanta W, 27-24 (OT) Tampa2006 L, 14-3 Atlanta L, 17-6 Tampa2007 W, 31-7 Atlanta W, 37-3 Tampa2008 W, 24-9 Tampa L, 13-10 (OT) Atlanta2009 L, 20-17 Atlanta

    LAST MEETING

    Atlanta 20, Tampa Bay 17 (Nov. 29, 2009)ATLANTA – Seeking their fi rst road win of the sea-son, Tampa Bay held a late four-point advantage be-fore the Falcons scored with 23 seconds remaining to escape with the victory as QB Chris Redman hit WR Roddy White for a fi ve-yard touchdown. With Head Coach Raheem Morris making the defensive calls for the fi rst time on the season, the Buccaneers record-ed six sacks, tying a team-high for the season. DE Stylez G. White led the team with 2.5 sacks to tie his career high while CB Ronde Barber recorded the 25th sack of his career to become just the second player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and 30 inter-ceptions in a career. Following a scoreless fi rst quar-ter, K Jason Elam put Atlanta up 3-0 with a 45-yard fi eld goal early in the second quarter. On their next possession Redman, playing for injured starter Matt

    Ryan, found RB Jerious Norwood on a shovel pass for a 22-yard touchdown and a 10-0 Atlanta lead. The Buccaneers needed just two plays on their next possession to score their fi rst points of the game. The fi rst, QB Josh Freeman found WR Antonio Bryant on a 38-yard completion into Falcons territory and the second, a Freeman to Bryant 42-yard touchdown pass. Tampa Bay forced a three-and-out on Atlanta’s next drive, leading to K Connor Barth’s 39-yard fi eld goal with 20 seconds remaining in the fi rst half, tying the game at 10-10. Tampa Bay carried its momen-tum into the second half as Atlanta lined up to punt on its fi rst drive and S Corey Lynch blocked the at-tempt, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Falcons eight-yard line. Two plays later, Freeman found RB Carnell Williams in the fl at for an eight-yard touch-down and a 17-10 lead. Atlanta trimmed the defi cit to 17-13 on its next possession as Elam hit from 37 yards out. Facing a fourth-and-four at the Atlanta 33-yard line with less than three minutes remaining in the game, Barth attempted a 51-yard fi eld goal that sailed just wide right, giving possession to At-lanta at its own 41-yard line. The Falcons needed 11 plays and a defensive holding call on the Buccaneers to move to the Tampa Bay fi ve-yard line with 36 sec-onds remaining. Redman’s fi rst three pass attempts fell incomplete, but on fourth down he hit WR Roddy White for the fi ve-yard touchdown and the win.

    SERIES HIGHLIGHTS

    RB Haskel Stanback ran for two TDs, leading the Falcons to 17-0 win at Tampa Stadium (11/27/77)… QB Doug Williams hit TE Jim Obradovich on a 15-yard TD toss, lifting Tampa Bay to a 14-9 win (9/24/78)… Williams connected with WR Kevin House on a 71-yard scoring strike, rallying the Bucs to a 24-23 win (12/6/81)… The win vaulted them into fi rst place in the NFC Central race… RB James Wilder ran for 125 yards and one score, leading Tampa Bay to 23-6 win in John McKay’s second-to-last game as Bucs head coach (12/9/84)… QB Steve DeBerg set a club record with fi ve TD passes, igniting a season-opening 48-10 win (9/13/87)… Falcons racked up 33 points in the second quarter en route to a 43-7 win (11/17/91), the Bucs’ last game at Fulton County Stadium… Tampa Bay jumped out to 31-3 lead and holds on for 31-24 win in its initial appearance at Georgia Dome (10/31/93)… Mike Alstott’s career-long 47-yard touchdown run sparked a 199-yard rushing effort as Tampa Bay puts a 31-10 drubbing on Atlanta in the Georgia Dome (11/9/97), with DT Brad Culpepper adding three sacks… Tampa Bay scored the last 19 points in a 19-10 victory in Raymond James Stadium (11/21/99), including 10 points in the fi nal 58 seconds… Martin Gramatica’s 53-yard

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta44

    fi eld goal with 58 seconds left gave the Bucs a 12-10 lead, and CB Donnie Abraham cemented the victory moments later with a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown… Tampa Bay’s defense forced four turnovers and WR Keyshawn Johnson caught two touchdown passes from QB Shaun King (11/5/00) as the Bucs win in the Georgia Dome for the second consecutive time… The third of three consecutive sacks in the second quarter knocks Atlanta QB Chris Chandler out of the game… Tampa Bay’s defense did not allow a touchdown for the third straight road contest and posted an interception return for a score for a club-record fourth straight game en route to a 20-6 win (10/6/02) at the Georgia Dome… The Buccaneers were led by LB Derrick Brooks, who became the fi rst linebacker in NFL history with three interception returns for touchdowns in a single season… QB Brad Johnson threw four touchdown passes and Tampa Bay’s defense limited Atlanta QB Michael Vick to 134 total yards (125 passing and 9 rushing) as the Bucs roll to a 34-10 victory at home (12/8/02)… Tampa Bay won the fi rst meeting in 2003, a 31-10 win at Atlanta (9/21/04)… FB Mike Alstott had two touchdown runs and DT Warren Sapp caught a TD pass from QB Brad Johnson… Tampa Bay’s defense totaled fi ve sacks and forced fi ve turnovers vs. Atlanta (12/5/04) in a 27-0 home win… RB Cadillac Williams carried the offensive load amassing 129 yards, including 116 on the ground to lead Tampa Bay past Atlanta 30-27 (11/20/05)… Tampa blocks overtime fi eld goal and Matt Bryant makes game-winning 41-yard attempt with 41 seconds left in overtime to give the Bucs a 27-24 victory (12/24/05)… The Tampa Bay defense forced four turnovers, including a 41-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Ronde Barber in its 31-7 victory at Atlanta (11/18/07)… Micheal Spurlock returns the Buccaneers fi rst-ever kickoff for a touchdown in the 37-3, NFC South clinching victory (12/16/07)… RB Earnest Graham recorded a career long 68-yard touchdown run helping the Bucs to a 24-9 win vs. Atlanta (9/14/08)… The Bucs defense held the Falcons without a pass completion until 6:27 left in the second quarter and QB Matt Ryan to only 3-of-15 passing for 29 yards in the fi rst half.

    AGAINST THE OPPOSITION

    Below are highlights of how selected Buccaneers have performed during their careers against the Atlanta Falcons.

    CB Ronde Barber: Recorded the 25th sack of his career at Atlanta (11/29/09) becoming just the second player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and 30 interceptions while also recording nine

    tackles, two TFLs and one quarterback

    pressure… Scored his second touchdown of the year vs. Atlanta (12/16/07), returning an interception 29 yards for a score… Picked up a QB Byron Leftwich fumble and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown at Atlanta (11/18/07)… Finished game against the Fal-cons with eight tackles, one fumble recovery, one TFL and one pass defensed… Led the secondary with seven tackles and added one pass defensed vs. At-lanta (12/10/06)… Totaled nine tackles and one pass defensed at Atlanta (9/17/06)… Had a season-high and team-leading 13 tackles and one pass defensed vs. Atlanta (12/24/05).

    DT Chris Hovan: Finished contest at Atlanta (11/18/07) with eight tackles, one fumble recovery and one sack.

    LB Barrett Ruud: Led the team with nine tackles, including one TFL, vs. Atlanta (12/16/07)… Posted 12 tackles, including two TFLs, one interception and one pass defensed at Atlanta (11/18/07).

    DE Stylez G. White: Tied a career-high with 2.5 sacks while also tying another career-high with se-cen tackles and fi ve quarterback pressures at At-lanta (11/29)… Tied Bucs single-season record with his seventh forced fumble of the season, and added four tackles and one fumble recovery against Atlanta (12/16/07)… Recorded fi rst career multi-sack game at Atlanta (11/18/07), dropping QB Byron Leftwich twice while forcing two fumbles.

    DIRECT CONNECTIONS

    - Falcons President Rich McKay and his family were associated with the Buccaneers for nearly three decades. McKay was general manager of the Buccaneers from 1995 until December of 2003, when he was named President and General Manager with the Falcons. His father, the late John McKay, served as the fi rst head coach of the Buccaneers from 1976-84.

    - Falcons Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkeyserved as Tampa Bay’s quality control coach in 1994 and tight ends coach in 1995.

    - Falcons Defensive Line Coach Ray Hamilton served as the Bucs defensive line coach in 1991.

    - Buccaneers Offensive Line Coach Pete Mangurian served as an offensive assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 1997, as the Offensive Line coach in 2001-02 before being promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2003.

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 55

    - Buccaneers Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunnspent one season in 1991 as the Defensive Coordinator at Georgia Military College and then eight seasons (1992-99) as the team’s head coach, fi nishing with a 66-19 record.

    - Buccaneers College Scout Brian Hudspeth was with the Falcons in their player personnel department from 2001-04. He was a scouting intern in 2001, scouting assistant in 2002 and player personnel/football systems analyst from 2003-04.

    - Falcons Director of Athletic Performance Jeff Fishwas the Strength and Conditioning Intern for the Buccaneers in 1997.

    - Falcons Defensive Coordinator Brian Vangorderserved as the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator for the University of Central Florida in 1997 and the Linebackers/Special Team Coordinator from 1995-96.

    - Buccaneers rookie DE Kyle Moore is from Warner Robins and attended Houston County High School.

    - Buccaneers LS Andrew Economos is from Atlanta and attended Georgia Tech.

    - Falcons WR Michael Jenkins lettered in three sports while attending Leto High School in Tampa.

    - Falcons LB Stephen Nicholas attended the University of South Florida.

    - Falcons LB Mike Peterson attended the University of Florida before entering the NFL.

    - Falcons VP of Football Communications Reggie Roberts served as Tampa Bay’s Director of Communications for the 1997-2001 seasons.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR

    - CB Ronde Barber • With 183 games started, Barber is just one game shy of passing Paul Gruber (183 from 1988-99) for the second-most games started in club history.

    - WR Antonio Bryant • Bryant (29 receiving TDs) is one touchdown shy of 30 career receiving touchdowns.

    - WR Michael Clayton • Clayton has 2,920 receiving yards with the Buc-caneers and needs 23 more yards to surpass Bruce Hill (2,942 yards from 1987-91) for eighth on the

    Buccaneers all-time receiving yards list.

    - QB Josh Freeman • With nine passing touchdowns, Freeman needs one more passing touchdown to break Bruce Grad-kowski’s record (9 TDs in 2006) for most touchdown passes by a rookie in team history.

    - RB Carnell Williams • Williams has 18 rushing touchdowns with the Buc-caneers and needs two more to tie Warrick Dunn (19 from 1997-01, 08) for the fi fth-most rushing touch-downs in team history.• Williams also has 3,198 rushing yards with the Buc-caneers and needs 167 more to pass Michael Pittman (3,364 from 2002-07) for the fourth-most rushing yards in team history.

    - TE Kellen Winslow • Winslow has 72 receptions this season and needs three more catches to tie Michael Pittman (75 in 2003) for the 10th-most receptions in a single sea-son in team history.

    RAHEEM MORRIS

    Raheem Morris was named the eighth head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 17, 2009.

    Morris is currently in his second stint with Tampa Bay, spending the 2007-08 seasons as the Buccaneers defensive backs coach after also serving on the Buccaneers defensive coaching staff from 2002-2005. In between stints in Tampa Bay, he spent 2006 as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator. Morris has quickly risen through the Buccaneers coaching ranks during his time with the team, serving as defensive quality control coach in 2002, defensive assistant in 2003 and assistant defensive backs coach from 2004-2005 before taking over as defensive backs coach in 2007. During his fi rst stint with the club, Morris worked closely with former Bucs defensive backs coach and current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in the development of one of the NFL’s top secondaries.

    Morris has helped shape one of the NFL’s best defenses over the past decade. Since 1996, the Buccaneers defense has produced 36 Pro Bowlers, the most in the NFL, and fi nished as the NFL’s top-ranked defense two times (2002 and 2005). The past 13 seasons have also seen the Buccaneers defense rank in the Top 10 on 11 occasions and in the Top 5 eight times.

    In Morris’ fi nal season as the defensive

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta66

    backs coach in 2008, Tampa Bay’s defense fi nished the year ranked fourth in the NFL against the pass. It marked the fi fth time in six seasons with Morris on the staff that the Buccaneers defense ranked in the Top 5 in pass defense. After Tampa Bay fell to 19th in the NFL in pass defense in 2006, Morris led a resurgence in his return in 2007 as he guided the Buccaneers pass defense to the league’s top ranking en route to the NFC South division title. The Buccaneers secondary helped limit opposing quarterbacks to a 76.2 rating in 2007 to rank eighth in the NFL after ranking 29th in 2006.

    In his lone season with Kansas State in 2006, Morris coordinated a defense that displayed improvement in several statistical categories from the previous season, including total defense, scoring defense and pass defense. Morris oversaw a Wildcat defense that included seven players who received conference recognition, including two fi rst-team All-Big 12 honorees and one second-team selection.

    During his six seasons in Tampa Bay, the Bucs have fi nished ranked in the Top 5 in the NFL in total defense every year except 2008 (ranked ninth), including No. 1 rankings in 2002 and 2005. Additionally, the defense fi nished as the top-ranked pass defense on three occasions (2002, 2004 and 2007) and never ranked lower than sixth with Morris on the staff. In 2002, his fi rst season as a coach in the NFL, Morris helped guide the Buccaneers top-ranked defense as they captured the franchise’s fi rst world title in Super Bowl XXXVII.

    Morris joined Tampa Bay after spending the 2000 and 2001 seasons as defensive backs coach at Hofstra University. He also spent time in the fall of 2001 with the New York Jets serving a defensive minority internship. Morris began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Hofstra in 1998, where he was responsible for coaching the offensive scout team, developing scouting reports and handling video breakdown and computer input and analysis. He then landed at Cornell University as defensive backs coach and special teams assistant for the 1999 season.

    Morris played collegiately as a safety at Hofstra from 1994-1997, and received his bachelor of science degree in physical education. Morris, who hails from Irvington, New Jersey, was presented the Key to the City in his hometown during “Raheem Morris Day” on June 5, 2009.

    IN THE CLASSROOM

    This season, Buccaneers fi rst-year head coach Raheem Morris has started his “Be the Ultimate Character Student” (BUCS) program. The program is an initiative designed to teach students lessons on education and athletics as they relate to leadership, determination and character. Morris will record video podcasts on Monday following each home game, utilizing his own experiences during the 2009 season to relate messages about perseverance, integrity, commitment and, ultimately, the importance of making the most of one’s educational opportunities.

    On Tuesday mornings the video podcast will air in middle and high schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas County School Districts as well as on Buccaneers.com. Teachers can choose to display the podcast on the monitors in their classrooms and work Morris’ message into their day’s curriculum. On the weeks during the Buccaneers’ away games, schools will work on their own character education curriculum, which will be reinforced by Coach Morris’ character-building message.

    Morris knows the importance of education: “Growing up as a young man, education was so much more important in my parents’ eyes than sports was, and that was a big part of who I am today,” said Morris, who wasn’t allowed to participate in varsity sports until he had improved his grades to the level set by his father. “We want these kids to have the ability to realize their full potential as students and be committed to it. I think it’s a great opportunity to reach them and we’re really fi red up about it.”

    MIKE SMITH

    Mike Smith is in his second season with Atlanta after being introduced as the 14th head coach in Falcons history on January 24, 2008. He spent the previous fi ve seasons (2003-07) as the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Before coming to Jacksonville, Smith spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2002, including the team’s 2000 Super Bowl winning season. Before joining the pro ranks, he spent 12 seasons at Tennessee Tech (1987-1998), one season at Morehead State (1986) and four years at San Diego State (1982-85). Smith played college football at East Tennessee (1977–1981).

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 77

    RECORD BREAKERS

    After 15 games, Tampa Bay has set or tied a few franchise records. Here is a look at the records that have fallen, or may fall this season:

    Single-Season Records 2009 Previous RecordINDIVIDUALMost Receptions, Tight End Kellen Winslow - 72 Jackie Harris, 62 - 1995Most Receiving Yards, Tight End Kellen Winslow - 828 Jimmie Giles, 786 - 1981Most Passing Yards, Rookie Josh Freeman - 1,683 Bruce Gradkowski, 1,661 - 2006*Most Touchdown Passes, Rookie Josh Freeman - 9 Bruce Gradkowski, 9 - 2006Kickoff Return Average Sammie Stroughter - 29.5 Mark Jones, 28.6 - 2007

    Single-Game Records 2009 Previous RecordINDIVIDUAL*Most Interceptions Aqib Talib, 3 Ronde Barber, 3, Twice at Washington, 9/21/08 last at New Orleans, 12/4/05^Most 50-Plus Yard Field Goals Connor Barth, 3 Martin Gramatica, 2, Four times at Miami, 11/15/09 last at Carolina, 10/27/02*Longest Kickoff Return Sammie Stroughter, 97t Clifton Smith, 97t vs. Carolina, 10/18/09 at Kansas City, 11/2/08Longest Non-Scoring Fumble Return Sabby Piscitelli, 72 Donald Anderson, 38 at Buffalo, 9/20/09 at New Orleans, 12/6/87Most Touchdown Passes, Rookie Josh Freeman, 3 Four players tied with 2

    TEAM*Longest Scoring Drive, Yards 98 Yards (8 plays, 4:09) 98 Yards (10 plays, 5:44) at New Orleans, 12/27/09 vs. Carolina, 12/30/07* Tied Record^ Tied NFL Record

    RECORD WATCHSingle-Season Records 2009 RecordINDIVIDUALMost Touchdowns, Tight End Kellen Winslow - 5 Jimmie Giles, 8 - 1985Most Tackles Barrett Ruud - 185 Hardy Nickerson, 214 - 1993

    TEAMBest Average Per Rush 4.20 4.22 - 2000Kickoff Return Yards 1,576 1,622 - 1985Kickoff Return Avg. 26.7 24.8 - 2008Most Blocked Kicks 5 7 - 2000

    PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

    PLAYERSRonde Barber ........................................Ron-DayJonathan Compas ................................. CompassAndrew Economos.......................E-CON-oh-MoseGeno Hayes ........................................... Gee-NoDavin Joseph ...........................................Dav-inNiko Koutouvides .....NEE-Koh KOO-tah-VEE-deesSam Paulescu ............................... paw-LESS-cueSabby Piscitelli .............................. Pis-Ka-Tell-EeDerrick Roberson ............................ Robe-er-SonBarrett Ruud ..............................................Rude

    Aqib Talib ................................. Ah-keeb Ta-leebStylez G. White ........................................ StylesJeremy Zuttah ....................................... Zoo-tah

    COACHESTim Berbenich ..................................Bur-bin-ick Richard Bisaccia .............................Bi-sach-ee-ahEjiro Evero ............................ E-ja-row E-ver-rowPete Mangurian .......................... Man-Gear-ee-in

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta88

    MORRIS MATCHUP

    - Head Coach Raheem Morris is 0-1 against the Atlanta Falcons and Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith.

    - Smith is 2-1 all-time against the Buccaneers after splitting the series last season and earning a win earlier this season.

    MEDIA WEBSITE

    Be sure to click on the offi cial Web site of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at www.buccaneers.com for all of the club’s breaking news. Buccaneers.com offers the media full access to all of the team’s publicity material using a restricted ‘Media Entrance.’ Members of the media may access this area using ‘media’ as both the username and password.

    Once inside, users will fi nd updated statistics, game notes, bios, transcripts, rosters, the 2009 Buccaneers Media Guide and more, plus the latest releases on the team. Media may reference archival information, including detailed stats, recaps and rosters, broken down into game weeks dating back to the 2001 season as well.

    MEDIA SCHEDULE

    Wednesday, December 30 Open Locker Room: 11:15 a.m.-Noon - QB Josh Freeman 11:15 a.m. (studio) Practice: 12:40-2:25 p.m. - HC Raheem Morris Following practice (studio) - OC Greg Olson 2:45 p.m. (studio)

    Atlanta Conference Calls: WR Roddy White Noon ET Head Coach Mike Smith 12:15 p.m. ET

    Thursday, December 31 Open Locker Room: 11:15 a.m.-Noon Practice: 12:40 p.m.-2:25 p.m. - HC Raheem Morris Following practice (studio)

    Friday, January 1 Practice: 10:50 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - HC Raheem Morris Following practice Open Locker Room: 12:30-1:15 p.m.

    Media may attend and shoot B-Roll of practice for approximately the fi rst 30 minutes, but the remainder of practice is closed. Media will be escorted back to the practice fi elds to watch practice. Prior to

    the end of practice, a member of the public relations staff will take interview requests.

    HONOR ROLL

    • WR Sammie Stroughter - NFC Special Teams Player Of The Week (Week 6 vs. Carolina)RB/KR Clifton Smith • - NFC Special Teams Player Of The Week (Week 9 vs. Green Bay)

    NEW ORLEANS GAME NOTES

    • The Buccaneers 20-17 OT win over New Orleans marked the fi rst time in NFL history that a team 10-plus games below .500 defeated a team 10-plus games above .500After trailing 17-0 in the second quarter, the • Buccaneers scored 20 unanswered points to win in overtime. The 17-point comeback tied for the second-largest comeback in team history.The Buccaneers rushed for a season-high 176 • yards, including 114 on the ground in the second half and overtime. The 176 rushing yards is the most for Tampa Bay since it rushed for 178 yards against Green Bay (9/28/08) last season.Tampa Bay recorded 439 yards of total offense, • the third-highest total this season, trailing only the 469 yards at Carolina (12/6/09) and the 450 yards against Dallas (9/13/09). The Buccaneers gained 6.46 yards per play (439 total yards on 68 plays), the second-best average in a game this season. The best effort was 6.51 yards per play at Carolina (12/6/09).Tampa Bay’s defense held New Orleans to 17 • points, tied for the fewest by the Saints in a single game this season, as well as two touchdowns, also tied for the fewest in a single game. The Saints were held to no points in the second half, the fi rst time this season they did not score in a half. The Saints entered the game averaging 419.6 • total yards per game but were held to 373 total yards, including just 160 yards of total offense after the fi rst half. In addition, the 373 total yards was the fourth-fewest for the Saints in a game this season and the 249 passing yards was fi fth-lowest for New Orleans in 2009.RB Carnell Williams fi nished with 24 carries for • 129 yards and one touchdown, recording the ninth 100-yard rushing game of his career and his fi rst since November 19, 2006 when he ran for 122 yards on 27 carries against Washington. The Buccaneers are now 11-0 when Williams has 22 or more carries in a game and 8-1 when he rushes for 100 or more yards. It was his fourth rushing touchdown this season and the 18th of his career. Williams added three receptions for 19 yards.

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 99

    In the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers tied for • the longest scoring drive in team history when they marched 98 yards on eight plays. The drive culminated in a 23-yard touchdown run by RB Carnell Williams. It marked the second touchdown drive this season of 95 or more yards, with both coming against the Saints. The Buccaneers recorded a 95-yard scoring drive against the Saints in the fi rst meeting (11/22/09).With the Buccaneers trailing 17-10 in the fourth • quarter, WR Micheal Spurlock recorded a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown, the fi fth-longest in team history, to tie the game. Spurlock, who recorded the fi rst-ever kickoff return for a touchdown in team history, is now just the second player in team history to record both a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns, joining RB/KR Clifton Smith. Spurlock was signed last week, with both previous return men Smith and WR Sammie Stroughter being on Injured Reserve. Spurlock fi nished the day with two punt returns for 80 yards and one touchdown along with fi ve kickoff returns for 116 yards.With his 76 yards receiving, TE Kellen Winslow • now has 828 receiving yards on the season, moving past Jimmie Giles (786 in 1981) for the most receiving yards ever for a tight end in a single season in team history. He also now has 72 receptions this season, the most by a tight end in a single season in team history. Winslow fi nished with four receptions for a team-high 76 yards receiving.For the second straight week, the Buccaneers did • not allow any points in the second half, the only two times they have achieved that this season.K Connor Barth connected on both fi eld goal • attempts today, including a game-winning 47-yard fi eld goal in overtime. He is now 13-for-18 this season on fi eld goal attempts and a perfect 11-for-11 on PATs.LB Geno Hayes recorded his second sack of the • season and second of his career in the third quarter. Hayes has now recorded a sack in back-to-back weeks. Hayes also recorded a forced fumble in the fourth quarter.CB Ronde Barber recorded his fi rst fumble • recovery of the season and the 10th of his career in the fourth quarter.One week after moving into second place for • most games played in team history, CB Ronde Barber has now tied Paul Gruber (183 from 1988-99) for the second-most games started in club history. Playing in his 192nd career game, Barber has now started in 183 games with a streak of 166 consecutive starts, starting every game at cornerback since Week 10 against Atlanta (11/21) in 1999.

    QB Josh Freeman fi nished 21-of-31 passing for • 271 yards and two interceptions. He now has 1,683 passing yards this season, breaking the Buccaneers rookie passing record previously held by QB Bruce Gradkowski who threw for 1,661 yards in 2006.WR Maurice Stovall entered the year with 20 • receptions for 213 yards and one touchdown in his career. This season Stovall already has 23 receptions for 339 yards and one touchdown. He fi nished today’s game with two receptions for 47 yards including a long of 29 yards.WR Antonio Bryant had a team-high fi ve receptions • for 52 yards receiving.

    A DECADE OF WINNING

    Over the last 11 years, the Buccaneers have the sixth-best overall record in the NFC, with an 90-85 regular season mark since 1999. In addition, only the Eagles, with eight, made more playoff appearances in that span than the Buccaneers’ six (Green Bay also has six). At home, Tampa Bay has also performed very well. Minnesota tops the list at 60-27, while the Buccaneers are sixth with a 53-34 record.

    BEST OVERALL RECORD AMONG CURRENT NFC TEAMS SINCE 1999

    Rank Team Record Winning Pct.1. Philadelphia 108-66-1 .6202. Green Bay 102-73 .5833. N.Y. Giants 95-80 .5434. Minnesota 93-82 .5315. Seattle* 91-84 .5206. Tampa Bay 90-85 .514

    *Seattle was in AFC from 1999-2001.

    BEST HOME RECORD AMONG CURRENT NFC TEAMS SINCE 1999

    Rank Team Record Winning Pct.1. Minnesota 60-27 .6902. Green Bay 58-30 .6593. Seattle* 56-31 .6444. Philadelphia 56-32 .6365. Dallas 54-33 .6216. Tampa Bay** 53-34 .609

    *Seattle was in AFC from 1999-2001.**Includes 35-7 loss to New England in London on Oct. 25, 2009.

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta1010

    MAKING STRIDES

    The Bucs defense has continued to improve since Head Coach Raheem Morris took over the defense prior to the game at Atlanta in Week 12. Since then, every major defensive category - points per game, total net yards per game, rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, takeaways per game and sacks per game - has improved.

    2009 DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN

    First 10 Games Last 5 GamesPoints/Game 29.4 17.2Total Yards/Game 378.3 333.8Rushing Yards/Game 168.9 131.8Passing Yards/Game 209.4 202.0Takeaways/Game 1.6 2.0Sacks/Game 1.7 2.0

    Below is a statistical look at the past four games:At Atlanta (11/29)

    Second-fewest total yards (297) in a game this • season.Fewest rushing yards (75) in a single game this • season.Recorded six sacks from four different players, • tying a team-high this season.3.9 yards per play were the fewest given up this • season.20 points given up was the fourth-fewest allowed • in a Buccaneer game this season.

    At Carolina (12/6)Allowed the third-fewest total yards (309).• Tied for the third-fewest net passing yards (152) • in a game this season. Held the Panthers to 16 points, tying for the • second-fewest given up by the team this year and 15 fi rst downs, the third-fewest given up in a single game this season.

    N.Y. Jets (12/13)Allowed only 14 fi rst downs, tying for the fewest • fi rst downs by an opponent this season. Held the Jets to 4.6 yards per play, the third-• fewest yards per play given up by the team in a game this season. The Bucs defense was also stout against the pass • holding the Jets to 135 net passing yards, the second-fewest in a game this season.

    At Seattle (12/20)The Buccaneers fi nished with fi ve takeaways (four • interceptions and one fumble recovery), marking

    the most takeaways for Tampa Bay in a

    game since 2007 when they recorded six against Washington (11/25). The plus-four turnover margin was also the best • turnover margin for the team this season. Held Seattle to just seven points, the fewest • points given up this season. The previous low was 16 points given up in both Week 4 at Washington and Week 13 at Carolina.

    At New Orleans (12/27)Tampa Bay’s defense held New Orleans to 17 • points, tied for the fewest by the Saints in a single game this season, as well as two touchdowns, also tied for the fewest in a single game. The Saints were held to no points in the second • half, the fi rst time this season they did not score in a half and the second week in a row the Bucs have achieved that feat. The Saints entered the game averaging 419.6 • total yards per game but were held to 373 total yards, including just 160 yards of total offense after the fi rst half. In addition, the 373 total yards was the fourth-• fewest for the Saints in a game this season and the 249 passing yards was fi fth-lowest for New Orleans in 2009.

    K2

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added a big target to their offense this offseason acquiring TE Kellen Winslowfrom the Cleveland Browns. Winslow, the son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, was originally drafted by the Browns with the sixth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and since that time has shown he is one of the most dangerous tight end receiving threats in the league.

    2009 Highlights:Led or tied for the team lead in receptions in 11 • of 15 games. Has also led the team in receiving yards seven times this season.First on team in receptions (72), a single-season • Buccaneers record among tight ends.First on team in receiving yards (828), a single-• season Buccaneers record among tight ends.First on team in receiving touchdowns (5), • matching his single-season career-high.In Week 5 at Philadelphia Winslow recorded a nine-• yard touchdown reception in the second quarter and another nine-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, tying his career-high for receiving touchdowns (fi rst set on November 6, 2008 while with Cleveland against the Denver Broncos). Also recorded the fi fth 100-yard receiving game • of his career, and fi rst as a Buccaneer, totaling a

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 1111

    Among NFL tight ends, Winslow currently ranks tied for 11th in touchdowns (5), tied for fi fth in receptions (72) and seventh in receiving yards (828).

    2009 NFL MOST RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNSAMONG TIGHT ENDS

    Rank Player TDs1. Vernon Davis (SF) 122. Dallas Clark (IND) 102. Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN) 104. Brent Celek (PHI) 85. Antonio Gates (SD) 75. Greg Olsen (CHI) 77. John Carlson (SEA) 67. Fred Davis (WAS) 67. Tony Gonzalez (ATL) 67. Todd Heap (BAL) 611. Kellen Winslow (TB) 511. Kevin Boss (NYG) 511. Owen Daniels (HOU) 511. Heath Miller (PIT) 511. Benjamin Watson (NE) 5

    2009 NFL MOST RECEPTIONSAMONG TIGHT ENDS

    Rank Player Rec.1. Dallas Clark (IND) 932. Jason Witten (DAL) 883. Tony Gonzalez (ATL) 804. Antonio Gates (SD) 785. Kellen Winslow (TB) 725. Vernon Davis (SF) 727. Heath Miller (PIT) 718. Brent Celek (PHI) 699. Zach Miller (OAK) 5910. Greg Olsen (CHI) 55

    2009 NFL MOST RECEIVING YARDSAMONG TIGHT ENDS

    Rank Player Yards1. Antonio Gates (SD) 1,1452. Dallas Clark (IND) 1,0543. Jason Witten (DAL) 9544. Vernon Davis (SF) 8765. Brent Celek (PHI) 8756. Tony Gonzalez (ATL) 8377. Kellen Winslow (TB) 8288. Zach Miller (OAK) 7679. Heath Miller (PIT) 73310. Jermichael Finley (GB) 642

    Since 2006 Winslow has the third-most receptions (286) and fourth-most receiving yards (3,237) among NFL tight ends.

    team-high nine receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. His nine receptions were the most in a game by • a Buccaneer this season and also marked the second-best single-game performance by a tight end in team history. The club record for most receptions by a tight end in a single game belongs to Jackie Harris, who had 10 receptions (for 122 yards) at Green Bay (11/26/95).

    MOST RECEPTIONS IN A SINGLE GAME BY A TIGHT END(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Receptions1. Jackie Harris at GB-11/26/95 102. Kellen Winslow at PHI-10/11/09 93. Four players tied with eight

    Below is a breakdown of Winslow’s other single-game highlights from 2009:

    Tied for the team lead with fi ve receptions, for 30 • yards and a touchdown in his fi rst outing for the Buccaneers against the Dallas Cowboys (9/13) in Week 1. In Week 2 at Buffalo (9/20), again tied for a • team-high with seven receptions for a team and game-high 90 yards receiving, including a 42-yard touchdown reception. his 42-yard reception was the second-longest of his career.In Week 3 against the N.Y. Giants (9/27) and • Week 6 against Carolina (10/18), again led the team with three receptions in each game.In Week 9 against Green Bay (11/8) caught a • team-high four passes for another team-high 57 receiving yards including a seven-yard touchdown reception.In Week 10 at Miami (11/15) recorded second • 100-yard receiving game of the season and the sixth of his career after fi nishing with team-high seven receptions for another team-high 102 yards receiving.In Week 12 at Atlanta (11/29), had team-leading • seven receptions for 81 yards.Finished tied for second on the team in Week 13 • at Carolina (12/6) with four receptions for 69 yards, with all four of his receptions coming in the fourth quarter.In Week 15 at Seattle (12/20), paced team with • six receptions for 93 yards and during course of game set single-season record for most receptions by a tight end in team history.With his team-high 76 yards receiving in Week • 16 at New Orleans (12/27), moved past Jimmie Giles (786 in 1981) for the most receiving yards ever for a tight end in a single season in team history. Finished with four receptions for 76 yards receiving.

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta1212

    MOST RECEPTIONS AMONG TIGHT ENDS(2006-09)

    Rank Player Receptions1. Tony Gonzalez (ATL) 3482. Jason Witten (DAL) 3293. Kellen Winslow (TB) 2864. Antonio Gates (SD) 2845. Dallas Clark (IND) 258

    MOST RECEIVING YARDS AMONG TIGHT ENDS (2006-09)

    Rank Player Receiving Yards1. Tony Gonzalez (ATL) 3,9672. Jason Witten (DAL) 3,8053. Antonio Gates (SD) 3,7574. Kellen Winslow (TB) 3,2375. Dallas Clark (IND) 2,885

    Winslow is also one of only eight players in the NFL history to reach 100 career receptions in 20 or fewer games, reaching it in exactly 20 games, tied for the third-fastest all-time.

    FEWEST GAMES TO REACH 100 RECEPTIONSIN NFL HISTORY

    Rank Player (Team) Games1. WR Anquan Boldin (ARI) 162. RB Reggie Bush (NO) 193. TE Kellen Winslow (CLE) 203. WR Terry Glenn (NE) 203. TE Keith Jackson (PHI) 203. WR Eddie Royal (DEN) 203. TE Jeremy Shockey (NYG) 20

    In his fi rst season with the Buccaneers, Winslow is having one of the most successful single-season campaigns for a tight end in team history setting records for most receptions and most receiving yards.

    MOST RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNSAMONG TIGHT ENDS - SINGLE SEASON

    (Team History)

    Player Year TDs1. Jimmie Giles 1985 82. Jimmie Giles 1979 73. Jimmie Giles 1981 64. Kellen Winslow 2009 54. Dave Moore 1999 54. Calvin Magee 1986 5

    MOST RECEPTIONS AMONG TIGHT ENDS - SINGLE SEASON

    (Team History)

    Player Year Receptions1. Kellen Winslow 2009 722. Jackie Harris 1995 623. Jimmie Giles 1981 453. Calvin Magee 1986 455. Jerry Bell 1985 435. Jimmie Giles 1985 43

    MOST RECEIVING YARDS AMONG TIGHT ENDS - SINGLE SEASON

    (Team History)

    Player Year Yards1. Kellen Winslow 2009 8282. Jimmie Giles 1981 7863. Jackie Harris 1995 7514. Jimmie Giles 1985 6735. Jimmie Giles 1980 6026. Jimmie Giles 1979 5797. Calvin Magee 1986 5648. Ron Hall 1988 5559. Jimmie Giles 1982 49910. Jerry Bell 1985 496

    THE ROOK

    In Week 9 against Green Bay (11/8), Buccaneers 2009 fi rst-round pick QB Josh Freeman (21 years, 299 days old at the time) started in his fi rst career game and became the second-youngest quarterback to win his fi rst career start since 1970, the youngest being Michael Vick (21 years, 138 days). He was also the youngest quarterback to start a game and the youngest quarterback to win a game for the Buccaneers in team history.

    His three passing touchdowns set a new Buccaneers rookie record and he became just the third rookie quarterback in team history to win their starting debut.

    MOST PASSING TOUCHDOWNS BY A ROOKIEIN A SINGLE GAME (Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date TDs1. Josh Freeman vs. GB-11/8/09 32. Josh Freeman at SEA- 12/20/09 22. Josh Freeman at ATL-11/30/09 22. Bruce Gradkowski vs. WAS-11/19/06 22. Bruce Gradkowski vs. NO-11/5/06 22. Bruce Gradkowski vs. CIN-10/15/06 22. Bruce Gradkowski at NO-10/8/06 22. Shaun King vs. DET-12/12/99 22. Shaun King vs. MIN-12/6/99 2

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 1313

    2. Vinny Testaverde vs. STL-12/20/87 22. Vinny Testaverde at NO-12/6/87 22. Doug Williams vs. CHI-10/22/78 2

    Below are highlights from his 2009 rookie season:In just eight starts, he has nine touchdown passes, • tying former Buccaneers QB Bruce Gradkowski for the most touchdown passes by a rookie in a season in team history. Gradkowski started 11 games as a rookie for the Buccaneers in 2006 throwing nine touchdown passes.Freeman has also thrown for 1,683 yards, the • most in a single-season by a rookie quarterback in team history. The previous record was held by QB Bruce Gradkowski as he threw for 1,661 pass-ing yards in 2006.

    MOST TOUCHDOWN PASSES BY A ROOKIE QB - SINGLE SEASON (Team History)

    Rank Team No.1. Josh Freeman, 2009 91. Bruce Gradkowski, 2006 93. Shaun King, 1999 73. Doug Williams, 1978 7

    MOST PASSING YARDS BY A ROOKIE QB - SINGLE SEASON (Team History)

    Rank Team Yards1. Josh Freeman, 2009 1,6832. Bruce Gradkowski, 2006 1,6613. Doug Williams, 1978 1,1704. Vinny Testaverde, 1987 1,0815. Steve Young, 1985 935

    Freeman fi nished his fi rst start passing for 205 • yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 14-of-31 pass attempts, leading the team to a victory from a 11-point fourth quarter defi cit.

    NOTABLE ROOKIE BUCCANEER QB PERFORMANCES - FIRST STARTS

    Name Cmp.-Att. Yds TDs Ints ResultFreeman 14-31 205 3 1 W, GB-11/8/09Gradkowski 20-31 225 2 0 L, NO-10/8/06King 11-19 93 2 1 W, MIN-12/6/99Dilfer 7-23 45 0 1 L, SF-10/23/94Testaverde 22-47 369 2 2 L, NO-12/6/87Young 16-27 167 0 0 W, DET-11/24/85Williams 1-5 9 0 1 L, NYG -9/2/78

    NOTABLE VETERAN BUCCANEER QB PERFORMANCES - FIRST STARTS

    Name Cmp.-Att. Yds TDs Ints ResultSpurrier 8-21 90 0 2 L, HOU-9/12/76DeBerg 18-31 229 0 1 L, NYG -9/23/84B. Johnson 25-34 195 0 1 W, DAL-9/9/01R. Johnson 22-33 179 0 1 W, CAR-10/27/02Simms 5-8 68 0 0 W, NO-10/10/04Griese 27-40 286 2 1 L, STL-10/18/04Garcia 19-27 201 0 0 L, SEA-9/9/07

    Rookie QB Josh Freeman has played some of his best football on the road this season, helping guide the Buccaneers to two wins away from Tampa and giving the team a chance to win in three other games.

    In Week 10 at Miami (11/15), Freeman made his • fi rst start on the road and completed 16-of-28 attempts for 196 yards one touchdown and one interception to go with 36 yards rushing on seven carries. Despite the fi nal outcome, Freeman led the team back from a 13-point defi cit by taking a 23-22 lead late in the fourth quarter as he was 11-19 passing for 152 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the second half.

    NOTABLE ROOKIE BUCCANEER QB PERFORMANCES - SECOND STARTS

    Name Cmp.-Att. Yds TD Int ResultFreeman 16-28 196 1 1 L, at MIA-11/15/09Gradkowski 25-44 184 2 1 W, CIN-10/15/06King 23-37 297 2 1 W, DET-12/12/99Dilfer 13-25 159 0 1 L, CHI-11/6/94Testaverde 20-39 262 1 1 L, DET-12/13/87Young 8-17 53 0 1 L, at GB-12/1/85Williams 5-19 63 1 0 W, at MIN-9/17/78

    Back on the road two weeks later at Atlanta • (11/29), Freeman completed 20-of-29 pass at-tempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns and put the Buccaneers in a position to win until a late Falcons touchdown cost the Buccaneers a vic-tory. Freeman connected with WR Antonio Bryant on a two-play, 80-yard scoring drive as the pair connected on a 38-yard completion and then a 42-yard completion for a touchdown. The 42-yard pass was the longest of Freeman’s career and it was the longest reception by Bryant this season. The score also tied for the longest touchdown pass this season by the Buccaneers, joining a 42-yard scoring pass from Byron Leftwich to Winslow at Buffalo (9/20/09).In Week 13 at Carolina (12/6), Freeman passed • for 321 yards while completing 23-of-44 passes for the fi rst 300-yard passing game of his career. He helped lead the offense to 469 total yards against the Panthers, the fi fth-

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta1414

    most in a game in team history.In Week 15 at Seattle (12/20), Freeman led Tampa • Bay to its second win of the season and fi rst road victory. He fi nished the afternoon with a 95.8 QB rating after completing 16-of-26 pass attempts for 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. In the second half, Freeman went 11-of-14 for 144 yards and two touchdowns while also recording a two-point conversion to put the team up 21-7. It was his third game with two or more touchdown passes. Only Bruce Gradkowski had more during his rookie season (4).Freeman led the Buccaneers to a 17-point come-• back win at New Orleans (12/27) in Week 16, ty-ing for the second-biggest comeback win in team history. He completed 21-of-31 passes for 271 yards with two interceptions and also rushed for seven yards against the playoff-bound Saints.In Week 7 against New England (10/25), Freeman • made his NFL debut, completing 2-of-4 passes for 16 yards.

    BISACCIA’S SPECIAL FORCES

    For the past eight seasons (2002-09), associate head coach-special teams coordinator Richard Bisacciahas directed one of the NFL’s best special teams units, leading the most successful stretch of special teams play in Buccaneers history.

    Before Bisaccia’s arrival, the Buccaneers sent just one special teams player to the Pro Bowl, K Martin Gramatica in 2000. Over just the previous four seasons, the Buccaneers have sent three special teams players to the Pro Bowl, tied for the fourth most in the NFL, and had one specialist named as a Pro Bowl alternate.

    PRO BOWL SPECIALISTS UNDER BISACCIA

    Player YearP Josh Bidwell 2005CB Torrie Cox 2006 (alternate)LS Dave Moore 2006KR Clifton Smith 2008

    MOST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS TO MAKE PRO BOWL SINCE 2005

    Rank Team No.1. San Diego 51. Chicago 53. N.Y. Giants 44. Tampa Bay 34. Buffalo 34. Cleveland 3

    Bisaccia has also helped to lead the team to 12 • NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors (two in 2002, one in 2003, three in 2005, one in 2006, one in 2007, two in 2008, two in 2009) and four NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors (one in 2002, one in 2005, one in 2007, one in 2008).

    Since 2002, the Buccaneers special teams unit ranks in the Top 10 in the NFL in several categories.

    NFL OPPONENT KICKOFF RETURN AVG. (2002-09)

    Rank Team Returns Yards Average1. Buffalo 504 10,234 20.32. Washington 490 10,142 20.73. Atlanta 467 9,734 20.84. Jacksonville 445 9,320 20.95. Tampa Bay 483 10,173 21.16. Dallas 525 11,068 21.1

    In addition to ranking fi fth in the NFL since 2002 in kickoff coverage, the Buccaneers have only surrendered four touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns since 2002 to rank tied for third in the NFL.

    FEWEST KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURNS SURRENDERED FOR TDS (2002-09)

    Rank Team Ret.TDs1. Chicago 31. Green Bay 33. Tampa Bay 43. Atlanta 43. Buffalo 4

    The Buccaneers kickoff return unit has been equally impressive, ranking fi fth in the NFL in kickoff return average over the last eight seasons.

    NFL KICKOFF RETURN AVG. (2002-09)

    Rank Team Returns Yards Average1. New England 484 11,627 24.02. N.Y. Jets 487 11,541 23.73. San Diego 511 12,014 23.54. Buffalo 543 12,578 23.25. Tampa Bay 447 10,213 22.8

    Led by 2005 Pro Bowl selection Josh Bidwell, the Buccaneers punters have been some of the best in the NFL under Bisaccia, ranking in the Top 10 in gross punting average (seventh) and punts inside the 20 (sixth) since 2002.

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 1515

    NFL TEAM GROSS PUNTING AVERAGE LEADERS (2002-09)

    Rank Team Average1. Oakland 47.42. St. Louis 44.43. Buffalo 43.94. Carolina 43.85. San Francisco 43.56. New Orleans 43.47. Tampa Bay 43.3

    NFL PUNTS PLACED INSIDE THE 20-YARD LINE (2002-09)

    Rank Team Punts Inside the 201. Chicago 2262. San Diego 2253. Cleveland 2114. Baltimore 2084. Carolina 2076. Tampa Bay 2037. Detroit 2027. Seattle 202

    Since 2002, the Buccaneers are tied for fi fth in the NFL with nine blocked fi eld goals.

    MOST BLOCKED FIELD GOALS (2002-09)

    Rank Team Blocked FGs1. Detroit 152. Carolina 133. Chicago 113. Cleveland 115. Tampa Bay 95. Atlanta 95. N.Y. Giants 9

    This season the Buccaneers have blocked an NFL-best fi ve kicks (2 punts, 2 PATs and 1 fi eld goal) which also ranks as the second-most blocked kicks in a single season in franchise history.

    2009 NFL MOST BLOCKED KICKS

    Rank Team Blocked Kicks1. Tampa Bay 52. N.Y. Giants 43. Arizona 33. Cleveland 33. Atlanta 3

    MOST BLOCKED KICKS -SINGLE SEASON (TEAM HISTORY)

    Rank Year Blocked Kicks1. 2000 72. 2009 53. 1997 4

    The Buccaneers special teams unit has continued to excel under Bisaccia during the 2009 season, highlighted by the fast and physical play of the coverage units. In Week 10 at Miami (11/15), the Bucs held then NFL kickoff return leader Ted Ginn, Jr. (18 for 586 yards, 32.6 avg and two touchdowns entering) to fi ve returns for 90 yards (18.0 avg.)

    2009 NFL OPPONENT KICKOFF RETURN AVG.

    Rank Team Returns Yards Average1. Tampa Bay 43 814 18.92. Cleveland 48 938 19.53. Washington 51 998 19.6 4. Arizona 58 1,159 20.05. Baltimore 74 1,519 20.5

    2009 NFC OPPONENT PUNT RETURN AVG.

    Rank Team Returns Yards Average1. Philadelphia 35 205 5.92. St. Louis 36 219 6.13. Washington 31 221 7.14. San Francisco 52 422 8.15. Tampa Bay 37 311 8.4

    The Buccaneers return units have also been a dominant presence during the 2009 season, ranking fi rst in the league in kickoff return average and eighth in the NFL in punt return average.

    2009 NFL KICKOFF RETURN AVG.

    Rank Team Returns Yards Avg. TDs1. Tampa Bay 59 1,576 26.7 12. Baltimore 55 1,409 25.6 13. New Orleans 52 1,314 25.3 14. Chicago 74 1,869 25.3 15. Cleveland 66 1,621 24.6 3

    2009 NFL PUNT RETURN AVG.

    Rank Team Returns Yards Avg. TDs1. Philadelphia 33 462 14.0 22. Cleveland 36 438 12.1 13. Tampa Bay 39 452 11.6 14. Dallas 35 402 11.5 25. New England 38 432 11.4 0

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta1616

    NOTABLE BUCCANEER RECORDS BROKEN UNDER DIRECTION OF COACH BISACCIA

    Most Points Scored – Single Season (131, Matt • Bryant, 2008)Most Points Placekicking – Single Season (131, • Matt Bryant, 2008)Most Field Goals – Single Season (32, Matt Bryant, • 2008; Martin Gramatica, 2002)Most Field Goals – Single Game (5, Martin • Gramatica, at Chicago, 12/29/02)Most 50-Plus Yard Field Goals – Single Game (3-• 50, 51, 54, Connor Barth, at Miami, 11/15/09)Longest Field Goal Made (62, Matt Bryant, vs. • Philadelphia, 10/22/06)Most Punting Yards – Single Season (4,101, Josh • Bidwell, 2005)Best Gross Punting Average – Single Season • (45.57, Josh Bidwell, 2005)Best Gross Punting Average – Single Game (52.0, • Tom Tupa, at New Orleans, 12/7/03)Most Punts Inside the 20 – Single Season (30, Josh • Bidwell, 2007)Best Kickoff Return Average – Single Season (29.5, • Sammie Stroughter, 2009)Most Total Return Yards - Single Game (259, Clifton • Smith, at Kansas City, 11/2/08)Most Return Touchdowns – Single Season (7, • 2008)Most Field Goals – Single Season (32, 2008)• Most Field Goals – Single Game (5, at Chicago, • 12/29/02)Best Gross Punting Average – Single Season (45.6, • 2005)Best Gross Punting Average – Single Game (52.0, at • New Orleans, 12/7/03; at New Orleans, 12/1/02)Best Kickoff Return Average – Single Season (24.8, • 2008)Longest Kickoff Return (97t, Sammie Stroughter, • vs. Carolina, 10/18/09; Clifton Smith, at Kansas City, 11/2/08)

    OTHER NOTABLE STATISTICS UNDER DIRECTION OF COACH BISACCIA

    In the Buccaneers fi rst 497 games they had zero • kickoff returns for touchdowns, in the last 34 games they have recorded three.Only team in the NFL with a kickoff and punt return • for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons (2008-09).This year, recorded the two best individual single-• season kickoff return averages in team history (Sammie Stroughter, 29.5 and Clifton Smith, 29.1). The top fi ve single-season kickoff return averages in team history have all come under Bisaccia.

    Three Kickoff Return Touchdowns (97t, Sammie • Stroughter, vs. Carolina, 10/28/09; 97t, Clifton Smith, at Kansas City, 11/2/08; 90t, Micheal Spurlock, vs. Atlanta, 12/16/07)Four Punt Return Touchdowns (70t, Clifton Smith, • at Detroit, 11/23/08; 77t, Micheal Spurlock at New Orleans, 12/27/09; 59t, Joey Galloway, vs. New Orleans, 12/19/04; 56t, Karl Williams, at Baltimore, 9/15/02)Nine Blocked Field Goals (one in 2002, two in • 2003, one in 2004, one in 2005, three in 2006, one in 2009)Five Blocked Punts (one in 2003, two in 2008, two • in 2009)Five Punt Defl ections (two in 2002, one in 2003, • one in 2007, one in 2009)Three Blocked PATs (one in 2007, two in 2009)• Three Onside Kickoff Recoveries (one in 2007, two • in 2009)Tied NFL Record Most 50-Plus Yard Field Goals • In Single Game (3- 50, 51, 54, Connor Barth, at Miami, 11/15/09)

    OTHER NOTABLE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYS IN 2009

    Blocked PAT by CB Ronde Barber at Washington • (10/4)Onside kickoff recovery by CB Elbert Mack at • Philadelphia (10/11)Blocked FG by G Davin Joseph vs. Carolina • (10/18)97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by WR • Sammie Stroughter vs. Carolina (10/18) Defl ected punt by WR Maurice Stovall vs. New • England (10/25)Blocked punt by LB Geno Hayes vs. Green Bay • (11/8), which CB Ronde Barber returned 31 yards for a touchdown83-yard kickoff return by RB/KR Clifton Smith vs. • Green Bay (11/8)Blocked PAT by T Donald Penn at Miami (11/15)• Blocked punt by S Corey Lynch at Atlanta (11/29)• Onside kickoff recovery by CB Elbert Mack vs. N.Y. • Jets (12/13)77-yard punt return for a touchdown by WR Micheal • Spurlock at New Orleans (12/27)

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 1717

    THREE OR MORE FIELD GOALS OF 50 OR MORE YARDS IN SAME GAME IN NFL HISTORY

    Player Opponent-Date YardsConnor Barth (TB) 11/15/09-at MIA 50, 51, 54Kris Brown (HOU) 10/7/07-MIA 54, 54, 57Neil Rackers (ARI) 10/24/04-SEA 55, 55, 50Morten Andersen (NO) 12/10/95-ATL 51, 55, 55

    TWO OR MORE FIELD GOALS OF 50 OR MORE YARDS IN SAME GAME IN TEAM HISTORY

    Player Opponent-Date YardsConnor Barth 11/15/09-at MIA 50, 51, 54Martin Gramatica 10/27/02-at CAR 52, 53Martin Gramatica 11/12/00-GB 51, 54Martin Gramatica 10/19/00-DET 50, 55Martin Gramatica 11/21/99-ATL 50, 53

    LONGEST FIELD GOALS IN TEAM HISTORY

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. Matt Bryant 10/22/06-PHI 622. Michael Husted 12/19/93-at LA Raiders 573. Martin Gramatica 10/19/00-DET 553. Donald Igwebuike 11/30/86-at MIN 555. Connor Barth 11/15/09-at MIA 545. Martin Gramatica 11/12/00-GB 545. Michael Husted 11/9/97-at ATL 545. Michael Husted 11/21/93-MIN 545. Steve Christie 9/23/90-DET 54

    This season, Barth has now made 13-of-18 fi eld goal attempts, inlcuding a game-winning 47-yard fi eld goal in overtime at New Orleans (12/27) and is a perfect 11-for-11 on PATs

    UNDRAFTED ≠ UNWANTED

    When it comes to fi nding value the Buccaneers have had a knack at knowing where to look. Tampa Bay is currently home to 22 players who originally entered the league as undrafted rookie free agents and have totaled 434 games played, including 80 starts among them. The group includes standout performers such as RB Earnest Graham, CB Elbert Mack, T Donald Penn and RB/KR Clifton Smith. The team also has another seven undrafted players on their practice squad.

    RB Earnest Graham - Played in 79 games with 26 • starts amassing 1,742 yards rushing on 420 carries (4.1 avg.) including 14 rushing touchdowns. Also has 87 receptions for 611 yards and 14 kickoff returns for 267 yards.RB/KR Clifton Smith - After spending the fi rst • seven weeks of the 2008 season on the team’s practice squad, earned Pro

    RUN MICHEAL RUN

    With the Buccaneers trailing 17-10 in the fourth quarter at New Orleans in Week 16 (12/27), WR Micheal Spurlock recorded a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown, the fi fth-longest in team history, to tie the game. Spurlock, who recorded the fi rst-ever kickoff return for a touchdown in team history, is now just the second player in team history to record both a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns, joining RB/KR Clifton Smith. Spurlock was signed fi ve days prior to the game, with both previous return men Smith and WR Sammie Stroughter being on Injured Reserve. Spurlock fi nished the day with two punt returns for 80 yards and one touchdown along with fi ve kickoff returns for 116 yards.

    LONGEST PUNT RETURNS(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. Jacquez Green at GB-9/13/98 95(TD) 2. Karl Williams vs. CHI-12/22/96 88(TD)3. Karl Williams vs. NO-12/23/01 84(TD)4. Vernon Turner vs. DET-10/2/94 80(TD) 5. Micheal Spurlock at NO-12/27/09 77(TD)

    LONGEST KICKOFF RETURNS(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. S. Stroughter vs. CAR-10/18/09 97(TD) 1. Clifton Smith at KC-11/2/08 97(TD) 3. Micheal Spurlock vs. ATL-12/16/07 90(TD)4. Aaron Stecker vs. NO-12/23/01 865. Clifton Smith vs. GB-11/8/09 83

    HERE’S THE KICKER

    In just his second game with the Buccaneers, K Connor Barth tied an NFL record after recording his third fi eld goal of 50 or more yards in a single game at Miami (11/15) in Week 10. He became the fi rst kicker in team history and just the fourth in NFL history to make three 50-plus fi eld goals in one game when he connected on a career-long 54-yard fi eld goal in the third quarter. The fi eld goal also tied for the fi fth-longest fi eld goal in team history.

    In the fi rst quarter, Barth kicked a then career-long 51-yard fi eld goal on the team’s opening drive. Barth later added a 50-yard fi eld goal, becoming just the second kicker in club history to make two 50-plus yard fi eld goals in a single game. It marked just the fi fth time in team history and fi rst since Martin Gramatica on October 27, 2002 at Carolina (53-yard and 52-yard fi eld goals).

  • | Tampa Bay vs Atlanta1818

    Bowl honors as a return specialist in his rookie year. In his short career, already third all-time for kickoff return yards in team history (1,894), is fi rst Buccaneer to return a punt and kickoff for a touchdown in the same season and was just the second Buccaneer ever selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie (also RB Warrick Dunn in 1997).CB Elbert Mack - In his second year has played • in 29 games with three starts recording three interceptions as the team’s nickelback. Has also been a signifi cant contributor on special teams.T Donald Penn - In 2007, saw his fi rst NFL action • and has since played in 47 consecutive games, starting 43 consecutive games.

    UNDRAFTED BUCCANEERS CURRENTLY ON ROSTER (22)

    Player Year Entering NFL GP GS P Dirk Johnson (IR) 1998 80 0RB Earnest Graham (IR) 2003 79 26LS Andrew Economos 2005 50 0WR Brian Clark 2006 33 0T Donald Penn 2006 47 43WR Micheal Spurlock 2006 13 0P Sam Paulescu 2007 16 0FB Byron Storer (IR) 2007 15 6CB Derrick Roberson 2007 5 0K Connor Barth 2008 18 0T James Lee 2008 1 0CB Elbert Mack 2008 29 3RB Clifton Smith (IR) 2008 20 0DL Michael Bennett 2009 6 0QB Rudy Carpenter 2009 0 0C Jonathan Compas 2009 2 0T Demar Dotson 2009 8 0S De’von Hall 2009 4 0RB Kareem Huggins 2009 2 0WR Terrence Nunn 2009 0 0FB Chris Pressley 2009 6 2TE Ryan Purvis 2009 0 0

    PIECES TO THE PUZZLE

    As the Buccaneers continue to build for the future, the team has found young talent that has made an impact this season such as K Connor Barth, DE Michael Bennett, DE Tim Crowder, S Corey Lynch and FB Chris Pressley.

    K Connor Barth - Made 13-of-18 fi eld goal attempts • including a 47-yard game winner in overtime at New Orleans (12/27) while also connecting on 9-of-9 PATs this season. Tied NFL record with three 50-plus yard fi eld goals at Miami (11/15), including a 54-yarder that tied for fi fth-longest in

    team history.

    DE Michael Bennett - After being claimed off of • waivers from Seattle, has played in six games recording fi ve tackles, two quarterback pressures and one sack.DE Tim Crowder - Played in 14 games with three • starts this season, recording 42 tackles, one TFL, two passes defensed, one fumble recovery, 10 quarterback pressures and 3.5 sacks.S Corey Lynch - Signed off of Cincinnati Bengals • practice squad, playing in 12 games with one pass defensed, one tackle, one quarterback pressure, seven special teams tackles and a blocked punt.FB Chris Pressley - Signed off of Cincinnati • Bengals practice squad, playing in six games and starting his fi rst two in the NFL.

    PASS PROTECTOR

    One of the ‘biggest’ components to the success of the Buccaneers offensive line has been starting left tackle Donald Penn. Penn, who was signed off of the Minnesota Vikings practice squad in 2006, has grown into one of the most dependable left tackles in the league. Since his fi rst action during the 2007 season, Penn has played in 47 consecutive games with 43 consecutive starts, the third-longest current consecutive starts streak on the team.

    CURRENT BUCCANEERS CONSECUTIVE STARTS STREAK

    Player Start StreakCB Ronde Barber 166T Jeremy Trueblood 60T Donald Penn 43LB Barrett Ruud 31G Davin Joseph 27

    Through 15 games this year, Penn has faced off against top rushers such as Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware, Bills DE Aaron Schobel, Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, Redskins DE Andre Carter and LB/DE Brian Orakpo, Eagles Trent Cole, Panthers Julius Peppers, Patriots LB Derrick Burgess, Packers LB Aaron Kampman, Dolphins LB Jason Taylor, Saints DE Will Smith, Falcons DE John Abraham, Jets DE Shaun Ellis and Seahawks Patrick Kerney, giving up just two sacks to the bunch.

    When asked about Penn’s performance after the Washington game in Week 4, Head Coach Raheem Morris said, “He’s really been a big time force over there on the left side. That’s the fi rst Donald Penn question that I have gotten all year and that’s what offensive linemen are supposed to be, invisible and that’s what he’s been, invisible.”

  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta | 1919

    In Week 5 at Philadelphia (10/11), Penn recorded a rare feat for an offensive lineman, marking the fi rst reception of his career off of a defl ected pass, running 15 yards for a fi rst down. Penn followed that up in Week 10 at Miami (11/15) with a blocked PAT, the fi rst of his career.

    WORTH THE PICK

    Joining the Buccaneers with the lofty expectations that accompany the highest cornerback ever selected in the NFL Draft by the team (20th overall in 2008), CB Aqib Talib lived up to the hype in his rookie season and has now taken on the vigors of a starting role this season, ranking tied for 10th in the NFL with fi ve interceptions.

    In Week 4 at Washington (10/4), Talib arguably had his best game as a pro, tying the Buccaneers single-game record with three interceptions while also recording fi ve tackles and three passes defensed. It marked Talib’s fi rst multi-interception game of his career. With his interceptions, Talib became just the second player in Buccaneers history to record three interceptions in a game, joining CB Ronde Barber, who has accomplished the feat twice. It is also the most interception by a player in a single game in the NFL this season.

    MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN A SINGLE GAME(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date INTs1. Ronde Barber at NO-12/4/05 31. Ronde Barber at NO-12/23/01 31. Aqib Talib at WAS-10/4/09 3

    Below is a look at Talib’s other 2009 highlights:On the season, has a single-season career high • 62 tackles (56 solo), eighth-best on the team, along with a team-leading fi ve interceptions and team-high 14 passes defensed and two TFL. His fi ve interceptions are also tied for 10th-most in the NFL and are a single-season career-high.Against Dallas (9/13) in the season opener, • recorded four tackles to go with one pass defensed.In Week 2 at Buffalo (9/20), Talib fi nished with a • career-high six tackles.In Week 7 against New England (10/25), • intercepted his team-leading fourth pass of the season and the eighth of his career in the second quarter. Patriots QB Tom Brady had been intercepted a total of two times this season before being intercepted twice in the second quarter by Talib and S Tanard Jackson. Talib’s interception marked the fi rst time that Brady had been

    intercepted twice in a game since December 23, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins.Against Green Bay (11/8) in Week 9 intercepted • his fi fth pass of the season, a new single-season career-high.In Week 16 at New Orleans (12/27), had a • career-high seven tackles to go with two passes defensed.

    2009 NFL LEADERS IN INTERCEPTIONS

    Rank Player Team INTs1. Jairus Byrd Buffalo 91. Asante Samuel Philadelphia 91. Darren Sharper New Orleans 94. Charles Woodson Green Bay 85. Nick Collins Green Bay 65. Jonathan Joseph Cincinnati 65. Leon Hall Cincinnati 65. Darrelle Revis N.Y. Jets 65. D. Rodgers-Cromartie Arizona 610. Aqib Talib Tampa Bay 510. Leigh Bodden New England 510. Zackary Bowman Chicago 510. Sheldon Brown Philadelphia 510. Cortland Finnegan Tennessee 510. Brent Grimes Atlanta 510. Mike Jenkins Dallas 510. Brandon Meriweather New England 510. Terrell Thomas N.Y. Giants 510. Adrian Wilson Arizona 5

    In two seasons, Talib has nine career interceptions, tied for the 10th-most in the NFL in that span and the second-most of any player entering the league in 2008.

    NFL MOST INTERCEPTIONS SINCE 2008

    Rank Player Team INTs1. Charles Woodson Green Bay 152. Nick Collins Green Bay 132. Asante Samuel Philadelphia 134. Ed Reed Baltimore 125. Darrelle Revis N.Y. Jets 116. Cortland Finnegan Tennessee 106. Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh 106. D. Rodgers-Cromartie Arizona 106. Darren Sharper New Orleans 1010. Aqib Talib Tampa Bay 910. Jairus Byrd Buffalo 910. Andre Goodman Denver 910. DeAngelo Hall Washington 910. Leon Hall Cincinnati 910. Brandon Meriweather New England 9

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    Last season, Talib tied for the team lead with four interceptions despite starting just two games. Serving as the primary nickelback for the Buccaneers defense, Talib posted 27 tackles, four interceptions, 10 passes defensed and fi ve special teams tackles. Talib’s four interceptions ranked tied for 13th in the NFL and tied for the most in the NFL among rookies. Additionally, his four picks placed him second all-time in Buccaneers history among rookies.

    2008 NFL LEADERS IN INTERCEPTIONS AMONG ROOKIES

    Rank Player Team INTs1. Aqib Talib Tampa Bay 41. D. Rodgers-Cromartie Arizona 43. Chris Horton Washington 34. Brandon Carr Kansas City 24. Antoine Cason San Diego 24. Brandon Flowers Kansas City 24. Leodis McKelvin Buffalo 2

    BUCCANEERS SINGLE SEASON INTERCEPTION LEADERS AMONG ROOKIES

    Rank Player Year INTs1. Donnie Abraham 1996 52. Aqib Talib 2008 43. Tony Covington 1991 3

    TAKING IT BACK JACK

    Since entering the league in 2007 with the Buccaneers, S Tanard Jackson’s presence has been felt in the Tampa Bay secondary. Jackson became the fi rst Buccaneers rookie to start on defense on opening day since DE Regan Upshaw in 1996 when he started at Seattle (9/9/07) and continued on to become the only defensive player in Buccaneers history to start 32 consecutive games to begin his career.

    Despite missing the fi rst four games this season, Jackson has tallied four interceptions, two touchdowns, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and eight passes defensed to go with 79 tackles and three TFL. His fi rst three interceptions came in consecutive contests, against Carolina (10/18), New England (10/25) and Green Bay (11/8) making him the fi rst Buccaneer to intercept a pass in three straight games since Derrick Brooks in the fi rst three games of 2002. Jackson is currently second on the team with four interceptions.

    2009 BUCCANEERS INTERCEPTION LEADERS

    Rank Player INTs1. CB Aqib Talib 52. S Tanard Jackson 43. CB Elbert Mack 34. LB Geno Hayes 25. LB Quincy Black 15. S Sabby Piscitelli 15. LB Barrett Ruud 1

    Below is a breakdown of Jackson’s 2009 season:In the Week 6 matchup against Carolina (10/18), • picked off a QB Jake Delhomme pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter. It marked his fi rst interception of the season and fi rst career touchdown.In the Week 7 contest against New England • (10/25), Jackson became the fi rst player to intercept Patriots QB Tom Brady since Week 2 at the N.Y. Jets (CB Darrelle Revis). The interception broke a streak and Patriots franchise record of 183 consecutive pass attempts by Brady without an interception.With 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter against • Green Bay (11/8) in Week 9, Jackson sealed the Buccaneers victory, recording his third interception this season and the sixth of his career, returning it 35 yards for a touchdown. It was the third interception for the Buccaneers on the day and the second time this season Jackson has returned an interception for a touchdown.In Week 10 at Miami (11/15), Jackson recovered • his fi rst fumble of the season and the fourth of his career, helping to set up a Buccaneers touchdown. It was the fourth game in a row that Jackson has recorded a turnover (three interceptions and one fumble recovery).In Week 13 at Carolina (12/6), tied for team lead • with 10 tackles to go with two passes defensed.In Week 14 against N.Y. Jets (12/13), recorded • 10 tackles to go with one pass defensed and one TFL.In Week 15 at Seattle (12/20), totaled seven • tackles, one TFL, one quarterback pressure, two passes defensed and one interception, his fourth of the season.

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    WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

    When DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson became a free agent following the 2007 season to little fanfare, the Buccaneers quietly felt like they found another talent that just needed an opportunity. A little over a year later, Wilkerson has proven to be quite a value as he has moved into a full-time starter role. This season, Wilkerson is second on the team with 6.0 sacks and leads all defensive lineman and is seventh on the team in tackles with 66 to go with three TFL, 28 quarterback pressures, two passes defensed and three forced fumbles. His 6.0 sacks through 15 games sets a single-season career-high for Wilkerson.

    Since joining the Buccaneers in 2008, Wilkerson has played in every game, accumulating one sack in every 2.8 games played (11.0 in 31 games) as opposed to one sack in 72 total games while with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has also recorded 6.0 sacks in 15 starts with the Buccaneers compared to no sacks in fi ve starts for Kansas City.

    In just 31 games with the Buccaneers, Wilkerson has amassed 94 tackles, 11.0 sacks, four passes defensed and four forced fumbles while also setting single-game career-highs in tackles (9 against New England, 10/25/09) and sacks (3.0 at Philadelphia, 10/11/09). In his fi rst fi ve years in the NFL with the Chiefs, Wilkerson totaled 97 tackles, one sack, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

    Below is a breakdown of Wilkerson’s single-game highlights in 2009:

    In Week 3 against the N.Y. Giants, posted a then • career-high six tackles along with one quarterback pressure. In Week 4 at Washington (10/4) recorded his • second sack of the season on the third play of the game, forcing a fumble to set up a Buccaneers touchdown and tied a then career-high six tackles.In Week 5 had a career day at Philadelphia (10/11) • recording career-high three sacks (previously two sacks at Detroit on November 23, 2008) and tying then career-high six tackles (also against N.Y. Giants, 9/27).On second sack of the day, also forced a fumble, • the third of his career and the second time in as many weeks forced a fumble on a sack.Became fi rst Buccaneer to record three sacks in • a game since Simeon Rice against New Orleans (12/19/04).In Week 6 against Carolina (10/18) set a then • career-high with seven tackles also adding two QBP.

    In Week 7 against New England (10/25), set • a career-high with nine tackles to go with 0.5 sacks, two TFL and a QBP.In Week 11 at Atlanta, recorded 0.5 sacks to go • with six tackles and four quarterback pressures.

    WILKERSON CAREER BREAKDOWN

    Team (Years) GP Tackles Sacks FF FR PDKansas City (03-07) 72 97 1.0 0 1 6Tampa Bay (08-09) 31 94 11.0 4 0 4CAREER TOTALS 103 191 12.0 4 1 10

    APPLYING PRESSURE

    In his fi rst three seasons in the NFL, DE Stylez G. White has shown that he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.

    Below is a look at his 2009 season:Team-leading 6.5 sacks along with team-high 31 • quarterback pressures. Also fourth on team with fi ve TFL.All 6.5 sacks have come in past 10 games since • becoming a regular starter.Against the Packers (11/8) in Week 9, White • recorded a half sack in the second quarter and a full sack in the fourth quarter.In Week 12 at Atlanta (11/29), White tied career- • highs in tackles (seven) and sacks (2.5), while also recording fi ve quarterback pressures. It was his third career multi-sack game, with his fi rst also coming at Atlanta on November 18, 2007 when he recorded two sacks.In Week 14 against N.Y. Jets (12/13), recorded • one sack to go with fi ve tackles, two quarterback pressures and one TFL.

    2009 BUCCANEERS SACK LEADERS

    Rank Player Sacks1. DE Stylez G. White 6.52. DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson 6.03. DE Tim Crowder 3.54. CB Ronde Barber 2.04. LB Geno Hayes 2.04. DT Roy Miller 2.0

    2009 BUCCANEERS QB PRESSURE LEADERS

    Rank Player QBPs1. DE Stylez G. White 312. DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson 283. DT Chris Hovan 164. LB Geno Hayes 12

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    STYLEZ G. WHITE MULTI-SACK GAMES

    Sacks Opponent Date2.5 at Atlanta 11/29/092.5 at Houston 12/9/072.0 at Atlanta 11/18/07

    White’s successful pass rush has been evident since entering the league in 2007. In his rookie campaign, White, the former 2007 AFL Defensive Lineman of the Year, led the team with 8.0 sacks. Following his stellar rookie performance, White fi nished his sophomore season in 2008 tied for second on the team with 5.0 sacks despite not starting any games.

    He currently has 19.5 sacks over his three-year career, most on the Buccaneers and second most in the NFL by players entering the league in 2007.

    BUCCANEERS SACKS LEADER SINCE 2007

    Rank Player Sacks1. DE Stylez G. White 19.52. DE Gaines Adams 13.53. DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson 11.0

    MOST CAREER SACKS AMONG CURRENT THIRD-YEAR PLAYERS

    Rank Player Team Sacks1. LaMarr Woodley Pittsburgh 27.02. Stylez G. White Tampa Bay 19.53. Gaines Adams Chicago 13.54. Jacob Ford Tennessee 12.54. David Harris N.Y. Jets 11.5

    RUUD AWAKENING

    After consecutive Pro Bowl worthy seasons, LB Barrett Ruud has quickly proven he is one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL. In his 51 career starts, Ruud has led or tied for the team lead in tackles 31 times and since becoming a full-time starter in 2007 has led or tied for the team lead in tackles 30 of 46 times.

    In the 2009 season opener against Dallas (9/13), Ruud started where he left off, tying for a team high with eight tackles. In Week 2 at Buffalo (9/20) Ruud did one better, recording a team and career-high 20 tackles. The 20-tackle performance also tied for the sixth-most tackles in a single game in team history.

    MOST TACKLES IN A SINGLE GAME(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. Derrick Brooks at MIN-9/30/01 232. Derrick Brooks vs. BUF-11/26/00 222. Hardy Nickerson at CHI-11/23/97 224. Shelton Quarles vs. NO-1/1/06 214. Broderick Thomas vs. PHI-10/6/91 216. Barrett Ruud at BUF-9/13/09 206. Derrick Brooks vs. CAR-10/18/98 206. Hardy Nickerson vs. MIN-10/26/97 20

    Below is a look at Ruud’s other 2009 highlights:Led or tied for the team lead in tackles in 13 of 15 • games this season.In Week 3 against the N.Y. Giants fi nished with • a team-high 19 tackles, the second-most of his career. At Washington (10/4) in Week 4, again led the • team in tackles with 11 while also adding a quarterback pressure. In Week 5 at Philadelphia (10/11) had a team-• high 14 tackles.In Week 6 against Carolina (10/18) fi nished with • 14 tackles, three passes defensed and the fi rst interception of the season and the fi fth of his career.In Week 7 against New England (10/25) led the • team with 11 tackles.In Week 9 against Green Bay (11/8) recorded a • team-high eight tackles to pass the 100 tackles mark for the third time in his fi ve-year career.In Week 12 at Atlanta (11/29) recorded 11 tackles • including one TFL to go with his fi rst forced fumble of the season.In Week 15 at Seattle (12/20), had team-leading • 13 tackles to go with two passes defensed and one quarterback pressure.Recorded six tackles, one TFL and one pass • defensed at New Orleans (12/27) in Week 16.

    Through 15 games, Ruud leads the team with a career-high 185 tackles including two TFL and also has two quarterback pressures, one interception, one forced fumble and eight passes defensed.

    RUUD 2009 TACKLES BREAKDOWN

    Opponent (Date) Solo Assist Totalvs. Dallas (9/13) 4 4 8at Buffalo (9/20) 10 10 20vs. N.Y. Giants (9/27) 10 9 19at Washington (10/4) 5 6 11at Philadelphia (10/11) 10 4 14vs. Carolina (10/18) 7 7 14vs. New England (10/25) 6 5 11

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    vs. Green Bay (11/8) 5 3 8at Miami (11/15) 7 6 13vs. New Orleans (11/22) 8 5 13at Atlanta (11/29) 6 5 11at Carolina (12/6) 5 5 10vs. N.Y. Jets (12/13) 10 4 14at Seattle (12/20) 9 4 13at New Orleans (12/27) 4 2 6TOTALS 106 79 185

    THE NEW LB CREW

    This season, the Buccaneers have two new starters at the outside linebacker positions. Anchored by standout middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, linebackers Geno Hayes and Quincy Black have stepped into starting roles and have performed admirably for the team.

    With Ruud leading the team in tackles (185), • Hayes is second on the team with 122 tackles while Black is fi fth on the team with 85 tackles.Collectively the group has 392 of the team’s • 1,150 total tackles this season (34.1%).Hayes and Black have also made their presence • felt behind the line of scrimmage where Hayes has a team-leading 12 tackles for loss and Black is third on the team with seven TFLs.Black also has 1.5 sacks with fi ve quarterback • pressures to Hayes’ 12 quarterback pressures and two sacks.In Week 10 at Miami (11/15), Black added the fi rst • interception of his career in the fourth quarter, setting up a Buccaneers touchdown to give the team a 23-22 lead late in the fourth quarter.In Week 12 at Atlanta (11/29), Hayes moved • past the 100-tackle mark for the fi rst time in his career after recording a team leading 16 tackles tying his career-high to go with one TFL.In Week 13 at Carolina (12/6), Hayes recorded • the fi rst interception of his career to go with six tackles, one pass defensed and one TFL.In Week 15 at Seattle (12/20), Hayes had a • career day recording the fi rst fumble recovery and the fi rst sack of his career. Hayes followed the sack with an interception on the very next play, marking the second interception of his career and the season while also adding six tackles, three quarterback pressures, a pass defensed and two TFLs.In Week 16 at New Orleans (12/27), recorded • his second sack of the season and second of his career in the third quarter. He now has a sack in back-to-back weeks. Hayes also recorded nine tackles and a forced fumble.

    2009 DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN

    Tackles TFL Sacks QBP FF FR PDStarting LB’s 392 21 3.5 19 3 1 20Rest of Team 758 32 23.5 126 8 7 50TOTALS 1,150 53 27.0 145 11 8 70

    MAKING A SPLASH

    In his fi rst season as an full time starter, third-year S Sabby Piscitelli is showing early signs of success and has continued to show he knows how to make a “splash” play on defense.

    Below is a breakdown of Piscitelli’s 2009 season:Ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 86, • including one tackle for loss, to go along with one interception, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.In Week 2 at Buffalo (9/20), Piscitelli had a career • game, recording a then career-high nine tackles along with a 72-yard fumble return late in the second quarter, the third-longest in team history and the longest non-scoring fumble return in team history. The play led to a Buccaneers touchdown, cutting the Bills lead to 20-14. Piscitelli now has the third-longest fumble return and third-longest interception return (84 yards vs. Oakland, 12/28/08) in team history, with both marking the longest non-scoring fumble and interception returns in team history.In Week 10 at Miami (11/15), Piscitelli recorded • a new career-high with 10 tackles to go with one forced fumble, setting up a Buccaneers touchdown.

    LONGEST FUMBLE RETURNS(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. Cedric Brown at HOU-10/19/80 80(TD)2. Martin Mayhew vs. MIN-10/15/95 78(TD)3. Sabby Piscitelli vs. BUF-9/20/09 724. Hugh Green at DAL-1/9/83* 60(TD) 4. David Logan vs. DET-12/14/80 60(TD)

    * Postseason

    LONGEST INTERCEPTION RETURNS(Team History)

    Player Opponent-Date Yards1. Shelton Quarles vs. GB-10/7/01 98(TD) 2. Derrick Brooks at BAL-9/15/02 97(TD) 3. Sabby Piscitelli vs. OAK-12/28/08 844. Neal Colzie vs. MIN-9/5/81 82(TD)5. Cedric Brown vs. GB-11/22/81 81 (TD)

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