History of the St. Louis Rams
The professional American football franchise now known as the Los Angeles Rams played in St. Louis, Missouri, as the St. Louis Rams from the 1995 through the 2015 seasons; the Rams franchise relocated from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995, without a National Football League team since the Cardinals moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1988; the team's primary stadium was The Dome at America's Center, known as the Trans World Dome and the Edward Jones Dome while utilized by the Rams. The Rams’ first home game in St. Louis was at Busch Memorial Stadium, where they played before the Dome was completed, in a 17-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints on September 10, 1995; that season, they played their first game at the newly-completed Dome on November 12 in a 28-17 victory against the Carolina Panthers. Their last game played in St. Louis was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 17, 2015, which they won, 31–23; the Rams’ last game as a St. Louis-based club was on January 3, 2016, against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium, where they lost in overtime 19–16.
Following the 2015 NFL season, the team returned to Los Angeles. During the Rams' tenure in St. Louis, the franchise won its first and, to date, only Super Bowl title during the 1999 season in XXXIV and made Super Bowl XXXVI two years but were upset by the New England Patriots in the game that began the Patriots dynasty. Assisted by the Greatest Show on Turf offense, the Rams enjoyed their greatest period of success from 1999 to 2006, but struggled throughout their remaining years in St. Louis. Upon their relocation back to Los Angeles, the Rams went 12 seasons without obtaining a winning record and 11 seasons without qualifying for the postseason. For 22 of their 28 years the St. Louis Cardinals called Busch Memorial Stadium home after it opened in 1966, after spending their first six seasons in St. Louis at Sportsman's Park. However, the overall mediocrity of the Cardinals, combined with stadium issues, caused game attendance to dwindle; the Bidwills, the family that owned the Cardinals, decided to move the team for a second time after having relocated the franchise from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960.
The cities the Bidwells considered included Baltimore, New York City, Jacksonville, whilst Columbus and Oakland made overtures without Bidwell considering them. Nonetheless, Cardinals fans were unhappy at losing their team, Bill Bidwill, fearing for his safety, stayed away from several of the 1987 home games; the Cardinals’ final home game in St. Louis was on December 13, 1987, which they won 27–24 over the New York Giants in front of 29,623 fans on a late Sunday afternoon. Not long after the 1987 season, Bidwill agreed to move to the Phoenix area on a handshake deal with state and local officials, the team became the Phoenix Cardinals, they planned to play at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on a temporary basis while a new stadium was being built. For the Cardinals, the savings and loan crisis derailed financing for the stadium, forcing the Cardinals to play at Arizona State for 18 years. Prior to the Rams’ 1979 Super Bowl season, owner Carroll Rosenbloom drowned in an accident.
His widow, Georgia Frontiere, inherited 70% ownership of the team. Frontiere fired her step-son, Steve Rosenbloom, assumed total control of the franchise; as had been planned prior to Carroll Rosenbloom's death, the Rams moved from their longtime home at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium in nearby Orange County in 1980. The move was necessitated in part by the fact that the Coliseum was difficult to sell out because of its abnormally large seating capacity, subjecting the team to the league's local-market TV blackout rule, whenever home games did not sell out. Southern California's population patterns were changing. A.'s a decline in the city of Los Angeles' citizenship and earning power. Anaheim Stadium was built in 1966 as the home of the California Angels Major League Baseball franchise. To accommodate the Rams’ move, the ballpark was reconfigured with luxury suites and enclosed to accommodate crowds of about 65,000 for football. In 1982 the Coliseum was occupied by the Los Angeles Raiders.
The combined effect of these two factors was to force the Rams’ traditional fan base to be split between two teams. Making matters worse, at this time the Rams were unsuccessful on the field, while the Raiders were thriving — winning Super Bowl XVIII in 1983. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers won championships in 1980 and 1982 en route to winning five titles in that decade, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1981 and 1988, the Los Angeles Kings, buoyed by the acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in August 1988, advanced to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. Although not apparent at the time, the Rams’ loss in the 1989 NFC Championship Game marked the end of an era; the Rams would not have another winning season in Los Angeles before relocation. The first half of the 1990s featured four straight 10-loss seasons, no playoff appearances and waning fan interest; the return of Chuck Knox as head coach after successful stints as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks would not boost the Rams’ fortunes.
Knox's run-oriented offense brought about the end of offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese’s tenure in 1993. General manager John Shaw was perceived by some to continually squander NFL Draft picks on sub-standard talent; the offensive scheme was not only unspectacular to watch, but dull by 1990s standards, further alienating fans. One bright spot for the offense d
Super Bowl XLII
Super Bowl XLII was an American football game between the National Football Conference champion New York Giants and the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League champion for the 2007 season. The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 17–14; the game was played on February 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional sports, as well as one of the finest Super Bowl games; the Patriots entered the game as 12-point favorites after becoming the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only one since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule in 1978. The Giants, who finished the regular season with a 10–6 record, were seeking to become the first NFC wild card team to win a Super Bowl, were looking for their third Super Bowl victory and first since they won Super Bowl XXV seventeen years earlier.
This Super Bowl was a rematch of the final game of the regular season, in which New England won, 38–35. The game is best remembered for the Giants' fourth-quarter game-winning drive considered the greatest drive in NFL history. Down 14–10, New York got the ball on their own 17-yard line with 2:39 left and marched 83 yards down the field. In the drive's most memorable play, David Tyree made the "Helmet Catch" on 3rd down, a leaping one-handed catch pinning the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard first down conversion. After a second first-down conversion by Steve Smith on 3rd and 1, wide receiver Plaxico Burress scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds remaining; the game was tight throughout, with both teams' defense dominating the competition until near the end of the game. Only 10 total points were scored in the first three quarters; the Giants consumed a Super Bowl record 9 minutes and 59 seconds on their opening drive, but could only manage a field goal.
The Patriots responded with running back Laurence Maroney's 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. After a scoreless third quarter, the fourth quarter saw a Super Bowl record three lead changes. After Tyree's 3-yard touchdown reception at the beginning of the quarter, New England wide receiver Randy Moss made a 6-yard touchdown reception with 2:42 left to play before New York's game-winning drive. Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who retired following the victory, had two tackles and one sack; this game was the first since Super Bowl IX in 1975. The telecast of the game on Fox broke the then-record for the most watched Super Bowl in history with an average of 97.5 million viewers in the United States. As always, the league considered several potential host cities before choosing the Phoenix area. In this case, the process drew special interest because the league considered holding Super Bowl XLII in New York City or Washington, D.
C. as a symbol of the recovery from the September 11 attacks. New York City's bid did not go far. Aside from the obvious climatic concerns, it was difficult to find a suitable stadium. Proposed renovations to the 1970s-vintage Giants Stadium were still being disputed amongst the various parties. Giants Stadium lacked a roof, as did both of New York City's baseball stadiums, the NFL had never played an outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather climate; the city of New York and the New York Jets failed to secure a deal to build a new West Side Stadium. During the years since the Super Bowl XLII bid fell through, Giants Stadium has been demolished, its replacement, MetLife Stadium, was awarded Super Bowl XLVIII. Washington, D. C.'s bid proved to be more viable as the D. C. area had a new stadium in FedExField. DC's winter weather, although still problematic, is milder than New York's climate. In the end, the process boiled down to three finalists: Washington, D. C. Phoenix and Tampa. NFL owners chose University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona as the site for Super Bowl XLII during their October 30, 2003 meeting in Chicago.
In subsequent years, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa was chosen as the site for Super Bowl XLIII and the West Side Stadium was designated as the venue for Super Bowl XLIV. However, this game was moved to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, when it became clear that the new stadium in New York City would not be built in time for the February 2010 game; the kickoff for the game took place at 4:32 p.m. MST; this was the first Super Bowl played on a retractable natural-grass field surface. Super Bowl XLII was the second Super Bowl played in a retractable-roof stadium. During the regular season, the home team decides 90 minutes before kickoff whether the roof will be open or closed, an open roof must remain open unless weather conditions get worse. However, as a neutral site, the NFL controls the option to close without any restrictions; the first time this was employed was in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium. Because there was rain in the forecast for Super Bowl XLII, the roof was closed for the entire day's activities.
During a February 6, 2007 ceremony with Arizona Governor Ja
2007 New England Patriots season
The 2007 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 38th season in the National Football League, the 48th overall and the 8th under head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots looked to improve on their 12–4 record from 2006 and win the AFC East for the sixth time in seven years; the Patriots finished the 2007 regular season by winning all sixteen of their games. They became only the fourth team in NFL history to finish a regular season undefeated, first to do so since the 1972 Miami Dolphins; the Patriots were the first team with a perfect regular season since the NFL expanded its schedule to sixteen games in 1978. Thus, they broke the record for victories in a single regular season, shared by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, tied by the 2011 Green Bay Packers and 2015 Carolina Panthers, who each finished with a record of 15–1; the 1984 49ers and 1985 Bears would win Super Bowl XIX and Super Bowl XX the 1998 Vikings and 2004 Steelers would lose their conference championship games, the 2011 Packers would lose their first playoff game, the 2015 Panthers would lose Super Bowl 50.
The Patriots were not able to join the 1984 49ers and 1985 Bears as Super Bowl champions, losing the Super Bowl and failing to go 19–0 and claim their fourth Super Bowl victory. They would have become just the fourth team to win at least four Super Bowls. In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17–14 in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history; the Patriots entered the offseason following a stunning loss to the rival Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship after blowing a 21–3 first half lead. After having lost their two starting wide receivers in the previous offseason, the Patriots added Donté Stallworth in free agency and traded for Wes Welker from the Miami Dolphins and Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders in the spring. Welker would tie for the NFL lead in receptions with T. J. Houshmandzadeh in 2007 while Moss would set an NFL regular season record with 23 touchdown catches; the season began with controversy, when Patriot head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization were penalized by the NFL for their involvement in the videotaping of opponents’ defensive signals from an unauthorized location in their Week 1 game against the New York Jets.
This came to be referred to in the media as "Spygate". Early in the season, the Patriots won their first two games by identical scores of 38–14, followed up the next game with a score of 38–7. Despite the media scrutiny, the Patriots continued to gain momentum, winning mid-season games by scores such as 49–28, 52–7, 56–10, as quarterback Tom Brady emphasized the team's desire to blow out and “kill teams." The Patriots set the record for most points in a season with 589, shattering the previous record by 33 points. The Patriots won 12 games in which they surpassed the 30-point mark, four games in which they surpassed the 40-point mark and two in which they surpassed the 50-point mark; the Patriots clinched the AFC East after their eleventh game, the fourth time since the NFL introduced the 16-game schedule in 1978 that a team had clinched a division title by their eleventh game. In the season finale, the Patriots sought to finish the regular season with the first 16–0 record in NFL history, did so successfully.
In that game and Moss connected on two touchdown passes, with Moss setting his 23 catch record, breaking Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jerry Rice's 22 touchdown receptions and with Brady setting an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes on the season. It was the first undefeated regular season in the NFL since the 1972 Miami Dolphins finished 14–0. Brady earned his first NFL MVP award, while the Patriots’ offense destroyed numerous NFL records, including those for touchdowns, points scored and point differential With the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots first defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 31–20 the San Diego Chargers 21–12, to advance to Super Bowl XLII, their sixth in franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, with this accomplishment, they became the first professional sports team since 1884 in any of the four major American sports to win the first 18 games of their season. Facing the prospect of a perfect 19–0 season with a victory over the underdog New York Giants, analysts saw the 2007 Patriots as being the greatest team in NFL history.
Despite being the overwhelming favorites to win the game, the Patriots failed to protect a four-point lead on a Giants drive late in the fourth quarter. A dramatic pass from a scrambling Eli Manning combined with an acrobatic catch by wide receiver David Tyree put the Giants deep in Patriots territory, a Manning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress gave the Giants a lead with just 35 seconds left; the Patriots could not score again and came out on the losing end of what is considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The Patriots ended the season at 18–1, becoming one of only three teams in NFL history to finish their season 18–1; the NFL Network named the 2007 Patriots the #1 team on their list of “Top 10 Teams That Didn't Win A Super Bowl.” On the evening of May 27, 2007, 24-year-old defensive end Marquise Hill and his friend, Ashley Blazio, fell off a jet ski in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans. Neither of them wore personal tracking devices. According to Hill's agent, who spoke with Blazio, Hill “ended up saving her life, keeping her calm until she could grab onto a buoy."
Blazio was rescued and sent to Tulane Medical Cente
Jay Christopher Cutler is a retired American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Vanderbilt and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, for whom he played for three seasons. In 2009, he was traded to the Bears. After being released by Chicago in 2017, Cutler retired to become a sportscaster for NFL on Fox's television broadcasts, but returned for one more season with the Miami Dolphins when quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending injury, he retired a second time following the 2017 season. Jay Cutler was born in Santa Claus, Indiana, in 1983. Cutler attended Heritage Hills High School in Indiana, he started three years at quarterback for the Patriots football team, amassing a combined 26–1 record in his junior and senior years, including a perfect 15–0 during his senior year. Cutler and his team outscored opponents 746–85, including a 90–0 shutout at Pike Central.
During his senior year, Cutler connected on 122 of 202 passes for 2,252 yards with 31 touchdowns, while rushing 65 times for 493 yards with 11 touchdowns. He started at safety for three years, intercepting nine passes as a senior, 12th overall in the state, his team's perfect record during his senior year included the school's first 3A state championship, where Heritage Hills beat Zionsville in overtime, 27–24. The most notable play of the game occurred when Cutler lateraled the ball to the halfback, Cole Seifrig, who passed it to Cutler who ran it into the end zone. Cutler played strong safety in the state championship and made 19 tackles. Cutler was named a first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press as a senior. In addition to playing football in high school, he was a first-team all-state selection in basketball and garnered honorable mention all-state accolades as a shortstop in baseball. Cutler grew up as a Chicago Bears fan during his youth in Indiana. Cutler attended Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
He started all 45 career games that he played for the Vanderbilt Commodores football team, the most starts by a quarterback in school history. He did not miss a game in college due to injury; the Commodores were 11–35 during his tenure, including going 5–27 versus the SEC. In 2002, Cutler set the school record for touchdowns and rushing yards by a freshman and rushed for more yards than any other Southeastern Conference quarterback that year; the Associated Press honored him with a first-team freshman All-SEC selection. In 2004, as a junior, Cutler completed 61.0 percent of his passes, setting a school record, while throwing for 1,844 yards with 10 touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions. The 2005 season, Cutler's final year of play at Vanderbilt, was his most successful; as an 11-game starter, he completed 273 of 462 passes for 3,073 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions, as he became the first Commodore to win the SEC Offensive Player of the Year since 1967. With his senior-season performance, Cutler became the second Commodore to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, while his 273 completions and 21 touchdowns ranked second on the school’s single-season list.
He led the Commodores to victories over Wake Forest, Ole Miss and Tennessee. The Commodores scored the second most points laid upon the Florida Gators at their current home field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Vanderbilt nearly upset the 13th-ranked Gators before falling 49–42 in the second overtime after a controversial excessive celebration call prevented the Commodores from going for 2 at the end of regulation. Reflecting on Cutler's college career, former Denver Broncos safety John Lynch said, "If this guy can take a bunch of future doctors and lawyers and have them competing against the Florida Gators, this guy is a stud."Cutler ended his career by leading Vanderbilt past Tennessee 28–24, their first over the Volunteers since 1982, the first in Knoxville since 1975. Cutler passed for three touchdowns and 315 yards, becoming the first quarterback in school history to record four consecutive 300-yard passing performances. Cutler's final play in college was the game-winning touchdown pass to teammate Earl Bennett against Tennessee.
A finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Cutler was a first-team All-SEC pick by the league’s coaches and led the conference with a school-record 3,288 yards of total offense. While at Vanderbilt, Cutler was a three-year captain and four-year starter, setting school career records for total offense, touchdown passes, passing yards, pass completions, pass attempts, combined touchdowns. Cutler graduated from Vanderbilt in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in human and organizational development; the Sporting News third-team freshman All-American Associated Press first-team freshman All-SEC First-team All-SEC SEC Offensive Player of the Year Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist Maxwell Award Semifinalist Davey O'Brien Award Finalist Manning Award Finalist Sammy Baugh Trophy Finalist Vanderbilt University school career records: Total offense: 9,953 Combined touchdowns: 76 Cutler was ranked by many experts as the third-best quarterback prospect in the 2006 NFL Draft, after Matt Leinart of USC and Vince Young of Texas.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Ron Jaworski tabbed him as the best quarterback available in the draft, some scouts believed he had better arm strength than Young and Leinart, compared him to Brett Favre for his gunslinger attitude. At the 2006 NFL Scouting Comb
A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They hold a more public profile and are paid more than other coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manager", as in association football and professional baseball. In other sports such as Australian rules football, the head coach is termed a senior coach. Other coaches are subordinate to the head coach in offensive positions or defensive positions, proceeding down into individualized position coaches. Head coaches in American football have different responsibilities depending on what level of the sport they are coaching; the head coach has a much more complete hold on the intricacies of the team. He may have to perform the duties of a offensive coordinator. High school head coaches have to do more work off the field than on, it is important that head coaches in high school hire a competent and proactive coaching staff because when the head coach is pulled away from practice he must be confident that his team is in good hands with his other coaches and staff.
One of the most difficult issues that head coaches must deal with off of the field is the parent, although many coaches do not allow parental interactions in many cases. He must be able to handle any issues that parents may have with the way that the head coach is running the program, all along while staying professional and not being demeaning. Furthermore, a high school's head football coach serves as his school's Athletic Coordinator or Director, which adds further responsibilities to his job. In some jurisdictions, a high school head coach must have a paying job within the school always as a teacher. One of the major features of head coaching in college football is the high turnover rate for jobs. With few exceptions college coaches routinely change jobs staying at a school for more than a decade; some coaches have been known to leave a school and return to the program after a period of time. Many head coaches at the college level have a paid staff and as such are more free to concentrate on the overall aspect of the team rather than dealing with the nuances of training regimens and such.
Unlike head coaches at other levels, college coaching staffs are responsible for the composition and development of players on the team. The ability to recruit and develop top players plays a major role in success at this level. A college coach acts as the face of a team, at an age when many young players do not wish to be hounded by media, they are called upon to discuss off-the-field incidents such as rule infractions or player antics. Sometimes, the coach becomes a celebrity in e.g. Lou Holtz. At the end of the year there are numerous college football coach of the year awards given out; the awards all go to the same coach but there are some discrepancies. Major annual coaching honors include the Home Depot Coach of the Year, The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year Award, The Paul'Bear' Bryant Award. At the professional level, coaches may work for millions of dollars a year. Since he or she does not have to travel the country recruiting high school players, the head coach at the pro level has much more time to devote to tactics and playbooks, which are coordinated with staff paid more than at the college level.
They report to the General Manager. Head coaching, due to the lack of job security and long hours, is a stressful job. Since the money is good at high levels and firings are common, many coaches retire in their early fifties. Many factors are part of National Football League coaches' contracts; these involve the NFL's $11 billion as the highest revenue sport, topping the Major League Baseball's $7 billion. The NFL's coaches are the highest-paid professional coaches with professional football topping the list in Forbes' highest-paid sports coaches. Bill Belichick is in the number one spot for the second year in a row with no MLB or National Hockey League coaches making the list. Another major element of NFL coaches' contracts, negotiated between individual coaches and NFL "teams"/owners, are NFL demanded provisions in the coaches employment contracts, that authorize the employing NFL teams to withhold part of a coach's salary when league operations are suspended, such as lockouts or television contract negotiations.
The average salary for a head coach in the National Football League is $6.45 million a year. In association football, a head coach has the same responsibilities as in any other sport. A head coach has an option to pick his own coaching staff. In some countries there is a position of senior coach who acts as the first assistant of the head coach or runs a junior squad in the club. In the absence of a head coach, a senior coach temporarily fulfills his role as interim. There is the UEFA Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching Qualifications that has three levels: Pro, A, B. In Australian rules football the head coach or senior coach is responsible for development and implementing an appropriate training program to the players so that they ensure they perform on game day; the senior coach in AFL has to be responsible for the rotations and team line up for the games. A senior coach in AFL is not the only coach involved in making the team operate, in AFL teams there are up to five different coaches that all have different responsibilities, for example, there is a forward and defence coach, these coaches focus on the particular positions on the grou
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers compete in the National Football League as a member team of the National Football Conference South division. Along with the Seattle Seahawks, the team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team; the Bucs played their first season in the American Football Conference West division as part of the 1976 expansion plan, whereby each new franchise would play every other franchise over the first two years. After the season, the club switched conferences with the Seahawks and became a member of the NFC Central division. During the 2002 league realignment, the Bucs joined three former NFC West teams to form the NFC South; the club is owned by the Glazer family, plays its home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Buccaneers are the first post-merger expansion team to win a division title, win a playoff game, to host and play in a conference championship game, they are the first team since the merger to complete a winning season when starting 10 or more rookies, which happened in the 2010 season.
In 1976 and 1977, the Buccaneers lost their first 26 games. They would not win their first game in franchise history until Week 13, of 14, in 1977. After a brief winning era in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons. For a 10-year period, they were consistent playoff contenders and won Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the 2002 season, but have not yet returned to the Super Bowl; as of the end of 2018 NFL season, the Buccaneers have played 43 seasons and compiled an overall record of 266–424–1, with a regular-season record of 255–404–1 and a playoff record of 6–9. The name "Tampa Bay" is used to describe a geographic metropolitan area which encompasses the cities around the body of water known as Tampa Bay, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota. Unlike in the case of Green Bay, there is no municipality known as "Tampa Bay"; the "Tampa Bay" in the names of local professional sports franchises, such as the Buccaneers, Rays and the former Storm and Mutiny, denotes that they represent the entire region, not just Tampa.
The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was awarded to Tom McCloskey, a construction company owner from Philadelphia. McCloskey soon entered a financial dispute with the NFL, so the league found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse, a wealthy tax attorney from Jacksonville. Culverhouse's handshake deal to purchase the Los Angeles Rams from the estate of Dan Reeves was thwarted by Robert Irsay's purchase of the team, which he traded to Carroll Rosenbloom in exchange for the Baltimore Colts, a complete trade of teams between two owners. Culverhouse filed antitrust lawsuits in which he accused the NFL of conspiracy for preventing his purchase of the Rams, as part of his settlement with the league, he was given priority when the NFL expanded soon thereafter. A name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers", a reference to José Gaspar, the mythical Florida pirate, the inspiration for Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival; the team name was opposed by St. Petersburg businessmen on the grounds that it emphasized Tampa at the expense of other Bay Area cities, until NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle himself met with them to encourage their support.
Their uniforms and "Bucco Bruce" winking pirate logo were designed by Tampa Tribune artist Lamar Sparkman using colors drawn from the state's four major college teams at the time: orange from the universities of Miami and Florida, red from Florida State and the University of Tampa. They were one of the few teams to wear white home uniforms, forcing opponents to wear their warmer dark uniforms in Tampa's afternoon heat; the team's first home was Tampa Stadium, built in 1967 to attract an NFL franchise and was expanded in 1974 to seat just over 72,500 fans. John McKay, a college coach who had led the University of Southern California Trojans to four national championships in the 1960s and 1970s, was named the Buccaneers' first head coach in early 1976; the Bucs soon traded for Steve Spurrier, who had won a Heisman Trophy at the University of Florida in 1966, to be their starting quarterback for their expansion season. The Buccaneers joined the NFL as members of the AFC West in 1976; the following year, they were moved to the NFC Central, while the other 1976 expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, switched conferences with Tampa Bay and joined the AFC West.
This realignment was dictated by the league as part of the 1976 expansion plan, so that both teams could play each other twice and every other NFL franchise once during their first two seasons. Instead of a traditional schedule of playing each division opponent twice, the Buccaneers played every conference team once, plus the Seahawks. Tampa Bay did not win their first game until the 13th week of their second season, starting with a record of 0–26; until the Detroit Lions in 2008, the 1976 Bucs were the only Super Bowl-era team to go winless in a whole season. Their losing streak caused them to become the butt of late-night television comedians' jokes, their first win came on the road against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints' head coach, Hank Stram, was fired after losing to the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay needed one more week to get their second victory, a home win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1977 season finale; the Cardinals fired their coach, Don Coryell, shortly
A linebacker is a playing position in American football and Canadian football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, line up three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, therefore "back up the line". Linebackers align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance"; the goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run protection or extra pass protection based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs; when a blitz is called by the defense, it is to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Linebackers are regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass protection, when required. Similar to the "free safety" position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
Before the advent of the two-platoon system with separate units for offense and defense, the player, the team's center on offense was though not always, the team's linebacker on defense. Hence today one sees four defensive linemen to the offense's five or more. Most sources claim coach Fielding H. Yost and center Germany Schulz of the University of Michigan invented the position. Schulz was Yost's first linebacker in 1904. Yost came to see the wisdom in Schulz's innovation. William Dunn of Penn St. was another Western linebacker soon after Schulz. However, there are various historical claims tied to the linebacker position, including some before 1904. For example, Percy Given of Georgetown is another center with a claim to the title "first linebacker," standing up behind the line well before Schulz in a game against Navy in 1902. Despite Given, most sources have the first linebacker in the South as Frank Juhan of Sewanee. In the East, Ernest Cozens of Penn was "one of the first of the roving centers," another, archaic term for the position coined by Hank Ketcham of Yale.
Walter E. Bachman of Lafayette was said to be "the developer of the "roving center" concept". Edgar Garbisch of Army was credited with developing the "roving center method" of playing defensive football in 1921. In professional football, Cal Hubbard is credited with pioneering the linebacker position, he starred as a tackle and end, playing off the line in a style similar to that of a modern linebacker. The middle or inside linebacker, sometimes called the "Mike" or "Mack", is referred to as the "quarterback of the defense", it is the middle linebacker who receives the defensive play calls from the sideline and relays that play to the rest of the team, in the NFL he is the defensive player with the electronic sideline communicator. A jack-of-all-trades, the middle linebacker can be asked to blitz, spy the quarterback, or have a deep middle-of-the-field responsibility in the Tampa 2 defense. In standard defenses, middle linebackers lead the team in tackles; the terms middle and inside linebacker are used interchangeably.
In a 3–4 defense, the larger, more run-stopping-oriented linebacker is still called "Mike", while the smaller, more pass protection/route coverage-oriented player is called "Will". "Mikes" line up towards the strong side or on the side the offense is more to run on while "Wills" may line up on the other side or a little farther back between the defensive line and the secondary. The outside linebacker, sometimes called the "Buck and Rebel" is responsible for outside containment; this includes the weakside designations below. They are responsible for blitzing the quarterback. Only is the OLB responsible for outside containment and blitzing the Quarter Back they have pass coverage in the flats sometimes call A drop. Outside linebackers pass; the "flats" are the edge of the field closest to the sideline, from the line of scrimmage down about ten yards. The strongside linebacker is nicknamed the "Sam" for purposes of calling a blitz. Since the strong side of the offensive team, is the side on which the tight end lines up, or whichever side contains the most personnel, the strongside linebacker lines up across from the tight end.
The strongside linebacker will be called upon to tackle the running back on a play because the back will be following the tight end's block. He is most the strongest linebacker; the linebacker should have strong safety abilities in pass situation to cover the tight end in man on man situations. He should have considerable quickness to read and get into coverage in zone situations; the strongside linebacker is commonly known as the left outside linebacker. The weakside linebacker, or the "Will" in 4–3 Defense, sometimes called the backside linebacker, or "Buck", as well as other names like Jack or Bandit, must be the fastest of the three, because he