Chris Simms

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Posted by bender 03/25/2009 @ 21:07

Tags : chris simms, football players, football, sports

News headlines
United Gets Another Tie After Late Rally - Washington Post
... alignment that had Jaime Moreno and Quaranta supporting Emilio and rookies Rodney Wallace and Chris Pontius running the flanks. Ben Olsen returned to defensive midfield, paired with Clyde Simms, after missing two games with a hamstring strain....
Union County Championships - The Star-Ledger -
5-Jamaad Nash, Union Catholic, 5-10. 6-Terae Hargrove, Dayton, 5-10. LONG JUMP: 1-Tristian Simms, Plainfield, 21-6¼. 2-Archil Matsaberidze, Dayton, 21-5. 3-Louvon Powell, Scotch Plains, 21-1¾. 4-Chris Whyte, Rahway, 21-0½. 5-Raheem Richardson, Union,...
Mailbag: System's safer QB - Denver Post
Everybody is talking about Kyle Orton starting for the Broncos. In the New England "stand and fire" system, wouldn't Chris Simms be a much better fit? I liked Simms when he was playing, Tom, and he helped get Tampa into the playoffs....
20 Questions for Chris Simms - Bleacher Report
Have you been throwing to Eddie Royal or Brandon Marshall on a regular basis? Are you spending more time studying or working out? Where do you think you'll be in three years? Is there one thing about Denver that has surprised you? Will Chris Simms be...
2009 AFC West Preview - Bleacher Report
The Broncos lost their franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler, with hopes of replacing him with either Kyle Orton or Chris Simms. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Orton and Simms do not seem like effective "offensive orchestrators" who can make a serious...
New Offensive, Defensive Schemes Coming to Denver - Bleacher Report
Gone is pro-bowl quarterback Jay Cutler, leaving the position to fought for by Kyle Orton and Chris Simms. Orton is the favorite going into camp, but don't be surprised; if he plays well, Simms may get the nod. Despite some of the successes of the...
20 Questions for Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton - Bleacher Report
What do you think of Chris Simms as a quarterback and will you be the Broncos' starting QB when the season starts September 13th at Cincinatti? 9. How will Josh McDaniels' offense help you become a better quarterback? 10. What are you most excited...
Southport FC signing Chris Simm delighted to join Sandgrounders - Southport Visiter
NEW Southport striker Chris Simm has revealed there was no hesitation in putting pen to paper when he realised the ambition of the club. The 24-year-old forward signed for the Sandgrounders last Friday and became manager Liam Watson's second new...
Who Will Start for the Broncos in 2009?? (Part One) - Bleacher Report
For the Denver Broncos, there are three new faces at quarterback; Kyle Orton, Chris Simms, and rookie Tom Brandstater. As of now Kyle Orton is the front runner to be this year's starter. Orton is a good game manager and positive locker room personality...

Chris Simms

Simms autograph session.jpg

Christopher David Simms (born August 29, 1980 in Ridgewood, New Jersey) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of in the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas.

Simms has also played for the Tennessee Titans. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Phil Simms.

Simms attended Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and was a standout in football and basketball. In football, he was a two-time All-State honoree, and was named the 1998 USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year. Chris Simms graduated from Ramapo High School in 1999. After committing to the University of Tennessee during his senior year, Simms decommitted and enrolled at the University of Texas instead. Also played basketball at Franklin Avenue Middle School with head coach and Richard Slade.

Simms played college footballs at the University of Texas at Austin.

3rd Best Winning Percentage (Career) - 26-6, 0.812 (Behind Bobby Layne and Vince Young).

3rd most touchdowns (Career) - 58 (Behind Major Applewhite and Colt McCoy).

2nd most touchdowns (Single Season) - 26 (Behind Colt McCoy, tied with Vince Young).

2nd most touchdowns (Single Game) - 5 (Behind Colt McCoy, tied with Bobby Layne).

2nd most passing yards in a game (vs Nebraska) - 419 (Behind Major Applewhite).

Simms was drafted with the last pick of the 3rd round in 2003 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the expectation that he would eventually be the successor to Brad Johnson. He was cast 3rd on the Bucs depth chart behind Johnson and former Buccaneers starter Shaun King. Simms sat his entire rookie year without playing a single snap in the regular season.

In 2004, Simms started the season as the 3rd string quarterback again, this time behind Johnson and former Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins starter Brian Griese, but quickly advanced to backup quarterback after a poor preseason by Griese. Simms saw his first action on September 19th, 2004 against the Seattle Seahawks after a below-average performance by Johnson, coming into the game with 10:32 left in the 2nd quarter. Simms went 21-32 with 175 yards and an interception. Simms received his first start two games later against the New Orleans Saints on October 10th, 2004 after the Bucs started 0-4 and Johnson was benched for his poor performance. Simms went 5-8 for 75 yards but injured his shoulder early in the game and missed three weeks, allowing Brian Griese to secure the position with 3 straight wins. Simms saw occasional action as the backup QB to Griese and started a meaningless final game against the Arizona Cardinals where he threw for 224 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

In 2005, Simms was slated on the depth chart as the backup quarterback, behind Griese and ahead of former Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Luke McCown. Simms got his first snap of the season after Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas was pushed onto Griese's leg with several minutes left in the game on October 16, 2005. Despite the injury, the Buccaneers prevailed 27-13 in the game in which Griese was lost for the season. Simms performed well, completing 6 of 10 passes for 69 yards. Simms got his first start of the season the following week against a weak San Francisco 49ers squad. While Simms had decent numbers (21-34, 264yds, 1TD, 2INT), his performance was considered poor, as there were many times when he underthrew his receivers, missed open receivers, or incorrectly read the defensive coverage. Simms followed up this performance with about the same performance (25-42, 259, 1TD, 2INT) against the division rival Carolina Panthers, who were considered a much better team than San Francisco. Since these two losses however, Simms has performed better than expected and has a knack for late-game heroics. He led fourth-quarter charges against fellow division rival Atlanta twice, as well as the Washington Redskins. The Redskin game was his best performance of the year as Simms threw for 3 scores as the Buccaneers won 36-35 in a remarkable game. Simms had a much more impressive performance in the rematch against Carolina on the road. The two losses in this stretch were against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and the Chicago Bears, who were ranked #1 in the league in total defense, and in both of these games, Simms did not throw any interceptions, and was sacked a combined 11 times. He even led Tampa Bay to another fourth-quarter comeback against the Bears but a 29-yard field goal attempt floated wide right giving the Bears a 13-10 victory.

Simms led the Buccaneers to their first playoff berth since their Super Bowl victory in the 2002. In the rematch vs. the Redskins Simms led Tampa Bay back again from a 17–3 halftime deficit. With the score at 17–10 late in the fourth quarter, Simms hit Edell Shepherd on an apparent 35-yard TD strike. However, Shepherd failed to maintain possession as he hit the ground. Tampa Bay lost 17–10 in a game where Washington gained only 120 yards of offense, the lowest total for a playoff winner in NFL history.

Chris Simms had played well at the end of the 2005 season, and thus came into the 2006 season with high expectations around him. However, for no particular obvious reason, Simms's play in the first two weeks was abysmal. In back-to-back games against the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons, Simms posted up 45 completions on 82 attempts for 446 yards, but had zero touchdowns and six interceptions. He continued to have several of his passes tipped by defensive linemen. Largely due to his inexplicably poor play, the Bucs scored a mere 3 points in two games.

Simms suffered a season-ending injury in Game 3 of the 2006 schedule. On Sunday, September 24, he was taken off the field after taking hard hits from the Carolina Panthers defense. Simms returned to the game and even led a successful scoring drive, but remained in physical distress and was taken to a nearby hospital after the game. Tests revealed a ruptured spleen, and Simms immediately underwent emergency surgery. In the aftermath, Simms said he lost five pints of blood before the operation and conceded that another 45 minutes without treatment could have been fatal. Though not proven, it has been suggested that the injury was caused by an illegal hit from Al Wallace who was later fined by the NFL. Simms has become a spokesman in the Tampa area for blood donations. The injury ended Simms's season. Playing on a one-year/$2.1 million contract signed before the season, Simms was eligible for free agency for 2007 and was expected to be in demand.

On December 27, 2006, Simms announced that he had signed a two-year extension to remain with the Buccaneers with the expectation that he would start. However, due to complications from his recovery and the performance of Jeff Garcia in mini-camp, Simms was expected to serve as a backup to Garcia. On October 9, Simms was placed on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season. The Bucs were expected to keep Simms on the roster for mini camp as their fifth quarterback.

Over the weekend of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers reportedly received many trade offers for Simms, but the team declined them all. However, the Buccaneers denied that these trade offers ever existed. Simms' relationship with head coach Jon Gruden worsened significantly during this period, due to how Gruden treated Simms during his recovery from spleen injury. He has even said that "The relationship between me and coach Gruden, it’s broken," Simms said. "And I don’t see any way it’s going to get better." Simms also said that he will never forgive Gruden, although he still respects the Buccaneers as an organization.

On August 30, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Simms. He worked out with the Baltimore Ravens during the preseason but was not signed.

Simms signed with the Tennessee Titans on September 9, 2008 after starter Vince Young was sidelined with a sprained MCL. In Young's absence, Simms served as the backup quarterback behind Kerry Collins until October 3, when Simms was released to make room for punter Josh Miller. Simms was re-signed the following week on October 6.

Simms signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos on March 4, 2009.

Simms married Danielle Marie Puleo, whom he first met in high school, in August 2004. In 2006, Danielle gave birth to a baby girl Charlotte Elizabeth.

His younger brother, Matt Simms , was a quarterback at the University of Louisville.

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Brad Johnson (American football)

James Bradley Johnson (born September 13, 1968 in Marietta, Georgia) is a free agent quarterback in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the ninth round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State. His brother-in-law is Mark Richt, head football coach at the University of Georgia football team.

Brad went to Charles D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, North Carolina and spent college at Florida State University. He was a high school All-American in football and basketball. His father is Rick Johnson, who helped establish the Winshape Camps after working several years at Ridgecrest Camps.

He is best known for leading the Buccaneers past the Oakland Raiders in a 48-21 rout during Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 where he threw for 2 touchdowns and over 200 yards.

Brad ranks 26th in career passer rating in NFL history. Johnson holds a 72-51 career record as a starter, currently the 4th best win-loss ratio among active QBs with over 100 starts. He has also connected on over 60% of his passes for 13 straight seasons (1995-2007), the first quarterback in NFL history to do this (Peyton Manning is second with nine straight seasons).

He has been twice selected to Pro Bowl: in 1999 and 2002. In 2003 he was named to USA Today's All-Joe team which recognizes the NFL's most unsung players.

He has eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark five times. In 1999, he became only the second Washington Redskin in franchise history to eclipse 4,000 yards. He had the top passer rating in the NFC in 2002 and he has earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors 7 times in his career. He has also broken almost every passer record at Tampa Bay. To date, Brad Johnson is the only NFL quarterback to have thrown a touchdown pass to himself. Against the Carolina Panthers in 1997, Johnson caught his deflected pass, juked, and ran three yards for a touchdown.

In 2003 he won the NFL's "Quarterback Challenge" competition, in which he beat Pro Bowl QBs Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Jeff Garcia, Mark Brunell, Marc Bulger and others like Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington in a skills competition with four parts involving accuracy, speed and mobility, long distance throw, and "No Huddle." Former teammate Sean Salisbury said that despite having big, strong arms and a great deep ball, Brad always played it safe and went for the fast and easy completion which earned him the nickname "Checkdown Charlie" among friends.

Brad Johnson wasn't a full-time starter in college and was more interested in playing basketball. In 1992 he was drafted out of the Florida State University in the 9th round as the 227th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings with a pick they obtained from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the backup quarterback, only playing in a few games, and a season in NFL Europe until starting QB Warren Moon was injured in 1996. He started eight of twelve games that year earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice and finishing third in the NFC with an 89.4 passer rating. The next year in 1997 he started again and was rated fourth in the NFC with 20 TDs and 3,036 passing yards, but suffered a season-ending neck injury in the 13th game. It was during this season that Johnson became the first player to complete a pass to himself for a touchdown in NFL history.

In 1998, he started the first two games for the Vikings before breaking his leg in week 2. After his leg healed, Johnson resumed his starting role in week 10, but broke his thumb in the third quarter of that game. After that, Johnson's playing time was limited to one appearance in week 16. QB Randall Cunningham started the other games. That year, the Vikings went 15-1 and Cunningham had the best passer rating in the league, an incredible 106.0, the second-most touchdown passes with 34, the fifth-most passing yards with 3,704, and was awarded NFL's MVP award by the Maxwell Club.

After this, Vikings coach Dennis Green decided to start Cunningham and trade Johnson to the Washington Redskins for a first, a future second, and a third-round draft pick. This was to be regretted the next year because Johnson went on to have his best season yet in Washington, while the Vikings began at 2-4 with Cunningham throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and getting benched and replaced by his backup, Jeff George, who helped the team to an 8-2 finish and a playoff spot. George was unable to be resigned as a Viking, with Washington offering a more lucrative deal. Green decided in favor of starting untested second-year QB Daunte Culpepper in his first year as starter.

In 1999, Brad had the best season yet at Washington, making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career with a 90.0 passer rating with 4,005 yards, 24 TDs and 13 INTs. His 316 completions set a Washington team record and his 4,005 passing yards ranks second all-time in Redskins history. He was also NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice that year again. He led the Washington Redskins to the playoffs and defeated the Detroit Lions in the first-round before falling to Tampa Bay by a single point the following week. The following year in 2000 the Redskins went 8-8, Johnson threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and he was traded to the Bucs while Jeff George started in Washington for 2001. They immediately regretted this when George had the worst stats in the league and was benched for Tony Banks after the second game with a 0-2 start while Johnson again had another great season in Tampa Bay.

In 2001, Johnson was reunited with former Vikings assistant-coach Tony Dungy for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That year, he broke Tampa Bay team records for passing yards with 3,406, completions with 340, and attempts with 540. In his 2002-2003 season he led the Buccaneers to their first ever Super Bowl championship and earned his 2nd Pro Bowl appearance. He was helped in the Super Bowl by a defense that scored 21 of their 48 points. That year Johnson also became the first ever Bucs QB to lead the NFC in passer rating at 92.9, and set new team records for touchdowns with 22, completion percentage at 62.3, consecutive passes without an interception with 187, and lowest intererception percentage with 1.3%. He was NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice again against Minnesota and Atlanta.

After the Super Bowl, the Bucs ran into some problems. Although Johnson had good passing stats in 2003-2004 the year after the Super Bowl (3,811 yards, 26 touchdowns to break the Buc record again, 21 interceptions, named 2003 Buc MVP by the Tampa Sports Club) and 2004 (63% completion rate) they benched him the fourth game into the 2004 season because the team had gone 4-11 for the last 15 games Johnson started. When the backup quarterback, Chris Simms was injured they started 3rd string quarterback Brian Griese instead of Johnson partly because of salary cap problems. Johnson asked out and was cut from the team at the end of the season. When he couldn't find a starting quarterback job he signed with the Minnesota Vikings to be the backup quarterback, the same exact spot where he began his NFL career.

In 2005, Minnesota was struggling with now three-time Pro Bowler Daunte Culpepper starting at quarterback. Randy Moss had been traded in 2004, and four-time Pro Bowl Center Matt Birk was injured so Culpepper was expected to carry the offense against the top defenses in the NFL. While playing without any offensive weapons, and falling behind early in games the Vikings began the season at 2-5 with Culpepper throwing twice as many interceptions - twelve - as touchdowns - six - and five fumbles (three lost) before tearing his MCL, ACL, and PCL in the seventh game.

Johnson then took over as starting quarterback and the team then finished the season 7-2 with a six-game winning streak needing only one more win to go to the playoffs. However this was mostly due to entering the soft part of the schedule and an improved defense/special teams which set an NFL record for returning an interception, kickoff, and punt for touchdowns all in one game. Brad played very well and set a team record for lowest interception to attempt ratio (1.3% - same as his record in Tampa) which was the lowest in the NFL among starting QBs. While starting against teams that included the second (Bears), fourth (Ravens), fifth (Steelers), and seventh (Packers) ranked defenses in the NFL his passer rating was the third best in the NFC among starting quarterbacks, and was also better than three QBs selected to the Pro Bowl. But he struggled in those particular games with the exception of the Bears game in which the Bears had already clinched the division and played all of their 2nd and 3rd stringers. He also scored more touchdowns per game than four selected to the Pro Bowl. And despite his age he threw just as many 40+ yard passes as top 29 yr old QB Peyton Manning - six - in seven fewer games, which was the same amount as his Super Bowl year which had four more games.

Johnson was named the starting quarterback for the Vikings 2006 season, and a few days before the second game he turned 38 which made him the oldest starting quarterback in the league. Many feel his quick-release style is a good fit for new coach Brad Childress's highly touted West Coast system. The knowledge he's acquired from going to the playoffs under four different coaching systems and having winning records with seven different head coaches is an asset for first time head coach Childress too. In the pre-season Johnson had a passer rating of 110.7, one of the top 10 in the league out of more than 100 quarterbacks who performed.

However in the regular season Johnson struggled worse than Daunte Culpepper did in 2005, throwing eight touchdowns to fourteen interceptions. Midway through the season, he had already set an NFL record for passes completed short of a first down on third down in a season. Many fans grew restless for the benching of Johnson because of his conservative checkdowns, immobility, and at the same time reckless decisions which plagued the Vikings offense. His quarterback-rating on 3rd downs, with a lead, from behind, and in the redzone are the worst in the entire league. 31 QBs threw more touchdown passes while only 10 threw more interceptions than Johnson in the 2006 NFL season.

On February 28, 2007, the Vikings released Brad Johnson in favor of rookie QB Tarvaris Jackson.

On March 5, 2007 he signed a three year deal with the Cowboys to back up Tony Romo. Brad had played a little in the 2007 NFL season, He played in Week 17 against the Washington Redskins. Johnson completed 7 of 11 passes for 79 yards for no touchdowns or interceptions. Washington won 27-6.

During the 2008 season, Romo suffered a broken pinkie finger on his throwing hand in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals. Johnson started for the Cowboys during the next few weeks until the injury has healed. In Johnson's Week 7 start against the St. Louis Rams, Johnson completed 17 of 34 passes for 234 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also had one fumble in the 34-14 loss.

In week 8, despite winning 13-9 against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he only passed for 122 yards for 1 TD to Roy E. Williams, and the Cowboys had the lowest total offensive yards in a winning game:172 yards.

In week 9, he did even worse against New York Giants. He only completed 5 of 11 passes for 71 yards and had 2 passes intercepted. He was replaced by Brooks Bollinger.

After the Cowboys' bye week, Tony Romo returned from a broken pinkie finger to take back the starting QB role. Johnson has now been relegated back to backup duties.

On February 26, 2009, the Dallas Cowboys released Brad Johnson.

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History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This article details the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American Football Club.

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.

The Tampa Bay expansion franchise was originally awarded to Tom McCloskey, a construction company owner from Philadelphia. It soon became apparent that McCloskey had financial problems, so the NFL found a replacement in Hugh Culverhouse, a wealthy tax attorney from Jacksonville well-known in NFL circles for brokering an unprecedented franchise swap between the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams. A name-the-team contest resulted in the nickname "Buccaneers," in honor of the yearly Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa. The team's first home was Tampa Stadium, which had recently been expanded to seat just over 72,000 fans.

Longtime USC coach John McKay was recruited as the team's first head coach. He stressed a five-year building plan that relied on veteran players, quality draft picks, and patience. However, the expansion draft prior to the entrance of the Bucs and Seahawks into the league was not as generous as it would become for later NFL expansion teams, so the Buccaneers were saddled with aging veterans and castoffs from other teams. Despite McKay's coaching, the Bucs often appeared incompetent, with missed tackles, fumbled snaps, and a frustrating inability to score, and the patience of fans and local media soon wore thin. McKay was also criticized for relying too much on the USC playbook--for example, the "student body right" rushing play--not to mention choosing running back Ricky Bell over future NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett in the 1977 NFL Draft.

Just before the end of their sophomore season, the Bucs did finally manage to win their first regular-season game (the Bucs had beaten the Atlanta Falcons 17-3 in a 1976 pre-season game before their first regular season) —on the road, defeating the New Orleans Saints, 33-14. The win was highlighted by three interceptions returned for touchdowns, an NFL record at the time. (The team would later equal this feat 25 years later when they defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.) After being greeted by 8,000 cheering fans when the team arrived back in Tampa late that evening after the game, the Bucs followed up the victory with a win at home over the St. Louis Cardinals during the final week of the season.

The 1978 season was another losing campaign, but it was highlighted by the presence of rookie quarterback Doug Williams. Despite a season-ending injury in which his jaw had to be wired shut, he showed enough potential to give Bucs fans hope for the future. His leadership and often electrifying play would transform the team much sooner than anyone expected.

The Bucs' situation improved rapidly in 1979. With the maturation of quarterback Doug Williams, the first 1,000-yard rushing season from running back Ricky Bell, and a smothering, league-leading defense led by future NFL Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, the Bucs kicked off the season with five consecutive victories, a stunning performance that landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

With four games left in the season, the Bucs only needed to win one of them to make the playoffs, and did so in their final contest at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, which was played in the worst downpour in Bucs history. Finishing with a 10-6 record, the Bucs had their first winning season in franchise history, and also won the Central Division in a tiebreaker over the Chicago Bears. In an upset, the Bucs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 in the divisional round of the playoffs. Because the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the other NFC playoff game, the Bucs hosted the NFC Championship Game the following week in Tampa. The Bucs lost to the Rams 9-0, thanks to great defense by the Rams. In only their fourth season, the Bucs seemed on the verge of fulfilling McKay's five-year plan.

The Bucs made the playoffs again by winning their division in the 1981 season and entering the first round during the strike-shortened 1982 season. The 1981 season came down to a thrilling final game at Detroit. The winner would take the Central Division crown and the loser would miss the playoffs. The Lions had not lost at home all season. Although the Bucs trailed early, an 84-yard touchdown bomb from QB Williams to WR Kevin House and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by David Logan sealed the shocking win for the Bucs. Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys rewarded the Bucs' efforts with a 38-0 blowout in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The 1982 season started just as poorly for the Bucs, as they went 0-3 before a player's strike shut down the NFL for seven weeks. When the league resumed play, the Bucs were nicknamed the "Cardiac Kids" for winning five of their next six games all in the final moments to go 5-4 and qualify for the expanded playoff slate. In the first round, the Bucs once again faced the Cowboys at home in Dallas, but the Bucs put up a much better fight, actually leading the game at the half. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay lost 30-17.

The Bucs did not return to the playoffs, nor did they have another winning season under Culverhouse's ownership.

Doug Williams was the lowest-paid starting quarterback in the NFL during the 1982 season, and his salary of $120,000 was less than several backups. At the end of the season, Williams asked for a raise to $600,000 per season--a reasonable sum at that time, given Williams' past performance and his market value. However, Culverhouse would not offer more than $400,000 despite McKay's protests. Feeling that Culverhouse was unwilling to pay him a salary befitting his status as an NFL starter, Williams bolted to the USFL, where he played two seasons for the Oklahoma Outlaws. Without Williams, the Bucs appeared to be a rudderless team. They started the next season by losing their first nine games, knocking them out of playoff contention. They finished with a 2-14 record, the first of an NFL-record 13 straight seasons with 10 or more losses. Many Bucs fans blamed Williams' departure for this seemingly endless streak of futility, and the fact that Williams later returned to the NFL and led the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXII only deepened the frustration among Bucs fans.

It can be argued that the team's lengthy woes were primarily due to how Culverhouse ran the organization. Culverhouse kept the team's payroll among the lowest in the league, which prompted few quality players to sign with the team. The ones who did rarely stayed long. Selmon, the Bucs' first draft pick in 1976 and the only Hall of Famer to have earned his credentials primarily in Tampa Bay, was the only real star who had a long tenure with the team. The Bucs also made several missteps in the NFL Draft, the most notorious of which was the team's selection of Bo Jackson as the #1 overall pick when he openly stated he would never play for them. The Bucs also frequently traded or gave up on quality players who went on to greater success on other teams. The most notable examples are all quarterbacks: Williams; Steve Young, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers after the Bucs drafted Vinny Testaverde first overall in the 1987 draft, only to become a Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Famer with San Francisco; and Testaverde, whom the Bucs let walk to the Cleveland Browns via free agency in 1992.

The front-office woes affected the team regardless of who was brought in to coach. After McKay stepped down at the end of the 1984 season, Leeman Bennett, who had coached the Atlanta Falcons to their first-ever playoff win, was hired. After two disastrous 2–14 seasons, he was replaced by former New York Giants and University of Alabama head coach Ray Perkins. Perkins brought back much-needed discipline and "three-a-day" practices, but it proved too much of a good thing. The team was so physically drained by game day that the losses continued to pile up, and Perkins was fired before the end of the 1990 season. Offensive coordinator Richard Williamson was elevated to head coach, and after his brief success in the final remaining games, he retained his head coaching position for the following year. The momentum didn't last, however, and was fired after the 1991 season.

It wasn't until the hiring of Sam Wyche that Bucs fans had reason for optimism. Wyche had coached the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance, one which the team could have won if not for a fourth quarter comeback engineered by 49ers QB Joe Montana. Unfortunately, Wyche did not have immediate success in Tampa, and even his bold "five-dash-two" (indicating five wins and two losses) declaration in his final season with the Bucs proved premature. However, Wyche deserves credit for drafting three key players who would later prove to be the core of the team's renewed success on defense--Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch.

Things only really began to change, however, after Culverhouse died of lung cancer in 1994.

Despite the profitability of the Buccaneers in the 1980s, Culverhouse's death revealed a team close to bankruptcy, which surprised many observers. His son, Miami attorney Hugh Culverhouse, Jr., practically forced the trustees of his father's estate to sell the team, which cast doubt on the future of the franchise in Tampa. Interested parties included New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, the latter of whom publicly declared he would move the team to Baltimore, as the city did not have an NFL franchise at that time. However, in a last-minute surprise, Malcolm Glazer outbid both of them for $192 million, the highest sale price for a professional sports franchise up to that point. Glazer immediately placed his sons Bryan, Edward, and Joel in charge of the team's financial affairs, and the family's deep pockets and serious commitment to fielding a winning team--in Tampa--allowed the Bucs to finally become competitive. The team's performance dramatically improved when the Glazers hired Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy as head coach, jettisoned the old "creamsicle" uniforms, and convinced Hillsborough County voters to raise sales taxes to partially fund the construction of Raymond James Stadium.

During Dungy's first season in 1996, the team continued to struggle, starting the season 1–8. But in the second half of the season they finished 5–2, primarily due to the performance of a defense ranked seventh in the NFL led by Hardy Nickerson and the maturing of Wyche's draftees Brooks, Lynch and Sapp. Dungy, a devout Christian with an even-tempered personality, quickly brought balance and morale to the team, and his Cover 2 defensive scheme, sharpened to perfection by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, became the foundation for Tampa Bay's future success, not to mention a blueprint copied by other teams in the NFL, including the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams.

Everything finally came together in 1997. The team started the season 5–0, picking up where they left off the previous year, and this quick start once again landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated--not once, but twice. The Bucs went 10–6 for their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1982, as a wild-card team. In the Bucs' final home game at Houlihan's Stadium (formerly Tampa Stadium), the team defeated the Detroit Lions 20–10. Unfortunately, they lost at Lambeau Field to the eventual NFC Champion Green Bay Packers 21–7. Still, there was reason for optimism, and the expectations were high for the following season.

The 1998 season, the first to be played in the newly-constructed Raymond James Stadium, saw the Bucs lose several close games en route to a disappointing 8–8 record. The 1999 season saw much better fortunes. On the strength of the NFL's number one overall defense and a surprising performance by rookie QB Shaun King, the Bucs finished the season with an 11–5 record and won their third NFC Central Division Championship. They edged the Washington Redskins 14–13 in the Divisional round, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams in an unusually low-scoring NFC Championship Game, 11–6. The Bucs' loss was controversial, highlighted by the unusual reversal of a pass from King to WR Bert Emanuel, which ended the Bucs' chances at continuing their last-minute drive for a possible win. In league meetings later that year, NFL later changed the rules regarding what constituted an incomplete pass, which was a backhanded admission that the reversal was incorrect.

In spite of Dungy's success at coaching Tampa Bay into a winner, one of the consistent criticisms from the media and from fans--and later, from players including Warren Sapp--was that the defense was expected to shoulder too much of the responsibility for winning games. Beyond fullback Mike Alstott and running back Warrick Dunn--who served as a one-two punch ground attack--and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, the team was otherwise underwhelming on offense. Despite the ongoing criticism, Dungy remained staunchly loyal to his coaching staff, but at the conclusion of the 1999 season, general manager Rich McKay forced Dungy to fire offensive coordinator Mike Shula. He was replaced by former Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Les Steckel in 2000, and the result was the Bucs' highest-scoring season ever, another 10–6 record, and another trip to the playoffs as a wild card. Unfortunately, despite his transformation of the team's offense, Steckel's drill sergeant approach to coaching (he was a colonel in the Marines) was a poor fit for the franchise. He was fired at the end of the season, after the Bucs lost 21–3 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rather than choose from the pool of strong offensive coordinators available at the end of the 2000 campaign (including former Redskins coach Norv Turner), Dungy decided to elevate his receivers coach Clyde Christiensen to the position. It can be argued that this controversial decision was the final nail in the coffin for Dungy's tenure. Although the team achieved a 9–7 winning record in 2001, they barely made it into the playoffs as the lowest-seeded wild card. To add insult to injury, the Bucs were once again blown out by the Eagles--this time, 31–9.

Frustrated with the team's inability to reach the Super Bowl despite a league-dominating defense, Malcolm Glazer fired Dungy the following day--a decision that created more controversy among devoted players and fans. Despite whatever weaknesses that may have been ascribed to him, Dungy was highly respected around the league as a man of solid character and a coach to whom players were fiercely loyal. Dungy went on to coach the Colts to the Super Bowl XLI championship against the Chicago Bears, in the process becoming the the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl.

Dungy was soon hired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, while the Bucs mounted a prolonged and much-maligned search for his replacement. Several potential candidates were offered the job, including University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier, former New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells and Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Spurrier jumped to the Redskins when he was offered the most lucrative salary package ever offered to an NFL head coach, and Parcells eventually passed on the Bucs' offer--the second time he had done so in the history of the franchise. Bucs general manager Rich McKay threw his support behind Lewis. The Glazer brothers were so displeased with the selection of a yet another defensive-minded coach that they overruled McKay and took control of the candidate search themselves. They made it clear that their top choice was Jon Gruden. The problem was that he was still under contract to the Oakland Raiders.

While talks with the Raiders were secretly underway, the Glazers publicly pursued another respected offensive mind, San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci. Just when initial reports indicated that Mariucci had agreed to become both the Bucs' head coach and general manager, Raiders owner Al Davis agreed to release Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay. Observers suggested that the Glazers' offer to Mariucci was merely a clever bargaining tactic: since Davis' large ego is well-documented, it was very likely he wouldn't allow such a blockbuster trade to take place so near his turf. If the tactic didn't work, then the Bucs would still get the type of head coach the Glazers desired.

The Glazers' shrewd move eventually paid off in acquiring Gruden, but it cost the team dearly. The team hired Gruden away from the Raiders on February 20, 2002, but the price was four draft picks, including the Bucs' first and second round picks in 2002, their first round pick in 2003, and their second round selection in 2004, along with $8 million in cash; the league as a result prohibited any further trading of draft picks for coaches. Gruden, who was frustrated by the limitation of his coaching authority by Davis, was more than pleased to return to Tampa Bay, as his parents lived nearby, and he had spent part of his childhood in Tampa in the early 1980s when his father had worked as a Bucs running back coach and director of player personnel.

Upon his arrival in Tampa, Gruden immediately went to work, acquiring former Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keenan McCardell, and RB Michael Pittman from the Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs needed to improve their sluggish offense, as the league's sweeping realignment sent the Bucs to the new NFC South Division, along with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.

The offensive retooling worked, and combined with the league's top defense, the 2002 campaign was the Buccaneers' most successful season to date. They won the NFC South title with a 12-4 record--the team's best ever--then defeated the San Francisco 49ers in what became coach Steve Mariucci's last game with that franchise. In a surprising upset, the Bucs won their first NFC championship on the road against the Eagles in the last NFL game ever played at Veterans Stadium. Cornerback Ronde Barber capped off the win by intercepting a Donovan McNabb pass and returning it 92 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia fans could only watch in stunned silence.

The Bucs went on to rout Gruden's former team, the Oakland Raiders, by a score of 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII. Gruden's familiarity with the Raiders' players and playbook paid off, as John Lynch and other Bucs players recognized some of Oakland's formations and plays at crucial points in the game. Also, the Raiders did not attempt to use one rushing play. This was the first game that had one team not attempting a pass or rushing play once in a single game. The Bucs became the first team to win the Super Bowl without any picks in the first two rounds of the previous spring's NFL Draft, having traded these picks to the Oakland Raiders for the rights to acquire Gruden. Gruden became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl.

Soon after the Super Bowl victory, a growing number of press reports indicated Gruden's lack of patience with general manager McKay. McKay was a major architect of the Bucs rebuilding effort over the previous ten years, and he, like Gruden, had long-established ties to the Tampa Bay area. However, during the 2003 season, the Gruden-McKay relationship deteriorated as the Bucs struggled on the field. In November, Keyshawn Johnson was deactivated by the team ten games into the season for his conduct, which included sideline arguments with Bucs coaches and players. Johnson was eventually traded to the Dallas Cowboys for wide receiver Joey Galloway.

Johnson's unusual deactivation was a definitive sign that Gruden had indeed gained control. In December, the Glazers allowed McKay to leave the Bucs before the end of the regular season, and he promptly joined the Falcons as president and general manager. Thus, McKay watched his first game as a Falcons executive sitting next to owner Arthur Blank in a Raymond James Stadium skybox. The Falcons defeated the Bucs 30-28, another sign of how the season had spiraled downward. Despite opening the season with a Monday night win over the Eagles in Philadelphia's new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, the Bucs finished the season 7-9. Combined with the Raiders' dismal 4-12 performance, neither Super Bowl team reached the playoffs that year.

Before the 2004 training camp, personnel issues and the salary cap became primary concerns. Gruden successfully lobbied the Glazers to hire his former general manager from Oakland, Bruce Allen. After Allen's arrival in the Bucs' front office, the team announced that it would not resign two of their best defensive players--John Lynch and Warren Sapp--before the regular season even started. Both of their contracts were expiring, and younger players could fill their positions. Lynch was released after medical exams indicated ongoing injury problems. Many Bucs fans were stunned by the move, as Lynch was a very popular player whose aggressive, intelligent play earned him several Pro Bowl appearances. He was also well-regarded for his philanthropic work in the Tampa Bay area. Lynch was quickly signed by the Denver Broncos, where he had consecutive injury-free Pro Bowl seasons. Sapp signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he played in a limited role in 2004, and sat out much of the 2005 season with injuries. Since wide receiver Keenan McCardell refused to play until he was given a better contract or traded, he was sent to the San Diego Chargers for draft compensation.

The distracted Bucs began the 2004 season with a 1-5 record, their worst start since Gruden arrived. The fading accuracy of kicker Martin Gramatica didn't help matters, as the team lost many close games en route to a 5-11 record, making the Bucs the first NFL team to follow up a Super Bowl championship with back-to-back losing seasons. The lone highlights of 2004 were the high-quality play of rookie wide receiver Michael Clayton and the return of Doug Williams, who joined the Bucs front office as a personnel executive.

In the 2005 season, the Bucs returned to their winning ways. The Buccaneers selected Carnell "Cadillac" Williams in the first round of the 2005 draft, and the rookie would provide a running game the Buccaneers hadn't possessed since the days of James Wilder in the 1980s. Williams set the NFL record for most yards rushing in his first three games with 474, and was named as the AP's 2005 Offensive Rookie of the Year. His shoes and gloves from the third game of the season are now on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With their 2005 campaign marking the Buccaneers' 30th Season in the NFL, the team won their first four games before entering a midseason slump hampered by a season-ending injury to starting QB Brian Griese during a win over the Miami Dolphins. Replacement starter Chris Simms struggled early as the Bucs lost games to the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers, but Simms came into his own when he led the team to a last-minute win over the Washington Redskins in a 36-35 thriller to break that slump. In a gutsy move, Gruden went for the win with a two-point conversion plunge by fullback Mike Alstott. A booth review of that play was inconclusive, and Redskins coach Joe Gibbs stated after the game his belief that Alstott had not scored.

The Bucs followed up with important wins over their NFC South division rivals, sweeping both the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, as well as defeating the Panthers in a rare victory at Carolina. Even with a tough loss against the Chicago Bears and a humiliating shutout against the New England Patriots, the Bucs finished 11-5 and won the NFC South by virtue of a tie-breaker over the Panthers. Unfortunately, the Bucs' 30th Anniversary season would end on a sour note, as they lost 17-10 at home to the Redskins in the wild-card round. A late Bucs touchdown could have tied the game, but the play was ruled incomplete when a booth review upheld the referee's decision.

The Bucs sent three veteran players to the 2006 Pro Bowl, including cornerback Ronde Barber and punter Josh Bidwell. Outside linebacker Derrick Brooks was named the Pro Bowl MVP, with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown.

After winning the division in 2005, the Bucs suffered through an abysmal 2006 season. The season was plagued by injuries, with starters such as G Dan Buenning, WR Michael Clayton, RB Carnell Williams, DE Simeon Rice, CB Brian Kelly, and QB Chris Simms all being placed on injured reserve at some point in the season. The season also saw a lot of rookies starting for the Bucs, such as QB Bruce Gradkowski, T Jeremy Trueblood, and G Davin Joseph. The league schedule was also unfriendly to the Bucs, scheduling them for 3 games (two of them away games) within 11 days of each other.

There was more to the lost season than just injuries however, as most of the players put on injured reserve had been done so after the team's 0-3 start, and offensive shutouts in the first two games in which no touchdowns were scored by the Buccaneers. The departure of several key defensive coaches and assistants didn't bode well with players, who complained to some in the media of not being able to hear coaches in team meetings.

Inconsistent and unorganized are how some players referred to one of the newcomers, who most players had a hard time making the transition from long time favorites Rod Marinelli and others. Some believe the problems in 2006 were rooted in recent years mistakes, lack of salary cap room to bring in high impact free agents, lack of top 50 draft picks over the last 5 or 6 years due to trades, and maybe even a failure to properly assess talent resulting in a lack of contribution from second day draft picks in recent history.

The Bucs started off the season 0-3, with QB Chris Simms throwing only 1 touchdown to 7 interceptions. In the third game of the season, a last-minute loss to the Carolina Panthers, Simms's spleen was ruptured, and he was placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. After their bye week, the Bucs elected to start rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, a 6th round pick from Toledo.

Gradkowski started off performing decently. People who in hindsight claim the Bucs should have started the more experienced Tim Rattay forget the Bucs nearly upset the New Orleans Saints, and then went on to win two narrow victories: one, against the Cincinnati Bengals, winning on an overturned call resulting in a touchdown; and another against the Philadelphia Eagles, thanks to Matt Bryant's 62-yard field goal. After these victories, though, Gradkowski's performance declined. After a 3-17 loss to the New York Giants in heavy winds, the Bucs proceeded to lose 5 of their next 6 games, leading them to a record of 3-10 (0-6 in their division). In the loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Gradkowski was replaced in the 4th quarter by Rattay.

In the first half of the Bucs' next game, against the Chicago Bears, Gradkowski was again replaced by Rattay, who led the team from a 24-3 deficit to a score of 31-31, with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, the Bucs then lost the game in overtime, 34-31. Rattay was then named the new starting quarterback for the last two games for the season. The Bucs finished their season with a 4-12 record, tied for third worst in the NFL.

The Bucs sent three players to the 2007 Pro Bowl, cornerback Ronde Barber, tight end/long snapper Dave Moore (A "Need" player according to Saints coach Sean Payton), and late addition outside linebacker Derrick Brooks(as an injury replacement). This would be Brooks' 10th consecutive Pro Bowl and 10th Pro Bowl overall.

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2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season began with the team trying to improve on their 7-9 record in 2003. Brian Griese set a number of franchise records for passing. Michael Clayton set a rookie record for receiving.

Before the 2004 training camp, personnel issues and the salary cap became primary concerns. Gruden successfully lobbied the Glazers to hire his former general manager from Oakland, Bruce Allen. After Allen's arrival in the Buccaneers' front office, the team announced that it would not re-sign two of their notable defensive players (John Lynch and Warren Sapp). Both of their contracts were expiring, and younger players would fill their positions. Lynch was released after medical exams indicated ongoing injury problems. Many Buccaneers fans were stunned by the move, as Lynch was a very popular player whose aggressive, intelligent play earned him several Pro Bowl appearances. He was also well regarded for his philanthropic work in the Tampa-area. Lynch was quickly signed by the Denver Broncos, where he had consecutive injury-free Pro Bowl seasons. Sapp signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he played in a limited role in 2004, and sat out much of the 2005 season with injuries but returned to form in 2006. Since wide receiver Keenan McCardell refused to play until he was given a better contract or traded, he was sent to the San Diego Chargers for draft compensation.

In August, Hurricane Charley brought training camp to a screeching halt. The Buccaneers' first preseason game was also postponed (from Saturday to Monday) due to the storm. After returning to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, it was determined that the soaked fields and disrupted schedule was too much to overcome. The team broke camp over a week early, and returned to Tampa. A "rump" week of camp took place at the team facilities, and at the same time, some players and team officials tended to damaged homes in the wake of the storm.

The distracted Buccaneers began the 2004 season with a 1-5 record, their worst start since 1996. The fading accuracy of kicker Martin Gramatica did not help matters, as the team lost many close games en route to a 5-11 record. The Buccaneers became the first NFL team to follow up a Super Bowl championship with back-to-back losing seasons. The lone highlights of 2004 were the high-quality play of rookie wide receiver Michael Clayton and the return of Doug Williams, who joined the Bucs front office as a personnel executive.

The Buccaneers played four preseason games. The home team is in caps.

The game against Cincinnati scheduled for Saturday August 14 was postponed until Monday August 16 due to Hurricane Charley.

Opening day saw Tampa Bay visit Washington. In the second quarter, Brad Johnson threw deep for an apparent 29-yard touchdown pass to newly-acquired wide receiver Joey Galloway. Galloway, was unable to secure the ball, and suffered a groin injury on the play. After a Martin Gramatica field goal, the Buccaneers entered halftime trailing 10-3.

Ronde Barber tied the score at 10-10 after he recovered a Mark Brunell fumble 9 yards for a touchdown. After an interception, Washington, managed two field goals in the fourth period, and held on to win 16-10.

Brad Johnson struggled mightily, completing only 4-of-7 for 34 yards and one interception. Jon Gruden pulled Johnson after the first quarter and replaced him with second year player Chris Simms, to the delight of fans.

Simms drove the Buccaneers to the Seattle 1 yard line. Attempting a quarterback sneak on third-and-goal, Simms fumbled the snap. Tampa Bay settled for a field goal and a 10-3 halftime deficit. In the fourth quarter, another field goal narrowed the game to 10-6. With just over two minutes left, Simms drove the Buccaneers to the Seattle 26. The game ended, however, after he was intercepted with 1:11 to go.

Simms debut yielded mixed results; 175 yard passing, but no touchdowns, and two costly turnovers. The Buccaneers started the season 0-2.

Tampa Bay traveled to Oakland, for a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVII on Sunday Night Football. The game saw the Buccaneers face former player Warren Sapp (who signed with Oakland in the offseason) for the first time.

Brad Johnson was back in place at starting quarterback, but his numbers were again mediocre. He threw two interceptions (one was returned for a touchdown). Trailing 30-6, Johnson managed two fourth quarter touchdown passes (Tampa Bay's first offensive touchdowns of the season), but the comeback stalled, and the Buccaneers started the season 0-3.

Tampa Bay's dismal start continued, as they dropped to 0-4 on the season. Brad Johnson connected with Michael Clayton for a 51-yard touchdown in the first half, but three Jason Elam field goals proved to be the winning edge for Denver.

Tampa Bay broke a six-game losing streak (dating back to 2003), defeating the Saints 20-17. Slumping Brad Johnson was benched for the season, and Chris Simms started at quarterback. Simms' first NFL start was short-lived, however, as he left the game in the first quarter with a sprained shoulder. Brian Griese took over at quarterback, later connecting on a 45-yard touchdown to Ken Dilger, which proved to be the winning margin.

Tampa Bay faced St. Louis on Monday Night Football for the fourth time in five seasons. A Michael Pittman fumble was returned 93 yards for a touchdown by Adam Archuleta, and Martin Gramatica missed two field goal attempts, sinking the Buccaneers' chances at victory.

Michael Pittman rushed for 109 yards, and Brian Griese threw a touchdwon pass as Tampa Bay prevailed over the visiting Chicago Bears.

Tampa Bay's bye week was scheduled for week 8.

The lone highlight game of Tampa Bay's forgetfull 2004 season came against Kansas City in week 9. Brian Griese threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns, while Michael Pittman rushed for 128 yards on the ground.

Late in the first quarter, Trent Green connected to Eddie Kennison for a 59-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 11 yard line. Dwight Smith forced a fumble, and Brian Kelly returned the fumble 32 yards for the Buccaneers. The turnover led to a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

Early in the third quarter, Pittman broke away for a 78-yard touchdown run, the longest in Buccaneer history. Tampa Bay took the lead 34-31 after another Pittman score with 12 minutes to go.

Jermaine Phillips sealed the game for Tampa Bay, intercepting Green with just under six minutes left. Kansas City had one final chance, but the Buccaneer defense forced a turnover on downs with only 1:15 to go.

Michael Vick rushed for 76 yards, and had 176 yard passing, as Tampa Bay fell to division rival Atlanta.

Tampa Bay crushed the lowly 49ers) 35-3. Brian Griese passed for 210 yards and two touchdown passes, and Michael Pittman rushed for 106 yards and two touchdown runs.

Tampa Bay won their fourth game out of the last six, and improved to 4-6 on the season.

Brian Griese threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns, but mistakes cost the Buccaneers dearly, and they fell to Carolina 21-14.

A Griese interception was returned for a touchdown, and Martin Gramatica s kicking woes continued. He missed two field goal attempts during the game, which brought his season total to 8 misses.

Kicker Martin Gramatica was benched for the season, and journeyman veteran Jay Taylor took his place. Tampa Bay crushed Atlanta 27-0, knocking Michael Vick out of the game for a play, forcing two fumbles, and one interception.

At 5-7, Tampa Bay found themeselves only one game out of the NFC wild card hunt.

Brian Griese threw for 392 yards, but four turnovers foiled Tampa Bay's chances for victory against the San Diego Chargers. Tied 21-21 with 4 minutes remaining, Griese's pass was intercepted and returned for a game icing touchdown.

Former Buccaneer Aaron Stecker returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown (something he never accomplished playing for Tampa Bay) as New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 21-17. Tampa Bay fell to 5-9, guaranteed themselves of their second consecutive losing season, and effectively eliminated themselves from playoff contention.

The Buccaneers led 17-7 with just over 3 minutes to go, but late-game miscues on offense and defense sunk the Buccaneers. Aaron Brooks connected on two touchdowns in the final three minutes, lifting the Saints to victory.

Carolina routed Tampa Bay 37-20 in front of an only partially-full Raymond James Stadium. Trailing 24-7, Brian Griese connected for two touchdown passes, but the comeback was for naught.

Chris Simms returned from injury to start his second game. A 75-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton gave the Buccaneers a 7-6 lead. Four turnovers, however, kept the game out of reach, and Tampa Bay lost to the four field goals by Arizona.

Tampa Bay started the season with 4 straight losses, ended the season with 4 straight losses, and finished a hapless 5-11.

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Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy - Fiesta Bowl - Jan 5 2009.jpg

Daniel "Colt" McCoy (born September 5, 1986 in Hobbs, New Mexico) is the starting quarterback for the University of Texas. McCoy won the 2008 Walter Camp Award and was the 2008 Heisman Trophy runner-up.

As a redshirt freshman in 2006, he was the starting quarterback for the 2006 Longhorn team. On November 4, 2006, McCoy threw his 27th touchdown pass in a win against Oklahoma State, to take sole possession of the Texas school record for most touchdowns ever thrown by a quarterback in a single season. Subsequently, in the 2006 Alamo Bowl on December 30, McCoy threw two touchdowns against University of Iowa to tie the NCAA freshman record of 29 touchdown passes established by Nevada's David Neill in 1998. Also during the 2006 season, McCoy was named College Football News Big 12 Player of the Year and was named the quarterback to their "All Freshman Team". Injuries caused him to miss portions of the final two regular season games, but was able to play for the entire duration of the Longhorns' bowl game.

Leading the 2007 Longhorns, McCoy was somewhat less consistent. Through the first five games he threw nine interceptions - two more than he threw in the entire 2006 season; he went on to throw 18 interceptions during the 2007 season.

Leading the 2008 Texas Longhorn football team, McCoy and the Longhorns began the season with 8 straight wins, including a win over then #1 Oklahoma, #6 Oklahoma State and #11 Missouri. His performance helped the Longhorns rise at one point to the #1 ranking in the national polls, although UT lost to Texas Tech University and finished ranked third in the BCS standings. In 2008 McCoy set school records for most career touchdown passes, most touchdown passes in a season, most total touchdowns by a Texas player, most career wins, and most career passing yards. In addition to setting passing records, McCoy led the team with 561 yards rushing and 11 rushing touchdowns, establishing a reputation as a dual threat quarterback. McCoy was named the 2008 AP Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

An often-cited story relates to McCoy's birth: his parents were from Texas but his father, Brad McCoy, was working just across the Texas border in Hobbs, New Mexico. Brad McCoy reportedly brought a shoe-box of Texas dirt to the hospital and slid it under the bed so that McCoy could be born "over Texas soil". The story may or may not be true, as his father has chosen to "plead the fifth" when asked to confirm it.

McCoy attended Jim Ned High School in Tuscola, Texas, population 714, where he was coached in football by his father. He achieved several distinctions as a high school player, including two-time Associated Press 2A Offensive MVP and first-team all-state selection. Over his career, he completed 536-of-849 passes (63.1%) for 9,344 yards and 116 TDs. He ranks as the all-time leading passer in Texas Division 2A high school history and is fourth overall in Texas high school history. McCoy also served as Jim Ned High School's punter as a junior and senior. During his sophomore year, McCoy was also playing free safety. However, after he suffered a concussion on a tackle by 215-pound Bangs High School running back Jacoby Jones, his father decided to not let him play defense anymore. At the time Jim Ned was 8–0, but as McCoy missed the next two games due to the concussion, Jim Ned's season unraveled. Colt also played in the 2003 Texas 2A State Championship against the San Augustine Wolves. Jim Ned lost 28-7.

As a freshman, he was given a redshirt year so he did not play during the team's 2005 national championship season. He served as the quarterback for the scout team in practice against the starting defense. During this time, he was officially listed as the number three quarterback behind Vince Young and Matt Nordgren. However, McCoy did not play in any games during the season, as coach Mack Brown elected to keep him on the bench so that 2005 did not count as one of his four years of eligibility. Instead, Brown chose to play Matt McCoy (no relation) in four separate game situations where Texas had a commanding lead. This led to confusion on the parts of many sportscasters. Seeing that someone named McCoy was entering the game, and seeing Colt McCoy listed as third on their depth charts, they would mistakenly refer to Matt McCoy as Colt McCoy whenever Matt would enter a game.

With Young forgoing his senior year to enter the NFL, and with Nordgren graduating, the position of starting quarterback for the defending National Champion Texas Longhorns fell to Colt McCoy for the 2006 football season after he won the job over true freshman Jevan Snead.

In the season opener on September 2, 2006, he led the Longhorns to a 56–7 victory over North Texas, throwing three touchdown passes, rushing one yard for a touchdown, and throwing no interceptions. He was 12-19 in passing, and ran for 27 yards to help set up a touchdown. During the game, McCoy threw a 60 yard touchdown pass on only his second pass as a college quarterback. He was the first Texas freshman quarterback to start and win a season-opening game since Bobby Layne in 1944. The next week, the Longhorns faced #1 Ohio State at home. McCoy went 19-32, 156 yards, one TD, and one INT while rushing four times for a total of eight yards. Ohio State defeated the Longhorns 24–7, ending the Longhorns 21-game winning streak.

Following wins over Rice, Iowa State, and Sam Houston State, McCoy got his first win over a ranked team, as well as his first come-from-behind victory, when he threw two touchdowns, and led the Longhorns to defeat Oklahoma 28–10 in the Red River Shootout on October 7, 2006. The two touchdowns by McCoy gave him 12 touchdown passes for the season, tied for third with Longhorn passer James Brown in the list of most touchdowns by a Texas freshman.

On October 14, 2006 McCoy threw a Texas record six touchdown passes in the win against Baylor. The previous record of five touchdown passes had been held by James Brown (set vs. Baylor in 1994) and Chris Simms (vs. Oklahoma State in 2001). On October 25, 2006, he was 9th in the nation with a quarterback rating of 165.4.

In the 2006 Oklahoma State game McCoy threw for his 27th passing touchdown of the season, giving him sole possession of the single-season Texas record and putting him two TD's shy of the NCAA single season record for freshman quarterbacks (29). Coincidentally, this 27th pass was also for 27 yards.

During the November 11, 2006, game against Kansas State, McCoy suffered a stinger shoulder injury while rushing for a touchdown against Kansas State. The Longhorns lost in an upset to the Wildcats 45–42. There was speculation that Snead might be the starter for the final regular season game, because it was unknown whether McCoy would return for the Longhorns season closer against arch-rival Texas A&M on November 24, 2006. However, McCoy was cleared to play the game against the Aggies.

With 20 seconds remaining in the Lone Star Showdown versus the Aggies, McCoy was injured by a "vicious, stadium-hushing tackle" as Aggie defensive end Michael Bennett connected with his helmet against McCoy's upper body after McCoy had thrown an incomplete pass. Replays showed both on television and in the stadium revealed the hit might have included "helmet-to-helmet" contact which is illegal in NCAA football if done intentionally, but no flag was thrown. When the replay was shown in the stadium, the Longhorn fans erupted in boos before lapsing back into silence as McCoy lay on the ground writhing for ten minutes before being taken off the field on a cart. After watching him getting carted off of the field, some Aggie fans on an Internet message forum have nicknamed him "Cart" McCoy. Mack Brown said after the game "I didn't see it, but it sounded like 88,000 (fans) thought it was dirty." Fellow Longhorn Selvin Young said he thought the hit was a clean "textbook" hit.

McCoy was taken to Brackenridge Hospital where he spent more than three hours undergoing an evaluation that included an X-Ray, MRI, and a CAT scan. Longhorns trainer Kenny Boyd said the injury was a severe pinched nerve in McCoy's neck. Boyd said that McCoy was expected to make a full recovery, but no timetable was set for McCoy to return to play. The injury to McCoy came one game-clock minute after an A&M player, #91 Kellen Heard had been ejected from the game for vicious blindside block on McCoy after he threw an interception, which was ruled excessive. An X-Ray, MRI exam and CT scan showed "no structural damage to McCoy's neck or shoulder", said Dr. Carey Windler, the team's orthopedic surgeon.

On December 1, 2006, the Longhorns issued a statement confirming that back-up quarterback Jevan Snead had left the team and would transfer to an unspecified school; this meant there would be no scholarship quarterback ready to play in the Longhorns' bowl game if McCoy was not ready. On December 21, 2006, Texas announced that McCoy was cleared to start in the Alamo Bowl for Texas on Saturday, December 30. in the 2006 Alamo Bowl on December 30, McCoy threw two touchdowns against Iowa to tie the NCAA freshman record of 29 touchdown passes established by Nevada's David Neill in 1998. This record has since been broken by Oklahoma's Sam Bradford in the 2007 season.

On June 26, 2007, Maxwell Football Club president Ron Jaworski announced that McCoy had been named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award. The initial list includes 64 players. The winner turned out to be Tim Tebow. In their 2007 season preview magazine, CBS listed McCoy as one of 12 players on the “Heisman Watch”; saying “We were touting him for the Heisman midway through his freshman season until he was injured against Kansas State. Older and stronger, McCoy has an awesome receiving corps to make a run at the hardware for real.” He is also one of the 35 quarterbacks placed on the 2007 Manning Award watch list. Further, the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List added McCoy on August 21, 2007.

McCoy led the Longhorns, who were ranked number four in the pre-season Associated Press Poll and Coaches Poll, to a 21–13 victory over unranked Arkansas State in the season opener. McCoy threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions. He also made two quick-kick punts when the Longhorns lined up as if they were attempting to convert on fourth down. He averaged thirty yards per kick and both kicks were downed inside the opponent's twenty yard-line. In the second game, McCoy led the Longhorns to a 34–13 victory over #19-ranked TCU.

The road opener was the first game ever played in the new home stadium of the UCF Knights. McCoy's 47 passing attempts tied a Texas single-game record. His 32 completions set a new school record, besting the 30 completed by Vince Young during the 2006 Rose Bowl and by Major Applewhite during two 1999 games. The final non-conference game was against Rice, and McCoy completed 20 of his 29 passing attempts, accumulating 333 yards through the air. For the first time in the season, he did not throw an interception. McCoy and most of the Longhorn starting players were replaced by backups after the first drive of the second half. True freshman quarterback John Chiles made his first college appearance in the first quarter. He came onto the field beside McCoy and then McCoy trotted out to a slot receiver position. Chiles never looked to pass; he ran up the middle for no gain. He came out of the game after that play and came back in the third quarter as McCoy's replacement. On that drive, Chiles line up in the zone-read offense and led the Longhorns 80 yards to a touchdown, carrying the ball 4 times for 49 yards. Chiles' strong performance immediately led to media speculation as to how much playing time he will take from McCoy.

McCoy played the worst game of his career in an upset loss to the Kansas State Wildcats; He threw for 200 yards and had four interceptions. He also suffered a concussion during the game and left the field just prior to the end of the first half and again prior to the end of the game. After that game, Sports Illustrated selected him as one of the season's 10 "Most Disappointing College Players" and noted that he his nine interceptions thrown so far in 2007 were already two more than he threw in the entire 2006 season. Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated listed several factors contributing to the Longhorns struggles. He cited the off-field problems as evidence that no Texas player has been able to show the superior leadership skills of Vince Young. Mandel said that McCoy, still only a sophomore, had not been able to completely fill that gap and that McCoy's play had not been as good as during 2006. He also said part of the blame is to be placed on an offensive line that lost several starters and has not been able to consistently protect McCoy. Finally, he noted that the running game had been "equally inconsistent." It was the worst home-field loss in Mack Brown's time with Texas. For the Wildcats, the win over Texas was the first road victory over a top–ten team in school history.

McCoy and the Longhorns lost again the following week, in the 2007 Red River Shootout. The game was a back-and-forth affair that was ultimately won by Oklahoma 28–21. OU's freshman quarterback, Sam Bradford, was 21–of–32 for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns. McCoy was 19–of–26 for 324 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy threw one interception. McCoy played the game with his throwing arm bandaged from mid-forearm to biceps. He held up physically despite taking four sacks and a blind-side late hit after one play had been whistled dead. With the loss, Texas opened conference play 0–2 for the first time since 1956, when they were in the Southwest Conference and one year before Darrell Royal became head coach of the Longhorns.

The Longhorns were in control of the Iowa State game almost from the very beginning and they routed the Cyclones 56–3, the worst loss for the Cyclones since 1997. Lined up in the spread offense on the first play from scrimmage, Colt McCoy scrambled away from a blitz and threw a pass to Jordan Shipley for a 58 yard touchdown. The offensive line provided great protection for Colt McCoy, who called most of the plays without huddling and directed the Longhorns to touchdowns on his first five series. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 298 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. His most athletic play came early in the third quarter when he evaded three defenders on a play from the Cyclones' 20-yardline. He twisted around and managed to stay upright long enough to throw a pass to Nate Jones in the end zone. He capped off his performance by making his first rushing touchdown of the season, a career-long, 44 yard run in the third quarter. The play was designed to be a screen pass to the fullback. Mack Brown said, "Colt was as good today as I've ever seen him." Brown also praised McCoy for taking on more of a leadership role with the team. The Austin American-Statesman said, "Colt McCoy is shedding his sophomore slump. In the past two games, he is 42 of 56 passing for 622 yards with six passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and just one interception. That translates to a quarterback rating of 200.1." However, against Baylor on October 20, Colt would go on to throw 2 interceptions and 1 touchdown, and against Nebraska the following week, McCoy completed less than 50% of his passes and threw another interception. On the day after Thanksgiving, McCoy was 17 of 32 with 1 interception, while be sacked 4 times in the 38-30 loss to Texas A&M. At the conclusion of the 2007 regular season, Mccoy had thrown for 21 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

In the 2007 Holiday Bowl, McCoy led the Longhorns to a 52–34 victory and won the offensive-player MVP award.

On January 2, 2008 UT running back Jamaal Charles decided to forgo his senior season with Texas in favor of joining the NFL as a professional football player in the 2008 NFL Draft. With Charles' departure, McCoy became the leading returning rusher for the 2008 Longhorns.

McCoy rose in the record books during the first four games of the season. On August 30, 2008 McCoy passed for 222 yards and rushed for 103 yards against FAU, becoming the 2nd player in UT history to pass for 200 and rush for 100 yards in more than one game; the other being Vince Young. On September 20 Colt McCoy surpassed the Texas All-Time record for the most passing TD's with 62 while beating Rice 52–10. The record was previously held by Major Applewhite. Through the first four games of 2008, McCoy completed 80% of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 209.71.

On October 18, against Missouri, McCoy completed the game with 337 yards on 29-of-32 passing with two touchdowns, rushed for two more and at one point completed a school-record 17 passes in a row. His completion ratio of 79% coming into the game improved as he completed 91% of his passes in this game. His four touchdowns put him alone in first place for the most career touchdowns scored at Texas (82), passing Vince Young (81).

UT lost to Texas Tech with one second remaining in the game. McCoy gave a good performance but came up short as his Red Raider counterpart, Graham Harrell had an outstanding day. Following that loss, UT fell to #4 in the BCS rankings. They climbed to #3 the following week as the Horns beat Baylor and former #3 Penn State lost. The win over Baylor was the 829th win for the UT football program, which tied Notre Dame for 2nd in the list of college football's ten most victorious programs.

McCoy led the Longhorns to a 35–7 road victory over the Kansas, ensuring their eighth consecutive season with ten or more wins per season. That is the longest active streak in the nation and it ties them with Miami (1985-92) for the second-longest streak of all-time. It was Colt McCoy's 30th career win, which tied him with Vince Young for the school record. McCoy completed 24 of 35 passing attempts (71%) for 255 yards and 2 touchdown passes. He was also the leading rusher for both schools, rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown. McCoy's two touchdown passes put him at 31 for the season, breaking his own school record.

McCoy had another great performance against in-state rival Texas A&M in the final game of the regular season. This is the longest running rivalry both schools and the biggest margin of victory in the history of the rivalry occurred when Texas beat A&M 48–0 in 1898. McCoy and the Longhorns nearly equaled that record this year by producing a 49–9 victory, the second-largest margin of victory for this rivalry series.

The win was the 31st for Colt McCoy, setting a new school record. McCoy threw ran for 2 touchdowns and threw for 2 more. He completed 23 of 28 attempted passes (82%) for a total of 311 yards. That yardage put him at 3,594 yards for the season - another school record. His longest pass of the evening, 68 yarder on a post route to Jordan Shipley late in the third quarter, ended up a yard short of being McCoy’s fifth touchdown of the evening.

On January 5, 2009, McCoy led the Longhorns to 24–21 victory over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. McCoy completed 41-of-59 passes for 414 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He was named the Offensive Player of the Game for his performance.

McCoy was mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate in his freshman year (2006) and he appeared on the Athlon Sports pre-season Heisman watch at the start of the 2007 season.

The talk has become more widespread his junior year as McCoy has been mentioned by several analysts and voters as a potential 2008 Heisman winner. McCoy was the unanimous front-runner in an October 20 poll of 10 Heisman voters conducted by the Rocky Mountain News. Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Florida Gators, has a vote as the 2007 winner. Seven games into the season he said that McCoy would have his vote at that point in the season.

On November 11 (with UT holding an 8-1 record) Heisman voter Rodney Gilmore of had McCoy listed third of five Heisman candidates. Gilmore said, "I love his numbers (78 percent completion percentage, 28 TDs, only 7 interceptions and 2,879 yards) and his gutsy second-half performance against Texas Tech. And I have not forgotten about his epic performance against Oklahoma just a few weeks ago. However, Harrell outplayed McCoy head-to-head in the showdown last week, so Harrell has a leg up on him for now, but McCoy is within striking distance." That same day, the Rocky Mountain News poll listed Harrell first and McCoy second in their weekly poll of 10 Heisman voters. Harrell received 44 points and 7 first-place votes while McCoy had 34 points and 2 first-place votes.

On November 25, 2008 Colt McCoy was named one of three finalists for the Maxwell Award, which is presented to the top all-around player in the country. The other finalists were Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, last year's winner, and Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford was not selected as a finalist. McCoy also was named a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the country's top quarterback. Bradford and Harrell were the other two candidates; Tebow did not make the list for this award.

After Colt McCoy led the Longhorns to an historic defeat over rival Texas A&M, Sports Illustrated analyst Stewart Mandel said the quarterback took a big step towards claiming the Heisman Trophy. Mandel wrote, "From the Longhorns' opening touchdown drive, in which he accounted for 67 of Texas' 80 yards, McCoy was very much the one-man wrecking crew he's been all season long...His final numbers in just over three quarters of work Thursday night: 23-of-28 passing for 311 yards and two touchdowns and 11 rushes for 49 yards, with touchdown runs of 16 and 14 yards. For the season, McCoy now has a 77.6 completion percentage (soon to be a new NCAA record) for 3,445 yards, 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions, plus 476 yards and 13 TDs running" Comparing McCoy to fellow Big 12 South quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Graham Harrell, Mandel said, "But here's where McCoy stands out to me. Bradford, as talented as he is, is helped by the fact he has a trio of explosive receivers and two potential 1,000-yard rushers behind him. Harrell has Michael Crabtree. Daniel has Jeremy Maclin. With all due respect to Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, McCoy is Texas' offense. Much like Tim Tebow last season, he's both his team's leading passer and rusher. Also like Tebow -- you have to wonder sometimes how he's still standing. McCoy was sacked three times Thursday night and endured several brutal hits. Following his third-quarter touchdown run, trainers attended to his shoulder on the sideline. But he was right back in there the next series." Bradford and Harrell each had one regular-season game left, against Oklahoma State and Baylor, respectively. Tebow had games remaining against Florida State and Alabama.

In the final 2008 Rocky Mountain News poll before the Heisman votes were announced, McCoy moved to the top of the list, but had a very thin lead over Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow, who were in second and third place, respectively. The poll had correctly predicted the Heisman winner in 18 of the previous 21 years. On December 10, McCoy, Bradford, and Tebow were selected as the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Bradford won the trophy with 1,726 total points, and McCoy finished second with 1,604 points in the Heisman voting.

In the seventh game of 2008, he completed 91%. He finished the 2008 regular season with a 77.6% completion percentage, breaking the mark set by Daunte Culpepper for Central Florida, and was the Longhorns' leading rusher with 576 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

He is currently dating Rachel Glandorf, a Baylor University media Relations student assistant and also a track and field athlete. She was seen in the stands at Longhorn games, included the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

He enjoys hunting, fishing, but definitely not playing golf. On May 29, 2006, Colt McCoy swam 300 yards across a lake to help save the life of Ken Herrington who was having a seizure on a small dock that extended into the privately owned lake.

While in Austin, TX Colt is active in the UT community service program including visits to the Austin's Children's Hospital and volunteering at the Children's Miracle Network telethon. Since 2004, he has also spent three days a week reading to elementary school children and tutoring underprivileged children.

Both McCoy's father and mother are Abilene Christian University graduates. His grandfather, Burl McCoy, is a member of the ACU Sports Hall of Fame for his exploits both as an athlete and as the former women's basketball coach. Colt McCoy's younger brother Chance McCoy is currently a junior wide receiver at ACU, while his other brother Case McCoy is currently entering his senior year at Graham High School, where Brad McCoy has coached since 2005. Case McCoy has recently accepted a scholarship offer from the Texas Longhorns.

Some media features on Colt McCoy refer to him jokingly as "The Real McCoy" because of his performance on the field as well as his leadership and personality.

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Source : Wikipedia