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The Buccaneers signed Anger as an unrestricted free agent in March after the former third-round pick played four solid seasons in Jacksonville. Anger competed with incumbent Jacob Schum throughout training camp and the preseason and emerged with the job after a strong August. That good run has continued into September as the games have begun to count.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced that they had agreed to terms with former Jaguars punter Bryan Anger. Anger, a third-round draft pick by Jacksonville in 2012, currently averages 46.8 yards per punt, which are the second-most of any punter in league history.
On the other hand, there’s no guarantee of maintaining the status quo at the other two specialist spots. Long-snapper Andrew DePaola, who handled the job so well the previous three seasons, suffered a knee injury in the season finale and became a free agent on March 9. The team has since added two potential candidates for the job, both of them coincidentally former Florida State players. Dax Dellenbach, signed to a futures contract in February, is still looking for his first regular-season opportunity in the NFL. Garrison Sanborn, just added last week after he was released by Buffalo, has been the Bills’ long-snapper for every game of the past eight seasons.
Those three drafts have also produced defensive starters in Hargreaves and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, a 2016 Pro Bowl alternate. That number could eventually double depending upon the development of Spence and Smith, the latter of whom will go back to cornerback in 2017 after an attempted conversion to safety. Devante Bond, a linebacker picked in the sixth round last spring, spent his rookie season on injured reserve.
Now that the regular season has ended, NFL.com is asking fans to select the best plays of the year, and three of their 32 preliminary selections involve the Buccaneers. Ryan Smith’s top-tapping save on a Bryan Anger punt, Jameis Winston’s escape against the Bears and Mike Evans’ one-handed catch against the Falcons have all been nominated. You can watch all three plays below, and head over to NFL.COM to vote for your favorite by clicking here.
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The Buccaneers have now re-signed five of the 17 players from their 2016 roster who were due to become unrestricted free agents at the start of the new league year on Thursday. Defensive end Will Gholston and safety Chris Conte both agreed to new deals before the market opened while Robinson, running back Jacquizz Rodgers and defensive tackle Sealver Siliga have all returned since.
One of the Bucs’ eight passes defensed on Sunday was actually an interception by Bradley McDougald in the second quarter, which led to a Roberto Aguayo field goal. The Buccaneers scored a total of 13 points off three takeaways, which tied for the most the team has posted in a cheap Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys game this season. Two takeaways against the Rams in Week Three led to a pair of touchdowns but one of them was followed by an errant PAT, leading to a total of 13 points.
Too gracious as hosts during the first half of the 2016 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were downright ill-mannered on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Four first-half takeaways, four sacks of Jay Cutler and a safety by the Buccaneers’ defense powered a runaway 36-10 win over the visiting Chicago Bears.
Bryan Anger was one of the NFL’s most productive punters in his first year with the Buccaneers, downing 37 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard line, the third-most in the league. He was selected as an alternate to the Pro Bowl and was the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Week 17. As the season came to a close, the Bucs inked Anger to a five-year extension. Complementing Anger was the standout play of his punt coverage team, primarily Josh Robinson and rookie Ryan Smith.
That’s our goal with Football Geekery. Each week, we’re going to give you a sampling of statistical and/or historical analysis, hopefully in a way that is relevant to the Buccaneers’ current state of affairs. This week, we look a little closer at the numbers behind the fairly obvious concept that great road success is the mark of a playoff contender. We also look at Bryan Anger’s impressive percentage of punts that go at least 50 yards and take a quick glance at the some blitz-rate numbers.
Robinson was the Buccaneers’ best punt-return “gunner” in 2016, particularly after Shepard began playing more snaps at receiver and fewer on special teams. Robinson led the Bucs and tied for ninth in the NFL with 12 kick-coverage tackles but also made an impact by repeatedly downing Bryan Anger punts inside the 20. Thanks largely to the additions of Anger and Robinson, the Buccaneers improved from 27th in the NFL net punting average in 2015 to third in 2016.