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2006 Buccaneers Season 31 Schedule

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2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season 31 Brief

The 2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 31st season in the National Football League.

The team has failed to improve on their 11–5 record in 2005 and tumbling to a 4-12 record, and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The next season in 2007, however, saw the Buccaneers taking a 9–7 record, but it also would be the last time the Bucs made the playoffs, whereas from 2008 to 2016, have failed to make the Nfl playoffs.

Season Summary

After winning the division in 2005, the Buccaneers 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, 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.

President George W. Bush visits the Bucs at practice before their week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers Inconsistent and unorganized are how some players referred to one of the newcomers, who most players had a hard time making the transition from longtime 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 overall defense was ranked in the low 20's, the first time a Tampa defense was not ranked in the top ten since 1996.

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's 10th consecutive Pro Bowl and 10th Pro Bowl overall.

It was the final season for Mike Alstott as neck surgery forced him to miss all of next season. He then retired in 2008.

Offseason

In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers used their first pick on Oklahoma Guard Davin Joseph. They then used their next pick on Boston College OT Jeremy Trueblood. The rest of their picks included Notre Dame WR Maurice Stovall, Penn St. CB Alan Zemaitis, Stanford DE Julian Jenkins, Toledo QB Bruce Gradkowski, North Carolina St. TE T.J. Williams (who was lost for the upcoming season to injury when he tore his right Achilles tendon the week of June 19), Oregon CB Justin Phinisee, Clemson DE Charles Bennett, and Michigan TE Tim Massaquoi.

After a potential season-ending injury to backup quarterback Luke McCown, the Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Jay Fiedler to back up Chris Simms on June 29. The signing maintains the four-deep status of the backup quarterback position, as Tim Rattay, Jared Allen, and Bruce Gradkowski are still on the roster (as of July 18). Additionally, the team signed two-year veteran tight end Matt Kranchick to replace T.J. Williams, who was lost for the season due to injury, as noted above.

Season:
PRESEASON
Date   Opponent Week/Record Outcome
Friday
Aug. 11
Jets New York Jets
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
PS - wk 1
1-0
Won 16-3
Saturday
Aug. 19
Dolphins Miami Dolphins
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
PS - wk 2
1-1
Lost 10-13
Saturday
Aug. 26
Jaguars @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
PS - wk 3
1-2
Lost 18-29
Thursday
Aug. 31
Texans @ Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
PS - wk 4
1-3
Lost 13-16

2006 Season Results

Record: 4-12, DIV: 0-6 (4th in NFC South)
Date   Opponent Week/Record Outcome
Sunday
Sep. 10
Ravens Baltimore Ravens
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 1
0-1
Lost 0-27
Sunday
Sep. 17
Falcons @ Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
RS - wk 2
0-2
Lost 3-14
Sunday
Sep. 24
Panthers Carolina Panthers
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 3
0-3
Lost 24-26
Sunday
Oct. 1
BYE RS - wk 4
0-3
Sunday
Oct. 8
Saints @ New Orleans Saints
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
RS - wk 5
0-4
Lost 21-24
Sunday
Oct. 15
Bendals Cincinnati Bengals
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 6
1-4
Won 14-13
Sunday
Oct. 22
Eagles Philadelphia Eagles
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 7
2-4
Won 23-21
Sunday
Nov. 29
Giants @ New York Giants
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
RS - wk 8
2-5
Lost 3-17
Sunday
Nov. 5
Saints New Orleans Saints
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 9
2-6
Lost 14-31
Sunday
Nov. 19
Panthers @ Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
RS - wk 10
2-7
Lost 10-24
Sunday
Nov. 19
Redskins Washington Redskins
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 11
3-7
Won 20-17
Thursday
Nov. 23
Cowboys @ Dallas Cowboys
Texas Stadium, Irving, TX
RS - wk 12
3-8
Lost 10-38
Sunday
Dec. 3
Steelers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
RS - wk 13
3-9
Lost 3-20
Sunday
Dec. 10
Falcons Atlanta Falcons
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 14
3-10
Lost 6-17
Sunday
Dec. 17
Bears @ Chicago Bears
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
RS - wk 15
3-11
Lost 31-34
(OT)
Sunday
Dec. 24
Browns @ Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH
RS - wk 16
4-11

Won 22-7

Sunday
Dec. 31
Seahawks Seattle Seahawks
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
RS - wk 17
4-12
Lost 7-23
PLAYOFFS
Date   Opponent NFC/Superbowl Outcome
Season
Ended
Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
None
None
00-00

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