Before the start of training camp and the official kickoff of the 2014 Buccaneers season, Bucs Nation will take you through every season in Buccaneers history, one by one, to paint the whole picture of how the Buccaneers got to where they are today.
Today's edition focuses on the 1993 season, which saw the arrival of one of the best players to ever wear the orange and white for the Buccaneers.
Record: 5-11 (Last in the NFC Central)
Points scored: 237 (23rd in NFL)
Points against: 376 (26th in NFL)
Another Miami Quarterback: After cutting the cord on the Vinny Testaverde experiment, the Buccaneers handed the keys to the offense to Craig Erickson. The first season wasn't a huge success (51% completion percentage, 18 touchdowns, 21 interceptions), but to be honest, it wasn't much worse than most of the QB play in franchise history in Tampa.
214 Tackles: Yeah, 214 tackles. That's what Hardy Nickerson was able to do in his first season in Tampa Bay, earning him All-Pro honors and setting the foundation for what the Buccaneer defense would look like for years to come.
Give and No Take: The Buccaneers continued their franchise-long trend of being awful in the turnover department, ranking in the bottom five in the NFL in giveaways and takeaways. The Bucs only hauled in nine interceptions in 1993, worst in the league.
Beat Down by the Bears: Despite only being outgained by four total yards, the Buccaneers fell to the Chicago Bears by a final score of 47-17 in Week 4 of the 1993 season. The Bucs turned the ball over seven times, including interceptions by three different quarterbacks, as the Bears capitalized on the Bucs' awful performance.
Evidence of Potential: When the Buccaneers weren't turning the ball over in embarrassing fashion, and were able to take the ball away from their opponents, things (obviously) went a bit better. Proof of this came in the form of a 23-10 win over the would-be 9-7 Vikings in Week 12. The Vikings turned the ball over twice, while the Bucs played mistake-free football and coasted to victory.
Rich McKay would join the Buccaneer franchise as general manager in 1993, returning to the team where he was a ball boy under his father, John, during the early days of the organization. And in his first offseason in charge, the Bucs would add some serious defensive firepower.
Hardy Nickerson was added to the linebacking corps and instantly revolutionized the position, becoming one of the most productive players in franchise history at any position with his 214 tackles.
The 1993 draft saw the addition of John Lynch and Chidi Ahanotu, two key players in the Bucs' defensive resurgence over the next few years.
"Next few years" being the key words, because the Bucs were still pretty awful in 1993.
An inefficient, turnover-prone offense and a defense that couldn't stop anyone or turn the ball over led to another double-digit loss season in Tampa.
The following season would see tragic but important change for the Buccaneer franchise, but for now, it was just the same old Bucs.