clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Season by Season History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2011

The "Youngry" Bucs couldn't follow up on their surprising 2010 performance.

Wesley Hitt

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.

It's time for the 2011 Buccaneers, Raheem Morris' "Youngry" squad that lost him his job.

Season Recap

Record: 4-12 (Last in the NFC South)

Points scored: 287 (27th in NFL)

Points against: 494 (32nd in NFL)

Historically Bad Defense: The Bucs fell a touchdown and an extra point shy of tying the all-time record for points allowed in a season, just a year after finishing in the top-10 on defense. 2011 was only the second year in franchise history in which the Bucs finished last in scoring defense (1986 was the other instance).

Someone Has to Catch Touchdowns...: Dezmon Briscoe hauled in six touchdown catches in 2011 to lead all skill position players in scoring. The former sixth-round pick of the Bengals only has eight receptions apart from his surprising 2011 campaign, when he hauled in 35 passes for 387 yards. but with Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow failing to live up to expectations, Briscoe was opportunistic and found a role in a struggling offense.

Instant Impact: Rookie Adrian Clayborn registered 7.5 sacks during his first season in Tampa Bay, forcing three fumbles and giving the team a glimmer of hope on an otherwise horrible defense. The Bucs were gashed by opposing running games every week, but when a quarterback did drop back to pass, Clayborn was in his face more often than not.

Key Games

A Crack in the Foundation: The Bucs started the 2011 season 3-1, but went up against a formidable foe in the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5 and were thumped 48-3. The Bucs committed nine penalties and turned the ball over three times, including one interception that was returned for a score. Vernon Davis hauled in two touchdown passes from Alex Smith, and the Bucs looked like they simply didn't belong on the same field as the Niners.

A Fireable Offense: The Bucs were already off the tracks by the time they took on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14, but that still doesn't excuse the pitiful performance the team put on the field that week. Facing a similarly bad team in their in-state rivals, the Bucs turned the ball over seven times, committed 12 penalties, and allowed the Jags to rattle off 28 points in a 7:30 span in the second quarter to put things out of reach early.

Major Storylines

The Bucs entered 2011 as the "Youngry" up-and-comers in the NFC, but were quickly exposed as a fraud, and the unsteady foundation upon which the franchise had been built was exposed.

The front office was static that offseason, only bringing in Michael Koenen and Albert Haynesworth to add to a very young and seemingly promising roster. Haynesworth proved to be a huge disappointment, while Koenen was just a punter, and couldn't help the Bucs overcome their issues on both sides of the ball.

Josh Freeman's level of play regressed, as did LeGarrette Blount's. Gerald McCoy only appeared in six games, while Aqib Talib and Tanard Jackson missed the end and beginning of the season due to injury and suspension, respectively.

And despite plenty of reasons to believe that Raheem Morris was well-respected in the locker room heading into the season, it was clear that he couldn't keep the team together during any sort of adversity, and everything fell apart in catastrophic fashion in 2011, losing Morris his job after only three seasons.

So the team would seek a coach with a different perspective and a different style. And boy, did they find one...