In time for coach Lovie Smith's first season, the Bucs will sport a new helmet with an updated logo next fall. Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday morning, and the design will be unveiled Thursday night on NFL Network, which employs Sapp.
This will be Tampa Bay's first logo re-design since 1997 and its third overall. The original "Bucco Bruce" logo was used from 1976 to 1996. Meanwhile, the current pewter-and-red scheme has been seen during the franchise's best days: seven playoff berths, three NFC South titles, one NFC Central crown and a Super Bowl XXXVII championship.
However, recent years have been hard. The Bucs last reached the postseason in the 2007 campaign, and they have posted losing seasons in four of the past five years.
Before hiring Smith, they went through three coaches -- Jon Gruden, Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano -- since 2008. Last season was particularly rough, when Tampa Bay went 4-12 and dealt with a divorce from former quarterback Josh Freeman and a MRSA scare that involved three players.