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Super Bowl? Yes, that’s the Tampa Bay Bucs doing the talking

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A last-second win over a Dallas team with two victories, and Tampa Bay Bucs coach Lovie Smith no longer recognizes a ceiling.

Smith, coach of the 4-5 Bucs, talked about reaching the Super Bowl Monday.

This year.

“We have the goal of beating our next opponent,” said Smith, a day after a 10-6 win over Dallas. “Our goals are to win the NFC South and to win the Super Bowl. We’re relevant. Everything we’ve set out is in front of us. Our main goal is to improve over the last game we played.”

Yes, the Super Bowl seems far-fetched for a team that was only 2-14 a year ago.

However, the Bucs are coming off their finest defensive performance of the year, a performance where they held the Cowboys to two yards per rushing attempt and kept them out of the end zone. Tampa Bay won on a last-minute drive, then intercepted a pass to finish things off.

“We finished,” Smith said. “Our linebackers played well. It was as good as the two of them (Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David) have played at the same time. Our safeties played well. Our cornerbacks.”

Smith was asked what he liked about the Bucs’ late drive for the win.

“It would be easier to talk about what I didn’t like,” he said.

The Bucs try for two in a row, and to reach .500, in this week’s game against the Eagles.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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