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Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Roy Cummings

Tribune Staff

Punchless Bucs sink to new depths

- The problem with winging it on offense, is sooner or later your offense is bound to fall apart, which is precisely what happened on Sunday afternoon to the Buccaneers.

Bucs scratch Collins from lineup versus Packers

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— The question the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be asking themselves now is whether they even want to keep left tackle Anthony Collins on their roster anymore.

Bucs defense has come long way, but stiff test awaits

- If you’ve missed the rally, you are not alone. Tucked away as it has been, deep inside this near season-long losing streak, it has been rather hard to detect.

Tedford: Was healthy enough to coach Bucs in October

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— Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford indicated Friday that he was healthy enough to resume his coaching duties with the team as far back as October....

Bucs notes: McCown makes most of long-distance family time

- Josh McCown admits there have been times this trying season when the distance between him and his family has made playing easier. His wife and children are living at their North Carolina home during the season.

Bucs DT Bowers may get more time but readiness a concern

- Da'Quan Bowers, who lost a starter’s job because he was out of shape during training camp, is still struggling with his conditioning and that could cause him to lose valuable playing again this week.

Is Glennon still the Bucs’ quarterback of the future?

- Mike Glennon remains convinced he is Tampa Bay's long-term solution under center. His coach doesn't seem so sure anymore.

Bucs put DT McCoy, two others on injured reserve

- The Bucs placed Gerald McCoy on injured reserve with a knee sprain, making this the third time in five years that injuries prohibited him from finishing a season. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Louis Murphy were also shelved f...

Bucs’ LT Collins believes benching was due to health not play

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CHARLOTTE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said the surprise benching on Sunday of starting left tackle Anthony Collins was a coach’s decision.

With loss, Buccaneers will finish last in NFC South

- If you thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already exhausted all the whacky ways there are to lose a football game this year, you thought wrong.

Injuries mean new look for Bucs offensive line against Panthers

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CHARLOTTE— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to tinker today with an offensive line that has struggled all season to open holes in the running game and protect its quarterback.

Bucs insist plenty remains at stake

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— Judging by their reaction, you would have thought Josh McCown and the Arizona Cardinals had just won the NFC championship. Clearly they had not.

Bucs Beat: It’s never too early to start talking draft

- Yes, they need a quarterback. But coach Lovie Smith has never drafted one higher than the fourth round and never shown a great willingness to play a young one.

Bucs notes: Team still focused on winning in 2014

- Many Buccaneers fans have already turned their attention to the 2015 season. Out of respect for his players, Bucs coach Lovie Smith can’t do that.

Bucs Hot Reads: DT McCoy honored for fundamentals

- Bucs DT Gerald McCoy was named this week to the USA Football Sixth Annual All-Fundamentals team, which honors players who exhibit exemplary football techniques.

Bucs ‘tough’ QB McCown keeps showing fight

- On Wednesday, Josh McCown trotted out to the practice fields without a limp and showing no ill-effects of the pounding he’d taken three days earlier at Detroit. Coach Lovie Smith says McCown will start at Carolina.

Winning games still Bucs’ top priority

- Though he admits the goals for the final three games are different now that the Bucs have been eliminated from the playoffs, Coach Lovie Smith still isn’t ready to start changing out veterans for prospects.

Same old story as Bucs wither before Lions

- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can’t break out of this season’s bad tendencies at it fell to 2-11 after a 34-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Collins, McDonald among Bucs missing today’s game

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will once again rely on several reserves to step up as starters when they take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field today.

Bucs’ Martin confident he can turn it around

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— For the better part of two years, his legion of detractors has grown. Surely, there are more of them now than there are believers. Their voices have certainly become the lou...

Hot Reads: Bucs hopes less is more for McCoy

- The Bucs are hoping that by using DT Gerald McCoy less, they'll get more out of him.

Bucs, offensive coordinator Tedford agree to part ways

- Jeff Tedford, 56, never coached a regular-season game for the team after undergoing a heart procedure on Aug. 25. He was released from his contractual obligations by the team on Friday.

Bucs Hot Reads: DTs McCoy, Suh not rivals

- Arguably the two best defensive tackles in the league, Lions DT NDamukong Suh and Bucs DT Gerald McCoy will forever be linked and compared, but McCoy says there’s no rivalry between the Pro Bowlers.

Bucs notes: Offense still chasing an identity

- Because of coordinator Jeff Tedford’s season-long absence due to health issues and the team’s struggles on that side of the ball, the Bucs have yet to establish an offensive identity.

Numbers don’t measure up for Bucs QB McCown

- Quarterback Josh McCown was expected to bring stability to the offense, but he has found himself under pressure, and his decision-making has led to costly mistakes.

Bucs are masters of self-destruction

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Win the turnover battle and you’ll win the game. That’s the message Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has preached to his players for as long as he’s...

Too many men on the field adds up to Bucs defeat

- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drop to 2-10 and remain winless at home under coach Lovie Smith after coming up short in the final seconds.

Three tight ends among Buccaneers inactives vs. Bengals

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— Even the most die-hard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan may not recognize the lineup the Bucs will put on the field against the Cincinnati Bengals today.

Buccaneer defense finally finding its footing

- A Buccaneers defense that spent the first six weeks of the season wallowing in the bottom third of the NFL in almost every meaningful statistical category is on the rise.

Bucs Beat: Pondering future of ex-Bengals Collins, Johnson

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— The Cincinnati Bengals were a playoff team last year, champions of the AFC North with an 11-5 record. As it stands now, the Bengals will be a playoff team again this year.

Bucs notes: LB David confident he’ll play Sunday

- From the looks of things, the Bucs will have All-Pro leading tackler Lavonte David back in the lineup against the AFC North-leading Bengals. In fact, he all but guaranteed it.

Bucs consider stronger commitment to run game

- The running game, the base upon which all the Bucs wish to do when they have the ball, is broken. Truth be known, it’s pretty much been that way all season.

Hot Reads: Bucs adjust schedule for holidays

- From a football standpoint, the Bucs don’t have a lot to be thankful for, what with their 2-9 record. But Coach Lovie Smith is giving the team Thanksgiving Day off to reflect and give thanks, anyway.

Bucs notes: Flags follow receivers after TD catches

- For the second time in three weeks last Sunday. a Bucs pass catcher was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for illegally celebrating his touchdown reception.

Bucs offensive line not living up to expectations

- The Bucs devoted a large part of the offseason, and money, to what Coach Lovie Smith called a “re-tooling’’ of their offensive line. He admitted those efforts have been in vain.

Disastrous quarter ensures another Bucs losing season

- The Bears forced four turnovers, including three in a pivotal third quarter, in handing the Bucs a 21-13 loss in Chicago.

Bucs’ Lavonte David will not play against Bears

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CHICAGO — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David for their game against the Bears at Soldier Field today.

Lovie’s return to Chicago is strictly Bucs business

- He might never say so publicly, but in many ways Chicago is still home for Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith. The Bucs take on the Bears in the Windy City today.

Hot Reads: Bucs have choices at running back

- For the first time this season, Coach Lovie Smith likely will have to choose from among Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims when deciding who should get the bulk of the carries.

Bucs Hot Reads: QB McCown recalls Chicago freeze

- Bucs QB Josh McCown has mostly good memories of the two seasons he played for the Bears in Chicago. One of them is virtually frozen in his brain.

Bucs notes: No plans to abandon run-first philosophy

- Coach Lovie Smith's preference is to move the ball on the ground, but the Bucs have struggled to do that over the past eight weeks.

Bucs rookie WR Evans setting records, but still learning

- Mike Evans became the first Bucs receiver to be named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, yet he didn't start playing football until he was a high school senior.

Bucs notes: WR Evans has TD celebration dilemma

- As a kid growing up in Galveston, Texas, Mike Evans’ favorite football player was Randy Moss. But that’s only one reason he has made Moss’s signature touchdown celebration his own.

Big effort from Evans helps Bucs record needed win

- Led by their defense and rookie wide receiver Mike Evans, the Bucs broke a five-game losing streak by beating the Redskins 27-7.

Evans, Jackson are Bucs' towers of strength

- Little has gone the way the Bucs hoped it would since, but their decision to double down on towering outside receiving threats so far has proved to be a winning roll of the dice.

Bucs Hot Reads: Signing of punter brings intrigue

- The signing on Thursday of Jacob Schum to the practice squad sparked speculation the Bucs might be on the verge of letting go of struggling veteran Michael Koenen.

Bucs notes: Splash plays needed from LB trio

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— From a big-play perspective, Buccaneers MLB Mason Foster has had a rather quiet season. After a near-breakout 2013 season in which he recorded two sacks and returned two of th...

Bucs Hot Reads: Smith not only coach to start 1-8

- Lovie Smith’s first-season as coach of the Bucs continues to mirror that of his mentor and former boss, Tony Dungy. Just like the 1996 Bucs under Dungy, Smith’s club is off to a 1-8 start. But Dungy and Smith ar...

Bucs notes: Sapp offers McCoy double-team secrets

- Former Bucs great Warren Sapp continues to lend his expertise at the under tackle position to his latest successor, Gerald McCoy. Sapp’s most recent lesson covered how to beat a double team, and McCoy was all ears.

Bucs’ McCown: ‘I was pressing’ at start of season

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— Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown got off to a miserable start this year, throwing four unconscionable interceptions in his first three games.