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Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Roy Cummings

Tribune Staff

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


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


— 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


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

Bucs offense piling up yards, but not points

- While losing the past two games, Tampa Bay averaged 369 yards -- 365 at Cleveland and a season-high 373 against Atlanta.

Lovie Smith: Bucs need to clean up mistakes

- The day after a 27-17 loss to Atlanta, what seemed to bother Bucs coach Lovie Smith the most was having to still talk about the variety of ways in which Bucs continue to beat themselves.

Emotional McCown on Bucs loss: ‘We’re sick’ of this

- The Bucs saw another fourth-quarter lead slip away in a rematch with NFC South rival Atlanta. The emotion of the continued losing weighed on QB Josh McCown after the game.

Bucs defensive end Michael Johnson out again today


— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers only had the services of right defensive end Michael Johnson for six snaps the first time they faced the Atlanta Falcons this year.

Bucs will try to salvage some pride in Falcons rematch


— The Buccaneers were only a few minutes into one of their first film reviews of the week Wednesday when right tackle Demar Dotson began to sense a change in his demeanor.

Lovie not bending on Bucs' Cover 2 scheme

- Coach Lovie Smith has installed a version of the Tampa 2 defense that Tony Dungy helped make famous in Tampa. And, like with Dungy, the Bucs are struggling to adjust.

Hot Reads: Third down gives Bucs' offense fits

- The Buccaneers' offense enters Sunday’s game against the Falcons ranked 30th in the 32-team NFL in third-down conversion with a 33 percent success rate.

Brother’s tweet led to Glennon announcing Bucs QB change


— A tweet posted by the brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon may have sparked the decision to have Glennon announce his benching Monday evening.

Lovie Smith: McCown to start but Glennon still Bucs’ future

- Mike Glennon’s failure to execute some routine throws, particularly during the Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the Browns, and Luke McCown’s return to health factored into the decision to change quarterbacks.

Seeking kick-start, Bucs may go back to McCown as QB

- Unhappy with the erratic play he received from second-year quarterback Mike Glennon against the Browns, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said he will contemplate going back to veteran Josh McCown as his starter for Sunday's game agai...

Bucs squander another lead in 22-17 loss to Browns

- Less than two weeks after calling out his teammates for playing too soft, Gerald McCoy questioned his teammates again after a 22-17 loss at Cleveland.

Bucs wills be without Martin, Collins against Browns


CLEVELAND— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without two key offensive starters for their game against the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium today.

Sims could add spark to Bucs running game


— The Buccaneers do not have a quarterback controversy. For now and the foreseeable future, Mike Glennon is their guy. That, at least, is what coach Lovie Smith wants everyo...

Bucs notes: Smith still not giving up on first season

- Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith, though, has yet to give up on his belief the Bucs can make something special out of his first year at the helm.

Hot Reads: Hits can deceive, Bucs QB Glennon says

- Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon was sacked five times each in the past two games. But many of the hits the second-year pro absorbs look worse than they really are, he said.

Bucs rookie WR Evans gaining comfort at NFL level

- Nearly half-way through his first season in the league, receiver Mike Evans is starting to get a feel for the speed and intensity of the NFL game. He can tell, he said, from his work in the running game.

Bucs pass protection not keeping QB Glennon safe

- In the past two games, losses a mostly veteran line allowed first Baltimore and then Minnesota to sack quarterback Mike Glennon five times each.

Bucs notes: McCoy’s work ethic wows

- Jason Licht spent nearly 20 years climbing the NFL ladder to the post he now holds as general manager of the Bucs. In all those years, few players have wowed him as much as DT Gerald McCoy.

Lovie Smith: Change at QB not in Bucs’ plans

- Though second-year pro Mike Glennon has now lost as many games as opening-day starter Josh McCown, a change of quarterbacks does not seem to be in the offing for the Bucs.

Bucs lose in sudden agony

- The Bucs continue to invent ways to lose, this time on a defensive touchdown on the first play of overtime in a 19-13 setback to the Vikings that dropped their record to 1-6.

Bucs McCown will dress but not start against Vikings


TAMPA - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown will be back in uniform today for the first time since he tore ligaments in his thumb in a loss at Atlanta last month.

McCoy, Bucs agree to $95.2 million contract


— It was only a week ago, in the wake of a sub-par performance against the Baltimore Ravens, that Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy denounced his status as a two-time Pro ...

Hot Reads: WR Jackson wants to stay with Bucs

- Bucs WR Vincent Jackson has heard all the trade rumors involving his name, but hasn’t heard anything from Bucs officials to suggest there’s any truth to them.

Bucs notes: QB dilemma is whether to activate McCown

- The biggest decision Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has to make regarding QB Josh McCown this week is not whether to start him, but whether to activate him.

Bucs' McCoy: We're playing soft, just have to be tougher

- The leader of the 32nd-ranked defense in the 32-team NFL said the Bucs have not played tough enough either mentally or physically, and that it’s on the players to change their image.

Bucs have reasons for deferring at coin toss


Like many of his NFL rivals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith places a premium on ball security. That’s why it’s odd that he usually gives the ball away the first time he has a chance to possess it.<...

Lingering ankle injury frustrates Bucs DE Johnson


— The tip of the spear has not been sharp. And the right edge has a nick in it, one that’s been there almost since the spear was pulled from its sheath.

Bucs take weekend off, gain ground in NFC South

- The 2014 NFC South title is still a prize the Bucs can win, because even at 1-5, the Bucs aren't out of it yet.

Smith faces QB decision as McCown returns to Bucs practice

- It appears Bucs coach Lovie Smith must make a decision at quarterback with Josh McCown returning to practice, possibly opening the door for him to start over Mike Glennon on Sunday vs. Minnesota.

Bucs fire player development director after DUI arrest

- The Bucs are on the lookout for a new director of player development after they parted ways with Isaiah Harris following his arrest on a DUI charge Thursday morning.

Bucs sign CB Frey, eye change at nickel corner

- As Lovie Smith promised, it’s more of a tweak than an overhaul, and there’s no guarantee it will happen immediately. But all indications are the Bucs are contemplating a change of nickel cornerbacks.