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Thursday, Dec 25, 2014

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

More changes in store for Bucs offensive line

- When Lovie Smith was hired to replace Greg Schiano as head coach, he was already planning an overhaul along the offensive front. And now that he’s settled in a year later, Smith might be thinking along those same lines.

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 17


Each week, 12 national media members — including The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman — rank teams in what is known as The Associated Press Pro32 power rankings. Her...

Bucs Lookahead: Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers close out a forgettable first season under coach Lovie Smith on Sunday, seeking their initial 2014 home victory against the disappointing New Orleans Saints.

Bucs' McCoy named to Pro Bowl, David an alternate

- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, whose 2014 season was cut short by a knee injury, was voted to the all-star game for the third consecutive season. Linebacker Lavonte David has a chance to play in the game, too.

Bucs notes: CB Verner not used to losing

- When Alterraun Verner checked the NFL standings, noticed his former Titans teammates were suffering through the same results.

Bucs defense delivers stout effort in loss


— They stiffened in the red zone. They chased Aaron Rodgers off his spot. From sideline to sideline, they hit the Packers hard and often.

Hot Reads: Bucs playing to win final two games

- Bucs coach Lovie Smith doesn't buy into some fans' contention the franchise would be better off losing its final two games to finish 2-14 and ensure a premium pick in the 2015 draft.

Bucs notes: Run game is key against Packers


TAMPA — With Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers coming to town Sunday, directing an offense that averages 31 points, the Bucs figure their best defense could be a strong commitment to a ground game that eats up clock and ...

Postseason letdown cuts deep for Bucs' veterans used to success

- For players such as Logan Mankins, Vincent Jackson, Dashon Goldson, Clinton McDonald and Evan Dietrich-Smith, January once meant playoff games and the hunt for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Bucs Lookahead: Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay

- The Bucs seek their first 2014 victory at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday as a sellout crowd teeming with Green Bay fans will greet Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who were upset at Buffalo last week.

Bucs add to roster after McCoy, Murphy, Seferian-Jenkins go on I.R.

- The Buccaneers promoted wide receiver Tavarres King, tight end Evan Rodriguez and defensive tackle George Uko from the practice squad and signed wide receiver Chandler Jones to the practice squad.

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 16


Each week, 12 national media members — including The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman — rank teams in what is known as The Associated Press Pro32 power rankings. Her...

Bucs notes: Dotson at LT earns solid reviews

- Coach Lovie Smith said he was encouraged by Demar Dotson's debut at left tackle, following 44 consecutive starts on the right side. And Smith offered no suggestion that Anthony Collins will get his high-profile job back.

Bucs’ Dotson makes ‘uncomfortable’ move to blind side


— After 44 consecutive starts on the right side, Buccaneers offensive lineman Demar Dotson experienced what NFL life is like at the critical ...

Bucs can only hope for best with McCoy’s injury


— This time, an injured Gerald McCoy didn’t get his way.

Costly penalty wipes out Bucs’ game-changing interception


With the Bucs trailing 16-10 early in the fourth quarter, Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson’s pass intended for tight end Greg Olsen was intercepted by linebac...

Losing close ‘getting super old’ for Buccaneer defense


Carolina’s only touchdown drive of the afternoon was all of 4 yards, following quarterback Josh McCown’s fumble, but Tampa Bay’s defense yielded 28 first downs and 390 yards...

NFL column: J.J. Watt may not win MVP, but he’s deserving


— He was the runaway choice as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, but that’s not good enough for him anymore.

Bucs Hot Reads: DE Jacquies Smith boosts sack total

- Since his first pro start versus Atlanta five weeks ago, the 24-year-old defensive end has six sacks, including a pair of two-sack efforts at Washington and at Detroit.

Bucs notes: LB David ready after concussion scare

- A scary moment for Lavonte David passed without incident, and now the All-Pro outside linebacker of the Buccaneers can't wait to get back on the field Sunday in Charlotte.

Does anyone want to win the NFC South?


— Only in the wacky NFC South can a team end a six-game slide, improve to 4-8-1 and declare itself in the thick of the division race.

Newton released from hospital, won’t play vs. Bucs

- Carolina coach Ron Rivera named Derek Anderson as the starting QB for Sunday’s home matchup against the Bucs in the aftermath of an auto accident involving Cam Newton.

Bucs notes: WR Evans nears franchise marks


Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first-round pick out of Texas A&M who leads all rookie receivers with 10 TD catches and 935 receiving yards, is within reach of some significant personal acc...

Hot Reads: Rookie WRs flourish for Bucs, Panthers


TAMPA — It’s been a stellar season for rookie receivers in the NFL and two of the best will be on display Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin of Carolina ran...

Bucs notes: At 2-11, team is playing for pride

- Now that playoff hopes are a distant memory for the Bucs in this forgettable first season under coach Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay players have to find additional sources of motivation for the final three games.

Bucs notes: Defense plays short-handed

- The Bucs began the game with three defensive starters sidelined, then two more key regulars went down during one of the season’s most physical matchups. Two All-Pro players — defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and li...

Bucs’ McCown battered, bloodied by Lions’ relentless defense


Josh McCown barely completed half of his passes, threw two interceptions and was sacked six times by the Lions on Sunday, but when the final gun so...

Little for Bucs to feel good about on this day


— You’d think Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans would have every reason to feel good about himself after Sunday’s game.

NFL column: Megatron sets standard in Lions’ locker room


— Calvin Johnson is unique in many ways, including his temperament.

Bucs notes: Defense benefits from close look

- Since a 48-17 home loss to Baltimore Oct. 12, the Buccaneers' defense has responded with a string of impressive efforts.

Bucs CB Banks seizes opportunity

- After an admittedly erratic rookie season that included a bout with MRSA, Johnthan Banks had to prove himself as an NFL player all over again in 2014 as Tampa Bay made changes at the top of the organization. He has done jus...

Bucs Hot Reads: Lions WR tandem to test defense

- A Bucs defense that vaulted from last in the league to No. 20 since the Oct. 19 bye week will be tested Sunday when Tampa Bay’s secondary faces Detroit’s dynamic receiving tandem of Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Bucs Bonus Podcast: Offense not keeping up with defense


Coming off another loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals, the 2-10 Buccaneers prepare to go on the road to take on the 8-4 Detroit Lions. Olivia Stacey joins Tampa Tribune’s NFL writer, Ira Kaufman to discuss the...

Bucs notes: Penalty flags pain C Dietrich-Smith

- With each blown assignment and yellow flag linked to the Bucs' offensive line Sunday, Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head dropped a little lower.

Bucs Lookahead: Tampa Bay at Detroit


The penalty-plagued Tampa Bay Buccaneers head to Detroit on Sunday seeking their third road win of the season. The Lions have limited eight of 12 opponents to 17 points or fewer behind the NFL’s stingiest rushing ...

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 14


Each week, 12 national media members — including The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman — rank teams in what is known as The Associated Press Pro32 power rankings. Her...

Bucs notes: Offense not keeping pace with defense

- In the span of one month, the defense of the Buccaneers has vaulted from last in the NFL to the No. 20 spot.

Bucs notes: Nightmare game for OL Gilkey

- Garrett Gilkey’s first NFL start at center was a memorable one, for all the wrong reasons.

Defense won’t point fingers in Bucs loss

- With coach Lovie Smith stressing patience to fans who wondered why opponents were strafing Tampa Bay at will in the early weeks, the Bucs continued their solid defensive play Sunday.

NFL column: Rejuvenated Seahawks get healthy at right time


— They’re back, and they mean business.

Passionate McDonald a quiet leader for Buccaneers

- Clinton McDonald doesn’t have to brandish his Super Bowl ring to attract the attention of his Buccaneers teammates.

Bucs Hot Reads: Two ex-Bengals face former team

- Two Bucs starters who signed as free agents from the Bengals within a day of each other in March are set to face their former team on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs notes: CB Banks improving along with defense

- According to Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the development of young CB Johnthan Banks mirrors the general improvement in Tampa Bay’s defense.

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 13


Each week, 12 national media members — including The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman — rank teams in what is known as The Associated Press Pro32 power rankings. Her...

Bucs QB McCown says defense deserved better fate

- For Josh McCown, the worst part of Sunday’s loss at Chicago came when he had to look Tampa Bay defensive players in the eye.

Bucs continue their Turkey Time tradition

- Members of Tampa Bay's offensive line continued a tradition started by former Bucs guard Davin Joseph, handing out free turkey dinners to families in need.

Bucs notes: FB Lane put on IR with broken leg

- On Monday, the Bucs put fullback Jorvorskie Lane on season-ending injured reserve after he broke his right leg during Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears.

Bucs notes: Finishing touch again lacking

- Just when the Bucs thought they had resolved their concerns about finishing games, the Bears rallied from a 10-point deficit to ensure Tampa Bay of its fourth consecutive losing season.

Bucs compensate but feel loss of Lavonte David


CHICAGO — Lavonte David woke up Sunday morning in the Windy City, hoping for the best. The All-Pro linebacker of the Bucs missed the final two days of practice with a hamstring injury, but Tampa Bay’s leadi...

Bucs’ Evans ties franchise record with 4-game touchdown streak

- Mike Evans ended one streak Sunday while extending another as the dynamic rookie receiver accounted for Tampa Bay’s lone touchdown.