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Saturday, Jan 31, 2015

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

Lynch, Dungy await call from Hall again

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— Safety John Lynch and coach Tony Dungy, hoping to continue the recent run of Tampa Bay Buccaneers inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, learn their fate today ...

RBs Lynch, Blount will do their talking on the field

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Ex-Buc Joseph: Team has to learn how to win

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— Davin Joseph was as shocked as Buccaneers fans when Tampa Bay went 2-14 under first-year coach Lovie Smith.

Super Bowl coaches differ externally, share drive to win

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— Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll have taken the full circle route to Sunday’s Super Bowl.

For Revis, Sherman, Super Bowl is battle to be the best

- Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman will share the biggest stage, at Sunday’s Super Bowl. They surely will try to one-up each other.

Gronk poses huge problems for Seahawks defense

- Containing the fifth-year tight end of the Patriots will be the focal point of a Seattle defense considered the league’s best, led by a stellar secondary that includes All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and hard-hitti...

Seattle playing for place in history

- As frustrated Buccaneers fans can attest, Michael Bennett is a heck of a football player.

NFL column: History not on Lynch’s side in Hall of Fame debate

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The last thing the embattled National Football League needs is another compelling safety issue.

McCoy: Bucs’ offense, defense failed in two-minute situations

- Gerald McCoy said Tampa Bay’s 2-14 record stems primarily from chronic failures in two-minute situations, but the Pro Bowl defensive tackle offered no opinion on what the Bucs should do with the No. 1 pick in the 2015...

Former Bucs players taking center stage in Super Bowl

- Lovie Smith’s goal of “Destination Phoenix” for the 2014 Buccaneers proved to be a far-fetched notion, but the upcoming Super Bowl between the Patriots and Seahawks features a distinctive Tampa Bay flavor.

NFL Column: Coaches can make most of second chances

- Before you criticize the Bills and Raiders for making safe, uninspired choices, be aware of a trend. In the past 17 years, 11 coaches have won Super Bowls with teams other than their first employers — including Jon Gr...

Through 20 years, Bucs owners have made impact

- The Glazers have had their critics during their 20 years owning the Bucs, but there’s no denying the family’s impact on the franchise and on the community.

Ex-Bucs star Barber still likes team’s potential

- Despite a 2-14 mark that earned the Bucs the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, Ronde Barber said he hasn’t lost any confidence in head coach Lovie Smith and suggested Tampa Bay’s dismal record was quite misl...

Stamkos’ late goal ends frustration as Bolts beat Sabres

- A night of mounting frustration ended in relief as Stamkos scored with 5:18 remaining to eke out a 2-1 victory against the reeling Sabres. The star was Buffalo backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 45 shots.

Lynch, Dungy among finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame

- Safety John Lynch and coach Tony Dungy, hoping to continue the recent run of Tampa Bay Buccaneers inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, head the list of 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2015.

Lynch, Dungy await as Hall of Fame announces finalists for 2015 tonight

- Safety John Lynch and coach Tony Dungy, key contributors when the Buccaneers emerged as an NFL power in the late 1990s, are hoping to advance today when the Pro Football Hall of Fame announces its 15 modern-era finalists fo...

Kaufman: Watt, Rodgers are a class above the competition

- The 2014 NFL season featured a blend of the old and the new.

Bucs 2015 offseason primer

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The Bucs have a busy offseason ahead, from hiring an offensive coordinator to free agency to having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Here is our guide to the offseason:

Bucs notes: McCoy more optimistic than at end of last year

- For Bucs Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy, this year's 2-14 record generates more optimism than Tampa Bay's 4-12 finish in 2013.

Martin, Bucs effective on ground again

- For the second time in three weeks, Doug Martin and the Bucs displayed an effective running attack that chewed up yards and ate up clock.

Bucs notes: Better days ahead for DT McDonald

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TAMPA — Former Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDonald finished off a solid first season in Tampa as a free-agent acquisition, dropping Drew Brees for his fif...

Evans, Jackson first Bucs receiving pair to reach 1,000 yards

- Sunday's loss to the Saints capped record-setting seasons for Bucs receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.

Bucs safety McDougald continues to shine with pick

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Bradley McDougald figured he owed his head coach some payback for taking a leap of faith on him.

NFL column: 49ers’ future uncertain after free fall

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TAMPA — It all seemed so promising back in September, when the 49ers took down America’s Team with authority.

Bucs Hot Reads: Patriots owner Kraft praises Tampa Bay's front office

- According to one of the most successful owners in the NFL, the Bucs are primed for a major turnaround because of their acumen in the front office.

Bucs notes: WR Murphy signs three-year extension

- An ankle injury brought WR Louis Murphy’s first season with the Buccaneers to a premature finish, but it didn’t bring an early end to his tenure with the team.

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

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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

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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

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— 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

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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

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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

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— 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

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

Costly penalty wipes out Bucs’ game-changing interception

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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

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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

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— 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?

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— 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

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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

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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...