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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

Bucs may be seeking QB help with McCown hurt

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Coach Lovie Smith declined to talk about his injured players, including veteran QB Josh McCown, who did not practice Monday. McCown suffered a significant sprain to his right thumb in Atlanta and his hand was heavily wra...

Bucs notes: Players determined to get first win

- After one of the worst beatings in franchise history, the Buccaneers are relying on individual pride to avoid an 0-4 start.

Hot Reads: Bucs P Koenen bested by Hester’s speed

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Just like so many punters before him, Michael Koenen thought he had an angle on Devin Hester.

Column: Let’s not forget NFL’s good guys, like Derrick Brooks

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We interrupt this ongoing police report to remind you that the majority of NFL players abhor the actions of some celebrated miscreants.

Bucs notes: McCown is the starter if healthy, Smith says

- An MRI exam revealed a severe sprain but not a broken thumb for quarterback Luke McCown. An unconfirmed Fox Sports report says he may get another test on the thumb, however.

McCown has significant sprain, not a break

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— An MRI on the injured right thumb of Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown revealed a significant sprain, but not a break.

Five more giveaways contribute mightily to lopsided defeat for Bucs

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He arrived in Tampa preaching that turnovers and takeaways would define his team’s season.

Bucs notes: Struggles cut deep for GM Licht

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After almost two decades working in scouting and personnel for five franchises, Jason Licht figured he was prepared to be an NFL general manager.

Hester’s record-breaking runback a very familiar sight for Lovie

- Before Thursday’s game, Bucs coach Lovie Smith and Falcons WR Devin Hester shared an emotional embrace. The next time Smith noticed No. 17, Hester was streaking past his sideline for a pair of touchdowns.

As Martin struggles, Rainey comes up big for Bucs

- Doug Martin was largely ineffective last season before missing the final 10 games with a torn labrum. And while he was inactive Sunday, Bobby Rainey shredded the Rams for 144 yards

Ira Kaufman’s Week 3 NFL power rankings

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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 Hot Reads: Thursday game a chance for ‘fun’

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TAMPA — As the winless Buccaneers prepare to hit the road for the first time during the Lovie Smith era, center Evan Dietrich-Smith has a message for Tampa Bay’s young players:

Bucs notes: Offensive line starting to click

- The rewards have yet to come, but Anthony Collins sees a solid unit bonding together along the Buccaneers' offensive line.

Bucs notes: Nothing special about punt, kick units

- When Lovie Smith arrived in Tampa in January, the new head coach of the Bucs said special teams would play a critical role in the club’s success. Smith proved prophetic on Sunday.

Bucs defeat mars Rainey day as fill-in rushes for 144 yards

- Third-year running back Bobby Rainey, who led the Bucs in rushing last year, filled in for injured Doug Martin and ran for 144 yards in 22 carries before the Rams rallied for a 19-17 triumph.

The Bucs Pulse: Buccaneers vs. Rams

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Five questions with ... LS Andrew DePaola

Bucs Hot Reads: Smith hopes Brooks inspires

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TAMPA — Don’t be surprised if Bucs coach Lovie Smith dashes back onto the field a little early after halftime Sunday to catch a few minutes of a ceremony that promises to be emotional.

Bucs notes: LT Collins to face Rams DE Quinn

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TAMPA — When the NFL schedule was released in April, Anthony Collins knew he’d have to gear up for a fast start.

Bucs LB David has mentor in Hall of Famer Brooks

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— Lavonte David has a vivid recollection of his first meeting with Derrick Brooks.

Bucs notes: Tedford, still recovering, misses practice

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford was not present at One Buc Place on Wednesday, two days after head coach Lovie Smith said the 52-year-old play caller was back working full time.

Ira Kaufman’s Week 2 NFL power rankings

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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...

Hot Reads: Bucs DT McCoy credits fans for staying

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McCoy to fans:

Goldson's drop costly in Bucs' failed comeback

- For a split second, Dashon Goldson nearly had an interception with 1:47 remaining. But he dropped it. A catch could have made the difference with Tampa Bay trailing Carolina by three.

Bucs Notes: Team awaits word on Mankins’ injury

- Logan Mankins, a six-time Pro Bowl guard acquired from the Patriots two weeks ago, went to the sideline with a knee injury midway through the second quarter and didn’t return. The extent of the injury was uncertain, c...

Bucs’ Rainey disappointed over costly fumble

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— The fact that an outstanding football player made a game-saving play didn’t lessen the disappointment for Bobby Rainey.

Bucs Pulse: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Where/when: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa/4:25 p.m. today TV: Fox, Ch. 13 Radio: 620 AM, 103.5 FM, 95.3 FM

Kuechly uses unique skills to set tone

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— When Doug Martin runs off tackle, No. 59 will be there.

Bucs Hot Reads: New G Mankins ready for first game

- As he approaches his first game in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform, Logan Mankins appreciates the support shown by his new teammates. Mankins was acquired last week in a trade with New England and the six-time Pro Bowl guard...

Bucs notes: OC Tedford’s debut might be delayed

- Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford continues to show improvement from an undisclosed medical procedure, but head coach Lovie Smith offered no assurances the former Cal coach will be calling plays in the booth this Sunday.

Bucs CB Verner eyes matchup with ex-FSU receiver

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— Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner has seen enough tape of former Florida State standout Kelvin Benjamin to know Tampa Bay’s secondary faces a big challenge in Sund...

NFL power rankings: Ira Kaufman’s ballot

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Rk., Team Comment

Bucs eager, optimistic at annual Commerce luncheon

- Sunday’s opener against Carolina can’t come soon enough for Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-owner Bryan Glazer, who told a Chamber of Commerce audience he enters the 2014 season brimming with confidence.

NFL column: Defenses forced to retool strategies

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— The traditional theory that defense wins championships in the National Football League is about to be tested this season.

Bucs notebook: Cam Newton will provide early test

- The Bucs defense has one primary task in Sunday’s season opener against the Panthers — jolt QB Cam Newton out of his comfort zone.

Bucs defense’s top task: stop Cam Newton

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— The Buccaneer defense has one primary task in Sunday’s season opener against the Panthers.

Real McCoy: There’s so much more to Bucs star

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— At the University of Oklahoma, he arrived at a men’s basketball game dressed as Cupid on Valentine’s Day, complete with wings on his back.

Mankins says trade surprised him, but he'll be ready to play

- The oppressive Tampa heat hit Logan Mankins as soon as he walked off the plane Thursday. Two days earlier, he had been reminded of the cold reality of the NFL when the Patriots traded their 6-time Pro Bowl guard to the Bucs...

Bucs vs. Washington: 5 Things to Watch

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It has been an eventful week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into tonight’s preseason finale against Washington at Raymond James Stadium.

G Mankins will bring smarts, physical play to Bucs

- The Bucs bypassed controversial Richie Incognito and addressed their concerns at guard by acquiring six-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins from New England in exchange for second-year tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draf...

Bucs offensive coordinator Tedford has medical procedure

- Jeff Tedford underwent a medical procedure Monday and might not return to work in time for Thursday night’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

Bucs LB Casillas: Didn’t make trip after ‘I made a mistake’

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— Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jonathan Casillas participated in practice Monday and said he didn’t expect any lingering effects after violating an unspecified team ru...

Bucs notes: First two foes may start backup QBs

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TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could face reserve quarterbacks the first two weeks of the season as they play host to the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams, respectively.

Bucs hot reads: Defense building chemistry

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The Buccaneers are 1-2 heading into Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Washington Redskins, but Tampa Bay’s starting defense already has established itself as a unit to be reckoned with.

Defense realizes Smith’s vision of ‘Buc Ball’

- In building a 24-0 halftime lead at Buffalo on Saturday, the Bucs excelled at all the touchstones Coach Lovie Smith will look for when the games start to count Sept. 7 against Carolina.

Buccaneers cut return specialist Page, 11 others from roster

- Wide receiver Eric Page, who handled almost all of the kick return duties last season for the Bucs, was one of 12 players cut Sunday.

Smith, Dietrich-Smith forge bond over classic cars

- The new head coach of the Buccaneers and Tampa Bay’s free-agent center share a passion for vintage automobiles and physical football.

Bucs notes: Scorching heat a home-field advantage

- With Wednesday afternoon’s heat index topping 102 degrees at One Buc Place, coach Lovie Smith explained why he prefers having the team practice in the oppressive heat that is likely to accompany the first two regular-...

Bucs defense not ready to relax

- The unit knows it will be a key to success, and that there is work to do before the start of the regular season.

Bucs notebook: Omameh learned from some of best

- Opening Saturday night’s preseason game against Miami at right guard, Patrick Omameh might have solidified a starting spot on a Bucs offensive line that came under scrutiny after a poor performance at Jacksonville.

Former Bucs OL Zuttah fitting in with Ravens

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— In their haste to overhaul a leaky offensive line, the Buccaneers might have jettisoned a keeper.