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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

NFL column: Bears’ players-only session yields positive results

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Like their counterparts in Tampa, the Chicago Bears might have found a defensive identity last week.

After long road to Bucs, Smith making most of his chances

- Two years ago, linebacker Jacquies Smith was side-stepping snowdrifts in the CFL. But after disappointing turns with the Jets and Bills, he is becoming a key cog in the Bucs' defense.

Bucs notes: Defense looks to keep turnovers coming

- Two early interceptions last week at Washington sparked the Bucs to a 10-point lead, and there figure to be more chances for takeaways Sunday when Tampa Bay heads to Soldier Field.

Bucs Bonus podcast: Lovie and Bears reunion

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In this week’s Bucs Bonus Podcast, Tampa Tribune’s NFL writer, Ira Kaufman and Olivia Stacey discuss the Bucs victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, standout players from week 11, and the upcoming ...

Bucs notes: RB Forte is key to Bears offense

- Veteran RB Matt Forte is keeping some pretty good company at the top of the Chicago Bears record book.

Bucs Hot Reads: Passing success could help running game

- The struggling Bucs ground game could get a boost by the emergence of rookie Mike Evans into an elite receiver.

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 12

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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...

Lynch, Dungy get another shot at Hall of Fame

- The former Bucs safety and coach are among the 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which were announced late Tuesday.

Bucs defense inspired by Chicago crime film

- In preparing for a matchup at Washington, Lovie Smith showed his captive audience a Charles Tillman highlight film, focusing on his uncanny knack for punching the ball loose.

Bucs notes: Lansanah’s early interception gets it started

- It didn’t take long for Bucs linebacker Danny Lansanah to send an emphatic message to the Redskins: Our defense is coming at you all day.

Bucs’ offensive line finally offers McCown protection

- After a rough four-game stretch of allowing 16 sacks, Tampa Bay’s offensive line gave Josh McCown ample time to find rookie wide receiver Mike Evans downfield for big plays.

Griffin: Redskins laid egg in loss to Bucs

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LANDOVER, Md. — By any name, the Redskins were embarrassed by their performance in Sunday’s 27-7 setback as Tampa Bay posted its most lopsided road win since a 21-0 victory at San Francisco in 2010.

Bucs’ Banks shows worth with first career TD

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Johnthan Banks wasn’t going to let a football slip through his hands.

Buccaneers defense wreaks havoc on RGIII

- They took turns frolicking in the Washington backfield, giving beleaguered quarterback Robert Griffin III an up close-and-personal look at the FedExField turf.

Bucs Bonus: Is Lovie in trouble?

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In this week’s Bucs podcast with Ira Kaufman, we discuss if Coach Lovie Smith’s job is on the line, preview Sunday’s match-up in Washington, and how the Bucs can return to relevancy.

Bucs LB David pushes through long losing season

- While Lavonte David waits for a lucrative contract extension that appears inevitable, the third-year linebacker is enduring a flurry of losing Sundays in the fall.

Bucs notes: QB McCown not ideal leading rusher

- Josh McCown was Tampa Bay’s leading rusher in five attempts as the Bucs ran for only 92 yards, dropping to 3-30 in the past four seasons when being held to fewer than 100 rushing yards.

Bucs Hot Reads: Jay Gruden has hand in everything

- His three years as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals prepared Jay Gruden to be an NFL head coach.

Foot injury ends Bucs G Edwards’ season

- Rookie guard Kadeem Edwards was placed on the injured reserve list, ending his season with a foot injury.

Bucs notes: Players feels faithful fans’ pain

- With each setback in another lost season, the Buccaneers realize they are testing the resolve of their supporters.

Bucs notes: Falcons leave with season sweep

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TAMPA — The Bucs talked at length about their motivation to atone for their embarrassing performance at the Georgia Dome, a 56-14 loss on national television. Coach Lovie Smith said Atlan...

Bucs' special teams up and down against Falcons

- Sunday's game proved to be a mixed bag for Tampa Bay special teams after last week's debacle, when the Bucs had both a field goal attempt and a punt deflected in a 22-17 setback at Cleveland.

Julio Jones continues to feast against Bucs

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The seasons change, along with the makeup of NFL rosters, but Julio Jones continues to feast against the Buccaneers.

McCown takes pounding, shows ‘heart’ in Buccaneers loss to Atlanta

- He sacrificed his body from the opening kickoff to the final whistle and gave it everything he had.

Count Brady, Roethlisberger out at your own risk

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— The parallels are striking.

Bucs Hot Reads: Ex-Patriot Mankins grinding away

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In his 10th NFL season, Logan Mankins thought he had seen it all.

Bucs notes: Fans deserve home victory, McCoy says

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TAMPA — Sunday’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons marks Tampa Bay’s fifth attempt to post an initial home win under coach Lovie Smith.

Bucs stuck in NFC South cellar again

- At 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the division, Tampa Bay could be headed to a fourth consecutive last-place finish in the division. A big step to change that skid comes Sunday with a game against division rival Atlanta.

Hot Reads: Falcons WR Julio Jones feasts on Bucs

- No receiver has tormented the Bucs more in recent years than Atlanta’s Julio Jones, who will line up against Tampa Bay’s secondary on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs notes: FB Lane, DL Bowers back from suspensions

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed back two players from suspension Wednesday, and fullback Jorvorskie Lane was relieved by the warm greeting he received from teammates.

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 10

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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’ Glennon: McCown will start against Falcons

- Mike Glennon has often been labeled as the Bucs' quarterback of the future. For now, he’s their quarterback of the past

Bucs notes: Tale of two halves for offensive line

- They absorbed a key change up front and pushed the Browns all over FirstEnergy Stadium in the first half, but when the clock ultimately ran out, the Bucs’ offensive line was left with that same empty feeling.

Mike Evans' career day ends in controversy, Bucs loss

- The best game of his career had just ended in controversy and Mike Evans was waiting for an explanation.

Rainey’s romp slowed by injury to Bucs TE Stocker

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CLEVELAND — With Doug Martin sidelined by an ankle injury and rookie Charles Sims still not ready to go, Bobby Rainey flourished as Tampa Bay’s featured running back in the opening half.

Bucs defense struggling to defend late-game leads

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Once again, Tampa Bay's defense couldn't make key plays down the stretch to secure a victory. The Bucs had a pair of 11-point leads in the fourth quarter at New Orleans before losing in overtime. Last week, Minnesota dro...

Trouble could be lurking for Cowboys

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A slender thread.

Hot Reads: Bucs defense wants more takeaways

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The Bucs yielded only 13 points through four quarters against Minnesota last week, yet still found a way to lose the game as the Vikings pulled out a 19-13 victory in overtime...

Bucs notes: LT Collins ‘doubtful’ Sunday at Cleveland

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Left tackle Anthony Collins, signed as a free agent to protect the blind side of Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks, is unlikely to play at Cleveland Sunday because of a foot inj...

Rays exercise $7.5 million option on Zobrist

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— After some jarring changes at the top of the organization in recent weeks, the Tampa Bay Rays chose continuity Friday by exercising their 2015 club option on versatil...

Bucs rookie Murray proving he belongs

- After fighting for his job, Bucs rookie kicker Patrick Murray has shown he has the leg to kick in the NFL.

Bucs notes: Players react to Barron, Casillas trades

- A chair was turned around in an empty locker room stall Wednesday as the Buccaneers returned to work without two defensive players who departed in trades.

Hot Reads: Slow starts still plague Bucs offense

- Another game, another slow start. That warped, broken record continued for the Bucs in Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss to Minnesota

Ira Kaufman’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 9

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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 trade S Barron, LB Casillas for draft picks

- In the end, Mark Barron failed to execute the game plan the Tampa Bay Buccaneers envisioned for him -- cover the dynamic tight ends of the NFC South.

Bucs notes: RB James helps cause with key conversion

- With the Bucs trailing 10-6 and facing fourth-and-1 from the Vikings 8-yard line with 2:35 remaining, Mike James ran off right guard behind tight end Luke Stocker and gained the necessary yard to keep the drive going.

There’s a thin line between win and losses for Bucs

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The Bucs have been blown out twice this season, but their other four setbacks were by a combined margin of 20 points — including a pair of overtime losses in games they led in the fourth quarter.

Jackson, Martin struggle for Bucs as trade deadline looms

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With Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline approaching, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin continued to struggle amid growing speculation they mig...

Glennon under constant pressure in Buccaneers loss

- Quarterback Mike Glennon was constantly dodging pass rushers — often forced to make quick decisions while throwing off his back foot.

DeBartolo shouldn’t wait any longer

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Eddie DeBartolo deserved better.