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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

Smith non-committal about Bucs’ starting QB

- Sensing a quarterback controversy brewing in the aftermath of a dramatic comeback victory at Pittsburgh, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith declined to name his starter.

Column: Don’t hold your breath waiting on NFLPA

- Based on last year’s memorable soap opera in Tampa involving the Bucs and Josh Freeman, you might never hear another word about the union’s probe into the Ray Rice scandal.

Bucs Notes: McCoy’s return lights spark on DL


Even playing with virtually one hand, Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy had a dramatic effect on the Bucs defense as he returned from a one-game absence.

Bucs’ Goldson, Evans injured in win at Pittsburgh

- Tampa Bay’s flurry of early-season injuries continued as S Dashon Goldson and rookie WR Mike Evans hobbled off at Heinz Field.

Murphy flourishes in his first game back with Bucs


— All Louis Murphy could do was stay in shape, keep thinking positive thoughts and hope the Buccaneers brain trust didn’t forget about him.

Bucs WR Jackson comes alive in win


PITTSBURGH — It hasn’t been the greatest of starts for Bucs WR Vincent Jackson, but he sure knew how to finish on Sunday.

Hot Reads: All players face same expectations


TAMPA — Although Tampa Bay’s pass rush has been hampered by injuries to DT Gerald McCoy, DE Adrian Clayborn and DE Michael Johnson, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier isn’t cutting their replacemen...

Winless Bucs need star players to emerge

- The cavalry is starting to arrive for the winless Buccaneers, but those reinforcements won’t matter if potential doesn’t lead to more production.

Skipper's Smokehouse readies birthday tribute to Springsteen

- On Saturday, WMNF will present a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, with more than 20 bands offering their interpretations of a majestic songbook.

Bucs notes: McCoy limited, but back at practice


Buccaneers Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy, labeled by Coach Lovie Smith as Tampa Bay’s best player, returned to the practice field in a limited capacity Wednesday and sounded like a man who expects to suit up at Heinz F...

Bucs QB Glennon ready to call shots vs. Steelers

- When Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon stands behind center Sunday in Pittsburgh, he realizes the prodigious weight that will be strapped across his shoulder pads.

Hot Reads: TE Seferian-Jenkins eager to return

- If Austin Seferian-Jenkins is active for Sunday's matchup at Pittsburgh, he'll give new starting QB Mike Glennon a 6-foot-7 target who can move.

Bucs may be seeking QB help with McCown hurt

- The Bucs have only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, McCown and Mike Glennon. Mike Kafka is on the practice squad after spending all of the offseason and training camp with Tampa Bay.

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

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

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.

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


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


— 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


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

Bucs notes: Struggles cut deep for GM Licht


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


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’


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


Five questions with ... LS Andrew DePaola

Bucs Hot Reads: Smith hopes Brooks inspires


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


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


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

Bucs notes: Tedford, still recovering, misses practice


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


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


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


— 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


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


— 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


— 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


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


— 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


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

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...

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.