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Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

Bucs Report

A Pro Football Blog by Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman

Go behind the scenes with Buccaneers beat writers Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman as they offer their insights on the latest happenings with the team.

Bucs Wright may be struggling in new role

Published:
By Roy Cummings

— Luke Stocker was the first Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end to have a pass thrown his way against Miami on Saturday night. Brandon Myers was the second and rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins was third.

So where was second-year pro Tim Wright?

His first chance to catch a pass came in the third quarter, and there was a reason for that. Though Wright’s place on the roster still seems secure, his chances of making an impact as a pass catcher may be in jeopardy.

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Bucs add former first-round pick, DE English

Published:
By Ira Kaufman

The Bucs continued to tweak their roster, signing DE Larry English and waiving injured DT Jibreel Black.

English (6-foot-2, 255 pounds) originally entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 2009 out of Northern Illinois. In five seasons with San Diego, English played in 52 games with nine starts, recording 80 tackles, 11 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

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Bucs sign DE Fatinikun

Published:
By Ira Kaufman

— The Buccaneers signed defensive end T.J. Fatinikun on Tuesday.

Fatinikun (6-2, 250) participated on a tryout basis in Tampa Bay’s rookie minicamp this past offseason. In 2013, Fatinikun had a tryout with the Chiefs following the NFL draft. Later that year, he was signed to the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League.

Fatinikun, who played collegiately at Toledo, will wear No. 67.

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One solution to Bucs’ guard issue? 49ers’ holdout Boone

Published:
By Roy Cummings

— Concerned about the status of his team’s guard play, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has made no secret of his willingness to look outside of the organization for a possible solution.

It should come as no surprise then that Licht has reportedly reached out to the San Francisco 49ers to inquire about the possible availability of holdout guard Alex Boone.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Monday that, via a person informed of the Bucs’ thinking, Tampa Bay would have legitimate interest in working a trade for Boone, if they can get him for the right price.

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Bucs sign USF DE Giddens, Ruffin

Published:
By Ira Kaufman

— The Buccaneers continued to shuffle their training camp roster Tuesday, signing defensive ends Ryne Giddins and James Ruffin.

Giddins (6-3, 253) is a free agent from the University of South Florida. He participated in the Buccaneers rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis this past spring.

Ruffin (6-4, 271) originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Buccaneers in 2010, spending the 2010 offseason with the team before being waived. He later signed with Cincinnati’s practice squad and spent the 2011 offseason with the team before being released.

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CB Williams’ induction to hit home for Bucs’ Byrd

Published:   |   Updated: July 31, 2014 at 06:54 AM
By Ira Kaufman

— When Aeneas Williams steps to the podium Saturday night for his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach Gill Byrd will have a difficult time hiding his emotions.

Byrd, who coaches Tampa Bay cornerbacks, served as a mentor to Williams in the early 1990s. Byrd was finishing up a stellar career with the San Diego Chargers and Williams was just learning how to be a pro with the Cardinals when they crossed paths.

“I always wanted to serve younger players and Aeneas asked me after a game, ‘Can I call you and come to work out with you in the summer?’ Byrd said. “That was very unusual. There were guys I played with for five or six years that never asked me that.’’

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Logjam at tight end? Bucs’ Smith says it’s not a problem

Published:
By Roy Cummings

— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers devoted a lot of resources to their tight end position during the offseason, adding veteran free agent Brandon Myers and second-round draft pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a group that already included veteran Luke Stocker and 2013 standout starter Tim Wright.

Those moves have left the Bucs with a bit of a logjam at that spot. But Bucs coach Lovie Smith says he plans to dress three tight ends for every game this year and that he should have no trouble finding work for all three, perhaps even on the same plays.

“I definitely think so,’’ Smith said this week when asked if the use of three tight-end sets is a growing trend in the league. “You look at the fullback position and you’re kind of limited with what you can do with a traditional fullback (because) normally they’re not great special teams players.

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Despite weather threat, Bucs like afternoon workouts

Published:
By Roy Cummings

— Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith raised both eyebrows and concern when he announced he would hold the majority of his team’s training camp workouts in the mid- or late afternoon this year.

Those concerns were immediately justified when the threat of lightning and thunderstorms in the area forced the Bucs to twice leave the field and eventually cancel their first workout on Friday.

Bucs players share those concerns, but beyond that they generally seem to like the idea of the afternoon workouts.

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Revis reports to Patriots in ‘best shape of career’

Published:   |   Updated: July 25, 2014 at 03:58 PM
By Ira Kaufman

— Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose one season in Tampa was hindered by his recovery from knee surgery, declared himself in the best shape of his career on Friday.

The Bucs traded a first-round draft choice to the Jets for Revis in April, 2013 and he made the Pro Bowl as the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player ($16 million) last year.

“Coming off the ACL injury was tough for me,’’ Revis told reporters in New England. “I finished all 16 games last year, but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be physically as a player. So this is my first offseason where I can really focus on, not rehabbing, but just working out.’’

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Nicks situation could provide reps for others

Published:
By Roy Cummings

Two-time Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks didn’t report for the starting of training camp along with the rest of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates on Thursday and he may not be with them when workouts begin today.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith doesn’t seem too concerned.

Smith noted that Nicks’ absence, due to personal reasons he did not elaborate on, allows the Bucs to take a longer look at some of the other players they have at the guard spot seemingly reserved for Nicks.

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