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Friday, Sep 04, 2015

Roy Cummings

Tribune Staff

Bucs’ Winston ‘accepts the challenge’ of opposing blitzes


MIAMI GARDENS — A bystander Thursday against the Dolphins, QB Jameis Winston wrapped up his preseason last Saturday night with an uneven outing made difficult mostly by a steady Browns blitz.

Bucs Notes: Breakout preseason for DL Gholston

- A fourth-round pick of the Bucs in 2013, William Gholston went into the preseason finale with the second-most tackles on the team (11), three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Rookies Brindza, Humphries finish strong in Bucs’ 22-17 win over Miami


MIAMI GARDENS — Accuracy has never been one of Kyle Brindza’s strengths. Even in college, during a four-year career at Notre Dame, the kicker made good on just 70.3 percent of his field-goal tries.

Preseason finale tonight gives Bucs’ fringe players chance to shine

- The Bucs have settled on their starters at most positions, but they are not sure who will be the kicker or starting strong safety. They’re also unsure of their best reserves at several spots. That’s what tonig...

Bucs vs. Dolphins: Five things to watch tonight


Most teams enter their final preseason game needing only to make a few difficult decisions on final roster spots.

Bucs Hot Reads: Defense has identity in mind

- Unlike some of their recent predecessors, the 2015 Buccaneers are not suffering from any type of identity crisis. On the defensive side of the ball, at least, they know exactly what they want to be.

Bucs notes: Ex-Bears CB Jennings visits One Buc Place

- A Buccaneers team already replete with former Bears players might be on the cusp of adding yet another member of the team Lovie Smith coached before returning to Tampa last year.

Bucs part with P Koenen, CB Johnson; reach 75-player limit

- Michael Koenen’s release hands the punting duties — for the time being — to prospect Jacob Schum and saves the team $3.25 million in salary. Leonard Johnson, a Clearwater native and the team’s p...

Bucs: Winston’s ankle injury shouldn’t keep him out of opener


Though he won’t be the one making the final call, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter probably answered the question of whether Jameis Winston will play in the team’s final preseason gam...

Bucs trade TE Wright to Lions for K Brindza

- Bucs further increased the competition at kicker by trading tight end Tim Wright to the Lions for rookie Kyle Brindza.

Bucs have two weeks to figure out how to protect Winston

- With only one preseason game left before games start to matter, protecting the franchise is proving yet again to be an order perhaps too tall for the Bucs’ offensive line.

Little to like as Bucs struggle in preseason loss to Browns

- Given their heavy reliance on youth, you can expect the Buccaneers to have a few days this season like the night they had Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs’ defense being heavily conditioned to go after football


Austin Seferian-Jenkins had every reason to believe the play was over. The whistle had blown, after all, and just as he’d always been taught, the second-year tight end played right to that whistle.

Bucs vs. Browns: Five things to watch tonight


There is only one preseason game that comes close to mirroring a regular-season game — and that’s the third one. Coaches actually game plan, though not to a great degree, and projected starters get the most p...

Bucs rookie WR Bell to miss Browns game with hamstring injury


Mike Evans won’t be the only young Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver sitting out Saturday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns because of a hamstring injury.

Bucs Hot Reads: Rookie MLB not a lock to call plays

- Rookie MLB Kwon Alexander continues to practice with the first team, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be calling out the defensive plays when Tampa Bay opens the season against Tennessee.

Bucs Notes: Coordinator Frazier ‘excited’ about Lovie Smith’s defense

- Just as they did a year ago, the Bucs will run head coach Lovie Smith’s defense. But this year, Smith will handle the bulk of the play-calling duties.

Bucs’ Mike Evans says he could play this week but better to rest

- WR Mike Evans says his sore left hamstring isn’t so sore that he wouldn’t be able to play this week if it were absolutely necessary. Still, he believes the Bucs are doing the prudent thing by shutting him down f...

Healthier, leaner Bucs RB Doug Martin flashes old form

- There’s more to Doug Martin’s resurgence than weight loss. Martin is healthy for the first time in two years, and also will be a free agent at the end of the year, which would spur anyone to play better.

A year after getting cut, K Barth re-signs with Bucs

- Less than a year after losing his job to rookie Patrick Murray, the most reliable kicker in Bucs history is being given a chance to win that job back.

Bucs injury update: WR Evans to sit, QB Winston to play

- The Bucs are shutting Mike Evans down, perhaps for the remainder of the preseason, in the hopes time will allow him to recover from a hamstring strain suffered against the Bengals on Monday night.

Bucs’ oft-maligned O-line gets praise after beating Bengals

- For more than a year, the offensive line has been the Bucs’ most maligned unit. It has earned a lot of praise, though, for its work during Monday night’s 25-11 preseason victory over the Bengals.

Bucs use abundance of caution in pulling Evans, Winston

- Everywhere you look in the NFL, stars are falling. The Buccaneers aren’t taking any chances with their stars.

Winston sharp before leaving after rolling ankle in preseason win

- When Jameis Winston limped off the field early in the second quarter against the Bengals on Monday night, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith still had not seen all that he had wanted to see from his rookie quarterback.

Bucs eager to see next step in Winston’s development

- As impressed as the Bucs were with Winston during his debut, they also walked away from it believing there was room for improvement in several key areas. Step Two is tonight against the Bengals.

Bucs find needed run-stopper with ex-Seahawks DT McDaniel

- There was more behind the Buccaneers decision to sign former Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel than their need to find a replacement for the injured Akeem Spence.

Bucs Beat: Winston learning to abandon instincts to preserve health


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent much of the past three months refining the raw skills that made quarterback Jameis Winston the player they coveted most in the 2015 NFL draft.

Bucs WR Murphy turns heads at right time

- In an otherwise rugged outing for the Bucs’ pass catchers, Louis Murphy proved to be rookie quarterback Jameis Winston’s most reliable target in catching all four of the balls thrown his way in a 26-16 loss to t...

Bucs notes: Dotson at practice, plans to rehab ‘like crazy’

- Bucs RT Demar Dotson showed up at practice Thursday for the first time since injuring his left knee in the preseason opener.

Bucs notes: Improved play sought at nickel cornerback

- Bucs coach Lovie Smith cautioned fans not to read too much into the first depth chart the team issued last week. It’s clear now why Smith felt compelled to issue such a warning.

Bucs notes: New RT Cherilus expected to fill void

- New Bucs RT Gosder Cherilus is not unaccustomed to the pressures of protecting a franchise quarterback. During his eight-year NFL career, that’s just about all he’s done.

Lovie: Bucs need to see more out of kick, punt returners


One aspect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to improve on when they take the field against the Cincinnati Bengals at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night is their return game.

Bucs RT Dotson will not have knee surgery; Cherilus signs

- Demar Dotson will not require surgery to repair the damage, and the Bucs are hopeful he won't miss much of the regular season. Meanwhile, the team signed 31-year-old free agent Gosder Cherilus to a two-year contract.

Bucs DT Spence suspended 1 game by NFL after marijuana arrest

- The Bucs have no idea when injured defensive tackle Akeem Spence will be able to play again, but his return apparently will be delayed by more than just offseason back surgery.

Lovie: Winston will work on protecting himself

- One of the few things the Buccaneers have yet to work on with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston is how best to protect himself when he’s forced to run the ball.

Winston flashes glimpses of good, bad in opener

- There were flashes, including a series of throws during a late first-half touchdown drive, of all that the Buccaneers believe Jameis Winston can be.

Five things to watch tonight as Bucs open preseason at Minnesota

- The Bucs are still deciding who their best players are and who deserves to start when winning really matters in September. With that in mind, we urge you to ignore the scoreboard and focus instead on these areas of play.

Winston makes Bucs’ preseason debut tonight at Minnesota

- The team’s new quarterback brings a gunslinger attitude to the passing game, but he hopes to manage risks and avoid mistakes. Bucs-Vikings kickoff is at 8 p.m. tonight on WFLA-TV.

After ‘horrible year,’ Bucs’ Gilkey keeps focus on the future

- Given the season he had a year ago, Garrett Gilkey can hardly believe he still has a place on the Buccaneers roster, much less a place at the top of the depth chart at right guard.

Bucs reach contract terms with ex-Seahawks DT McDaniel

- The Bucs further fortified their defensive tackle corps by agreeing to contract terms with former Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel.

Undrafted rookie Keyes earning extended look from Bucs

- Linebacker Josh Keyes is one of a handful of bubble players who have made a good early impression.

Expectations high, on both sides, as LB David signs Bucs extension

- Lavonte David still had not signed his new contract extension Sunday when coach Lovie Smith laid out a new performance standard for the All-Pro linebacker that seems to be in line with his new salary.

Bucs camp recap: Coaches say Winston has best workout yet


TAMPA — Bucs coaches, scouts and executives were in agreement Sunday. In front of a capacity crowd of season ticket holders, QB Jameis Winston put together his best workout of training camp.

Lavonte David, Buccaneers agree to 5-year, $50 million contract

- One of the cornerstones of a young defense that the Bucs hope one day will lead them back to the Super Bowl, Lavonte David agreed to terms on a five-year, $50.25 million contract.

Mankins now feels at ease with Bucs

- After a full offseason in Tampa, veteran guard Logan Mankins is taking charge on and off the field

Bucs Practice Report: Winston still making mistakes


TAMPA - The Buccaneers’ new QB continues to cut down on his mistakes during the blitz period but he just can’t seem to eliminate them altogether.

Rains force Bucs to delay training camp practice to 5 p.m.


The Bucs were slated to start their workout Saturday at 2:30 p.m. but have delayed the scheduled start until 5 p.m.

New Bucs LB Carter has coverage skills team needs

- A year ago, Bruce Carter intercepted five passes — the most of any NFL linebacker — and broke up eight more while working as the strongside backer in the Cowboys' version of the Tampa 2 scheme. Is it any wonder,...

Bucs Practice Report: Winston struggles against blitz


TAMPA - QB Jameis Winston continues to struggle against the blitz. On the first throw of the first blitz period of the day Friday, Winston was picked off by CB Johnthan Banks.

Koetter: Lack of carries hurt Bucs RB Martin's production

- Weak play by his offensive line and injuries to his shoulder, knee and ankle may not have been the only factors contributing to running back Doug Martin's struggles the last two years.