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Bucs training camp: a golden opportunity for running backs not named Doug Martin

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With training camp fully underway, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preparing for their first preseason game against the Bengals in Cincinnati just 9 days from now. As usual, starters will play only a few series before letting the backups and newcomers show their stuff. This year’s camp will provide two particular areas of interest on the offensive side of the ball. First will be the unveiling of tight end O.J. Howard, the team’s top draft pick, and newly acquired deep receiving threat…

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Buccaneers, Jameis Winston ready for training camp

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The Buccaneers’ training camp is only a week away. Like all teams, there is plenty of optimism in July, but the Bucs do have some reason to be positive. Perhaps the biggest upgrade from last season are the increased weapons available to quarterback Jameis Winston. The team signed deep threat free agent wide-receiver DeSean Jackson from the Washington Redskins.

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Rays part of American League’s parade of “parity”

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The late Pete Rozelle was known to strive for “parity” during his days as NFL Commissioner. Perhaps the first 26 games of the Buccaneers’ franchise, when they went 0-26, influenced his mindset. Rozelle and the NFL tweaked schedules to help more teams reach 8-8 and make it harder for teams to regularly go 14-2. While the elite teams mostly remained elite for a reason, the end result saw most teams in the playoff hunt as the seasons reached their final…

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Super Bowl rematch: Panthers-Broncos opens season

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Super Bowl rematch. Minus Peyton Manning, of course. The NFL season will begin the way the last one ended, with the Denver Broncos playing the Carolina Panthers. Denver beat Carolina 24-10 in February in the Super Bowl, Manning’s final game. The rematch will be on Thursday night, Sept. 8 in Denver. “We’re glad that it’s out,” Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said. “We knew who we were going to play and now we know when we’re…

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Saints’ beat-up secondary braces for Bucs’ James Winston

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As far as Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro can tell, the rematch of New Orleans’ beleaguered secondary against rookie Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston could be more challenging than their first encounter. Winston has become more consistent, more decisive and more productive since posting his first career victory in the Superdome of Week 2 this season, Vaccaro said. “He’s not turning the ball over. He’s making good throws, making smart decisions — everything you want in a first-round quarterback,” Vaccaro said.…

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Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston faces Texans team desperate for 1st win

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Tampa Bay rookie Jameis Winston will get a big test on Sunday against the Houston Texans after picking up his first NFL win last week. This year’s top overall pick will have to deal with a defense featuring last year’s Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, and 2014 No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney. Winston is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m just like: ‘Wow, we get to play J.J. Watt,’” Winston said. “It’s amazing.” Watt, who is focused on…

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Bucs must develop culture of winning, but not the Patriots’ model

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Why should Bucs fans or general sports fans from the ‘Burg and the Bay care about Tom Brady and underinflated footballs? It’s not like any of this will affect their everyday lives. Why do readers of this publication, whether or not they are sports fans, pay attention to a national story like this? Because it goes beyond sports. It’s the intrigue; it’s knowing what you don’t know and looking to fill that void. Everyone following the story has an opinion.…

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