Bucs Archives - Page 2 of 34 - SaintPetersBlog

Former Buc John Lynch hopes to get into Hall of Fame despite position

His interception total (26) is kind of low. If you’re looking to knock John Lynch, you can begin there.

His teams won only one Super Bowl. That keeps him from being a slam dunk of a candidate.

He already has two teammates from his defense into the Hall. Other teams have more, but voters lose interest the more players a team has in.

But if you want to know the challenge that Lynch, the great of the Tampa Bay Bucs, faces in today’s Hall of Fame vote, it’s easy. He’s a safety. And most years, safeties need not apply.

It has been 19 years now since the Vikings’ Paul Krause made it to the Hall as a pure safety, and his election came after 19 years in the voting. The knock persists that safeties are really slow corners — never mind that coaches will tell you it’s a whole different skill set. Only kickers have it harder than safeties.

Oh, other players have gotten in — Ronnie Lott and Mel Renfro and Rod Woodson, but those guys all started their careers as cornerbacks. But guys who have played only safety have vanished from Canton.

Of course, it’s hard to quantify. Receivers have catches and quarterbacks have passes, and running backs have yards. But safeties are more of a challenge.

This year, a logjam has begun at the position. Brian Dawkins has joined the race with Lynch and former Broncos Steve Atwater, and former Seahawk Kenny Easley is the senior candidate.

In upcoming years, Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed will join the list.

For Lynch, a heavy hitter and sure tackler in the Bucs’ great defensive run, this might be the best chance he has to get into the Hall.

In Tampa, not many doubt he belongs.

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Bucs backup quarterback Mike Glennon already garners interest

He was an insurance policy. Nothing more.

He was who you thought about when you thought about the unthinkable. The guy who might save the day if the main guy was lost.

Now that Mike Glennon is a free agent, are the Tampa Bay Bucs prepared to move on without him?

Oh, with starting quarterback Jameis Winston staying healthy the last two years, the Bucs really haven’t had much use for Glennon. He has thrown passes in only one game the past two years. He won once in 2014. He won four times in 2013.

Still, Glennon has remained highly regarded over the last few years, which is sure to make him in demand in free agency. A report on ESPN suggests the Jets are already on the list of suitors because of Glennon’s age and his small amount of experience.

ESPN says the Bills, Browns, Bears and 49ers also will be interested.

Glennon was a draft pick of former Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano, and was the player that Schiano replaced disappointing Josh Freeman with. The ESPN report listed nine possible quarterbacks for the Jets, but Glennon is at the head of the list.

Now that Glennon’s contract is up, the Bucs will look to draft a project or sign one. Ryan Griffin is also on the roster, although he has not made an appearance in two seasons.

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Tampa Bay Bucs place three players on AP All-Pro team

Three members of the Tampa Bay Bucs — Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy — have been named to the second team All-Pro squad, says the Associated Press.

It is the second selection for David, after earning first-team honors following the 2013 campaign. He is one of only four linebackers in team history to earn multiple AP All-Pro selections, joining Derrick Brooks, Hugh Green and Hardy Nickerson. This season, David tied for the league lead in tackles for loss with 17, while forcing four fumbles, tied for the seventh-most in the NFL. David also posted 5.0 sacks, tied for the most by any player with at least 80 tackles.

Evans is the first Buccaneers wide receiver to ever earn All-Pro honors and only the third receiver in team history to receive All-Pro honors of any kind (Mark Carrier, 1989 second-team All-Pro, College and Pro Football Newsweekly; Keyshawn Johnson, 2001 first-team All-Pro, Sports Illustrated). This season, Evans had 96 catches for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ranked sixth in the NFL in receptions, fourth in receiving yards and tied for second in the league in receiving touchdowns. His 12 touchdown catches tied his own mark from 2014 for the most touchdown receptions in a single season in team history, while his 96 receptions were second-most and his 1,321 receiving yards were the third-most.

This is the third career selection for McCoy, who earned first-team honors following the 2013 season and second-team honors following the 2014 season. He is the eighth player in team history to be named to three or more AP All-Pro teams, joining Ronde Barber, Brooks, Nickerson, John Lynch, Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp and Lee Roy Selmon. McCoy started all 15 games he played in this season, leading the team in sacks with 7.0, which ranked fourth in the NFL among defensive tackles. McCoy also tied a career-best with five passes defensed, which tied for the fourth-most in the league among defensive tackles.

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Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter considers giving up play-calling duties

The questions that coach Dirk Koetter has about the Tampa Bay Bucs starts, it turns out, with Dirk Koetter.

A day after his team’s season-ending,17-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers, Koetter admitted that he was considering – just considering, mind you – surrendering his play-calling duties.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” Koetter said. “I am probably not ready to make any crazy announcements on any of that today because I think about a lot of stuff all the time. I think all the time, how can I, in the stuff that I control, make us better and are there places where I am making us worse?

“I learned as a head coach, I’d love to have more time to get involved with individual players on a daily basis. When I do get a chance to talk to players one-on-one, I enjoy it. I enjoy the motivational part of trying to reach guys and different groups on the team. As far as my schedule goes, I am asking myself all the time, are the things I have to spend my time on, are those in the best interest of helping the Bucs win games or am I spinning my wheels on stuff that doesn’t really matter and what’s the most important things to helping us win?

“I’m contemplating how does our team get better in all areas? When we look at everything, if there is someone out there that can do a better job to help us than me calling the plays, then that’s something that we definitely need to look at.”

The Bucs finished the season 9-7 with fewer explosive plays than a year ago. Koetter said his team could use more speed.

“We need more speed and when we say playmakers, playmakers and explosive plays are one and the same,” Koetter said. “Guys that can make explosives, guys that can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain. Our run after the catch is not where it needs to be. And again, anything that we’re saying here is not an indictment on the guys we have because the guys you have are the guys you have and you’ve got to coach the heck out of them.

“Once again, it goes back to the thing I said in the beginning, I think this team did a good job of playing as close to their talent level. That’s a hard thing to judge, it’s not an exact thing. In my opinion, we played close to our talent level.”

 Koetter said that he could spend time doing other things if he didnt have to worry about play calling.

“I’ve always been a play caller,” Koetter said. “I love being a play caller. That’s one of the best things about the game, but with being the head coach this year, I have more responsibilities and I have really enjoyed my interaction with the players. I’ve really enjoyed to go in and do the team meetings every day. That takes time. I don’t just get up there and wing it from the hip like I do in here (laughs).

“It actually takes preparation time. Everything I say in front of the team. I take very seriously. So, I want to back it up, not just BS those guys. I try to never BS those guys. So, I ask myself, ‘If I spent more time on it, could I do a better job?’ But, at the same time, I look around the league at other, there’s plenty of other coaches in the league that are doing it the way we did it here this year. You look at some of the guys I consider top play callers in this league; (Green Bay coach) Mike McCarthy, (New Orleans coach) Sean Payton, (Kansas City coach) Andy Reid. They’re guys that have been the play caller, they’ve given it up and they’ve always taken it back. When that day comes when I do give it up, I don’t want to take it back. I want to be sure.”

Koetter said he was unsure if guard J.R. Sweezy, who missed the entire season, would be ready next year.

“That is a question that I can’t answer,” Koetter said. “The thing about J.R. is, we did our evaluation based on his time in Seattle and we were very excited about what we bringing into the mix here. He had an unfortunate injury that none of us control. The result of that surgery, for whatever reason, he hasn’t come back, he hasn’t come back from that injury. I’m not a doctor, but what I do know is, we haven’t seen him on the field.

“So at this point, it’s been over a year since he’s played and we really don’t know what we have because until we see him on the field healthy, that’s an unknown. I think if it ever comes to that point where we have a healthy J.R. Sweezy on the field and he’s the player he was that we thought we were getting when we were looking at the Seattle tape, then I think he just adds another one to the depth I already talked about at O-line. But, do we ever get to that point? I do not know that.”

Koetter said that being a head coach in the NFL is a chore.

 “It’s demanding,” Koetter said. “I thought I was ready for it and still think that today, but I also believe that you learn and you’ve got to admit your mistakes and you know what? Sometimes my mistakes that I admit to aren’t the same ones you guys think I miss. You guys are still criticizing me for some that I don’t think I miss. But the ones I think I’ve made, I’ll be the first to admit them. And I’ll be better next year than I was this year and I’ll be better the year after that than I am next year.”

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Drug violation led to the benching of Bucs’ back Doug Martin

The unexplained benching of Tampa Bay Bucs running back Doug Martin cleared up Wednesday afternoon.

Martin announced he is serving a four-game suspension for performing enhancing drugs.

“I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy,” Martin said in a statement. “My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including Coach (Dirk) Koetter – I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.

 “On the field, I must be strong and determined to push through both pain and injuries to become an elite NFL running back. Off the field, I have tried that same approach in my personal life. My shortcomings in this area have taught me both that I cannot win these personal battles alone and that there is no shame in asking for help.

 “I sincerely apologize to the Glazer family, General Manager Jason Licht and the entire Tampa Bay organization, my teammates and our tremendous fans. This was not the season I envisioned and I have let everyone down, including myself. However, adversity yields opportunity and I ask for your support in my battle to overcome these personal issues.”

 General manager Licht, also in a statement, said his team supports Martin, although his suspension happened at a time the Bucs were pushing toward the playoffs.

“Doug has been a valued member of our organization for the past five seasons and we respect and support his decision to seek help,” Licht said. “Right now, he is working through issues that are much larger than the game of football. Our primary concern is that he takes this time to focus on getting the help that he needs in order to move forward with his personal and professional life.”

The Bucs still have a small playoff hope, but in all probability will end their season Sunday.

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Bucs’ winning streak stopped in Dallas by Cowboys’ rookies

Maybe they simply aren’t ready yet. Maybe that explains it.

Maybe it was all of those turnovers (three interceptions, a fumble and a random head-butt by quarterback Jameis Winston.)

Maybe it was that the defense wasn’t as sharp as it has been, giving up hugh games to the Cowboys’ star rookies. They surrendered 279 yards passing to Dak Prescott and 153 yards rushing to Zeke Elliott.

Maybe the Bucs aren’t good enough for a six-game winning streak. Maybe it was missed tackles. Maybe it was a horrid running game. Maybe it was wasted opportunities.

“It would be somewhat understandable  to a game of this magnitude in this stage,” said Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter. “There’s a lot of young guys out there who haven’t been in a game of this magnitude before.  Like I said, this will serve us well down the road.  It hurts a lot tonight.”

Whatever the reason, the Tampa Bay Bucs finally lost again Sunday night. They fell 26-20 to the Dallas Cowboys, a defeat that put their playoffs hopes in jeopardy. The Bucs are now 8-6, one game behind Atlanta in the NFC South and barely out of the wild card position. Games in New Orleans next week and against Carolina at home in two weeks could change things.

The Bucs started sluggishly, falling behind 17-6. Winston threw two touchdown passes, however, to give Tampa Bay a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. Dan Bailey kicked three field goals in the fourth period, however, to wrap up the win.

“We saw the streaky side a little bit of Jameis,” Koetter said. ” He got off to a slow start. Even though we got a  good drive and got that early lead, against a team like this, you can’t kick field goals and expect to win.  You look at the stats at the end and we’re 1-for-3 in the red zone.  Those other eight points would have helped us.  The second one was that penalty that you mentioned earlier.  That’s been hurting us the last few weeks and it caught up to us tonight.”

The Bucs struggled to run the ball, as Doug Martin gained only 42 yards on 16 carries.

Despite it all, Tampa Bay had the ball five times — twice in the final minutes — with a chance to win. It was stopped an all possessions, however.

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Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston settles with woman accuser

Tampa Bay Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston can just worry about the playoffs.

If anything else was on Winston’s mind, he put it to rest Thursday when he and accuser Erica Kinsman have reached a settlement in her lawsuit.

John Clune, a lawyer for the woman, Erica Kinsman, on Wednesday night confirmed a report first published by TMZ Sports, saying, “The case has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.”

Kinsman, who said she was raped by Winston when the two were at Florida State, reached an undisclosed settlement in her case. Kinsman had been awarded $950,000 in a suit against Florida State regarding the handling of the allegations.

Winston has never been charged criminally in the case. FSU’s code-of-conduct hearing also found no wrongdoing.

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Tampa Bay wins fifth straight game to remain in playoff search

Keith Tandy recognized the formation. It was the one that the Bucs kept trying to run, and failing, during their week of practice.

Still, Tandy had a clue, which is why he broke on the play and grabbed a game-winning interception from Drew Brees Sunday afternoon. It led to the Bucs’ fifth straight win, a 16-11 victory over New Orleans. It was also the second straight week that Tandy had the game-cinching interception.

“Right now, we’re confident,” Tandy said. “And a confident bunch is a dangerous bunch.”

The Bucs remain tied for first with an 8-5 record in the NFC South. The playoffs are possible with a strong finish

Tampa Bay didn’t have staggering offensive stats. Quarterback Jameis Winston threw for only 184 yards, and running back Doug Martin ran for only 66 and receiver Mike Evans caught four passes for 42 yards.

Ah, but the defense played well again. New Orleans had 10 possessions, and they ended with four punts, three field goals and three interceptions. It was the first time the Bucs have ever held Drew Brees without a touchdown pass.

Over the last five weeks, the Bucs have given up only 64 points, less than 13 points per game.

“Who says they don’t play defense in Tampa Bay,” said coach Dirk Koetter. “I would never have guessed both teams would have been under 300 yards. It’s great to see. Some of these guys on defense have been beat up for a few years.”

The Bucs are at Dallas next Sunday night.

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Bucs hope to move Brees out of the way of their playoff dreams

No quarterback has beaten the Tampa Bay Bucs as much as Drew Brees.

Now, he has a chance to do it two times in three weeks in an effort to derail the team’s playoff hopes.

Brees, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, is 14-7 against the Bucs and has won eight of the last nine meetings.

Lifetime, he has a 96.1 rating against Tampa Bay.

“Me and Drew (Brees) have a little personal rivalry because we train together, so we always do little competitions while we’re training and stuff,” said Bucs’ defensive lineman Gerald McCoy. “So when you get in-season to your true profession, it’s really like – me being a D-lineman, him being a quarterback, it’s always fun. I’ve got the utmost respect for him. Him being one of the best, year-in and year-out, that’s why he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Everything runs through him. If we have any shot of winning, we’ve got to disrupt him. There’s no stopping Drew Brees. People have proven that.”

The key, said McCoy, was to get into Brees’ face.

“Drew is not the biggest guy, so he’s got those big linemen in front of him,” McCoy said. “You don’t always have to hit Drew, you don’t always have to sack him. If you get those big guys in his face – if you notice, a lot of times he makes those throws downfield, he’s looking up. You get those big guys, get that pressure up the middle, it disrupts him. But it doesn’t matter man. You can’t stop him, I’m just going to say that. You can’t stop him, but you can try and disrupt him enough to limit the amount of time they’re on the field.”

Bucs’ defensive coordinator Mike Smith says playing against Brees is always a challenge.

“He’s a tough out, there’s no doubt about it. The thing that Drew has got is a very good understanding of how people play defense,” said Smith. “(I have) not been around him, but I’ve tried to find out as much as I can. He spends a lot of time studying film, he knows what you’re going to be in, so this is a lot like last week. When you play these good quarterbacks, you’ve got to try to not tell them what you’re doing pre-snap. And he’s probably one of the toughest outs in all the league. Their numbers are just unbelievable right now, in terms of what they’re doing offensively. It’s going to be very important for us, we know that they’re going to get their completions. We’ve got to make sure that when the opportunity comes that we win it down here and we win it down there. They’re completing 70 percent of their passes, they’re very good in the red zone, so don’t want to give up explosive plays and when we get down in the red zone, we’ve got to either turn the ball over, or force them to kick a field goal.”

 “It becomes a match of what you’re doing and what they’re trying to get done. I think Drew does a very good job – he’s one of the few quarterbacks that still, he calls the fronts out, he does the points, he’s calling the protections, he’s getting them into the right protections, does a lot with hand signals. So they’re a lot like a lot of these really good offenses, they want to be in their best play possible and it’s going to be very important for us to give him a different look than what he’s seen because they’ve scouted us over the last five or six weeks and they know what we’ve done. So it’s going to be important for us to give him some different looks.

Bucs’ head coach Dirk Koetter said it was Brees’ accuracy that set him apart.

“His accuracy on downfield throws – there’s teams in this league that are based more around quick game. We’re not really like that, we’re more of a vertical passing team, as are the Saints. And in the vertical passing game, the seam throws, the whole-shot throws against two-deep, back-shoulder throws, those are a much bigger part of it and that to me is where he’s second to none, in that area.”

The Bucs play the Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James.

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Bucs need help from their receivers down the depth chart

In the war of attrition that is the NFL, the Tampa Bay Bucs are trying to fix what’s broken while their team is on the move.

In particular, the Bucs have trying to find wide receivers after injuries cut their available players to three last week.

Tampa Bay has brought up Josh Huff, a former third-round pick of the Eagles out of Oregon, from the practice squad to help to fill in. Huff has made progress since joining the Bucs’ practice squad three weeks ago.

“We’re going to find out, aren’t we?” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken. “It looked like a few weeks ago we might be able to get him up and he had a little bit of a setback. But we’re excited and we’re going to find out this week what recall he’s had. When you’re on the practice squad, most of the reps you’re getting is for your opposing offense against your defense, so we’re going to find out what kind of recall he’s had. We’ve got to do a great job this week of getting him up to speed.”

Speed is one thing that Huff seems to have.

“Josh Huff man, he’s blazing (fast),” said Jameis Winston. “(He) has a lot of abilities that would definitely add to our repertoire. We really are excited to have him up on the 53-man active roster and to see what he’s going to do on game day.”

 A week ago, backups Russell Sheppard and Freddie Martino saw increased playing time.

“There’s a difference between a play every now and then and an expanded role,” Monken said. “We found that out last week with some of the other players. They’re all capable, it’s just a matter of – it’s one thing to know an assignment, it’s another split, detail and then going against the best in the world and giving yourself a chance to be successful.”

Monken said Sheppard and Martino performed well a week ago.

“They’ve done fine,” Monken said. “I’ve said it all along, those guys have talent, or they wouldn’t be on an NFL roster. Now it’s a matter of their confidence, keep working at their skillset, keep developing it and then getting an opportunity. And Mike [Evans] garners a lot of attention, so those guys are going to get one-on-one match-ups a lot more than they would normally. Mike’s got to handle the frustration of that and those guys have got to be able to step up when they get their one-on-one opportunities.”

The Bucs play New Orleans at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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