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Downtrodden Florida football teams making comebacks

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For the most part, Florida football fans — both college and pro — have not had a lot to cheer about in recent years. Lately, however, football fans around the state have had some reason to cheer on both Saturday and Sunday. Unless one was a Florida State fan, supporters of Florida’s teams had to be satisfied with an occasional strong performance. The Seminoles have been a championship contender over the past five seasons. It has been a tough go…

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Buccaneers may have rediscovered running game with Jacquizz Rodgers

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have found a complementary running back for Doug Martin once their No. 1 back returns from a hamstring injury. Jacquizz Rodgers finished with a career-best 101 rushing yards on 30 carries — 32 yards and 17 carries more than he had in the Buccaneers’ previous three games combined — as Tampa Bay defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-14 on Monday night. The Bucs (2-3), who came into the game ranked 28th in the league in rushing,…

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Jags kick off NFL Sunday with early London game

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This NFL Sunday is about 3 1/2 hours longer than usual thanks to an early start in London. The Jaguars play the Colts at Wembley Stadium to begin a slate of 13 games Sunday in the fourth week of the season. Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley could be in danger of losing his job with a loss, given higher expectations for the Jags going into this season. The Patriots play their last game without suspended quarterback Tom Brady, with a chance…

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Remembering first Bucs training camp 40 years ago

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The Bucs rookies and other hopefuls reported to camp on Monday. On Wednesday, they will be joined by the veterans. The beauty of training camp, and opening day for that matter, is that all teams are tied for first place. Expectations are higher for some teams than for others. Some are Super Bowl contenders while others can satisfy their fans just by making the playoffs. It was exactly 40 years ago when the Bucs opened their first training camp. Expectations…

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Was Lovie Smith given a fair shake?

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Lovie Smith is out as the Buccaneers’ head coach. If it is any consolation – and it is not – he is far from alone. Few Buc fans can be satisfied with a losing season, but the pewter lining is Tampa Bay, and Lovie tripled their win total from two to six. Not enough for Team Glazer. In a statement, Co-chairman Joel Glazer said, “I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are…

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What else is new? Bucs find another way to lose a game

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The Bucs lost again Sunday. Of course they did. The Bucs lost because, pretty much, that is what they do. They have lost nine times this season, 23 over the last two and 75 times over the last seven seasons. Why? Because they aren’t good enough to avoid it, that’s why. The Bucs struggled on both offense and defense in a 26-21 loss to Chicago that wasn’t as close as it seemed. The Bucs scored on a 43-yard Hail Mary…

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