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Sapp has a message for McCoy

Posted Aug 3, 2013 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Aug 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

CANTON, Ohio—Warren Sapp has a message for Gerald McCoy.

Giddyup.

Tampa Bay’s Hall of Fame defensive tackle is bullish on McCoy, who broke through after two injury-plagued seasons to make the Pro Bowl last year. McCoy and Sapp have formed a strong relationship and Buc coaches are raving about McCoy’s dedication to football and willingness to take on an expanded leadership role this fall.

But Sapp remembers what happened to him after he made that first trip to Hawaii.

“We’ll see this year because once you go to the Pro Bowl, they circle you,’’ Sapp said. “I went to the Pro Bowl and came back and had seven sacks (1998) that year. I was a fat #####. Thought I knew it all. You have to bring yourself back to the drawing board every year and say ‘How do I become better?’ because I know they have something for me coming. ‘’

McCoy posted five sacks in 2012 and played an integral role in a defense that finished No. 1 in the NFL against the run. He’ll have a new partner at nose tackle as rookie Akeem Spence battles veteran Gary Gibson.

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McCoy growing as a leader

Posted Jul 25, 2013 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Jul 25, 2013 at 02:43 PM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—It’s hard to lead from the sick bay.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy has natural leadership skills, but his ability to command an audience was compromised during his first two NFL seasons due to triceps injuries. In 2012, McCoy played in all 16 games and earned a Pro Bowl berth while anchiring the NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense and posting five sacks.

One of the major themes in Tampa Bay’s second training camp under coach Greg Schiano involves McCoy’s new role as the undisputed leader of a young defenses eager to atone for a disappointing performance last fall.

“Gerald’s leading the whole group and it’s cool to see,’’ said assistant defensive coordinator Bob Fraser. “It seems like he’s more comfortable with the coaching staff and the system we’re playing. Don’t forget, he was hurt the previous two years. I don’t care how good you are—when you’re not in there, it’s difficult to lead. Gerald McCoy is going to be something very, very special.’‘

McCoy said he embraces an enhanced leadership role following the retirement of cornerback Ronde Barber.

“I’m just kind of filling in and taking the leadership I had to a different level,’’ said MCoy, who will have a new partner on the interior line following the free-agent departure of Roy Miller.

Third-year defensive end Adrian Clayborn, returning from knee surgery, said he has no problem with McCoy’s stature as the leader of the Buc defense. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan welcomes the move.

“He had so much success last year and that gets contagious,’’ Sheridan said. “You can get addicted to that. He’s just ready to go off.’‘




Familiarity breeds confidence for Bucs

Posted Jun 18, 2013 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Jun 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—The Bucs say they are about to reap the benefits of stability.

With offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan back for a second season, the NFL’s No. 9 attack is gearing up for a more dynamic year as Tampa Bay seeks its first playoff berth since the 2007 season.

“We know this offense,’’ says Mike Williams, who fell only four yards short of joining Vincent Jackson to give the Bucs a pair of 1,000-yard receivers. “We know when to break off routes and what zone to read. It’s a knowing instead of reacting to something. Josh Freeman’s got this offense down pat. The big problem last year was we couldn’t get on the same page, knowing when to break our routes off.’‘

Jackson, who led the NFL by averaging 19.2 yards per catch, said the difference in Freeman is apparent, well before the start of training camp.

“He’s way more comfortable this year with the language,’’ Jackson said of Freeman, who set franchise marks for touchdown passes and passing yards in 2012. “You can see it in his confidence, the way he’s directing the field. It’s fun to watch his physical tools take shape. We’ve got some new faces out here and it’s fun because we spread the ball around. Once we’re clicking, we’re going to be hard to stop.’‘




Bucs sign 3rd-round pick QB Glennon to four-year contract

Posted Jun 12, 2013 by Roy Cummings

Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 10:19 AM

BY ROY CUMMINGS

Tribune Staff

TAMPA – The Buccaneers completed the task of signing their 2013 draft picks on Wednesday when they inked former North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon to a four-year contract.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Glennon was the Bucs third-round selection. He is expected to compete during training camp with veteran Dan Orlovsky for the right to backup projected starter Josh Freeman.

Glennon replaced Russell Wilson as the starter at N.C. State during his junior year and went on to start each of his last 26 games, completing 646 of 1.069 passes for 7,411 yards and 63 touchdowns.

Glennon left the Wolfpack program ranked fourth in school history in all-time passing yards behind Wilson, who left N.C. State for Wisconsin and eventually became a rookie starter for the Seattle Seahawks last season.




Bucs sign PK Dimke, waive TE Landi

Posted Jun 4, 2013 by Roy Cummings

Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 05:43 PM


BY ROY CUMMINGS
Tribune Staff

TAMPA – The Buccaneers have been on the lookout for a place kicker to give Connor Barth some competition ever since veteran Nate Kaeding retired in May and finally it seems they have one.

Following a workout at One Buc Place on Tuesday the Bucs signed former University of Illinois kicker Derek Dimke.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Dimke originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Detroit Lions in 2012, appearing in three preseason games and going 2-foi-2 on field goal tries and 3-for-3 on extra points.

To make room on their roster for Dimke the Bucs waived former University of South Florida tight end Evan Landi.