Bucs fans wanting a change at quarterback may get their wish, but only because Josh McCown's thumb injury will likely force him to miss next Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.
McCown, who has a significant sprain on the thumb on his right throwing hand, will see a hand specialist on Monday. All options remain open for the Bucs, but they could soon be preparing for backup Mike Glennon to be a longer-term option.
McCown, 35, completed 5 of 12 passes for 58 yards Thursday and had an interception returned for a touchdown in the Bucs' 56-14 loss to the Falcons. It was the fourth INT in three games for McCown, who threw only one INT in eight games for the Bears last season.
Glennon entered the game Thursday at the end of the second quarter and finished 17-of-24 passing for 121 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. It was after Week 3 a year ago when Glennon took over from starter Josh Freeman and led the Bucs to a 4-9 record, throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. …Full Story
The Bucs went into Thursday's game in Atlanta tied for the fewest penalties in the NFL, but came out of a 56-14 loss with 11 flags for 110 yards, including four 15-yard penalties for unnecessary roughness.
"You look at our record, we were one of the least penalized teams before that. That's not who we are," coach Lovie Smith said Friday. "Last night, the wheels kind of fell off in a lot of different areas. We weren't as disciplined as we need to be and as we've been. That was a one-game happening that we don't want to see again."
Bucs center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who had an errant snap recovered at the Bucs' 2-yard line to set up an easy Falcons touchdown, drew two of the four 15-yard flags, with tight end Luke Stocker and defensive tackle Akeem Spence adding one each.
"It's just playing hard. Apparently it was playing a little too hard," Dietrich-Smith said after the game. The offensive line had three other penalties of 10 yards or more, with right tackle Demar Dotson flagged for holding and illegal use of hands and right guard Patrick Omameh flagged for holding. …Full Story
Despite throwing four interceptions in three games, including one in the red zone and another returned for a touchdown, Josh McCown will remain the Bucs' starting quarterback, coach Lovie Smith said.
McCown injured the right thumb on his throwing hand in Thursday's 56-14 loss at Atlanta and was forced to leave the game. He was undergoing an MRI Friday, Smith said. But if everything checks out okay, McCown will be under center against the Steelers Sept. 28.
"Josh is our starter,'' Smith said. "We're looking at one game right now. It would be simple if Josh was the only guy who played bad. It seems like the only guy I'm asked about is Josh your starter? You can ask that about quite a few people, starting with me. Am I still the head coach based on that effort? But a little more goes into it than that.'' …Full Story
As if the Bucs didn't have enough time to dwell on their 56-14 loss to the Falcons Thursday night, their charter flight to Tampa was delayed until 3 a.m. Friday because of mechanical issues.
Some players used the time to watch tape of one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history.
What was the mood among players?
"I would think it's a sense of anger and a little bit of shock,'' defensive tackle Clinton McDonald said. "Anger because we put that kind of film on TV. Nobody wants to go out iin any game and display yourselves like that. Nobody. It's a thing of shock because we allowed it to happen. We owe the city more than that and we owe ourselves more than that. We've got to execute our job. We've got to go back to practice and put it together.''
McDonald was forced to move from nosetackle to McCoy's position as the three technique. McCoy could not play due to a fractured hand. He was wearing a splint Friday and vowed to play next Sunday against the Steelers.
Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, held out with a broken left hand, had to watch from the sidelines as his teammates took a humbling 56-14 loss to the Falcons, and he understands the frustration fans are feeling.
"There's some really, really upset fans right now, but in order to get the fans back on our side, we can't sit and sulk in this," McCoy said. "We're going to watch the film today and we've got to get back to work. In 2001, the Patriots started 1-3 and ended up winning the Super Bowl. It happens. This is an unpredictable league, you never know what can happen. One thing you can't do is sit back and sulk in it. You have to accept it as what it is. You can't change it. The score is what it is. It's set in history. Now we have to move on."
McCoy is wearing a splint on his injured left hand and has 10 days now to recover with the hopes of playing a week from Sunday when the Bucs play at Pittsburgh. …Full Story
Busy morning traveling back from Atlanta -- we'll have an open locker room with players at One Buc at noon, then Lovie Smith at 2 p.m., but here are a ton of notes we've been tweeting out since the end of the game.
-- Five Bucs on defense -- Foster, McCoy, Johnson, Clayborn, Jenkins -- played 264 snaps in opener. With injuries, combined for 6 vs. Falcons.
-- Who are Bucs throwing passes to? 15-for-17 to RBs (88 percent); 17-for-20 to TEs (85 percent); but just 28-for-53 to WRs (53 percent).
-- Bucs went 0-for-9 on third down when needing more than 5 yards Thursday. Needed 17, 17, 17, 21 and 28 on separate third downs vs. Falcons.
-- Falcons, meanwhile, converted third downs needing 6, 7, 8, 10 and 17 yards against Bucs defense in Thursday's game. 8-for-11 on third down.
-- Remember how Bucs entered Thursday needing NFL-low 5.3 yards on third downs? Averaged third-and-11.8 in loss to Falcons
-- Third-down passing stats from Thursday night: Matt Ryan 4-for-5, 70 yards, TD; Josh McCown 1/5, minus-5, INT; Mike Glennon 5/6, 29, TD.
-- Bucs have had three plays or less on 12 of their 17 first-half possessions this season. 10 punts, 4 turnovers, two at end of half, one TD. …Full Story
ATLANTA -- In a half where everything seemed to go wrong for the Bucs, starting quarterback Josh McCown left the game in the second quarter after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand on a sack.
McCown, who had earlier seen his fourth interception of the season returned for a touchdown by Atlanta's Kemal Ishmael, went 5-for-12 for 58 yards before the injury. He was replaced by second-year pro Mike Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie last season.
The severity of McCown's injury was immediately known, but he did not return to the game. He said he would know more after undergoing x-rays -- he wore a protective wrap on his right hand as he talked to reporters after the game.
Glennon was 17-of-24 for 124 yards and a touchdown, and said "Down a lot, you want to put your best foot forward. We're playing for pride, to show we're going to go out and fight."
NO SHUTOUT: The Bucs trailed 56-0 in the fourth quarter -- threatening the most lopsided loss (45 points) and most points allowed (62) in team history. But Glennon threw a 3-yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson and LB Danny Lansanah returned a T.J. Yates pass for a touchdown to cut the lead to 56-14, avoiding the history books. …Full Story
Greetings from the Georgia Dome, where the Bucs have a short turnaround to tonight's game against the Falcons as they seek their first win of the season. Key players again are out for Tampa Bay -- no Doug Martin, no Gerald McCoy, no Mason Foster, no Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and no Jeff Tedford, so Marcus Arroyo is calling the plays for a third game in a row.
12:30 p.m.: Danny Lansanah's fourth-quarter pick-six is only reason Bucs didn't suffer most lopsided loss in their history. Lots more to come in notes and quotes ...
11:15 p.m.: The Bucs have scored. Mike Glennon hits Vincent Jackson for a 3-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 56-9. Still the most lopsided margin of defeat in team history if it holds up ... 8:46 left in the fourth.
11 p.m.: We're having trouble keeping up with the Falcons scoring. Matt Ryan is done -- 21-for-24 for 286 yards and 3 TDs. His backup is still throwing and Antone Smith has a TD for a 56-0 lead. Next TD will be most points ever allowed by Bucs -- they gave up 62 to Jets in a 1985 loss. Worst margin of defeat was 45 points (twice) and that seems like a safe bet ... …Full Story
The Bucs will play in Atlanta tonight without defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and running back Doug Martin, who are inactive with injuries and will not play against the Falcons.
Two more starters will be out as expected: linebacker Mason Foster and rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who have been limited by shoulder and ankle injuries, respectively. For the third game in a row, the Bucs deactivated three young offensive linemen in guard Rishaw Johnson and rookies Kevin Pamphile and Kadeem Edwards.
Who steps up? Bobby Rainey, who had 144 yards filling in for Martin last week, gets another go against a Falcons team he rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns against last year. Dane Fletcher steps up at middle linebacker for Foster and has the task of putting the Bucs defenders in the correct position, the Bucs will use a rotation of Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence and Da'Quan Bowers at the two defensive tackle spots. …Full Story
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, attempting to play despite a broken left hand, was upgraded to "limited participation" on Wednesday and is officially listed as "questionable" for Thursday night's game in Atlanta, as are RB Doug Martin and DE Michael Johnson.
Only two of the injured Bucs players are ruled out against the Falcons -- MLB Mason Foster, who dislocated his shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Rams, and rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, out since the opener with an ankle injury. Martin (knee) and Johnson (ankle) missed last week's game but were held out with the hopes of playing in Atlanta.
Six players limited by injuries are listed as probable, which translates to a 75 percent chance of playing, including three who were upgraded to "full participation" Wednesday: C Evan Dietrich-Smith (back), DE Will Gholston (shoulder) and LG Logan Mankins (knee). Also probable are DE Da'Quan Bowers (abdomen), RT Demar Dotson (hamstring) and S Bradley McDougald (knee), who all played Sunday against the Rams. …Full Story
TAMPA - The off-the-field problems continue to swirl in the NFL, with high-profile stars like Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy drawing scorn from fans and some sponsors for legal trouble.
The rush of domestic abuse-related headlines and ill will toward the league is troubling, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday.
"Very much so," Smith said. "I believe in the shield, too, what it represents and what our players represent, who’s looking at them. There’s a lot being said right now. I was asked earlier, have I gone over with my players not to hit a woman? No, I haven’t. Don’t have to. We all know right from wrong. It’s pretty simple. There are some things you just don’t do. For us to continually talk about it – have to talk about it – it’s terrible. For me, I have a wife, I have a mother, sister, on down the line. There’s no place for it. …
"It’s just not an NFL problem. It’s a societal problem. Yes, just like everybody else, moving away from my role, I’m disturbed by some of the things we’re having to deal with right now."
TAMPA – DT Gerald McCoy (hand), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) and LB Mason Foster (shoulder) didn’t participate in the Bucs’ practice Tuesday during the portion open to reporters.
Coach Lovie Smith said McCoy had a cast – not a club – put on his broken hand today but seemed doubtful that the All-Pro would be ready to play Thursday.
“Gerald is a heck of a player, but I might have a chance against him if I made him put his hand behind his back and made him play with one hand,” Smith said after practice. “That’s pretty hard to do.”
Smith said Foster couldn’t do much in practice today, but Seferian-Jenkins’ swelling has subsided.
“His recovery is speeding up a little bit quicker than we thought,” Smith said.
RB Doug Martin (knee) and DE Michael Johnson (ankle) were both limited after missing Sunday’s game. Smith said Johnson needed to practice to get a feel for what he might be able to do Thursday.
“Hopefully he can go,” Smith said. “When we’re playing against an offense like that, we’ll need all of our pass rushers.”
G Logan Mankins (knee), DE William Gholston (shoudler) and C Evan Dietrich-Smith (back) were also limited. …Full Story
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Gerald McCoy was injured on the Bucs' eighth defensive play against the Rams Sunday trying to beat a double-team.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had no wrap or cast on his broken left hand, but he and the Bucs still are weighing whether he should play Thursday at Atlanta and risk further injury.
Working against McCoy and the Bucs is the short turnaround before their game against the Falcons and the belief that a cast would limit the use of his hand and productivity.
"We're trying to figure out the best way to keep it protected,'' McCoy said Tuesday. "Obviously, it's better if I'm out there but still a long season.
"It can always get worse. That's the risk of going out there Thursday...time is very short this week, so not having a full week to recover is definitely working against me but I'm a fighter...Most of it is pain tolerance, but as much as you want to be out there, you also want to be smart.''
McCoy was injured on the Bucs' eighth defensive play against the Rams Sunday trying to beat a double-team. He returned briefly in the second quarter but said "I couldn't feel my hand.''Full Story
TAMPA – Falcons QB Matt Ryan seems to have plenty of respect for the Bucs’ defense heading into Thursday’s primetime matchup against the Bucs in Atlanta.
“I think the one thing you find when you go against a Lovie Smith-coached team is they’re very disciplined and very sound in what they do,” Ryan said Tuesday in a conference call with Tampa Bay reporters. “That’s one of those things that I think jumps off the screen when you watch the film. They play their scheme, and they play it well, and they know where they’re supposed to be, and they get to those spots.”
Ryan also called DT Gerald McCoy one of the league’s top players because of his size and speed and said DE Michael Johnson adds a “dynamic pass rusher” to the Bucs’ defense. Johnson (ankle) didn’t play in Sunday’s loss to St. Louis, and McCoy left with a hand injury.
Will Brian Urlacher be reunited with Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay?
Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher resigned his job as a broadcaster job at Fox Sports 1 Tuesday and the Bucs have an injury to starting middle linebacker Mason Foster.
Will Urlacher be reunited with Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay?
Not this week, at least.
The Bucs plan to go with backup middle linebacker Dane Fletcher in Thursday night's game at Atlanta. Fletcher had two tackles and a forced fumble in Sunday's 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
There's no word on how long Foster will need to recover from a separated shoulder. But if the injury keeps him out long-term, or if Fletcher doesn't play well or becomes injured, it's possible the Bucs could reach out to Urlacher to gauge his interest in resuming his playing career. There has been no contact at this time.
Urlacher said he resigned his job at Fox Sports 1 to spend more time with his family.
But Urlacher's history with Smith is well-documented. And if he wants to reaume his career, it's not farfetched Tampa Bay could be an eventual landing spot.