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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Video: Clayborn, Underwood injured

Times beat reporter Stephen F. Holder talks about injuries to defensive end Adrian Clayborn (groin) and wide receiver Tiquan Underwood (hamstring) and receiver Vincent Jackson's desire to expand his role in the Bucs' offense in Wednesday's video report from training camp.

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Returning DE Clayborn 'frustrated' following groin injury

Adrian Clayborn, left, with linebacker Dekoda Watson, suffered a groin injury during invidividual drills Wednesday and did not finish practice.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Adrian Clayborn, left, with linebacker Dekoda Watson, suffered a groin injury during invidividual drills Wednesday and did not finish practice.

The Bucs couldn't wait to have defensive end Adrian Clayborn back this season. But after six training camp workouts, they will need to practice patience again.

Clayborn, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Week 3 last year at Dallas, suffered a groin injury during invidividual drills Wednesday and did not finish practice.

Coach Greg Schiano said he did not know the severity of the groin strain but noted it was serious enough to force him to call it a day early.

"He couldn’t practice the rest of the day, so I don’t know,'' Schiano said. "That’s usually not a good sign. He’s incredibly frustrated obviously after being out all that time with the surgery and he just gets it rolling again and now something is holding him back.  But that’s the way life goes. He’s just got to keep battling and he will.''

The Bucs did see some injured players reach mileposts Wednesday. Cornerback Darrelle Revis did coverage drills against a live receiver in Terriun Crump for the first time since tearing his ACL in Week 3.  …

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Video: Revis' day off gives others an opportunity

Times beat reporter Rick Stroud talks about the defensive backs who got extra reps as Darrelle Revis took a scheduled day off and why wide receiver Mike Williams was limping off the field in today's video report from Bucs training camp.

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Revis sits out of practice; Williams limps off afterwards

Mike Williams, right, limped off the field, walking a little stiff-legged, with a trainer after today's practice.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Mike Williams, right, limped off the field, walking a little stiff-legged, with a trainer after today's practice.

Bucs star cornerback Darrelle Revis sat out of Monday's practice, which coach Greg Schiano said was a planned day off for the All-Pro, who spent his day rehabbing his surgically-repaired knee.

The team is continuing to show caution with Revis, who has looked good in practicing the first four days, including Saturday's night padded practice. With Tuesday's team off day, Revis will get plenty of time to rest.

In other news, WR Mike Williams limped off the field, walking a little stiff-legged, with a trainer after today's practice. Williams had made a diving catch over the middle to set up K Derek Dimke's tying 54-yard field goal in the two-minute drill, the practice's final period.

But Schiano didn't seem concerned, saying he was unaware of - or told anything about - any injury to Williams, who recently signed a $40 million extension. "I hope not," Schiano said.

On the injury front, there were several players back in practice, including DE William Gholston, TE Zach Miller, with DE Markus White coming off the PUP list.

Some highlights from today's practice: …

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Video: Breaking down Bucs training camp battles

Times beat writer Stephen F. Holder brings you the latest from Bucs training camp in the latest video report from One Buc Place.

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Glazers' spending creates pressure on Bucs to win now

We don’t often hear from Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer and his family, so his brief media availability before Saturday night’s practice at Raymond James Stadium is worthy of some closer examination.

We told you Saturday that Glazer expects more games on television this year, with fewer blackouts ahead. But there were other issues he touched on that are both important and interesting.

What struck me is what Glazer said about ownership’s investment in the team. Say what you want about the Bucs’ miserly spending in years past – something that is not debatable and is documented. But Glazer and his family are spending richly on their football team these days, committing hundreds of millions of dollars to players like Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Dashon Goldson, Darrelle Revis and Mike Williams. And there’s likely to be more to come, with key players coming out of contract down the road (Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and others). …

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Details will decide battle between Ogletree, Underwood

Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are the Bucs’ two starting receivers. Of that, there is no doubt.

But there’s no certainty about who will assume the role of No. 3 receiver, a job that comes with quite of a bit of snaps in the Bucs offense. But for the Bucs, it’s a good problem to have.

They like the two options they have: Kevin Ogletree and Tiquan Underwood. Both have talent and both have shown signs of bigger things to come.

So, ultimately, some other elements will play a role in deciding this key position battle. Among them: Who proves more capable of showing the versatility needed to perform numerous roles in the offense. With the Bucs placing an emphasis on moving Jackson and, at times, Williams, to different spots on the field, the third receiver will have to adapt accordingly.

“Those third and fourth receivers have to know all the positions and be able to make plays in all the spots as an outside receiver, as a single receiver and as a slot receiver,” receivers coach John Garrett said. “That’s the goal: to have complete versatility where you can mix and match three or four guys and put them all in different spots instead of the same place. That way you (show) less tendencies.” …

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Bucs emphasize 2-minute defense after blown leads in '12

The Bucs lost three games they led in the fourth quarter last season -- to the Giants, Redskins and Eagles -- two of them coming with opponents in the hurry-up offense. That’s why coach Greg Schiano has identified the two-minute defense as an area that must improve.

On Sunday, the defense prevailed in both two-minute periods.

“We need to be better in the two-minute defense,’’ Schiano said. “We need to coach better, we need to play better, everything needs to be better. We also need to be better on two-minute offense. Horseback observation, we do that great job at Carolina to win the game. We got a great two-minute offense. We weren’t real good in two-minute offense and so many games come down to that.

“It’s got to be a huge area of improvement. If you looked, we had 20 opportunities in the spring. We did it 20 times. Twenty different situations and we’re going to do it again because we need to be better and games come down to that each and every week.’’

 

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Bucs' Carl Nicks stays patient on long road back

The Bucs believe they have an elite offensive line, but left guard Carl Nicks is a major part of that.

And Nicks, for now, is not truly a part of the unit as he’s still working his way back from toe surgery last season. He’s participating only on a limited basis in practices, at the direction of the team, but Nicks vows not to miss any regular-season action.

“I’ll be ready. I’ll definitely be ready,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll play in any preseason games, but I’ll be ready.”

But waiting is not something Nicks enjoys. With his teammates in pads Saturday at Raymond James Stadium, Nicks was mostly a spectator.

“It’s real hard, especially when you see these guys put the pads on for the first time,” he said. “But it’s part of the game. You have to take care of your body and stay rested. So I’m trying to do that. I’ve never had a (serious) injury. So it’s new to me.”

Nicks missed the final 11 games of last season, the first time he’s missed games in his career.

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Talent, ticket sales have Bucs' Bryan Glazer optimistic

Bryan Glazer is excited. He sees some familiar things in his football team, and he believes he has reason for the optimism.

The Bucs co-chairman remembers fondly the qualities he saw in his team early in his family’s ownership of the team, in the late 1990s. And there are many parallels in today’s club, Glazer said.

“You feel it when you’re in the locker room and you look around at the players that we have today,” Glazer said. “We have a tremendous core of young players and it’s exciting to me to see this.

“We have an offense that can keep up with anybody in the league. That has not been seen before in Tampa in a long time. Also, there are players on defense at brand-new positions, we’ve added new players. The football team is only heading in the right direction.”

Glazer spoke to reporters in a rare interview at tonight’s open practice at Raymond James Stadium, one that has drawn a good number of fans. …

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Mike Williams' contract gives Bucs 2014 flexibility

Mike Williams got his money this week, the Bucs signing him to a $40.25 million contract extension that locks him up through 2018.

But just as important are the details and structure of the contract.

We told you earlier this week that roughly $15 million of the contract was guaranteed. Now, more details are emerging. The guarantee is actually $14.6 million, to be more specific, with a $7.2 million base salary in 2013 that’s fully guaranteed.

But here’s what is interesting, I think. The Bucs and Williams agreed to a base salary of $1.2 million in 2014, with Williams’ cap number at $1.8 million. This is important because 2014 could be a pivotal financial year for the Bucs.

With the team preparing for the expiration of quarterback Josh Freeman’s contract, general manager Mark Dominik will need flexibility. Williams’ contract will help in that regard. This structure seems deliberate, because Williams’ 2015 salary jumps to $5.2 million.

Another key point: The 2014 and 2015 salaries are guaranteed, meaning that unless Williams grossly underperforms, you should expect him to remain in Tampa Bay for at least the first three years of this deal. …

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Video: Day 2 of Bucs training camp

Times beat reporter Stephen F. Holder talks about Ronde Barber's appearance and rookie Johnthan Banks' spectacular interception in this video report from the second day of Bucs training camp.

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Special report: Sapp to enter Hall of Fame

Warren Sapp celebrates a Bucs touchdown during a 2002 game against the Ravens.

TONI L. SANDYS | Times

Warren Sapp celebrates a Bucs touchdown during a 2002 game against the Ravens.

When he is inducted on Aug. 3, Warren Sapp will join Lee Roy Selmon as the only players who spent the majority of their NFL careers with the Bucs to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

So it's kind of a big deal.

To get you ready for the big day, we've prepared a special report page with stories, videos, a photo gallery and more looking back at Sapp's childhood, his college days at Miami and, of course, storied career in Tampa Bay. We'll be adding new pieces each day, leading up to and through the induction ceremony, so please continue to check back.

Trust us, you don't want to disappoint the big man.

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Bucs make day for special fan

Along with head coach Greg Schiano, 7-year-old Darian Gibson breaks down the huddle to wrap up Friday's practice at One Buccaneer Place.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Along with head coach Greg Schiano, 7-year-old Darian Gibson breaks down the huddle to wrap up Friday's practice at One Buccaneer Place.

There was a pretty cool moment at the end of Friday''s Bucs practice, when seven-year-old Darian Gibson was surprised and brought into the team's huddle.

Gibson, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), has undergone four open-heart surgeries in the last four and a half years, including two operations in 2012. But Gibson was standing tall Friday afternoon, when he received a standing ovation from Bucs players and coach Greg Schiano as he broke down the huddle to end the workout.

Gibson was also surprised with season tickets, courtesy of the team, and found out he'll be the honorary team captain for the exhibition opener against the Ravens Aug. 8.


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Secondary steals show in Bucs practice

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson said he spoke to the team Friday, saying the secondary has to "set the tone," getting the ball back for QB Josh Freeman.

They did just that in Friday's practice, with rookie CB Johnthan Banks and CB Michael Adams each racking up interceptions in a workout in which the defense came out on top. Banks, the athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, showed great anticipation in coming off his man in zone coverage to make a leaping pick of Freeman during a 7-on-7 period.

Banks raced over the middle to pick off rookie QB Mike Glennon.

"As a secondary, we want to get our hands on as many balls as possible," Goldson said. "I think today was a good showing of what we can do. We've still got a long way coming, but a lot of guys stepped up big-time today, made plays when they needed to."

As Goldson, the former 49ers All Pro, says, the Bucs have their  hands full in week in the NFC South, facing QBs like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Tampa Bay may lean on a rookie in Banks, who is competing for the opposite corner to Darrelle Revis, and he's impressed so far. …

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