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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Joseph's road back from knee surgery -- and staph -- has been slow

Before Davin Joseph can open holes for ball carriers and protect the quarterback, he has to block out the pain, lack of power and frustration that comes with recovering from major knee surgery.

Joseph tore the patellar tendon in his left knee in the third preseason game in 2012 and spent the year on injured reserve. A staph infection – not MRSA – was a summer setback to his recovery and forced him to miss Organized Team Activities and most of training camp. He participated in only a few plays in preseason last Aug.

"It's tough. But it's coming back,’’ Joseph said. “It's also getting back in football. I don't take a snap in OTAs and training camp and then you're kind of thrown into the fire. But progressively, you get better and better every day.

"I'm probably the roughest critic on Davin Joseph. It's been a challenge for us. Not winning magnifies everything times 10, but I've got to focus on myself in order to help this team.’’

A report surfaced earlier this week that Joseph had MRSA but he denied it again Thursday.

“I never had MRSA. I do not have MRSA and never had MRSA, plain and simple,” Joseph said. “I had a staph infection over the summertime, but it wasn’t MRSA.” …

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Meredith takes his turn at left guard

Sunday, Jamon Meredith will become the fifth lineman to start at left guard in the Bucs' first eight games.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times (2012)

Sunday, Jamon Meredith will become the fifth lineman to start at left guard in the Bucs' first eight games.

Bucs offensive lineman Jamon Meredith is hoping history can repeat itself.

Meredith, 27, stepped in for Ted Larsen at right guard in Week 5 last season, trying to replace injured Pro Bowler Davin Joseph. Meredith played well enough to keep that starting spot for the final 12 games. This Sunday, Meredith will get his shot at left guard, making him the fifth lineman to start at that position in the Bucs first eight games.

And Meredith, a fifth-year pro, wants the carousel to end with him.

"I'm excited," Meredith said. "The same thing happened last year, I got the opportunity and was fortunate enough to play 12 games straight. So hopefully I'm going to try to do the same thing."

Meredith came into the league at tackle, but has shown his versatility in moving around, including being the sixth linemen on some running plays this season. It'll still be a tough transition moving from right guard to left guard, but Meredith quips the "only difference is that you put a different hand down."

Left tackle Donald Penn said he and Meredith spent extra time after Monday's and Wednesday's practice trying to develop a chemistry. Penn believes Meredith is up for a challenge. …

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Bucs tackle Penn proud to make 100th consecutive start

Bucs left tackle Donald Penn, right, will start his 100th consecutive game Sunday at Seattle.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Bucs left tackle Donald Penn, right, will start his 100th consecutive game Sunday at Seattle.

TAMPA -- It's a milestone more than six seasons in the making, but Bucs left tackle Donald Penn will start his 100th consecutive game Sunday at Seattle, which he says is a testament to resilience, steady play and good luck.

"I'm blessed," Penn said Wednesday as the Bucs returned to practice. "I'm happy I was able to do that, especially coming in as a free agent, starting from the bottom and working my way up. It's a great accomplishment."

Penn's streak is the fifth-longest ever by a Bucs, and second-longest among Tampa Bay offensive linemen, topped only by center Tony Mayberry's run of 144 games from 1991-2000. He's not even halfway to the team record -- defensive back Ronde Barber went 215 games, surpassing linebacker Derrick Brooks' streak of 208 last season.

Penn said he points to two great mentors in his development as a starting tackle -- current Bucs guard Davin Joseph, as well as Brooks, who was a Bucs teammate of his from 2006-08. …

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Bucs claim CB Felder off waivers from Vikings

The trade deadline passed without the Bucs making a deal but they did add a player.

Tampa Bay claimed cornrerback Bobby Felder off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday.

Felder (5-11, 200) spent 2012 on the Vikings practice squad after entering the league as a college free agent from Nicholls State. This season he was on the Vikings 53-man roster before being waived. Felder fills the spot left by Mike Williams, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

As a senior at Nicholls State, Felderstarted all 11 games and intercepted a career-high five passes, He finished with 12 career INTs.

 

 

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Reminder: Rick Stroud chat today at noon

A reminder that Times beat reporter Rick Stroud will be chatting live today, from noon to 1 p.m. Want to talk about the Bucs' 0-7 start? Head coach Greg Schiano's fate? Last week's loss to the Panthers? Sunday's game against the Seahawks? There's plenty to talk about, so let us know what's on your mind.

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Bucs considering (another) change at left guard

When All Pro Carl Nicks signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal before the 2012 season, the Bucs thought they had solidfied their left guard spot for years to come.

But with injuries forcing Nicks to play just nine games since, the position has rotated like a carousel. And the Bucs are considering another change this week, with LG Jamon Meredith taking first-team reps at left guard during Monday's practice. Meredith would be the fifth different player to start at left guard this season (Gabe Carimi, Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Ted Larsen).

Zuttah started the past couple games at left guard, but moved back to center Thursday after Larsen botched a couple shotgun snaps. Meredith, 27, proved capable last season, starting 12 games at right guard when Pro Bowl RG Davin Joseph was out with knee surgery.

The Bucs used Meredith as a sixth linemen at times this year, trying to improve their running game.
Schiano said they're considering a change but haven't decided. "I don't know who is going to end up at the left guard spot," he said.

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Schiano say Bucs hurting Glennon with too many passes

Bucs coach Greg Schiano likes the way rookie Mike Glennon has thrown the football. However, he thinks the team has asked him to throw it too much.

Schiano and his coaches met over the weekend to discover how to shake the Bucs from their 0-7 start. What was glaring, Schiano said, was that they had asked Glennon to attempt 45.5 passes per game in the five contests he started. Glennon has completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 997 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Glennon attempted 51 passes in the Bucs' 31-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers Thursday, a high number even when considering they trailed for most of the game. He made 42 pass attempts in a 13-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. …

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Bucs lose WR Mike Williams for the season

Wide receiver Mike Williams sits on the bench as the Carolina Panthers control the field during the fourth quarter of Thursday's game at Raymond James Stadium.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Wide receiver Mike Williams sits on the bench as the Carolina Panthers control the field during the fourth quarter of Thursday's game at Raymond James Stadium.

As if an 0-7 start weren't bad enough heading into a game at Seattle, the Bucs announced Monday that receiver Mike Williams has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season due to a right hamstring injury.

"Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through but it just wasn’t effective doing it,'' coach Greg Schiano said Monday. "He’ll get surgery now and be repaired and he’ll be fine. It’s just going to be a little bit of a recovery. So after getting all the information from the doctors, he was allowed to try. He did for two weeks but wasn’t really himself and couldn’t do the things he needs to do to be effective. So it’s time to get surgery.''

Williams, who signed a 6-year, $40.25-million contract just before training camp, injured his hamstring Sept. 29 in a 13-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Following the bye week, he missed the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles before returning vs. the Falcons and Panthers. In his last two games, Williams had seven catches for 52 yards. He finishes the season with 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns. …

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Williams not at Bucs practice; Meredith at left guard

Bucs receiver Mike Williams, dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, was not at the portion of Monday's practice open to the media.

Williams sounded ominous about the injury on Friday, with the hamstring believed to be torn, though there's been no official update from the team. In Williams' absence, WR Vincent Jackson, WR Chris Owusu and WR Tiquan Underwood lined up at receiver.

There was also a changing of the guard. LG Jamon Meredith was at left guard with the first team offense instead of Ted Larsen, with Jeremy Zuttah back at center. Larsen botched two shotgun snaps in Thursday's loss to the Panthers. Meredith could be getting his shot in the starting lineup, having stepped in nicely last season.

Safeties Dashon Goldson (left knee) and Mark Barron were at practice, but not dressed out, leaving the field after the walk-through portion of practice.

 

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Tuesday: Chat live with Rick Stroud, noon

Rick Stroud will be chatting live Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m.

Times files

Rick Stroud will be chatting live Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m.

Want to talk about the Bucs' 0-7 start? Head coach Greg Schiano's fate? Thursday night's loss to the Panthers? Next week's game against the Seahawks? Whatever's on your mind, join Times beat reporter Rick Stroud for a live chat Tuesday, Oct. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. We look forward to hearing from you.

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McCoy clarifies his issue with unruly fans

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admitted he upset some fans with his comments after Thursday's game, that they needed to "have a little class" in regards their attacks on coach Greg Schiano.

AP photo

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admitted he upset some fans with his comments after Thursday's game, that they needed to "have a little class" in regards their attacks on coach Greg Schiano.

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admitted he upset some fans with his comments after Thursday's game, that they needed to "have a little class" in regards their attacks on coach Greg Schiano.

On Friday, McCoy clarified what he meant.

"They have to understand what I was saying," McCoy said. "I never said them being angry or disappointed was wrong. What I said was disrespecting a man as a person is wrong. It's a love-hate thing. You love the fact that they are so angry because they want to win just as bad as us. You hate the fact you have put them through that."

Bucs fans showed their fury for Schiano during Thursday's 31-13 loss to the Panthers, with several "Fire Schiano" signs, as well as ones that read "Schiano is Worse than MRSA." What McCoy took issue with was how fans got personal in their verbal, and non-verbal, attacks.

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Goldson hopes he can return against Seattle

Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro, missed Thursday's game with the injury, suffered Sunday in Atlanta.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro, missed Thursday's game with the injury, suffered Sunday in Atlanta.

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson said his injured left knee is improving, and hopes to be able to return next week in Seattle against the Seahawks.

Goldson, an All-Pro, missed Thursday's game with the injury, suffered Sunday in Atlanta.

"It's a day to day thing," Goldson said. "Trainers are doing a good job of approaching it, made a decision last week of holding me back cause there was some things I couldn’t get done that I thought i could do in the game. But it didn’t feel right. Right now, it's day to day."

Bucs coach Greg Schiano said TE Tom Crabtree aggravated his ankle injury on Thursday, with S Keith Tandy (ankle) and LB Dekoda Watson (shoulder) also banged up against Carolina. Schiano is uncertain of Watson's status going forward.

The Bucs are also concerned with WR Mike Williams' hamstring injury and whether he can continue playing. Williams said ominously that we'll find out in three hours.

RB Doug Martin (shoulder) is still out indefinitely, though with the Bucs 0-7, they might consider shutting him down.

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Bucs' Williams sounds ominous about hamstring injury

Mike Williams was held to just three catches for 20 yards in Thursday's loss to the Panthers.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Mike Williams was held to just three catches for 20 yards in Thursday's loss to the Panthers.

Bucs receiver Mike Williams has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury the past several weeks, zapping his production.

Now there's a question whether Williams' season is in jeopardy? When asked if it's an injury he just has to play through, Williams sounded very ominous on Friday afternoon.

"In about three hours, you're going to find out about it," Williams said.

There's been no official release from the team on Williams, whether he's going on injured reserve or otherwise, but coach Greg Schiano acknowledged the receiver has had an issue.

"He has a condition," Schiano said. "It's just a matter of whether he can play with it."

Williams looked clearly bothered by the hamstring, held to just three catches for 20 yards in Thursday's loss to the Panthers. For the season, Williams has 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

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Revis: "This is as low as you can get"

The Bucs had their chance on Thursday night, in front of a nationally-televised audience, to show the league what kind of team they had, despite their winless record.

But the Panthers blew them out, 31-13, at Raymond James Stadium to put Tampa Bay at 0-7 for the season.

The stadium had a lot of empty seats, and those who were there booed loudly, with several wearing bags over their heads and chanting "Fire Schiano."

"This is as low as you can get right now - 0-7," Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "It's tough. I don't really know what to say."

It was a very quiet Bucs lockeroom, with players disappointed, and likely frustrated, having to answer the same questions.

"There’s nothing else to it, we just got outplayed," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

"We got licked," coach Greg Schiano said.

"They out-right beat us," Revis said. …

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Dashon Goldson out against Panthers

Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro, suffered a left knee injury Sunday against the Falcons.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro, suffered a left knee injury Sunday against the Falcons.

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson is out for tonight's game against the Panthers.

Goldson, an All-Pro, suffered a left knee injury Sunday against the Falcons. That's a big hit for the secondary. Expect Keith Tandy or Kelcie McCray to get more action.

Good news for Bucs is that WR Mike Williams is active, though he's been bothered by a hamstring injury. WR Skye Dawson is also active.

As expected, RB Doug Martin is out, as are Carl Nicks and Jeff Demps, Derek Landri, Chris Owusu.

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