Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs in market for receiver as trade deadline looms? Don't count on it

TAMPA — With the NFL trading deadline fast approaching on Tuesday, it might appear the Bucs could use another veteran receiver.

Vincent Jackson is on injured reserve with an ACL injury and it's uncertain if he will be recalled. Louis Murphy, who began workouts two weeks ago in hopes of being activated from the physically unable to perform list, suffered a setback unrelated to his ACL injury.

Certainly, there are pass catchers who are likely to be dangled by teams out of contention. The 49ers would probably love to unload Torrey Smith. Maybe the Bears could be persuaded to deal Alshon Jeffery or the Jets would part with Brandon Marshall for a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

But all of that sounds more like fantasy football than what is likely to take place. Barring a deal that presents itself at the last minute, the chances aren't good that the Bucs swing a trade for another receiver.

What does that mean? Well, for one, Mike Evans needs to stay healthy. Coach Dirk Koetter has done a good job of moving Evans around to prevent defenses from taking him out of the game plan.

The team also will have to develop some production from receivers such as Cecil Shorts, Russell Shepard and Freddie Martino. And of course, Adam Humphries and tight end Cameron Brate have to become a bigger part of the passing game.

As for needing someone to stretch the field vertically, the Bucs could activate Donteea Dye from the practice squad once he works himself into football shape.

IT BEGAN WITH THE RAIDERS: If you want to trace the beginning of the Bucs glory days, you have to remember when the Raiders visited Tampa on Nov. 10, 1996. The night before, there was a big boxing match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A group of Raiders players watched the fight, which began late on the eve of the game.

The Bucs were 1-8 in the first year under Tony Dungy. Raiders kicker Cole Ford missed a chip shot 23-yard field goal that would've won the game with 5 seconds left in regulation. Bucs running back Mike Alstott had 54 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving to set up Michael Husted's winning field goal in overtime.

With the victory, the Bucs won five of their last eight games to end the season and were on their way. Koetter's team can only hope a win today over the Raiders will spark a similar turnaround.

MAN OF MANY HATS: If you're wondering why the Bucs don't just make Shepard the No. 2 receiver, consider his value to the team is also as its best player on all special teams. Therefore, Koetter has limited Shepard to 30 snaps on offense. He played 28 offensive snaps against the 49ers on offense last Sunday and 17 on special teams.

"We've got to be careful," Koetter said. "Somewhere around 30 reps is probably about right on offense. I mean, that's exactly how we say it in the room: be careful."

Comments
Bucs Ring of Honor: Tony Dungy, the wise man who ‘learns from everybody’

Bucs Ring of Honor: Tony Dungy, the wise man who ‘learns from everybody’

TAMPA — At the pancake house, a couple sat in the next booth over. They recognized the voice. That voice. Brenda and Charlie Rivas asked to take a picture. Snap. They walked away on air. The server reappeared. She had to ask. Two of her tables ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Steelers: The stage is set again for Mr. Monday Night

Bucs-Steelers: The stage is set again for Mr. Monday Night

TAMPA — At this stage in his career, DeSean Jackson is a celebrity who plays football. Movie producer, actor, host of the self-named One on One podcast and quarterback fashion coordinator – he does it all. But Jackson may do his best work...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 8 hours ago
McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

TAMPA — Why wait until Monday Night Football? We got former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland, the field analyst for the ESPN crew, to break down the Bucs-Steelers matchup. In his straight-forward, brutally honest style, McFarland dissects...
Published: 09/23/18
How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa FM station to ‘Monday Night Football’

How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa FM station to ‘Monday Night Football’

TAMPA — When Booger McFarland auditioned for the new Monday Night Football broadcast team, producer Jay Rothman was blown away."I closed my eyes and said, 'Holy (bleep), I feel like I'm listening to football's Charles Barkley,'' Rothman said.Si...
Published: 09/22/18
Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Defensive tackle Vita Vea made it through practice this week, his first since straining his left calf muscle July 29. But coach Dirk Koetter was pretty non-committal about how much, or if, Vea will play Monday night against the Steelers."When you've ...
Published: 09/22/18

How Tampa Bay is savoring its FitzMagic carpet ride

TAMPA — Bucs fan Dallas Collins has it all planned out.On Monday night, he and his family are going to whip up an Irish Boiled Dinner. You know, corned beef, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and onions.Then they're going to sit down and watch the Buc...
Published: 09/22/18
Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

TAMPA — When placekicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter at New Orleans and a point-after attempt last week against the Eagles, he left the door open for a possible comeback by the Saints and Eagles.The Bucs...
Published: 09/21/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

TAMPA — Shortly after he learned he would be starting the first three games this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick saw the opportunity to do something few thought would be possible.No, not take Jameis Winston's job.The Bucs starting quarterback was susp...
Published: 09/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

It's our mailbag episode, with questions about how many games the Bucs can win this season, the reason for their offensive explosion and what we can expect from Vita Vea this week against the Steelers.Plus, what moves should the Rays make this offsea...
Published: 09/21/18