Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs journal: Rookie Justin Evans' first interception comes against Tom Brady

TAMPA — The Bucs didn't do rookie S Justin Evans any favors Thursday night, with injuries forcing him into his first NFL start against a prolific Patriots offense and Tom Brady.

Evans stepped up on the opening drive though, getting an interception on a pass from Brady that sailed high across the middle. It's the first career interception for the team's second-round pick out of Texas A&M, and almost as rare for Brady.

Brady entered the game with no interceptions in 155 passes this season, and the pick ended a streak of 264 passes without an interception, the second-longest streak of his 18-year NFL career.

Welcome back

RB Doug Martin made his debut after finishing the four-game suspension that started last season. He was welcomed with a loud cheer on his opening carry, a 7-yard gain on the team's second drive.

Martin ran the ball well, with gains of 11 and 17 yards to set up a run from the 11 that was initially ruled a touchdown. Replay showed his knee touched down with the ball at the 1, much like WR Mike Evans had a touchdown called back on replay in Sunday's win against the Giants.

On Sunday, the Bucs only got a field goal. On Thursday, they didn't mess around this time — on first and goal at the 1, they lined up nine wide on the offensive line and Martin dived over the top for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

More debuts

Undrafted rookie TE Antony Auclair was active for the first time and made his NFL debut. He was in on Martin's touchdown run as a blocker. … The Bucs also promoted S Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad to provide depth with T.J. Ward and Keith Tandy both inactive with hip injuries. Johnson made his NFL debut on special teams.

Lights up for Vegas

The Bucs held a moment of silence before the national anthem as fans were asked to hold up their cellphones with lights on in memory of the victims of this week's mass shooting in Las Vegas. The national anthem was sung without incident, with all players from both teams standing and no players kneeling in protest.

Off and running

Need a Bucs presence in your weekend after a Thursday game? The Bucs Care "Treasure Chests Finish at the 50" races will be Saturday morning at Raymond James Stadium, with more than 4,000 participants expected to take part.

The team's annual event to support the fight against breast cancer has a 5K, 10K and fun run, all coordinated to finish with runners coming out of the tunnel and end their runs on the 50-yard line in the stadium.

Registration is open for the event until 5 p.m. today.

This and that

Five members of the Bucs Ring of Honor were in attendance to honor late owner Malcolm Glazer getting inducted at halftime Thursday. Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp were there in their Pro Football Hall of Fame blazers, with Jimmie Giles, Paul Gruber and Mike Alstott also in attendance and on the field for the opening coin toss. … Special teams captain Josh Robinson left the game in the second quarter with a concussion and was ruled out for the rest of the game. … DE Ryan Russell left the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Comments
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

TAMPA — Vita Vea loves to tell the story about the trip he took to French Polynesia with some University of Washington students and the group coming upon some enormous rocks."So over there, their strongman competition is they have a tradition w...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

TAMPA — Another busy offseason. Another first round of the NFL draft. Another interesting night.And, through it all, Bucs general manager Jason Licht has looked pretty darn good.He spent the past couple of months patching his offensive line, sp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live blog: News, analysis, photos, more from the NFL draft

Live blog: News, analysis, photos, more from the NFL draft

Whether you're a fan of the Bucs, Gators, Seminoles, 'Canes or Bulls, you'll want to follow our live coverage of the 2018 NFL draft today through Saturday in Arlington, Tex. We'll have live news, commentary, photos, videos, stories and more, so come...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, get No. 12, two 2nd-rounders

Bucs trade down with Bills, get No. 12, two 2nd-rounders

The Bucs have traded down from their top pick, moving down five spots from No. 7 to No. 12 and gaining two second-round picks from the Buffalo Bills.Tampa Bay still has the No. 12 pick in the draft, but picked up No. 53 and No. 56, trading back their...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs fill a need at running back on the first day of the draft…but it’s Charles Sims, who agrees to a 1-year deal

Bucs fill a need at running back on the first day of the draft…but it’s Charles Sims, who agrees to a 1-year deal

The Bucs landed a running back on the first day of the NFL draft.It wasn't Saquon Barkley or Sony Michel or Derrius Guice. Not just yet, anyway.Tampa Bay reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Charles Sims.The 27-year-old Sims was a third-r...
Published: 04/26/18
After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

The Bucs still don't have a third-round draft pick this weekend, but if they do trade for one, former Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia won't be the one to announce it.It's been a rough few days for Garcia, who played for the Bucs in 2007-08, ma...
Published: 04/26/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

It's NFL draft day. John Clayton joins Rick Stroud to talk about how many quarterbacks will go early and who the Bucs will take with the seventh overall pick, considering their obvious needs on defense.Plus, the Lightning will face the Boston Br...
Published: 04/26/18
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18