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Bucs: Kicker Connor Barth returns from torn Achilles tendon

High hopes

Connor Barth is back healthy after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and he's getting used to minor tweaks that all NFL kickers will encounter in coming weeks.

First, the NFL has extended the goalposts to make them 5 feet taller — from 30 to 35 feet above the crossbar.

"It's good. It's different. I like it, though," said Barth, 28, who has felt 100 percent since offseason drills started in the spring. "If anything, you kick a better ball because you can focus on a higher target."

In the first two weeks of the preseason, the league will experiment with longer extra points, with the ball being snapped from the 15 for what amounts to a 33-yard kick.

"You've just got to take it like it's any other kick," said Barth, who went 10-for-11 on field goals shorter than 40 yards in 2012, his fifth season in the NFL. "As long as I focus and take care of my job, follow through and finish, I should make that kick, hopefully every time."

Big turnout

Though the first four practices were open to the general public, Wednesday's was set aside for season-ticket holders. That's still a big group of fans, and the team had its strongest turnout of camp, with close to full capacity, which is about 3,500. After practice, fans were lined up around three sides of the main practice field, with players signing autographs and taking pictures, as they have after each practice.

Dodge, please

A gimmick being used to teach focus to QBs in positional drills are large green balls that coaches bounce toward the passers as they work on throws. The balls help teach players to sidestep rushers while keeping their eyes downfield.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Training camp

When: Through Aug. 14

Where: One Buc Place

Public workouts

Today: 2-4:30 p.m.

Friday: 7:30-9:30 p.m. (Raymond James Stadium)

Sunday: 4:30-7 p.m.

Monday: 4:30-7 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 10: 2-4:30 p.m.

Aug. 11: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 12: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 14: 2-4:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Tickets: buccaneers.com, (813) 870-2700

Note: Times subject to change. For the latest updates, see buccaneers.com.

Preseason schedule

Aug. 8: at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8

Aug. 16: vs. Dolphins, 7:30, Ch. 8 *

Aug. 23: at Bills, 4:30, Ch. 8

Aug. 28: vs. Redskins, 7:30, Ch. 8 *

* Subject to blackout

Bucs: Kicker Connor Barth returns from torn Achilles tendon 07/30/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:07pm]
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