Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs offense on a record pace

Even if they fall short of earning a spot in the postseason, this could become a record-breaking season on offense for the Bucs.

Doug Martin already has broken the franchise rookie rushing record with 1,234 yards, surpassing the 1,178 of Cadillac Williams in 2005.

If Martin averages 103.7 yards over the final three games, he will run down the overall franchise record of 1,544 yards set by James Wilder in 1984.

Vincent Jackson leads the Bucs with 56 catches for 1,145 yards and is taking aim at the franchise yards record held by Mark Carrier, who had 1,422 in 1989. He must average 92.7 yards to break it.

Finally, the Bucs have never had a 4,000-yard passer. Josh Freeman, currently at 3,192, can do so by averaging 269.3 yards against the Saints, Rams and Falcons. He must average 206.7 to surpass Brad Johnson's franchise record of 3,811 set in 2003.

THIRD AND MISSING: Watching the Bucs struggle during the first half against the Eagles last week, including going 1-for-8 on third down, you had to wonder if Freeman could use a more physical slot receiver than Tiquan Underwood.

Freeman missed some receivers, and he must improve on short and intermediate throws.

But coach Greg Schiano said the Bucs present other inside options for Freeman in those situations, including Jackson and Mike Williams.

"Tiquan lines up in there, but Vince lines up in there. Mike lines up in there and (TE Dallas Clark)," Schiano said. "So we can format it any way we want. And the things we ask Ti to do in there lend towards his skill set.

"I don't think we're asking him to do any of the things that a traditional slot might do — muscling guys — because that isn't his game. But he is fast, and he's elusive. So we try to utilize his skills when he is in there and also when he is outside."

RED BARRON: The Bucs remain happy with the play of rookie S Mark Barron, the seventh overall pick in April. He has been a big reason why Tampa Bay's defense is first in the NFL against the run.

However, Barron has struggled, at times, in coverage. He blew an assignment against the Eagles and failed to make plays on the ball during critical situations.

But Schiano preaches patience.

"He's also making some plays that not many rookies make," Schiano said. "You're going to make some mistakes. There are some veteran guys that will make mistakes.

"He's learning that this is different and the skill people you have to cover at this level, they're the elite people in the world at what they do. But overall, I think he's good. He's a level-as-you-go guy, and he'll keep getting better."

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: DE Michael Bennett isn't bashful about letting everyone know he would like to earn a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. After recording his ninth sack of the season against the Eagles, Bennett did a hula dance. The Pro Bowl is played in Honolulu.

"He's just letting everybody know what his goal is," Bucs DT Gerald McCoy said. "I think he's just having fun. He put in a lot of hard work.

"It's not easy to get to a quarterback in this league. So when you do and you've had the success he's had this year, just have fun with it. I think it's cool."

Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected] and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

Comments
Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Just to preface this, the NFL Network's annual countdown of the league's top 100 players is a made-for-TV deal, good for summer offseason conversation but not carrying any huge amount of real significance.Having said that, it's worth noting that for ...
Published: 06/19/18
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Published: 06/18/18
Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

The Bucs had four extra coaches during organized team activities last month as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including former Tampa Bay receiver Lawrence Dawsey.Dawsey, 50, played for the Bucs from 1991-95, finishing his time ...
Published: 06/18/18
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18
Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Times wiresVISTA, Calif. – Former Bucs and Hurricanes tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was jailed without bail Friday after pleading not guilty to nine counts of kidnapping, rape and other charges.If convicted on all counts, Winslow, 34, could face...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

TAMPA — The last pass thrown by Jameis Winston in a regular-season game was his best. The perfectly arced, 39-yard strike to Chris Godwin for a touchdown with nine seconds left gave the Bucs a 31-24 win over New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

The first Bucs home game of the 2018 season is still three months off, but the franchise is busy getting Raymond James Stadium ready with the fourth phase of its $160 million renovation, highlighted by a new East Stadium Club.Construction continues t...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

The Bucs wrap up minicamp as Gerald McCoy sounds off on the team getting help for him, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner yelling at the veteran defensive tackle and advice for the young players who now have five weeks off before training camp.Plu...
Published: 06/15/18
Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

TAMPA — On the last day of minicamp, DT Gerald McCoy made it clear that the new additions to the defensive line are what the entire team needed, not just himself."It's not about me. It's about the team," McCoy said of the addition of five new l...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

TAMPA — This week's three-day minicamp was the final push in the Bucs' offseason, with about six weeks now until the team reconvenes in late July for training camp and the real preamble to the 2018 season.So what, if anything, can be gleaned fr...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18