Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs promote competition among kickers

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — When K Connor Barth had season-ending surgery on his Achilles last month, the Bucs felt fortunate to bring in veteran Lawrence Tynes at the last minute.

Tynes, 35, has two Super Bowl rings, and made two overtime winning kicks in conference championship games.

But coach Greg Schiano has made it clear Tynes will be judged on the present. And a toe injury is not helping Tynes' case.

Tynes, who missed Saturday's practice with what Schiano called an ingrown toenail, returned Monday but missed a couple of field goals before taking a step back. That has given a chance to Derek Dimke, 23, who has never kicked in an NFL game but has looked good in camp.

"When we started this competition, Tynes was in front because he was the veteran," Schiano said. "But I've never coached either one of them. This isn't a book about what's happened in the past, this is about the Bucs in 2013, and where are we today? That's what we've got to look at. The competition is good, the injury has definitely set Lawrence back, so we've got to get him feeling well before we can make a fair judgment."

NOT READY: TE Luke Stocker (calf strain) was activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list, so he can practice. But Schiano cautioned against assuming Stocker is ready to go.

"Progress is a good way to put it," Schiano said. "He's not ready to go, but he was taken off PUP because he was going to do some things with pads on, which is the rule."

Stocker was sidelined for full-team drills where contact was a part of the day's practice.

"Practice was good," Stocker said. "They had to ease me in a little bit. That felt good, so (today) should be wide-open."

Another starter, DE Adrian Clayborn (groin), returned to practice but couldn't finish it. He eventually went back to riding an exercise bicycle.

"He went back out and didn't quite feel good enough," Schiano said. "So we'll give it a couple more days."

STEPPING IN: G Carl Nicks (toe) had a good practice, springing RB Doug Martin open for a long run on a drill. Schiano is encouraged Nicks has been able to participate in some 11-on-11 periods, having come off season-ending toe surgery. "I know he's in discomfort, but he's a tough guy and he fights it," Schiano said.

HE MEANS IT: Schiano said rookie DE Steven Means is getting better, but still adjusting to the learning curve. "He needs to go out there and play Thursday night (in the preseason opener against Baltimore) at a high energy level and let it go," Schiano said. "I can still see a guy who is thinking too much. So I'm sure he's gaining information but … usually there's a spike you see right away, pure ability when they come in rookie minicamp. As they learn it kind of slows them down and now I hope he's coming out of it and I can see that. Just how far will he come and how fast? That's usually the rookie struggle; that D-line game is right now, bam-bam, in your face. And (at) this level you learn a lot of tricks as you go."

MISCELLANY: WR Mike Williams (hamstring), CB Johnthan Banks and WR Tiquan Underwood (hamstring) returned to practice. The Bucs signed LB Marvin Booker and WR Chris Denton, waiving WR Bobby Sewall and S Troy Nolan to make room.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

TAMPA ó The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said itís too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner."We havenít turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sundayís game at Atlanta. "Itís ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macyís parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.ííItís a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Koetter says Bucs not distracted by Jameis Winstonís off-field issue

The Bucs are 1-0 since news broke last Friday of Jameis Winston being accused by an Uber driver of groping her during a ride in March of 2016.That's really all the evidence coach Dirk Koetter needs to say the issue has not been a distraction to the t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Published: 11/22/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucsí practice squad and why Julio Jonesí stats have dropped off this season,...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Simeon Rice — teammates on the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl championship team — are among the 27 semifinalists to be considered for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame class.Lynch is a semifinalist for the sixth st...
Published: 11/22/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Itís a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they canít win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

TAMPA ó The most valuable player for the Bucs is Brent Grimes.It felt odd typing that, but itís time to say it.In Grimesí two seasons in Tampa Bay, the Bucs havenít won a game without him. This season they are 4-3 when he plays, 0-3 when he doesnít.H...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA ó Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sundayís game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 10 hours ago