Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs receivers Russell Shepard, Donteea Dye make good impression

TAMPA — In a game in which eight different Bucs receivers caught passes, coach Dirk Koetter said two in particular — Russell Shepard and Donteea Dye — have helped their cases in what continues to be a wide-open battle for backup jobs.

"Those two guys made plays," Koetter said Friday, a day after the team's 17-9 loss at the Eagles. "I thought two guys stepped up and showed that they're in the mix."

Shepard was a fairly obvious choice — he caught the team's only touchdown and finished with three catches for a team-best 62 yards. But Dye had zero catches, with one negated by an offensive pass interference call against him that Koetter didn't necessarily agree with.

"DD made three really nice plays on special teams, and he had that explosive pass that got called back for an OPI," Koetter said. "Officials, I think, do a fantastic job, but it was just hard to find much fault with DD on that play. He made a nice catch, ran a nice route, spun out, had a good run. Bottom line, it got called back for a penalty on him, but those two guys, I thought, showed up."

It was a rough game for Kenny Bell, who fumbled the opening kickoff, leading to an Eagles touchdown, had zero catches on two passes thrown his way, and had an offensive pass interference penalty called against him. But Koetter said he still liked what he saw from the 2015 fifth-round pick out of Nebraska.

"I'm sure everyone is going to be crushing Kenny Bell (but) as far as offense goes, Kenny Bell beat his man multiple times and just didn't get the ball thrown to him," Koetter said. "On the very last drive he ran a little double move and was open, and we overthrew him. There's probably five plays in the game where Kenny did his job and got open. … Now unfortunately we fumbled the opening kickoff, and he had another penalty that hurt us."

The passing game as a whole had room for improvement — Koetter counted seven drops and said, "you're just not going to win games like that."

Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Adam Humphries have locked up jobs, but there are two if not three spots left for other receivers, and Koetter stressed that the next two weeks — with joint practices against the Jaguars on Wednesday and Thursday and two more the following week in Tampa against the Browns, in addition to both games, represent a huge opportunity for all the receivers.

"We're going to go six times, six days in the next two weeks against other teams," he said, "so there's plenty of evaluation to go."

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

Comments
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Published: 07/16/18
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Published: 07/16/18
Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Former Bucs coach and current NFL analyst Tony Dungy said Friday that quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension is disappointing, but he still hopes the 24-year-old can learn from his mistakes moving forward."Obviously, it's disappointing, a...
Published: 07/13/18
Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be a complicated study in the off-field behavior of pro athletes, doing things that draw criticism and praise, sometimes even in the same hour.Winston drew criticism from some fans today for posting video ...
Published: 07/13/18
Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

So training camp is less than two weeks away, and you're beginning to feel hopeful. Why not the Buccaneers, right?To which Pro Football Focus might respond, "We'll tell you why not."The analysts at the website are not high on the revamped offensive l...
Published: 07/13/18
Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

As we roll out our own choices for "Mount Rushmore" honors for Tampa Bay sports teams, one of our readers was reminded of a similar treatment for the Bucs defensive line nearly 40 years ago.Sue Avery of Wesley Chapel e-mailed to share a photo  o...
Published: 07/13/18
Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

The selection process for a Mount Rushmore of former Bucs players— part of a project from the Times Sports department that includes an overall Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay athletes — is first incredibly easy, and then exceedingly diff...
Published: 07/13/18
Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing two separate lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, including one from an alleged incident in Lutz in January 2017.The same week that Alabama's football team played Clemson in Tampa for a national c...
Published: 07/11/18
As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

Bucs veterans report for training camp in exactly two weeks, and quarterback Jameis Winston was preparing Tuesday by working out with a group of NFL receivers and Hall of Famer Randy Moss.Fox 13 TV posted video of Winston working out at Skyway Park, ...
Published: 07/11/18
Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Two years ago, we took a close look at the official Twitter accounts for all teams in the four major pro sports leagues — NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — to compare the followings and see which had the best reach in social media.That gave us a wi...
Published: 07/10/18