Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' season not a success for Jameis Winston

TAMPA — Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston says that even if his team beats the Panthers on Sunday and finishes with a winning record — two things he wants — he will not consider the Bucs' season a success.

"For the organization, for fans, you know, a lot of people are happy," he said Wednesday. "But the mentality of this team, our ultimate goal is to win playoff games, win Super Bowls. … It's exciting that we've got a chance to have a winning season. But that's not something we're aiming for at the beginning of the season. We're aiming for the highest, and I think as long as we keep raising the bar, that's the better we're going to become."

The Bucs have an extremely slim chance of making the postseason; their scenario includes a tie between the Redskins and Giants on Sunday.

Winston needs 267 passing yards to eclipse Andrew Luck's record of 8,196 for the most yards passing by a player in his first two seasons. His next touchdown pass will break Josh Freeman's season team record. But Winston said personal goals and statistics don't drive him.

"What drives me is winning games for my team," he said. "What's going to drive me is to see us go out there against Carolina and … giving all we got and bringing home a win for these home fans."

bucs TRANSACTIONS: Running back Charles Sims was put on injured reserve with a pectoral injury, and fullback Austin Johnson was promoted from the practice squad. The Bucs also signed former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims to the practice squad as a running back, and former Northwestern defensive end Deonte Gibson. Offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson was released from the practice squad to make room.

Kuechly won't play vs. Bucs: Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he won't play All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly on Sunday with Carolina out of playoff contention and his star defender recovering from a concussion. Kuechly was cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol three weeks, but Rivera has elected not to play him as a precautionary measure. Rivera said the decision about what is best for the team's long-term future.

Bengals: Receiver A.J. Green (hamstring) won't play Sunday against the Ravens, leaving him 36 yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only NFL players to top 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first six seasons.

Bills: Former Seminole EJ Manuel will start at quarterback in place of Tyrod Taylor on Sunday, which may not bode well for Taylor's future in Buffalo. Interim coach Anthony Lynn called it "a business decision" and said he "wasn't in the room" when the decision was made. He said he couldn't speak for general manager Doug Whaley or owner Terry Pegula. As whether he had a preference for who starts, Lynn said the team wants to gauge its depth at quarterback and Manuel is the next quarterback up. Whaley wasn't commenting.

Browns: Coach Hue Jackson said he hoped quarterback Robert Griffin III could be medically cleared from a concussion to play Sunday against the Steelers.

Broncos: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware (back surgery) and cornerback Kayvon Webster (concussion), a former USF standout, were put on injured reserve.

Ravens: Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith said Sunday's game against the Bengals probably will be the last of his 16-year career. Standing in front of the media wearing a Darth Vader costume, Smith said he was "about 89 percent sure," referring to his uniform number, that Sunday would be the end of his stellar career. At 37, Smith is the oldest receiver in the league. He is seventh in NFL history with 14,697 yards receiving and 12th with 1,028 receptions. This year he is third on the Ravens with 67 receptions and second with 765 receiving yards, and leads them with five touchdown receptions despite missing two games with an ankle injury.

Titans: Quarterback Marcus Mariota had surgery on his broken right leg, and team officials said the procedure was successful. Mariota broke the leg Saturday against the Jaguars. He faces about five months of rehabilitation.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

TAMPA  — With no witnesses and no video evidence, Tampa Police have stopped investigating a case from Christmas Eve that had a truck belonging to Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson found wrecked and abandoned in a mall parking lot with hollow-po...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Brentson Buckner wants more than sacks from Bucs d-line

Brentson Buckner wants more than sacks from Bucs d-line

Much has been made of the Bucs finishing last in the NFL in sacks with just 22 during the 2017 season, but new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner says he measures success in much more than the ultimate goal of a sack."You play 1,300 plays, you hav...
Updated: 6 hours ago
New D-line coach Brentson Buckner wants to make Bucs pass rush great again

New D-line coach Brentson Buckner wants to make Bucs pass rush great again

This isn't the first time Brentson Buckner has wanted to get closer to the Bucs defensive line.As a defensive tackle for the Panthers, Buckner's team went 7-9 in 2002, the inaugural season for the NFC South.Tampa Bay won the division that year, and w...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
New Bucs assistant Brentson Buckner knows challenge of NFC South QBs

New Bucs assistant Brentson Buckner knows challenge of NFC South QBs

New Bucs defensive line coach Brentson Buckner understands full well what a challenge he'll face in trying to bring down three talented quarterbacks in the NFC South this season."Not getting much sleep," Buckner said, asked of his expectations in a d...
Published: 02/21/18
Bucs add ex-USF, Falcons LB Stephen Nicholas to coaching staff

Bucs add ex-USF, Falcons LB Stephen Nicholas to coaching staff

Dirk Koetter has filled out his 2018 coaching staff, hiring former USF and Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas as his new defensive quality control coach.Nicholas, 34, starred for the Bulls and played in Atlanta from 2007-13, much of that under curre...
Published: 02/21/18
Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

TAMPA – Early in his rookie year, Doug Martin was told he was losing his balance because he was dropping his head as he hit the hole in a game at Oakland.He quickly corrected that mistake and wound up rushing for a career-high 251 yards against...
Published: 02/21/18
Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Hours after they parted ways with running back Doug Martin, the Bucs continued their initial wave of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon, releasing defensive tackle Chris Baker.Baker, 30, lasted only one season with Tampa Bay, managing just a half-sack aft...
Published: 02/20/18
Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

TAMPA — After six up and mostly down seasons, Doug Martin's run with the Bucs is over.The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the ...
Published: 02/20/18
Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

The Bucs plan to release running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker sometime before the NFL scouting combine which begins Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.There likely will be more, but they still are undecided on the future of defensive ends R...
Published: 02/20/18
Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Now that the Bucs have announced that Brentson Buckner is their new defensive line coach, could his connections help shape Tampa Bay's search to upgrade their pass rush this offseason?The chance to play for a familiar position coach can be a major fa...
Published: 02/20/18