Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Former Bull Bonani competing for Titans kicking job

NASHVILLE — Maikon Bonani knows all about second chances.

The former USF kicker is back with the Titans for a second year with the job open. And if kicking in a preseason game counts, he's the only guy in Tennessee's camp with NFL experience.

Bonani believes an accident in July 2009 while he was working a summer job at Busch Gardens — which cost him a season with the Bulls — gave him this opportunity to win the job of a lifetime.

"I came here last year to get an experience, and now I'm back," Bonani said. "Things seem to be fitting into place. God works in mysterious ways. I just trust him."

Before his sophomore season at USF, the Brazil native got caught checking a door lock on a gondola at the theme park. He held on just long enough to land on grass and not concrete, but the fall of 35 feet left him with a broken vertebra.

That accident extended his college career through 2012. Signed by the Titans in May 2013 to share duties with veteran Rob Bironas in training camp, Bonani was cut in August then signed by the Titans again in January.

Bonani thought he again would compete with Bironas, who had a year left on his contract and ranked as the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history. But the Titans unexpectedly cut Bironas in March. The only kickers in training camp are Bonani and undrafted rookie Travis Coons of Washington.

"You're competing against everyone that's active in the NFL," Bonani said. "You're competing against guys on other teams. I believe that when they cut Rob, it was a decision that they made, and I believe by bringing me back they have faith in me, which speaks a lot, and that gives me confidence to do the job."

Bonani tried only two field goals last preseason, hitting a 26-yarder and missing from 47. After being released, he stayed in shape and worked part-time as a personal trainer in Florida.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's only worried about seeing Bonani and Coons kick in preseason games.

"I feel good about us having a kicker that we're going to feel comfortable with when the season starts," Whisenhunt said.

Browns: Receiver Josh Gordon met with league officials in New York for 10 hours for his appeal hearing before the sides decided to stop. The Associated Press reported that the sides will meet again Monday concerning his positive test for marijuana. Gordon's lawyer, Maurice Suh, contends his client tested positive because of secondhand smoke.

Chiefs: Defensive back Sanders Commings was home a day after surgery on a fractured fibula. All-Pro safety Eric Berry (right heel) sat out, but was walking without a noticeable limp.

Eagles: Former Florida and Clearwater Central Catholic receiver Riley Cooper was wearing a walking boot but coach Chip Kelly said it was a minor injury and that Cooper was only expected to miss a few days.

Redskins: Receiver Jerry Rice Jr., an undrafted free agent and son of the Hall of Famer, is out for the season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Steelers: Shaun Suisham, the most accurate kicker in team history, signed a four-year extension through the 2018 season.

Comments
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Published: 05/25/18
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Published: 05/25/18
The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

TAMPA — Only three players in NFL history have posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his first four years seasons: Randy Moss, A.J. Green and the Bucs' Mike Evans.RELATED: More Bucs coverageBut by Evans' standards, 2017 was "proba...
Published: 05/25/18
Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

TAMPA — If the first few days of OTAs are any indication, the Bucs secondary could be much improved.Completions may be down, interceptions should be up.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"A lot of interceptions,'' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday' afte...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Two high draft picks that could earn starting jobs signed four year contracts with the Bucs Thursday.The team signed Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to r...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Published: 05/24/18
Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

The dust has settled from another NFL draft, and Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made three promotions in his scouting department as a new year of player evaluation begins.Byron Kiefer, entering his 14th season with the Bucs and fourth as a nati...
Published: 05/24/18