Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Bucs defensive end Larry English records two sacks

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Former first-round pick Larry English, a defensive end trying to grab one of the last roster spots after signing Aug. 14, made a strong case during Saturday's 27-24 win at Buffalo, getting two sacks off the bench.

"We've noticed him," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said after the game. "Last week in practice we thought he took steps each day. We have good competition with a few players for some of those last positions on our team."

English, released by the Chargers after recording 11 sacks over five seasons, dropped Bills QB EJ Manuel for a 5-yard loss on third down in the second quarter, then added a sack in the third.

"I'm just coming to work every day with the same mentality of getting better," said English, the 16th overall pick in 2009 out of Northern Illinois. "I'm getting my body primed and ready for the regular season to be able to make a difference (wherever) the team needs me. Whenever you can get in early in a game, get some key snaps against (starters), that's always a key."

MISSING: The Bucs played without starting strongside LB Jonathan Casillas, who didn't travel due to an unspecified violation. Danny Lansanah started and made five tackles, including one for a loss. Smith said Casillas will be back with the team today. S Mark Barron sat out the first series due to a separate violation but returned for the second and finished with two tackles. Bradley McDougald, who started in his place, left the game early with a knee injury. The team didn't elaborate on its severity. Several players didn't dress due to lingering injuries, including S Major Wright (back), CBs Mike Jenkins (hamstring) and Rashaan Melvin (ankle), DEs Da'Quan Bowers (groin) and Will Gholston (shoulder), and RB Mike James (shoulder).

APOLOGY: Rookie WR Mike Evans, who scored his first touchdown on a 26-yard grab, addressed a video released by TMZ.com on Friday showing him in a brawl outside a South Beach nightclub in March. No arrests were made. "I put it behind me," he said. "The situation was unfortunate. I could've handled it better, and I plan on handling it better in the future."

CLICKING AGAIN: WR Vincent Jackson laid low during the first two preseason games with only three total passes thrown his way. But he connected well with QB Josh McCown on Saturday, catching a game-high five passes — all in the first half — for 43 yards. Three catches converted third downs during the second quarter, when the Bucs scored 17 points.

"We got a chance to keep some drives going," Jackson said. "Finishing up this preseason for the first-teamers — I don't know how much we'll play in this last game — it's good to get that good rhythm and some confidence."

Newcomer: G Rishaw Johnson, acquired from the Chiefs on Thursday, didn't play on the offensive line but got in on the field goal unit.

"It's a blessing to come here and get a fresh start," said Johnson, traded for backup S Kelcie McCray.

"I'm going to try to just be me: be physical, try to help get the run game going, help in pass (protection), do what they need me to do."

THIS AND THAT: RB Doug Martin rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 27 yards, but his backups struggled. Jeff Demps rushed 11 times for 26 yards, Bobby Rainey 13 times for 14 yards. … CB Alterraun Verner made his first appearance of the preseason, testing his hamstring on the first few drives and feeling good about his progress. …The Bucs' 27 points were the second most over their past 25 preseason games. They scored 30 against the Patriots in 2012. … Former Bucs WR Mike Williams, dealt to Buffalo in the spring, had a 14-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.

Comments
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Updated: 4 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Published: 01/20/18
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Published: 01/20/18

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7˝; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Published: 01/20/18

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. today TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7˝; 46NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 tonight TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38˝Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p...
Published: 01/20/18
NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

TAMPA — So much for needing a franchise quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.Sure, the Patriots Tom Brady is back in his seventh straight conference championship game and his 12th overall. But check out the other schlubs under center SundayIt's ...
Published: 01/19/18
Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Fifteen years ago today, cornerback Ronde Barber made what's considered the greatest play in Bucs  history, returning an interception of Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb 92-yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 27-10 win in the NFC Championship...
Published: 01/19/18
Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, only weeks removed from a disappointing 2017 season, had a relevant but larger message for teenagers on Friday morning: Don't let small setbacks keep you from your dreams."If you have a phone, if you have a pen and pa...
Published: 01/19/18