Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New receiver Jordan Shipley will play Friday for Tampa Bay Buccaneers against New England Patriots

TAMPA — WR Jordan Shipley has been through three practices since joining the Bucs on Monday, but that won't stop him from seeing action in tonight's preseason game against the Patriots.

Shipley will come in late, and coaches will "kind of spoon-feed" him, coach Greg Schiano said.

For his part, Shipley — claimed off waivers from the Bengals — believes he has enough of a comfort level to function and, perhaps, contribute.

The Bucs offense "is similar to the offense we had my rookie year (in Cincinnati)," said Shipley, who was a standout at the University of Texas. "So I'm picking it up. Most of the stuff we've installed, I think I've got it."

Look for Shipley to also field some punts, Schiano saying he has been a "natural under the ball in punt returns." That's where he might be able to help the team, which would not mind pushing Preston Parker because of his tendency to mishandle kicks.

Shipley said he would relish the chance to return punts.

"I did it all through high school, all through college," said Shipley, a third-year player who missed most of last season with a torn ACL. "I got to do some in my rookie year in the preseason, and I had a couple of good returns. I really love it."

GATOR MANIA: The Patriots were back Thursday for the second of two joint practices, and it was hard not to notice their abundance of former Florida Gators: LB Jermaine Cunningham, RB Jeff Demps, TE Aaron Hernandez, LB Brandon Spikes, WR Jabar Gaffney and DT Gerard Warren.

And it's no coincidence.

Coach Bill Belichick said he has been uniquely positioned to obtain information about Florida players through his relationships with former coach Urban Meyer and current coach Will Muschamp. (Gaffney and Warren predate their tenures.)

"The University of Florida has great athletes and great players at their school, as do the other Florida schools," Belichick said.

"Maybe I had a little bit more insight or opportunity to evaluate. And we felt like those particular players that we drafted fit our system and what we were doing."

Belichick got plenty of face time with Gators players when Meyer had him speak at a clinic. And Belichick has been a regular on campus, attending several predraft pro days

HURRY UP: Although it's preseason, Schiano will be watching to see how his team fares against the Patriots' up-tempo offense that often prevents defensive personnel changes.

Schiano said it's a product of the college game — with which the former Rutgers coach is quite familiar — impacting the pros.

"For years, everything used to trickle down to the college game," he said. "Now there are a lot of things that are trickling up. The no-huddle, the gun-run game, those things have kind of trickled up."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @BucsBeat.

Comments
Bucs’ Lavonte David misses practice with hamstring injury

Bucs’ Lavonte David misses practice with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs knew they might be playing without DT Gerald McCoy, who suffered a biceps injury early in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. But now they face the prospect of playing Monday against Atlanta without another of their defensive leaders, as LB ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

When Nigel Harris chose where to play college football, he wanted to stay home in Tampa at USF. And now, after playing for the Chargers and Giants as an NFL rookie, he's grateful for the chance to again prove himself in Tampa as the newest member of ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Published: 12/14/17
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Published: 12/14/17
Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

What would you do?If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?Well, you could go to Hooter’s and order a pitcher of beer and dozen wings. Then, Monday, you could go be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor.I’m talking about after that.Would you stay i...
Published: 12/14/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

Rick Stroud and Tom Jones answer a lightning round of questions.
Published: 12/14/17
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Published: 12/13/17
Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Published: 12/13/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week.
Published: 12/13/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17