Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Receiver Jonathan Krause making smooth transition to Bucs

TAMPA — Jameis Winston calls him "Jon-Jon," and it's promising that receiver Jonathan Krause would have any nickname just two weeks after joining the Bucs.

The 24-year-old receiver admitted Tuesday that his new Bucs teammates don't yet know the nickname he's had ever since high school track: Smooth.

"You've got to earn a nickname like that," said Krause, who gets a chance to do that Thursday when the Bucs go to Philadelphia to play the same Eagles team that cut him last month. "That's why I haven't told them yet. I'm still just trying to keep my head down, to take advantage of an opportunity, to earn respect and whatnot."

In what was already a wide-open battle for the Bucs' final spots for receivers, Krause has put himself in the middle of the conversation, and he's in the hunt for the punt-return job, having scored twice on punt returns in college at Vanderbilt.

"I didn't even know that guy's name," coach Dirk Koetter said last week, "and (general manager) Jason (Licht) and those guys pulled him off the waiver wire, talked about his history. For a kid that missed all of OTAs and just came out here, he's doing well. He's definitely in the mix."

That the speedy 5-foot-11 Krause could pick up a new offensive scheme quickly isn't a surprise: he has a degree in economics from Vanderbilt, so digesting the playbook was simply another assignment to learn.

"It's just like a test," Krause said of learning new terminology. "When you prepare for a test, you do well on a test. So you have to study."

He's not new to all his Bucs teammates. Mike Evans remembered him well from a 2013 game in which Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt 56-24, but Krause showed him something, finishing with 89 yards and a touchdown. Evans said he now knows him to be "real smart," and Krause has left the same impression on receiver Vincent Jackson.

"He's a smart football player," Jackson said. "He's not a rookie. He's been around the league a little bit. The kid has natural raw skills. He can play at this level. He's picked up the system quickly."

Krause had stints with the Browns and Patriots, but his first game appearance was last year with Philadelphia. Wearing the same No. 10 jersey he'll wear against the Eagles in the preseason opener, he made his NFL debut last season, catching two passes for 11 yards.

He was surprised when the Eagles cut him before training camp, but understands: "Things happen. It's the NFL. It's a business." He's grateful for the experience he gained with the Eagles, allowing him to learn the speed of an NFL game, "to grow as a person and a player."

Krause has made plays in practice — deep balls, toe-tap catches at the back of the end zone, flashing the speed that had him timed at 4.37 seconds at Vandy's pro day in 2014.

As far as motivation against a team that cut him? There's precedent: His first catch last year came against the Patriots, and Bill Belichick called him a "very dependable player … a good, young player with a good future."

The Bucs are still learning his name, and perhaps soon his nickname.

"It's definitely exciting," Krause said. "It's the first game! When's the last time we had football?"

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

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: 2 hours ago
Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was not hurt in a car wreck last week in which he was cited for careless driving.Winston, 24, was driving on the Veterans Expressway near Waters Avenue in northwest Tampa on Feb. 13 when his Ford F250 truck rear-ended ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs sign ex-New Hampshire RB Dalton Crossan

Bucs sign ex-New Hampshire RB Dalton Crossan

February signings in the NFL usually face long odds to stick on rosters in the fall, but the Bucs added to their running back depth on Thursday, signing former New Hampshire star Dalton Crossan.Crossan, who turns 24 on Sunday, went to training camp l...
Updated: 8 hours 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...
Published: 02/22/18
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