TAMPA — At the end of Tuesday's Bucs practice, Lovie Smith lined his No. 1 offense against No. 1 defense at the 1-yard line, and the first-year Bucs coach liked the results.
Three times in a row, RB Doug Martin took a handoff to the left, and three times in a row he crossed the goal line. His first score, diving and twisting past LB Mason Foster, was disputed by some, but not by his coach.
"There's no replay. I have final say, and I thought it was good," said Smith, raising his hands to again signal the score moments later. "We get the ball on the 1-yard line, we've got to get it in for a touchdown, and they did that."
Martin took pride in the offense's strong finish, saying the success in an intense, full-contact situation will help prepare the team for Friday's preseason opener.
"The O-line did a good job getting guys off the line and staying on their guy. Also the tight end and the fullback," Martin said. "The rest was up to me."
Josh McCown had the handoff on the goal-line scores, but QB Mike Glennon said the entire offense got a lift from the drill.
"The other day in goal-line, the defense whipped our butt," he said. "Today, we got them. To win against that front seven in goal-line, period, it's as good as there's going to be in the NFL."
Nicks settlement: The Bucs agreed to a $3 million injury settlement with G Carl Nicks, according to salary cap information filed with the league.
It officially ends the team's disappointing chapter with Nicks, who signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract as a Saints free agent in 2012 but appeared in only nine games in two seasons.
Nicks and the Bucs announced at the start of training camp that they had mutually agreed to part ways and that the Pro Bowl guard planned to "step away" from football. Nicks had $6 million in injury guarantees for 2014. The settlement will pay him between $3 million and $4 million, including workman's compensation and other considerations that do not affect the Bucs' salary cap.
The agreement protects the Bucs from any future litigation or grievance filed on behalf of Nicks, who suffered a foot injury in 2012 and contracted MRSA during a subsequent surgery last year that resulted in nerve damage in his left foot.
Injury update: Starting CB Alterraun Verner, held out for the past eight days with a lingering hamstring injury, won't play Friday, Smith said, saying he had not told any other players they'd sit the game out.
CB Mike Jenkins was sidelined again Tuesday with a hamstring injury, though Smith cautioned none of the injuries are major. WR Tommy Streeter and rookie C Josh Allen were among those out Tuesday, while TE Luke Stocker returned after missing Monday's drills.
DEs Da'Quan Bowers and Scott Solomon were out with undisclosed injuries, enough of a concern that the Bucs signed two ends: Former Armwood and USF player Ryne Giddins, and James Ruffin, who led the Arena Football League with 14 sacks this season.
To make room for the new ends, the Bucs waived undrafted rookie S Mycal Swaim, and waived LB Jeremy Grable with an injury settlement.
In all, eight of the Bucs' current 90 players have joined the team since July 22, most in response to injuries that have caused depth concerns in training camp.
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