Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston to McCoy: Let your voice be heard

TAMPA — While praising DT Gerald McCoy as a veteran leader last season, QB Jameis Winston said Thursday that he asked the four-time Pro Bowl player to "bring it up a notch" as a more vocal presence with him guiding Tampa Bay in 2016.

"I just talked to him after the season … I believe Gerald is a great leader to this team," Winston said after the Bucs' first practice of training camp. "I just know that he has a little bit more in him. You should have seen him out here working with Noah Spence and Kourtnei Brown, things he puts into these players, even me. He's put so much into me. I just asked him to keep doing it, bring it up a notch, step it up, just like I have to do, just like we all have to do … continue to be who you are. He's a (four)-time Pro Bowler. He's a great voice and everyone will listen to him."

McCoy said Wednesday that Winston had spoken to him about being a different kind of leader this season, declining to elaborate on what the change would be, but saying it would be "obvious" by his actions around the team this season.

"We need great leadership on this team," coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday. "We have some guys already that are strong leaders, (and) some guys that are developing as leaders. I think the fact that our team is talking about leadership is a positive."

BACK HEALTHY: The first practice Thursday also brought a sight not seen since the end of last season: Jacquies Smith lining up as a first-team defensive end, having fully recovered from the shoulder surgery that sidelined him the entire offseason.

"It feels good," Smith said of his first day back on the field. "Obviously I missed OTAs and stuff, and I've been missing being out their with the guys and doing my part. It's a great time to be back. The energy level, the vibe, I'm happy to be back."

The Bucs have actively upgraded at defensive end in the offseason, signing veteran Robert Ayers in free agency and using a second-round pick on rookie Spence. Smith, claimed off waivers from the Bills at the start of the 2014 season, has 13.5 sacks in two years with the Bucs and is excited about the higher level of play expected from the pass rush in 2016.

"The sky's the limit. It's very exciting with the new guys, and even our old guys getting better," Smith said. "You get better year by year, add stuff to your game, add stuff to your toolbox. Now we've got new coaches and we're just taking the tutelage we learn from Jay Hayes. I think it's a great time."

NOT QUITE YET: The only significant players not to begin training camp practice Thursday were G J.R. Sweezy and WR Louis Murphy, who are both on the physically unable to perform list but can be activated at any point.

Sweezy, who had an undisclosed surgical procedure shortly after signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent from Seattle, missed the entire offseason with an undisclosed injury. Murphy is recovering from a torn ACL.

"It's unfortunate in both cases that those two guys aren't able to be out here,'' Koetter said. "We were hoping everybody would be full go. … When you get to guys coming off ACLs, guys coming off different procedures … the timetable to get back is not always the same. Sometimes they have setbacks. What we can't do is rush guys that aren't ready to go. That can't do us any good because they're fighting it the whole year. I would hope that J.R. and Murph are out here as quickly as they can be but that's why we have team doctors."

With Sweezy out, third-year G/T Kevin Pamphile took first-team reps at left guard, as he did in the offseason.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman and @NFLstroud.

Comments
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18
Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Times wiresVISTA, Calif. – Former Bucs and Hurricanes tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was jailed without bail Friday after pleading not guilty to nine counts of kidnapping, rape and other charges.If convicted on all counts, Winslow, 34, could face...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

TAMPA — The last pass thrown by Jameis Winston in a regular-season game was his best. The perfectly arced, 39-yard strike to Chris Godwin for a touchdown with nine seconds left gave the Bucs a 31-24 win over New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

The first Bucs home game of the 2018 season is still three months off, but the franchise is busy getting Raymond James Stadium ready with the fourth phase of its $160 million renovation, highlighted by a new East Stadium Club.Construction continues t...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

The Bucs wrap up minicamp as Gerald McCoy sounds off on the team getting help for him, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner yelling at the veteran defensive tackle and advice for the young players who now have five weeks off before training camp.Plu...
Published: 06/15/18
Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

TAMPA — On the last day of minicamp, DT Gerald McCoy made it clear that the new additions to the defensive line are what the entire team needed, not just himself."It's not about me. It's about the team," McCoy said of the addition of five new l...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

TAMPA — This week's three-day minicamp was the final push in the Bucs' offseason, with about six weeks now until the team reconvenes in late July for training camp and the real preamble to the 2018 season.So what, if anything, can be gleaned fr...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Maybe 2018 is the year the Bucs take that step forward

Maybe 2018 is the year the Bucs take that step forward

TAMPA — The Bucs wrapped up a three-day minicamp on Thursday.“I’m going on vacation,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.The next time we see the Bucs will be in five weeks. Just around the corner. That’s when, official...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow arrested on suspicion of rape, kidnapping

Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow arrested on suspicion of rape, kidnapping

Times wiresSAN DIEGO – Former Bucs and Hurricanes tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested Thursday on suspicion of multiple sex-crimes-related charges, including two counts of rape, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.The departmen...
Published: 06/14/18
Sealed and delivered: Bucs RB Ronald Jones signs rookie contract

Sealed and delivered: Bucs RB Ronald Jones signs rookie contract

The Bucs' 2018 draft class is now all in the fold, with running back Ronald Jones, second-rounder from USC, signing his rookie deal Thursday.Jones, who won't turn 21 until August after the Bucs go to training camp, was the last of Tampa Bay's eight d...
Published: 06/14/18