Sunday, February 25, 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 awarded compensatory draft pick in seventh round

Bucs awarded compensatory draft pick in seventh round

The Bucs finally have a compensatory draft pick.For the first time since 2011, Tampa Bay has played the free-agent game well enough to be awarded a comp pick — after the seventh round, 255th overall, the next to last in the draft.Comp picks hav...
Published: 02/23/18
Bucs need a backup plan at quarterback; best bets are Ryan Fitzpatrick or (maybe) Mike Glennon

Bucs need a backup plan at quarterback; best bets are Ryan Fitzpatrick or (maybe) Mike Glennon

TAMPA – Finding a quarterback is a big priority for the Bucs this off-season. That's not a misprint. No, they're not looking to replace Jameis Winston. Far from it. But they may need to find their version of the Eagles' Nick Foles — excep...
Published: 02/23/18
Despite warnings to stay in school, Chase Litton confident about draft prospects

Despite warnings to stay in school, Chase Litton confident about draft prospects

As he made the tough decision whether to return to Marshall for his senior season, quarterback Chase Litton reached out to the NFL's advisory committee, which gives underclassmen a sense of where they're likely to be drafted should they leave early."...
Published: 02/23/18
Bucs wonít tender injured LB Adarius Glanton, DB Jude Adjei-Barimah

Bucs wonít tender injured LB Adarius Glanton, DB Jude Adjei-Barimah

The Bucs have started the internal decisions that lead up to the start of free agency in three weeks, letting two restricted free agents recovering from injury —  LB Adarius Glanton and DB Jude Adjei-Barimah — know that they won't be...
Published: 02/23/18
Police: DeSean Jacksonís former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

Police: DeSean Jacksonís 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...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18
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 ...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18
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...
Published: 02/22/18
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