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Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

Greg Auman

Greg Auman has been at the Tampa Bay Times since 1999 and has covered the Bucs and the NFL since 2013. He covered the University of South Florida's athletic department from 2004-13.

Phone: (813) 226-3346

Email: auman@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Twitter: @GregAuman

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  1. Koetter apologizes to Falcons for 'unprofessional' 28-3 tweet (w/poll)

    Blog

    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter made a point to publicly apologize Thursday for a tweet sent out by the team's Twitter account three days earlier, mocking the Atlanta Falcons and the 28-3 lead they lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    28-3
    Should Dirk Koetter have apologized for the Bucs' tweet trolling the Falcons for blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl?
    Yes
    No

    "I want to make sure, on behalf of the Bucs organization, that I apologize to the Falcons," Koetter said (video here) after an OTA practice. "Whatever it was supposed to be that went out on social media, that's not what our organization is all about. That was totally unprofessional and not smart on our part, whoever was responsible for that. Heck, we want to be playing in the Super Bowl, and we were home sitting on our butt while they were playing. We have no room to be making fun of anybody that was in the Super Bowl, whether they won or not."...

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  2. It's official: Bucs, Jaguars set joint practices for August

    Blog

    It's been reported for some time, but the Bucs announced Thursday that they'll hold two joint practices with the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Aug. 14-15.

    It's the second straight year the two teams have practiced together -- Dirk Koetter and half his coaching staff are former Jaguars coaches -- and even with a new coaching staff in Jacksonville, the two teams had a mutual interest in working together before their preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 17. Times have not been announced yet, but last year's practices in Jacksonville were free and open to the public....

    Bucs running back Charles Sims runs against the Jaguars in a preseason game last year. The two teams had joint practice last year and will again in August.
  3. Bucs to add linebacker from Germany for 2017 practice squad

    Blog

    The Bucs will be part of a new NFL program this fall that will grant an 11th practice squad slot to an overseas player, with German-born Eric Nzeocha, a linebacker who played at the University of Wyoming, slated to join Tampa Bay's roster for the 2017 season.

    "It is overwhelming, one of the greatest moments of my life," Nzeocha told NFLUK.com. "It has been my dream since I started playing football at the age of 14. When they told me this was happening, I was overwhelmed. I am looking forward to it so much. It's unreal."...

    Wyoming linebacker Eric Nzeocha, 24, will be an 11th member of the Bucs' practice squad in 2017 as part of a program to bring more international players to the NFL. He was born in Germany but played in college at Wyoming.
  4. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years

    Blog

    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Dave Levy, who started with the Bucs in 1988 and worked under nine different head coaches, is no longer with the team, nor is Chris Bryan, his top assistant for the last 17 seasons. The video department is tasked with recording, editing and producing all video as the team evaluates practice and game footage in preparing for games, as well as video for evaluating draft prospects....

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blog

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    That Super Bowl was awarded to Los Angeles, but NFL rules don't allow a venue to host a Super Bowl in its first season. Los Angeles would seek a waiver to allow the game to stay there as scheduled, but if that waiver wasn't granted, Tampa was a finalist for the last group of Super Bowls awarded this time last year....

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  6. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blog

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    For McCoy, it's the fifth straight year he's made the top 100 -- he's up 11 spots from last year's ranking of No. 63, but still down from his high of No. 28 in 2014 and 2015. He is joined by Winston, who went from being unranked a year ago to No. 57 after becoming the first quarterback to pass for 4,000-plus yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. Here's the two-minute video for McCoy, playing up his love of comic-book superheroes, and here's the video for Winston....

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  7. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings

    Blog

    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Winston is the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, and much of the buzzz surrounding him is the upgrades made around him in the offseason -- the Bucs signed veteran receiver DeSean Jackson and drafted Alabama's O.J. Howard in the first round. As a result, Winston is being seen as a top-10 fantasy quarterback....

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  8. J.R. Sweezy already building reputation on Bucs' line

    Blog

    J.R. Sweezy has yet to have the first practice in pads with the Bucs, but in advance of next week's start of OTAs, he's already building a reputation as bringing some nastiness to Tampa Bay's offensive line.

    It started last month, when Ali Marpet said Sweezy has "a little bit of a mean streak" -- he went so far as to call him a "jerk," later settling on "gritty" as the adjective of choice. Offensive line coach George Warhop continued that sentiment Thursday, saying that Sweezy -- who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery -- brings the same toughness that Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins brought in 2014-15....

    J.R. Sweezy missed all of last season recovering from back surgery but is already establishing himself with a physical reputation on the Bucs' offensive line this spring.
  9. Bucs defense 'multiple,' but staying in 4-3 base, coach says

    Blog

    Just to put to rest any speculation that the Bucs could be shifting to a 3-4 defense this fall, defensive line coach Jay Hayes reiterated Thursday that while Tampa Bay will continue to have multiple looks defensively, they'll do it from a 4-3 base.

    "I don't know who (is) speculating that," Hayes said. "We have the potential to do a lot of multiple things. Smitty (DC Mike Smith) has always had multiple packages. Is there a chance we could have a look that looks like a 3-4? Potentially, sure. For us to wholesale change and be a 3-4, I don't see that happening. We're always going to be a multiple front."...

    Bucs defensive end Noah Spence has lowered his percent body fat but isn't any lighter entering his second NFL season, according to defensive line coach Jay Hayes.
  10. O-line coach in full support of Bucs tackles Smith, Dotson

    Blog

    As much speculation as there was in mock drafts that the Bucs might use their first-round pick on an offensive tackle, Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop was unwavering in his support for left tackle Donovan Smith and right tackle Demar Dotson.

    "I saw that. I'm like 'Really?'" Warhop said Thursday as assistant coaches talked with reporters during offseason conditioning. "Unless they know something I don't."...

    Bucs tackle Donovan Smith took part in the annual "Turkey Time for the O-Line" event before Thanksgiving last year, providing meals to 1,000-plus families.
  11. Teen who burglarized Gerald McCoy's house gets 5 years in prison

    Blog

    The teenager who was charged with the armed burglary of Gerald McCoy's home, injuring the Bucs' player's father hours before a game in November, has been sentenced to five years in prison in a plea agreement related to six other felony charges against him.

    Justin Frazier, 18, of Wesley Chapel entered into a "best interest" plea agreement May 3, with credit for 180 days already served in jail, according to court records. He was facing a combined nine felony charges from six incidents, though the largest came in the burglary that fractured the wrist of McCoy's father Nov. 3....

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy expressed forgiveness last fall for the teenager who burglarized his home and injured McCoy's father.
  12. DE Jacquies Smith signs contract with Bucs for 2017

    Blog

    It's largely a formality, but defensive end Jacquies Smith, who had 13.5 sacks for the Bucs in 2014-15 but tore his ACL in last year's season opener, has signed his restricted free agent tender and is under contract with Tampa Bay for 2017.

    Smith, 27, is expected to be healthy for the start of the season and part of an upgraded Bucs defensive line in what will be a contract year for him. The Bucs took a gamble by giving Smith the lowest RFA tender at $1.8-million, and while the 49ers brought him in for a visit, they made no offer and the Bucs got him back for another season....

    Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith had 13.5 sacks in 2014-15 and should return healthy this fall after missing nearly all of 2016 with a knee injury.
  13. Purdue DE Evan Panfil turns tryout into contract with Bucs

    Blog

    In past years, the Bucs have taken three or four tryout players from rookie minicamp and rewarded them with free-agent contracts, but this year's class netted only one such prize, and former Purdue defensive end Evan Panfil is thankful to have that small chance at making the team's final roster this fall.

    "I was just really grateful for the opportunity even to try out -- I'm really excited," said Panfil, who led the Boilermakers with 12 tackles for loss and five sacks last season. "My time in Tampa was awesome, from the coaches I met and some of the other players, the facility, the whole thing was a first-class experience. I couldn't be more pleased."...

    Former Purdue defensive end Evan Panfil was the only tryout player to earn a free-agent contract from Bucs rookie minicamp.
  14. Back home in Florida, Jonathan Moxey hopes to stick with Bucs

    Blog

    Boise State cornerback Jonathan Moxey is trying to make the Bucs' roster this fall as an undrafted rookie, and one of the reasons he chose to sign with the Bucs was a close look at their cornerbacks, and specifically, their height.

    "They don't shy away from smaller corners -- they have 5-9, 5-10, 5-11 corners on their roster," said Moxey, himself listed at 5-10 and 188 pounds. "They won't discriminate based on height."...

    Bucs rookie cornerback Jonathan Moxey was a three-year starter at Boise State, and now is one of three former Broncos in Tampa Bay's current rookie class.
  15. Bucs cast as underdogs with longest odds to win NFC South

    Blog

    As much as you're hearing some NFL experts picking the Bucs as a playoff team in 2017, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas continue to undervalue Tampa Bay.

    Just as season over/under lines have had the Bucs with a modest 8 or 8.5 wins this fall (after going 9-7 last season), the Bovada sports book put out opening lines for each NFL team to win its division, and the Bucs ... have the longest odds in the NFC South....

    Jameis Winston calls a play during the Bucs' game against the Saints in December in New Orleans.