The start of Bucs training camp is mere days away -- rookies report Tuesday, veterans on Thursday, with the first practice Friday morning -- and quarterback Jameis Winston wrapped up his offseason by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch (video here) before Sunday's Rays-Rangers game at Tropicana Field.
"What better way to kick off training camp than by throwing out the first pitch at a Rays game?" wondered Winston, a two-sport standout at Florida State, playing two seasons of baseball in addition to his football. "I'm ready to get on the bump and bring some heat."...
Gators GET top QB commit
GAINESVILLE — Florida picked up a major commitment for its 2018 recruiting class, getting a verbal pledge Saturday from QB Matt Corral, rated a five-star recruit by Rivals and Scout. Corral of Long Beach, Calif., was in Gainesville for the Gators' Friday Night Lights recruiting event. His commitment continues a big week for UF and coach Jim McElwain, who have picked up five commitments in the past four days. Corral, 6 feet 2 and 196 pounds, passed for 22 TDs and three interceptions as a junior after throwing 36 TDs with six interceptions as a sophomore. He's rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247 Sports....
Florida has picked up a major commitment toward its 2018 recruiting class, getting a pledge Saturday night from quarterback Matt Corral, rated a five-star recruit by Rivals and Scout.
Corral, from Ventura, Calif., was in Gainesville this weekend for the Gators' "Friday Night Lights" recruiting event, and his commitment continues a big week for Florida and Jim McElwain, who have picked up five commitments in the last four days....
The Bucs have hired a top executive from Major League Soccer to their business operations in Atul "AK" Khosla, who has spent the last six years as chief operating officer of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.
Khosla, 38, will carry the title of chief corporate development and brand officer with the Bucs. He was born in Oman, has an engineering degree from Wisconsin and an MBA from Northwestern, and worked 12 years with General Electric and NBC Sports before joining the Fire. He was recognized as one of Chicago's "40 Under 40" in 2013 by ChicagoBusiness.com....
TAMPA — How exactly do the Bucs become the "badass" team Dirk Koetter wants them to be? It's both easy and difficult at the same time, but here are five things Tampa Bay can do to meet their head coach's challenge for 2017. Don't ask for all five — even two or three would bode well for the Bucs' postseason chances....
If you had to guess the most badass player in the NFL, you might guess Texans defensive end J.J. Watt or newly unretired Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch.
But those two tied for second in our informal media poll, losing out to 39-year-old Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has built a reputation both on the field — remember that 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl in Tampa in 2009 — and off....
The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.
As an added incentive to buy season tickets or five-game miniplans, the Bucs will have higher individual ticket prices -- $70 for the least expensive upper-level seats instead of the $50 rate by season passes -- for their three most coveted home games this season, against the Patriots, Giants and Bears. The remaining games will be at a higher cost -- $60 each as a starting point -- than what is available through season passes....
ST. PETERSBURG — Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler was arrested Tuesday in his hometown, and that arrest led to the discovery of one last year in Miami Beach and more off-field problems for the former Lakewood High and Florida standout.
Fowler was driving in the Trellis at the Lakes apartment complex about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when a man walking in the complex commented about his driving, a St. Petersburg Police Department report said. Fowler got out of his car, exchanged words with the man, then "hit the man, knocked his glasses off and stepped on them," the report said. He then "took the victim's grocery bag, with recently purchased liquor, and threw it in a lake," the report said. The man wasn't injured, police said....
Former Lakewood and Gators star Dante Fowler, entering his third season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was arrested Tuesday night in his hometown of St. Petersburg on misdemeanor charges of simple battery and mischief.
Fowler, 22, was arrested by St. Petersburg Police at 9:02 p.m. Tuesday, and was released at 1:43 a.m. Wednesday on $650 bond.
The arrest report said that Fowler was driving in the Trellis at the Lakes apartment complex Tuesday night around 6:30 p.m. when a man walking in the complex made a comment about his driving. Fowler got out of his car, exchanged words with the man, then "hit the man, knocked his glasses off and stepped on them," according to the report. He then "took the victim's grocery bag, with recently purchased liquor, and threw it in a lake," according to the report, which said the victim was not injured....
It's still likely another week or so until the Bucs put individual game tickets on sale for the upcoming season, but there's significant demand for the New England Patriots' first game in Tampa in 20 years.
Tickets for the Bucs' Week 5 home game against the Patriots -- that's on Thursday, Oct. 5 -- are selling for a minimum of $163 on Stubhub and $165 on Seatgeek, nearly double the asking price for any of the other seven home games. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has never faced the Bucs in Tampa -- the only other time they would have, in 2009, the Bucs played a "home" game in London....
Bucs tight end O.J. Howard fell to No. 19 in the NFL Draft, but the former Alabama star now ranks among the NFL's top 10 rookies in jersey sales, according to data released by Dick's Sporting Goods.
Howard ranks ninth among NFL rookies in jersey sales -- he posed with No. 1 at his introduction but will wear No. 80 for the Bucs --and 86th overall among all NFL players....
Sports Illustrated's Peter King came up with a cool idea to do an all-time NFL draft, with 12 people selecting the greatest 300 players in NFL history, and that draft included 11 players who spent time with the Bucs.
The late Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay's first player to go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was easily the first Bucs player taken, going No. 31 overall, more than 100 picks before the next player with Tampa Bay ties. The Bucs' other two Hall of Famers, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and linebacker Derrick Brooks, went at 157 and 162, respectively. And John Lynch, who went into the team's Ring of Honor last year and has been close to joining them in Canton, checked in at No. 190....
With Clemson losing key parts of last year's national championship team, FSU has been picked by media members as preseason ACC football champion, the league announced Monday.
The Seminoles were picked to win the Atlantic Division, getting 121 first-place votes to Clemson's 37, and Miami was picked to win the Coastal Division, getting 103 of 167 first-place votes, well ahead of Virginia Tech (40). In the championship voting, FSU got 118 of 167 votes, with Clemson (35) next....
If you know anything about Kwon Alexander, you know how inspired and motivated the third-year Bucs linebacker has been by the tragic loss of his brother Broderick, who was shot and killed just days before a Bucs-Falcons game during Alexander's rookie year.
Alexander plays every game for his brother, and that tribute is now even more a part of who he is, after getting a tattoo over his entire back this weekend -- his brother is shown with angel's wings, looking down on Alexander in his Bucs uniform, pointing back to Brod. "All you wanted me to do is BALL," the tattoo reads, with a stadium full of fans and a bank of lights shining down on Alexander. His nickname, "Showtime," remains written along the top of his back, running from shoulder to shoulder....
As Jameis Winston continues to grow as a leader with the Bucs entering his third season, who are the other NFL leaders he admires and respects most?
"Everybody leads in their own way," Winston said Thursday before signing backpacks for fans at an event at International Plaza. "For me, as a leader, you have to continue to learn from everyone. Ultimately, you've got the (Tom) Bradys, you've got your Aaron Rodgers, you've got your defensive guys like Luke Kuechly, and one of my favorite leaders of all time in this game is Ray Lewis. Ray Lewis did it the best, with his passion and his drive to motivate his teammates."...