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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. The next step Bucs' Mike Evans knows he needs to take

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Even at 23, Bucs WR Mike Evans understands he needs to take on more of a leadership role with veteran Vincent Jackson not back for 2017.

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Evans, entering his fourth season in the league. "I always try to lead by example, but I'll be more vocal now, since V-Jax is gone."

    The Bucs brought in free agent DeSean Jackson, 30, who can take over the veteran presence that Vincent Jackson had, but the Bucs will also be without Louis Murphy and Cecil Shorts, both 29, and Russell Shepard, 26, who were part of last year's group....

    Receiver Mike Evans, who is entering his fourth season, says he believes a team’s best players need to be its leaders.
  2. Bucs' Kwon Alexander pulling for old LSU teammates

    Blog

    Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander is entering his third NFL season but is still only 22, so he remains close with his former LSU teammates, who could be a big part of Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft.

    "All of them -- back at LSU, we're all close. We always want to see somebody succeed," Alexander said Monday as the second week of offseason conditioning began for the Bucs. "We've got a couple of guys being top-flight going in the first round, like (safety) Jamal Adams, (running back) Leonard Fournette and (cornerback) Tre White. I can't wait to see where those guys go. It's going to be a fun draft to watch."...

    Kwon Alexander lasted until the fourth round in 2015 before the Bucs took him.
  3. Bucs' Mike Evans ready to take on leadership role, even at 23

    Blog

    A year ago, Mike Evans excelled on the field, catching 12 touchdowns on the way to his first Pro Bowl, but with some of the veteran presence gone from the Bucs receiving corps, he understands he'll have to be more of a leader in 2017.

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Evans, entering his fourth season in the league. "I always try to lead by example, but I'll be more vocal now, since V-Jax is gone."...

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Mike Evans, entering his fourth season in the league.
  4. 19 for 19: Nineteen players mocked as Bucs' pick at No. 19

    Blog

    Pretty much any time a national site or newspaper that covers the NFL throws up a mock draft, I'll tweet out a link to give people another perspective on what the Bucs might do with the No. 19 pick. You certainly agree with some more than others, but I see a value in sharing as many different views as possible -- this shows how difficult it is to project a pick deep into the first round, and reminds people how much guesswork is usually involved....

    The most frequent pick for the Bucs' first-rounder is Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.
  5. Bucs might look to draft to add downfield receiving threats

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only one day after the 2016 season had ended when Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was frank about his team's offseason needs.

    "We need more speed and when we say playmakers, playmakers and explosive plays are one and the same," he said. "Guys that can make explosives, guys that can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain. … In my opinion, we played close to our talent level."...

    TOLEDO, OH - OCTOBER 17: Tight end Michael Roberts #80 of the Toledo Rockets  makes a catch during the second quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Glass Bowl on October 17, 2015 in Toledo, Ohio.  (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
  6. With no pressing need, Bucs look ahead

    Bucs

    TAMPA — At first glance, offensive line doesn't seem like a pressing need for the Bucs.

    They have their entire starting offensive line back from last season, with guard J.R. Sweezy now healthy after missing 2016 season due to back surgery. They are moving guard Ali Marpet to center, where they also have two former starters on the roster.

    So though they have depth, if there is an opening for a rookie -- even a high draft pick -- it would be at right tackle, where veteran Demar Dotson is 31 and in a contract that carries no salary cap hit if he's released. A rookie could compete for a starting job this year and eventually replace Dotson....

  7. Mike Mayock: RB should be Bucs' priority with 19th pick

    Blog

    NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call on Friday to talk about next week's NFL Draft, and he offered his insights on what the Bucs should do with their first-round pick, No. 19 overall.

    "They've got to take some pressure off Jameis Winston ... 24 turnovers last year, too many," Mayock said. "They've got to help him with the run game. I think that's got to be their first priority."...

  8. Oh, snap! Bucs guard Ali Marpet transitions to center

    Bucs

    CLEARWATER — Ask Ali Marpet what he has tried to work on most this offseason, and his response is, promisingly, quick and accurate.

    "Snap," says the 24-year-old offensive lineman, making a transition — coach Dirk Koetter called it an experiment — from guard to center in the spring.

    Marpet has snapped before and during practices to be an emergency center but never in a game — not with the Bucs, not at Division III Hobart College, not in high school, never. He's making up for it now....

    Ali Marpet, sporting a new haircut, says no problem to eating a giant Hawaiian rib eye during a charity event in Clearwater.
  9. Patriots? Packers? What will toughest Bucs ticket be in 2017?

    Blog

    Thursday night's schedule announcement means that NFL fans finally have dates for Bucs games they've known were somewhere on the 2017 schedule months ago, so there's an initial rush of demand for tickets on the secondary market.

    For now, any seats available are from fans who are splitting up their season tickets -- the Bucs are putting you on a watch list as we write this -- but there are plenty being sold, so you can already get a sense of what will be the most expensive seats to buy....

  10. Beat Giants and Jets? Bucs have doubled up New York before

    Blog

    Last year's scheduling quirk saw the Bucs travel to California twice and win at both San Diego and San Francisco -- amazing, considering they'd been 4-24 in their history in regular-season games played in California before 2016.

    This year's challenge? Can they beat both the New York Giants and the New York Jets in the same season? Both come to Tampa to play the Bucs -- the Giants in Week 4 on Oct. 1 and the Jets in Week 10 on Nov. 12....

    Cornerback Jeremiah Castille returns an interception in the Bucs' 41-21 victory over the Jets in 1984.
  11. In Green Bay, in December? More on the Bucs in cold weather

    Blog

    So the Bucs are playing the Packers in Green Bay ... in December.

    How cold is Lambeau Field likely to be on Dec. 3 when the Bucs play there? Last year, the Packers had a home game on Dec. 4 and at kickoff it was 32 degrees. Fahrenheit.

    A few things to bring up: The Bucs haven't done well in cold weather historically -- they're 17-56 all-time (.233) when the temperature at kickoff is 49 degrees or colder, though they've won three straight games under such conditions -- at Kansas City last year, at Philadelphia in 2015 and at Washington in 2014....

    Packers safety Charlie Peprah closes in on Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow during Green Bay's 35-26 victory in 2011.
  12. Breaking down Bucs' 2017 schedule

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs' 2017 schedule includes two high-profile games in prime time against last season's Super Bowl teams, with Tom Brady and the defending champion Patriots coming to Tampa on a Thursday in Week 5 and the Bucs hosting the Falcons in a huge Monday night showdown the week before Christmas.

    The Bucs open their second season under coach Dirk Koetter on Sept. 10 at Miami. In all, Tampa Bay's schedule, announced Thursday, is unusually skewed, with home games bunched early and late in the year. Three of the first five games are at home, as are three of the last four, creating a tough stretch in the middle of the season with just two home games over 66 days....

    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) takes the field before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.
  13. Patriots at Bucs, Oct. 5: Five things to know, plus Tom Brady trivia

    Blog

    The Patriots are coming to Tampa, with a national CBS audience tuning in on a Thursday in Week 5, Oct. 5 -- here are five things to know about that game and the two teams' history ...

    -- The Patriots are back in Tampa for the first time in the regular season since 1997 -- since 2002, all AFC teams rotate in with trips to Tampa every eight years, but the 2009 Bucs-Patriots game was a "home" game played in London. As such, Bill Belichick has never beaten the Bucs in Tampa (in the regular season), despite an NFL coaching career that predates the Bucs by a year, to 1975....

    The Patriots are back in Tampa for the first time in the regular season since 1997.
  14. Schedule unveiled: Bucs learn their path for 2017

    Blog

    The Bucs' 2017 schedule, released Thursday with the rest of the league, includes two high-profile showcase games, with Tom Brady and the defending champion Patriots coming to Tampa on a Thursday in Week 5 and the Bucs hosting the Falcons in a huge Monday night showdown the week before Christmas.

    (PRINTABLE 2017 BUCS SCHEDULE)...

    The Bucs' schedule is uniquely skewed with home games early and late in the year, creating a tough stretch in the middle of the season that has just two home games over a span of 66 days.
  15. Draft breakdown: Don't look past pass rushers as top Bucs pick

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you don't have a franchise quarterback in the NFL, the search for one is always a draft priority. And once you have one, another must is a dominant pass rusher who can get to the other team's franchise quarterback.

    Do the Bucs have such a pass rusher on their roster? Noah Spence had 5.5 sacks as a rookie last year. But until the Bucs can get 10 sacks in a year from someone, anyone — it hasn't happened since Simeon Rice in 2005 — they'll be closely linked to pass rushers as potential top picks....

    Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton, middle, has interviewed with the Bucs and could be available for them at No. 19.