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 2004-3.

Phone: (813) 226-3346

Email: auman@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Twitter: @GregAuman

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  1. Browns' Mack says Tedford offense translates to NFL

    Blog

    While we're up in Ohio for Derrick Brooks' induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but to make the trip worthwhile, we hurried up to Berea this morning for Browns practice, to bring back a feature on rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    While we were up there, we had a chance to talk with Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, who was a coveted free agent this spring but was transition-tagged by Cleveland, which matched an offer and signed him to a five-year, $42-million contract. Mack has two strong ties to the Bucs offense -- he played for Jeff Tedford at Cal from 2005-08, and his line coach the last five years in Cleveland was George Warhop, now with the Bucs....

  2. Bucs: Kicker Connor Barth returns from torn Achilles tendon

    Bucs

    High hopes

    Connor Barth is back healthy after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and he's getting used to minor tweaks that all NFL kickers will encounter in coming weeks.

    First, the NFL has extended the goalposts to make them 5 feet taller — from 30 to 35 feet above the crossbar.

    "It's good. It's different. I like it, though," said Barth, 28, who has felt 100 percent since offseason drills started in the spring. "If anything, you kick a better ball because you can focus on a higher target."...

  3. Healthy again, Barth ready for NFL kicking changes

    Blog

    TAMPA -- Bucs kicker Connor Barth is back healthy after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and he's getting used to minor tweaks that all NFL kickers will encounter in coming weeks.

    First, the NFL has extended the goalposts to make them five feet taller -- from 30 to 35 feet above the crossbar -- which can create the perception of them being narrower from a distance.

    "It's good. It's different. I like it though," said Barth, who has felt like 100 percent since offseason drills started in spring. "I think it helps us ... if anything, you kick a better ball because you can focus on a higher target. The first day, it (seemed) a little bit skinnier, but I've gotten used to it. It hasn't been much of a difference. You get used to everything."...

  4. Chris Owusu aims for big Bucs returns

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As a sophomore at Stanford, Chris Owusu returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, setting a school record and matching the most in Pac-12 history.

    But in his first two years in the NFL, Owusu didn't get a look on kickoff returns. So he smiles widely when asked about lining up deep in practice last week with a new coaching staff to impress.

    "It's been a waiting game for me. God's tested me with my patience," the 24-year-old said. "I love kick returning. Just being back there, our special-teams coordinator has shown great faith in me to put me back there. I don't plan on letting him down."...

    Chris Owusu made a name for himself returning kickoffs for touchdowns at Stanford.
  5. Bucs add another corner in well-traveled Edwards

    Blog

    With corners Alterraun Verner (hamstring) and Rashaan Melvin (ankle) limited in the first week of preseason camp, the Bucs have signed a cornerback for the second time in three days, adding former Missouri cornerback Kip Edwards.

    Edwards, 24, takes the roster spot of former Bucs guard Carl Nicks, who was officially released Wednesday, unable to return to football after a toe injury related to a MRSA infection last year. Edwards was undrafted in 2013 and has quickly made the rounds -- cut by the Bills at the end of camp last year, then a brief stint on the Browns' practice squad, then finishing the year on the Vikings' practice squad. They signed him to a futures contract after the season but cut him in June -- the Bucs and Chiefs brought him in for workouts during minicamps but didn't sign him from there....

  6. Derrick Brooks wears Tampa Bay Storm role with ease

    Storm

    TAMPA

    The belt clip on Derrick Brooks' right hip is shiny and silver, emblazoned with the logo of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But hanging from that clip on a weekday summer morning, faded and well-worn, is the security badge that identifies the former Bucs linebacker as an employee of the Tampa Bay Storm. Brooks is the team president, which for an NFL star could be a figurehead position — smile and wave for the fans, please. But the opposite is true, and the man known for making plays all over the NFL field now goes sideline to sideline in his new job....

    Derrick Brooks is the team president of the Tampa Bay Storm. [Times files (2011)]
  7. Bucs remember Derrick Brooks' skill, instincts on way to Hall

    Bucs

    "Brooks knew (Raiders quarterback Rick) Gannon was going to telegraph some throws. We played our signature coverage, and he did what he does."

    Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden

    TAMPA

    In the final two minutes, in the final 10 yards, Derrick Brooks looked up into the cheering crowd and held his hand high in pure celebration. It's the iconic, lasting image of the Bucs' Super Bowl victory in the 2002 season, and the signature moment of a Hall of Fame career. The historic win already well secured, Brooks had lurked in the middle of the field, read the eyes of Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, picked off a pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, an exclamation point in a dominating win. "The timing of that moment, to basically seal the deal, that's what fans will remember," Brooks said, sitting in his car on a busy weekday morning outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The play was also emblematic of a dominant season that made Brooks the NFL's defensive player of the year, his fifth defensive touchdown. In NFL history, no linebacker scored more TDs than Brooks did, with seven in regular-season play....

    Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks holds the ball he intercepted in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XXXVII win over Oakland.
  8. Bucs: Murals depict Defend the Bay; tackle Dotson scores TD

    Bucs

    Looking for signs

    Fans attending practices at One Buc Place this week will see new murals draped from the corners of Raymond James Stadium, each with the slogan "DEFEND THE BAY."

    WR Vincent Jackson has the northeast corner of the stadium, LB Lavonte David the northwest, and DT Gerald McCoy (above) on the southwest corner. There's a huge Bucs logo on the southeast corner, so it's just three players that get the star treatment....

    Demar Dotson, left, celebrates with Jamon Meredith after Dotson scores on a tackle-eligible pass during training camp.
  9. Bucs: Murals depict defending the bay

    Sports

    Looking for signs

    Fans attending practices at One Buc Place this week will see new murals draped from the corners of Raymond James Stadium, each with the slogan "DEFEND THE BAY."

    WR Vincent Jackson has the northeast corner of the stadium, LB Lavonte David the northwest, and DT Gerald McCoy on the southwest corner. There's a huge Bucs logo on the southeast corner, so it's just three players that get the star treatment....

  10. With Verner sidelined, Bucs bring back CB Anthony Gaitor

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Bucs CB Alterraun Verner, among the team's top free agent additions in the offseason, watched Monday's practice as he nursed a hamstring injury, but he said it's just normal "nicks" from camp and he's no worse than day to day.

    With Verner out, the team had returning starter Johnthan Banks and free agent signee Mike Jenkins working as first-team corners. But the injury, combined with another ankle injury to second-string corner Rashaan Melvin, was enough that the team signed Anthony Gaitor, who had been released in May, then again by the Dolphins in June after signing there....

    Bucs CB Alterraun Verner watched Monday's practice as he nursed a hamstring injury. [KENT NISHIMURA | Times]
  11. Bucs cornerback Verner 'day-to-day' with hamstring

    Blog

    Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner, among the team's top free-agent additions this offseason, watched Monday's practice to rest a hamstring injury, but he said it's just normal "nicks" from camp and he's no worse than "day-to-day."

    With Verner out, the Bucs had returning starter Johnthan Banks and free-agent signee Mike Jenkins working as first-team corners. But the injury, combined with another ankle injury to second-string corner Rashaan Melvin, was enough that the Bucs signed Anthony Gaitor, who had been released in May, then again by the Dolphins in June after signing there....

    Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner watched Monday's practice to rest a hamstring injury.
  12. Bucs bring back DB Gaitor, sign DT Black

    Blog

    The Bucs have added two players in advance of the team's fourth preseason practice, bringing back defensive back Anthony Gaitor and signing undrafted rookie defensive tackle Jibreel Black of Michigan.

    To open up spots for the two new players, the Bucs have cut two undrafted rookies who faced long odds to make the 53-man cut: former Cal running back Brendan Bigelow and former N.C. State receiver Quintin Payton....

  13. Bucs nickel back Leonard Johnson won't let himself relax

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Leonard Johnson does not think of himself as the Bucs' starting nickel back.

    Especially with the release last week of veteran D.J. Moore, Johnson could have the confidence of being the man to beat at nickel — a job he held last season — but he does not allow himself to presume anything.

    "It's not even on my mind," said the Largo High graduate, who had 41 tackles two years ago after making the roster as an undrafted rookie out of Iowa State. "Everybody in this league is good. You let one guy go, but there's 89 other guys on the team; everybody just fighting for a roster spot."...

    Leonard Johnson, who made the Bucs in 2012 as an undrafted rookie, covers Louis Murphy during practice Sunday.
  14. Johnson keeps focus in battle for nickel job

    Blog

    TAMPA -- Leonard Johnson does not think of himself as the Bucs' starting nickel defensive back.

    Especially with the release last week of veteran D.J. Moore, Johnson could have the confidence of being the man to beat at nickel -- at a job he held last season for the Bucs -- but he does not allow himself to presume anything.

    "It's not even on my mind," the Largo High graduate said, still driven by the hunger of a player who made the Bucs two years ago as an undrafted rookie out of Iowa State, then had 41 tackles that first season. "Everybody in this league is good. You let one guy go, but there's 89 other guys on the team, everybody just fighting for a roster spot. I'm doing that."...

  15. Bucs: Sapp visits; no major injuries

    Bucs

    Hall of Fame visitor

    Hall of Fame DT Warren Sapp (below) visited training camp Saturday and will return today for his report on the team for the NFL Network. Sapp, an analyst for the network, said the Bucs have some good pieces for new coach Lovie Smith to work with. It was clear the Bucs were as happy to see Sapp as he was to get a close look at his former team.

    "It's hard not to know that Warren is in the house," Smith said. "But it seemed like old times. I turn around, and, 'Hey, Love.' It took me back to '96. I look around, and I see (former Bucs LB) Hardy Nickerson there. ...

    Warren Sapp walks on the field during Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp at One Buc Place in Tampa on Saturday, July 26, 2014.