Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

Greg Auman

Greg Auman has been at the Tampa Bay Times since 1999 and has covered the University of South Florida's athletic department since 2004.

Phone: (813) 226-3346

Email: auman@tampabay.com

Blog: USF Sports Bulletin

Twitter: @GregAuman

  1. Bucs schedule: Division tests come early this year

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Lovie Smith's first season as Bucs head coach will open with two home games and close with two more, with two of the NFL's most difficult stretches of road games in between.

    Smith makes his Bucs debut on Sept. 7 against Carolina, which not only won the NFC South, but beat the Bucs by 18 and 21 points last season.

    But as Tampa Bay looks to improve on a 4-12 record in 2013, it will want to get off to a strong start, thanks to a very difficult final month — four of the six 2013 playoff teams it'll face come in the final five weeks of the season. The Bucs close with a home game against division champion Cincinnati, then go to Detroit, then to NFC South champ Carolina, then home against NFC North champ Green Bay and NFC wild-card New Orleans....

  2. Bucs' schedule closes with tough five-game finish

    Blog

    TAMPA -- Lovie Smith's first season as Bucs head coach will open with two home games and close with two more, with two of the NFL's most difficult stretches of road games in between.

    Smith makes his Bucs debut on Sept. 7 against Carolina, which not only won the NFC South, but beat the Bucs by 18 and 21 points last season.

    But as Tampa Bay looks to improve on a 4-12 record in 2013, they'll want to get off to a strong start, thanks to a very difficult final month -- four of the six 2013 playoff teams they'll face come in the final five weeks of the season. The Bucs close the year with a home game against division champion Cincinnati, then go to Detroit, then to NFC South champ Carolina, then home against NFC North champion Green Bay and NFC wild card New Orleans....

    Quarterback Josh McCown works out under the watchful eye of head coach Lovie Smith.
  3. Agent: Bucs won't pick up Clayborn's option for 2015

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The agent for Adrian Clayborn, Blake Baratz, said Wednesday the Bucs informed him they won't pick up a $6.96 million option for the defensive end for 2015, a decision that benefits the team and their 2011 first-round draft pick.

    The Bucs can still sign Clayborn to a long-term extension — and could still cut him next spring even if they exercised the option — but a breakout season could set him up for a big payday as an unrestricted free agent next year....

    Adrian Clayborn, 25, had 5.5 sacks in 2013 after missing much of the previous year with a torn ACL.
  4. Agent: Bucs not taking '15 option on Clayborn

    Blog

    TAMPA -- Both the team and player reiterated Wednesday that it won't change his future or how he approaches this season, but the agent for Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn said Wednesday the team has told him it won't be picking up a $6.96 million option for 2015.

    The Bucs can still sign the 2011 first-round pick to a longterm extension -- and could still cut him next spring even if they'd exercised the option -- but a breakout season could give Clayborn a big payday as an unrestricted free agent next spring....

  5. Turnout at voluntary Bucs camp pleases Lovie Smith

    Bucs

    TAMPA — This week's three-day minicamp is officially voluntary, but new Bucs coach Lovie Smith wasn't surprised to have all 75 players attend Tuesday afternoon's first practice under his new coaching staff.

    "Everyone has been here all offseason really, and that's what you expect," Smith said after a non-contact practice went 2 hours and 20 minutes at One Buc Place. "It's voluntary work, but if you want to get better, why would you pass up an opportunity? I appreciate that from the team. All you can do in April is just show up and try to get better."...

    Bucs coach Lovie Smith
  6. Smith pleased with perfect attendance for minicamp

    Blog

    TAMPA -- This week's three-day minicamp is officially a voluntary workout, but new Bucs coach Lovie Smith wasn't surprised to have all 75 players in attendance Tuesday afternoon for the first practice under his new coaching staff.

    "Everyone has been here all offseason really, and that's what you expect," Smith said after a non-contact practice went 2 hours and 20 minutes at One Buc Place. "It's voluntary work, but if you want to get better, why would you pass up an opportunity? I appreciate that from the team. All you can do in April is just show up and try to get better."...

  7. Quick notes as Bucs open voluntary minicamp ...

    Blog

    Bucs open their first practice of voluntary minicamp at 1:30, so there's only a minute to run through some quick notes tweeted out from 45 minutes of open locker room. Talked to 13 players and have lots of notes to share -- can go into more detail after practice this afternoon.

    Bucs are setting a policy of having no tweets sent out during practice, so this is what you'll have until 4 or so ... lots more coming then....

  8. Will Bucs take Clayborn's option? Sites say no

    Blog

    One of the wrinkles of the NFL's new CBA will come into play next week, when teams must decide whether to sign their 2011 first-round draft picks to a fifth-year option for 2015. Teams can still cut the player up until next March without penalty, but the speculation Monday is that the Bucs won't opt for the option on defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who would make $6.96-million in 2015 if the option was exercised....

  9. Josh McCown embraces mentor role with Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — At 34, Josh McCown is the oldest of 75 players on the Bucs roster and one of just four 30 or older. So there's a natural leadership that extends beyond his role as starting quarterback.

    And as the Bucs have brought in four quarterbacks for visits in the past two weeks to evaluate their merits as high draft picks, McCown has had a chance to meet the young phenoms who could challenge him for playing time this fall....

    Josh McCown, shown here playing for the Bears last season, credits veterans such as Kurt Warner and Jon Kitna for helping him adjust to the NFL.
  10. Holdover William Gholston also can make Bucs' D-line better

    Bucs

    TAMPA — DT Gerald McCoy has seen the Bucs add what they hope will be key contributors to the defensive line in DE Michael Johnson and DT Clinton McDonald. But he's also excited about the progress he saw at the end of last season from rookie DE William Gholston.

    "Especially in this defense, Will is one of those rare guys with his size and ability," McCoy said. "He has potential. He can do things he doesn't even realize he can do."...

  11. Bucs' offseason overhaul includes team physicians

    Blog

    While much has been made of the Bucs' offseason overhaul, with new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht already signing 23 new players and cutting key veterans from last year's team, the organization has been busy with changes behind the scenes as well.

    Tampa Bay will have a new lineup of team physicians and surgeons for 2014, with John Zvijac, the team's head orthopedic surgeon for the previous 16 seasons, not returning. Zvijac has been replaced by Chuck Nofsinger, who has worked as a team physician at USF since 2006 and an assistant professor and director in the university's College of Medicine Orthopedic....

  12. Bucs' McCoy compares Gholston to Peppers

    Blog

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy saw his team add two new key contributors to the defensive line in end Michael Johnson and tackle Clinton McDonald, but he's also excited about the progress he saw at the end of last season from rookie end William Gholston.

    "Especially in this defense, Will is one of those rare guys, with his size and ability," McCoy said. "He has potential. He can do things he doesn't even realize he can do."...

  13. Ex-Bucs QB Freeman lands with Giants

    Blog

    Josh Freeman's long downward spiral -- from Bucs starter to Vikings backup to a month of waiting in free agency -- ended Wednesday as he agreed to terms on a contract with the Giants as a backup to Eli Manning, according to multiple reports.

    It's a fresh start for Freeman, 26, who once seemed headed for a lucrative contract extension after throwing for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2012. But then-coach Greg Schiano turned instead to rookie Mike Glennon and cut Freeman loose; as an unrestricted free agent, he saw 21 other quarterbacks sign this offseason before landing with the Giants....

    As an unrestricted free agent, Josh Freeman saw 21 other quarterbacks sign this offseason before landing with the Giants.
  14. Return of Tampa 2 excites Bucs' Gerald McCoy

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The uniform design is contemporary. Some players still need directions to One Buc Place, and the coaching staff is new.

    But as disruptive as the changes might be, the Bucs and tackle Gerald McCoy hope a nostalgic return to the Tampa 2 will create more havoc on defense.

    "It's definitely going to be different," McCoy said. "We're playing the old-school, traditional Tampa 2 defense, and all we've been watching is old Chicago tape when (new Bucs coach Lovie Smith) was there. When (the Bucs) were in their prime, from 1996 to 2002, we've been watching all that tape because that's when the Tampa 2 was really thriving and took over the league. I'm excited about it."...

    Gerald McCoy, right, taking down Bills quarterback EJ Manuel for one of his 91/2 sacks last season, hopes to play the role of Warren Sapp in the Bucs’ Tampa 2.
  15. Bucs drafting QB won't change McCown's approach

    Blog

    New Bucs starting quarterback Josh McCown met some of the draft prospects who made visits to One Buc Place last week but said even if the team uses the No. 7 overall pick on a quarterback, it won't change his approach to the upcoming season.

    "If you're picking somebody in the first round, you're hoping they can help your team at some point, (but) my focus won't shift," McCown said to reporters in the second week of offseason team workouts. "My focus is, whether it's me or Mike Glennon or Mike Kafka or somebody else, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks to play good football and to help their team win football games. That wouldn't change."...