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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. Even on short fields, Bucs defense needed to make stops

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- The Bucs defense could point to the length of the Bears' three touchdown drives -- just 47, 13 and 15 yards -- but Sunday's 21-13 loss was a reminder that they need to respond no matter where the opposing offense gets the ball.

    "Like our coach said: Those three touchdowns, if we would have made them kick field goals all three times, it's 10-9. That's something we've got to fix," cornerback Alterraun Verner said. "I think everything's showing improvement. It's not enough to get improvement. You want to get wins."...

    Matt Forte scores on a 13-yard run in the third quarter.
  2. With Evans covered, Bucs' Jackson, Murphy took over

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- For weeks, rookie Mike Evans has thrived as the Bucs' go-to receiver, and as the Bears made it a priority to limit him Sunday, Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy took advantage of the opportunity.

    "All you want to do is stay ready. I can only do so much as a receiver. You just try to do your job, stay available and help your quarterback," said Jackson, who had five catches for 117 yards, his first 100-yard game in six games....

    Louis Murphy had totaled just 36 yards in the previous four games before finishing with six catches for 113 yards Sunday, his first 100-yard game with the Bucs.
  3. After 3 sacks early, Bucs' pass rush disappeared

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- It looked like a promising day for the Bucs defensive line early on, with three sacks on one drive in the first quarter, the last with Gerald McCoy forcing a Jay Cutler fumble recovered in Bears territory.

    Then the rest of the day: 42 more plays for the Bears, but zero sacks and only one play were the Bucs dropped anyone for a loss.

    "They weren't favorable conditions," coach Lovie Smith of the dropoff in the pass rush. "I felt, for the most part, the guys kept rushing throughout most of the day. (Chicago) got in a situation where they didn't have to put themselves in a tough passing situation."...

    Gerald McCoy sacks Bears quarterback Jay Cutler during the first half.
  4. Despite RB depth, Bucs' run game limited to 66 yards

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- Given their top three running backs together for the first time this season, the Bucs steadily rotated starter Doug Martin and rookie Charles Sims, with Bobby Rainey here and there, but the net result was only 66 rushing yards in a 21-13 loss to the Bears.

    "We have a crowded backfield and every guy brings something to the table," Martin said after rushing for 27 yards on 11 carries in his first game after missing three with an ankle injury. "That's how we're going to do it."...

    Bucs coach Lovie Smith said there wasn't a set rotation for the backs, even though Doug Martin, pictured, and Charles Sims alternated on the first five series of the game.
  5. Next man up: Bucs LBs stepped in with David out

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- Playing winning defense without a linebacker like Lavonte David isn't easy, but the Bucs held their own Sunday, holding the Bears to 204 yards of total offense despite playing without their All-Pro and leading tackler.

    "He's a great player. I don't think anybody would be able to go in and replace him, but it's next man up," said Orie Lemon, a special-teams player who stepped in as the strongside linebacker in the Bucs' defense, getting a tackle for loss on the Bears' second drive....

    Much of the burden of replacing Lavonte David fell to Danny Lansanah, left (with Mason Foster), who had been coming off the field in the nickel defense but stayed on the field Sunday, playing David's weakside position.
  6. Bucs linebackers held up despite David's absence

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- Playing winning defense without a linebacker like Lavonte David isn't easy, but the Bucs held their own Sunday, holding the Bears to 204 yards of total offense despite playing without their All-Pro and leading tackler.

    "He's a great player. I don't think anybody would be able to go in and replace him, but it's next man up," said Orie Lemon, a special-teams player who stepped in as the strongside linebacker in the Bucs' defense, getting a tackle for loss on the Bears' second drive....

  7. Turnovers doom Bucs in 21-13 loss at Bears

    Blog

    CHICAGO -- The Bucs dominated the first half, but saw a 10-0 lead disappear in the third quarter, with three turnovers by quarterback Josh McCown playing a major role in a 21-13 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field.

    The Bucs (2-9) held Chicago (5-6) to just 68 yards of total offense, but self-destructed in the third quarter. McCown lost a fumble to set up a 13-yard touchdown drive, then had a high pass intercepted to set up a 15-yard touchdown drive, with not enough offense to make up the deficit....

  8. Live blog: Bucs lose lead, trail Bears 21-13 in fourth

    Blog

    Greetings from Chicago, where the Bucs are going for their third win -- and their third road win -- at Soldier Field. They'll do so without linebacker Lavonte David who's out with a hamstring injury.

    4 p.m.: Bucs get a 40-yard pass to Vincent Jackson but can't get in the end zone -- Patrick Murray's 39-yard field goal makes it a one-score game, cutting the lead to 21-13 with 4:56 left in Chicago. Both Jackson (117) and Louis Murphy (105) are over 100 yards....

  9. Martin, Sims both active at RB for Bucs vs. Bears

    Blog

    The Bucs will have Doug Martin and rookie Charles Sims both healthy and active for the first time today as they face the Bears, joining Bobby Rainey in a crowded backfield as they seek their third win of the season.

    Linebacker Lavonte David is the most notable of the team's seven inactives -- cornerback Crezdon Butler, who started the last two games, is inactive as Alterraun Verner returns healthy. Rookie Brandon Dixon will be the team's third cornerback....

  10. Bucs LB Lavonte David will miss Bears game with hamstring

    Blog

    If the Bucs are to win against the Bears today in Chicago, they'll have to do it without starting linebacker Lavonte David, who will miss the game with a hamstring injury, the first game he's missed in his three-year NFL career, the Times' Rick Stroud reports.

    David, who injured his hamstring in last week's win at Washington and missed the team's final two practices this week, had been listed as "questionable" but the team will have him inactive today. Danny Lansanah is likely to step in for David in the Bucs' nickel defense, and the team will have to turn to a backup in the base defense, likely Dane Fletcher or Brandon Magee....

    Lavonte David injured his hamstring in last week's win at Washington and missed the team's final two practices this week.
  11. Injury puts career streak on the line for Bucs' Lavonte David

    Blog

    Still nearly four hours until the Bucs and Bears kick off at Soldier Field, and the lingering unanswered question is whether Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David -- tied for the NFL lead in combined tackles and tackles for loss -- can play despite a hamstring injury that sidelined him from the final two days of practice this week.

    David's presence as a leader on defense is crucial to the Bucs' success in Chicago, but it also has some history going as well -- the third-year linebacker from Nebraska has yet to miss a game in his three-year NFL career. And while that's not exactly a Cal Ripken streak, given the Bucs' high turnover in the past year, it matches the third-longest string of consecutive games played for the Bucs on their current 53-man roster....

  12. Bucs better on road than at home

    Bucs

    To say the Bucs are a better team on the road is a polite way of saying they've been a bad team at home this season. But with both of their 2014 wins coming away from Raymond James Stadium, it's an odd source of optimism as they face the Bears at Soldier Field.

    "Normally, you're supposed to play a lot better at home, and we haven't got that part figured out yet," said coach Lovie Smith, whose team is 0-5 at home for the first time since 1983. "I know we've gone into some hostile environments and we're going into another one with Soldier Field this week. You just have to really concentrate and be focused, which we've been. For whatever reason, we have played well on the road, and we expect it to continue."...

    Jay Cutler
  13. Bucs' Lavonte David to be game-time decision

    Bucs

    TAMPA — LB Lavonte David (hamstring) missed a second consecutive day of practice Friday, raising concerns that the NFL's co-leader in combined tackles could miss Sunday's game at Chicago.

    Coach Lovie Smith said David would be a game-time decision, and he is listed as questionable.

    "A lot better, but we held him out (Friday)," Smith said.

    David, who has not missed a game in his three-year NFL career, was listed as limited during Wednesday's practice and has missed two days since....

    HOPEFUL: Alterraun Verner (hamstring), right with Johnthan Banks, hopes he can return Sunday.
  14. Oddly, no place like road for Bucs of 2014

    Blog

    To say the Bucs are a better team on the road is a polite way of saying they've been a bad team at home this season, but with both of their 2014 wins coming away from Raymond James Stadium, it's an odd source of optimism as they face the Bears at Soldier Field.

    "Normally, you're supposed to play a lot better at home, and we haven't got that part figured out yet," said coach Lovie Smith, whose team is 0-5 at home for the first time since 1983. "I know we've gone into some hostile environments and we're going into another one with Soldier Field this week. You just have to really concentrate and be focused, which we've been. For whatever reason, we have played well on the road, and we expect it to continue."...

  15. Fantasy football: Big day for Bucs tight ends vs. Bears?

    Blog

    If recent history is any indication, Sunday could be a good day for the Bucs' tight ends.

    Chicago's defense has given up 50-plus points in two of their last three games, so there's reason for optimism for any opposing offensive player, but the Bears have had specific struggles against tight ends, who have scored touchdowns in four straight games and found the end zone nine times in the last six games....