Everyone at One Buc Place agrees this is the Josh McCown they expected to see. • This is the 35-year-old veteran quarterback they remember playing in Chicago, a picture of poise and control, dropping dimes into receivers' hands, pumping his fist and leaping into the meaty arms of an offensive lineman. It's the player who passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in Sunday's 27-7 win at Washington. • "It's what we envisioned, Josh playing football like he did this past Sunday," coach Lovie Smith said, "and for him to continue playing ball like that." • The performance came one week after McCown began his news conference after a home loss to Atlanta with all the emotion of a Miss Teen USA contestant, his eyes about to spill over like full sinks. But his tears didn't extinguish the fire or competitiveness he needed to have one of his best performances as a pro against the Redskins. He completed scoring passes of 36 and 56 yards to rookie Mike Evans, and finished with a 137.5 passer rating....
TAMPA — The vindication was as overwhelming as the victory for Bucs coach Lovie Smith.
In dominating the Redskins — his description — the Bucs proved you have to believe in the plan to win.
Since arriving in January, Smith has preached pressure on the quarterback rushing only four down linemen, causing turnovers, and scoring on defense. It all paid off Sunday when the Bucs forced the first of three turnovers on the game's first possession, sacked Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III exactly VI times and rode hot rookie receiver Mike Evans to a 27-7 win at FedEx Field....
Although he is still doesn’t know all the ropes, Mike Evans is learning on the fly and while running the fly pattern.
Evans had seven catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns’ in the Bucs’ 27-7 win over the Redskins, equalling rookie marks set by the likes of Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin.
But it’s his stunningly fast growth as a dominant NFL receiver that was on display Sunday....
TAMPA — Mike Evans is only a rookie, so there is a steep learning curve. He's going to make mistakes. You can't expect him to be a finished product at age 21.
"I don't know what to do when I get in (the end zone)," Evans said dejectedly.
So Evans is patterning his end zone celebration after some of the league's greats. After scoring his second touchdown in Sunday's 27-7 win over Washington, the rookie from Texas A&M split his arms apart, just the way he ripped open the Redskins defense with seven catches for 209 yards and two scores....
TAMPA — They caged the Hawk. Bucs safety Dashon Goldson was pulled off the field during some critical passing downs last week in what coach Lovie Smith called a "safety rotation." Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said the team just wanted to get a look at seldom-used Bradley McDougald.
Goldson, the NFL's fourth highest-paid safety at $8.250 million per year, described it as a "certain package" the team wanted to deploy. "It is what it is," Goldson said. "We've all got to play our roles. It's cool."...
TAMPA — Show of hands. When the Bucs decided to release place-kicker Connor Barth to keep Patrick Murray, a rookie from Fordham, who was skeptical? The move saved the Bucs $2 million. They said at the time it was a football decision. But it seemed more like a they can a-Fordham one.
But darned if Murray hasn't gone 9-of-13 in field-goal tries, and more impressively, 4-of-5 from 50 yards-plus....
TAMPA — Doug Martin still has a bad wheel and isn't ready to roll against the Redskins on Sunday. Martin was ruled out Friday by coach Lovie Smith, meaning the former first-round pick will miss his third straight game with an ankle injury.
Martin did not practice Wednesday and was limited over the past two days. The Bucs will have Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, Mike James and FB Jorvorskie Lane at running back....
Running Doug Martin was ruled out Friday against the Washington Redskins, meaning he will miss his third straight game with an ankle injury....
TAMPA — The Bucs have traded one starting safety and now have begun looking at options to eventually replace Dashon Goldson.
Goldson has one interception in 20 games since joining the Bucs as a free agent before last season. In Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Falcons, Goldson was replaced on numerous passing downs by Bradley McDougald, a second-year pro who was claimed off waivers from the Chiefs last November....
The Bucs have traded one starting safety and now they have begun looking at options to eventually replace Dashon Goldson.
The former 49ers Pro Bowl safety, who is in the second season of a 5-year, $41.25-milllion contract, has only $3-million of the $18-million in guarantees owed after 2014.
Goldson has one interception in 20 games played since joining the Bucs. In Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Goldson was replaced on numerous passing downs by Bradley McDougald, a second-year pro who was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs in Nov. 2013....
TAMPA — Michael Koenen heard boos after each of his three punts Sunday, which traveled 37, 23 and 31 yards.
He may rank last in the NFL among punters, but his job was to prevent the Falcons' otherworldly return man Devin Hester from taking it to the house. In the teams' Sept. 18 meeting, Hester got loose for a 62-yard return for a touchdown.
For the men who put the foot into football, theirs is a somewhat thankless job that can change the outcome of games. Fans generally are not happy to see them because it means a drive has stalled. Then there are those who get their kicks hurling insults after every wayward boot....
Michael Koenen heard the boos after each of his three punts for a 30.3-yard average in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Koenen ranks last in the NFL among punters, but his job was to prevent the Falcons' otherworldly returner Devin Hester from taking it to the house. In the teams' previous meeting in Sept., Hester got loose for a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown.
TAMPA — Captain Morgan was forced to walk the plank by Bucs coach Lovie Smith on Monday.
Not happy with Austin Seferian-Jenkins' Instagram post that included a picture of his penalized touchdown celebration — posing with his arms folded and one leg balanced on the football as an imaginary keg of rum — Smith confronted the Bucs' rookie tight end and had the entry taken down....
Captain Morgan was forced to walk the plank by Bucs coach Lovie Smith Monday.
Not happy with Austin Seferian-Jenkins' Instagram post that included a pictuure of his penalized touchdown celebration, Smith confronted the Bucs' rookie tight end and had the entry taken down.
It was the second 'teaching moment,' between Smith and Seferian Jenkins within 24 hours. On Sunday, after scoring on a 1-yard touchdown reception to give the Bucs a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter, Seferian-Jenkins drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for standing on the football and posing like the Morgan Rum captain....
This one must have really hurt, for crying out loud.
Bucs quarterback Josh McCown fell into the arms of offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo in the locker room and sobbed like he had lost more than a football game Sunday. On his way to his post-game press conference, he hugged coach Lovie Smith's wife, MaryAnne, and the tears flowed. When he got to the podium and was asked why he was so emotional after the 27-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, McCown looked down and took five seconds to compose himself before answering....