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WQYK still working on Bucs plans

The Bucs are eight days from their first preseason game, but WQYK has yet to finalize broadcast plans.

Program director Jeff Ryan said Thursday that it would be early next week before a decision is made. A number of formats are being considered, and the station has to replace analyst David Logan, the former Bucs defensive lineman who died in January.

Ryan said the idea of having two analysts join play-by-play commentator Gene Deckerhoff is being entertained. He said another possibility is having one analyst make on-field reports and another in the booth.

Ryan would not speak about the personnel, but former Bucs linebacker Scot Brantley and radio host Tom Korun are the leading candidates. The pair hosts WQYK's afternoon drive show on AM 1010, and having both as part of the broadcast team would boost the show's profile.

In addition to talent changes, station officials are looking at having an expanded two-hour pregame show and an hourlong call-in show after post-game interviews.

"We're trying to find out what's the best way to bring Buccaneers coverage to the listeners, what's the best way to make it fun," Ryan said.

Although the plans will have to be in place before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 14, Ryan said he is not concerned about determining the format so close to kickoff.

"If this was our first year doing it, I would be concerned," Ryan said. "But Gene has been doing this for 10 years, and this is my ninth year as the producer. We have some substance behind the broadcasts."

Meanwhile, the battle between sports-talk radio stations WQYK and WDAE-AM 1250 took on a new complexion this week with the start of Bucs training camp.

In the past, WDAE and former sports-talk station WZTM-AM 820 were allowed to broadcast from the practice fields at the University of Tampa's Pepin/Rood Stadium. But now that WQYK has a sports-talk format, it sought and received exclusivity.

The biggest advantage is having live interviews with players and coaches, often right after practice.

WDAE program director Jason Dixon said, however, that WDAE got permission from Tampa Prep, which is adjacent to Pepin/Rood, to set up a scissor crane on the property.

On the first day of camp, WDAE broadcast from high atop the lift. Dixon said periodic broadcasts will continue until the end of training camp.

Although WDAE remains outside the gates, its access is the same as other media outlets. The only restriction is no live broadcasts from within Pepin/Rood.

DEBATE FODDER: ESPN's SportsCentury project continues to be a smorgasbord of debate material, and its upcoming show on the century's greatest coaches is no different.

Chris Berman is the host of the special, which airs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. It will rank the top 10 coaches based on a vote by the project's distinguished panel. The top seven, billed as the magnificent seven, consists of Red Auerbach, Bear Bryant, George Halas, Vince Lombardi, John McGraw, Dean Smith and John Wooden.

So what about Paul Brown and Tom Osborne? And should Smith be ranked on the same plane as Wooden? Let the debate begin.

CRYSTAL BALL: CNN/SI football analysts Trev Alberts and Ron Meyer are forecasting a bright future for the Bucs, with one caveat.

"This is Trent Dilfer's last chance to prove he can lead this team," Alberts said. "They have all the ingredients: great defense, great running attack, good wide receiving. They've just struggled at the quarterback position."

Meyer is predicting a fast rise to stardom for rookie Anthony McFarland.

"They have the two most dominant defensive tackles in the league with McFarland and (Warren) Sapp," Meyer said. "I have them going to the playoffs, but behind the Vikings in the NFC Central."

Alberts and Meyer debut as dual analysts on NFL Preview at 10 a.m. Aug. 15. Alberts has been a college football analyst for CNN/SI and now will handle both roles for the network.

The show also will feature a "Beat the Experts" segment in which the picks of the analysts will be compared with those made by people who visit the Web site. Celebrity guests will be part of the mix, including swimsuit model Heidi Klum, wrestler Goldberg and news correspondent Wolf Blitzer.