John Romano - Sports Columnist

Sports Columnist

Finding the right career can be hit-and-miss. In my case, it was swing-and-miss. When Major League Baseball scouts declined to watch me play, or even acknowledge my existence, journalism seemed like a plausible fallback plan. I started covering prep sports for St. Petersburg's Evening Independent as an 18 year old college freshman, and have worked for newspapers ever since. I have a daughter in college, a son in high school and a wife in charge. And I still can't hit the curveball.

  1. There was a time when Colin Kaepernick was a beloved player in San Francisco. He took the 49ers to the Super Bowl during the 2012 season and reached the NFC Championship Game the following year. If, after sitting out for three seasons, Kaepernick still has NFL-caliber skills, the Bucs should seriously consider signing him. File photo
    John Romano | The Bucs still have not committed to Jameis Winston as their quarterback in 2020 so taking a flyer on the one-time 49ers star may not be a bad idea.
  2. Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (26) is part of a young core of defensive backs the Bucs hope will solve their long-running pass defense problems.
    John Romano: Could Sean Murphy-Bunting and the young Bucs finally be the answer?
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) enters the field at Raymond James Stadium before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
    John Romano’s Gimme Five: Bruce Arians’ example, reasons to be encouraged by the Bucs defense and other interception-prone passers.
  4. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11), left, visits with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) at the conclusion of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
    John Romano: The enigmatic quarterback is leading Tampa Bay to uncharted scoring territory after a comeback victory against the Cardinals on Sunday.
  5. Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead got to Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister too late to prevent the winning score in overtime last week. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was 9-of-13 for 166 yards in the fourth quarter and OT. [DEAN RUTZ | Seattle Times via AP]
    The Bucs have already blown a fourth-quarter lead in three games this season, thanks to a secondary that is giving up yardage at an alarming rate in the final minutes of games.
  6. Remember this moment during Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego? The journey that started Tampa Bay on that championship run also began in San Diego in 1996 when the team was supposedly playing a meaningless game in another losing season. JIM DAMASKE | Times photo
    Why the Bucs’ last eight games matter: Tampa Bay was in the midst of a 13th consecutive losing season in 1996 and was 2-8 under a first-year coach when its fortunes suddenly took a turn.
  7. Manager Kevin Cash has led the Rays to back-to-back seasons of 90 or more victories. He finished third in the American League Manager of the Year voting in 2018 and is one of three finalists again this year with the winner being announced on Tuesday.
    John Romano: His profile is as low as Tampa Bay’s payroll, but AL Manager of the Year candidate Kevin Cash consistently gets the most out of the Rays.
  8. The Bucs could do themselves a favor by continuing to focus on the development of younger players such as Ronald Jones, who got his first career start on Sunday in Seattle, to get a better handle on their future.
    Despite their records, Tampa Bay is clearly the more talented team. But do the Bucs have a better blueprint in place for the future?
  9. A Bucs defensive back (Vernon Hargreaves III) chasing a Seattle receiver (Tyler Lockett)? Wasn't too hard to get that photo after Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 378 yards in Tampa Bay's 40-34 overtime loss on Sunday. [SCOTT EKLUND | AP Photo]
    John Romano’s Gimme 5: We’re halfway through the 2019 season, and Tampa Bay has already given up three game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
  10. Quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 257 yards and got the Gators back in the game in the second half, but Florida simply lacked the talent to make big plays when necessary on both offense and defense in a 24-17 loss.
    Romano: Florida has improved leaps and bounds under coach Dan Mullen, but a 24-17 loss to Georgia suggests their top-10 ranking was exaggerated.