Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vincent Jackson

Mike Glennon was prepared for heroics

September, 28, 2014
Sep 28
9:14
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PITTSBURGH -- When he was bumped to a backup role in the offseason, Mike Glennon might have been considered a forgotten man.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought in Josh McCown to be their starting quarterback, and that pushed Glennon to the bench. Sulking would have been the easy thing for Glennon to do. But he did just the opposite.

[+] EnlargeMike Glennon
Jason Bridge/USA TODAY SportsMike Glennon's patience was rewarded with a game-winning drive to beat the Steelers.
Glennon's healthy approach to a tough situation was a major factor in Sunday’s 27-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Playing for an injured McCown, Glennon engineered a last-minute touchdown drive that gave the Bucs their first victory of the season.

It also might have put Glennon in a position to claim the starting job. But we’ll find out more on that in the coming days.

For now, what matters most is that Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie last season, didn’t let his benching get him down.

“I understand that in the NFL, stuff like that happens," Glennon said. “I took the mindset of preparing like the starter. Even though I wasn’t always the guy out there taking reps on game day, I was still studying and preparing like I was the starter because, if an opportunity arose, I wanted to make sure I was ready for it."

Glennon capitalized on opportunity against the Steelers. His 5-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson capped a last-minute drive. Glennon completed 21 of 42 passes for 302 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

“As a young quarterback, when you’re out there at the end of the game, you kind of visualize having to lead your team to victory and you making big plays at the end," coach Lovie Smith said. “You couldn’t draw up the script any better than that for Mike. No timeouts, hurry up, all the things you dream about, he had a chance to do."
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PITTSBURGH -- A week ago, Louis Murphy was out of a job. On Sunday, the wide receiver caught six passes for 99 yards and was a driving force in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 27-24 upset victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

If this act sounds familiar, it should.

As a rookie in 2009, Murphy came up big for the Oakland Raiders, hauling in four catches for 128 yards and two scores in a similar upset of the Steelers.

[+] EnlargeLouis Murphy
Jason Bridge/USA TODAY SportsLouis Murphy has made of habit of showing up for big games against the Steelers.
"It brought back memories," Murphy said. "I felt like I was 20 years old playing here again. Actually, I caught that same exact pass my rookie year to set up a go-ahead score. I can't explain it."

Between that December 2009 game and Sunday, Murphy's NFL career was nondescript. He spent two more years with the Raiders, then a season with Carolina followed one with the New York Giants. There weren't many highlights along the way -- until Sunday.

With rookie receiver Mike Evans suffering a groin injury in the third quarter, Murphy was thrust into the lineup. He responded with one of the biggest plays of the day -- a 41-yard catch with 35 seconds left in the game to set up the decisive touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Vincent Jackson as the Bucs (1-3) picked up their first victory.

So how did Murphy go from the unemployment line to center stage? He signed last week with the Bucs, the same team that had cut Murphy at the end of the preseason.

Murphy is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, and after his release, he went home and continued to work out. He also stayed in contact with coach Lovie Smith. When the Bucs weren't happy with Chris Owusu, they brought back Murphy.

"When I was staying in contact with Coach, it was good," Murphy said. "That gave me some hope. I just stayed working out, and then I got that call."

Smith said the Bucs wanted to keep Murphy heading into the season, but a minor injury and the numbers at wide receiver got in the way. Smith didn't forget about Murphy, and that paid off for the Bucs.

"It’s just kind of fitting for a local guy who loves the Buccaneers," Smith said. "While he was out, he stayed in contact with us. He was one of our guys. It says an awful lot about him to come in and be able to contribute like that."

But maybe Murphy's big performance shouldn't be such a big surprise. Back in the preseason, Murphy got most of his reps with Glennon, who then was working as the second-team quarterback. Glennon got the start Sunday with Josh McCown sitting out with a thumb injury.

"I was throwing to Murph about every play," Glennon said. "Every preseason game it seemed like he was the only guy I was throwing to, so we have a good connection, and I was happy when we brought him back. It's just awesome for him. He texted me a week ago and I asked him what he was up to, and he didn't mention the Bucs. The next thing you know, he's in there making a big catch that set up the game-winning touchdown."

And maybe solidifying a roster spot for the long term.

W2W4: Buccaneers at Steelers

September, 28, 2014
Sep 28
7:00
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Three things to watch in Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers:

Glennon
Mike Glennon: The second-year quarterback is starting in place of the injured Josh McCown, and that might not be a bad thing for the Bucs. They have struggled to get their offense going this season. There has been virtually no downfield passing game. But Glennon has a big arm and he might be able to find receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans deep, and that could give the offense a spark.

Doug Martin: The running back is returning after missing the past two games with a knee injury. For the Bucs and Glennon to have any chance, Martin has to be able to run the ball with some consistency. He had only 9 rushing yards on nine carries in the season opener. But the offensive line has improved since then, so Martin should have a chance.

The Tampa Bay pass rush: It has been virtually non-existent so far. The Bucs have only four sacks, and that is not going to work in a Lovie Smith defense that is supposed to bring plenty of pressure from the front four. Gerald McCoy and Michael Johnson, the team’s top two pass-rushers, have been dealing with injuries. But this unit has to find a way to create more pressure on Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Mason Foster to sit out for Bucs

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
4:07
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TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ injury report is out and there are no surprises.

As expected, it looks like the Bucs will be without the quarterback of their offense and defense. Middle linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder) was declared out for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh. Dane Fletcher is expected to start in Foster's place for the second straight week. The Bucs also are listing quarterback Josh McCown (thumb) as doubtful, but all indications are that McCown won't play and Mike Glennon will start.

Defensive end Larry English (hamstring) also was declared out. Defensive end Michael Johnson (ankle) is listed as questionable.

The rest of the injury report is pretty encouraging. Running back Doug Martin (knee), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (hand), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, defensive end William Gholston (shoulder) and wide receiver Vincent Jackson (wrist) are listed as probable.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson said he plans to continue playing despite a hairline fracture to his wrist.

Jackson
Jackson said he expects to play Sunday in Pittsburgh and will have to wear a brace for several weeks.

"It’s something we’re going to work through," Jackson said. "The training staff’s doing a great job giving me the brace and support I can get from it. But it’s something I’m going to have to deal with for a few weeks, so I’m ready for that."

Jackson said the training staff has been experimenting with a variety of braces.

"We try to make it as non-intrusive as possible," Jackson said. "But again, it’s about safety first. I don’t want to make it any worse, so I’m just going to work around whatever they suggest."

Bucs need more from Vincent Jackson

September, 25, 2014
Sep 25
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TAMPA, Fla. -- By his standards, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is off to a quiet start.

Jackson
Through three games, he has 10 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown. He also suffered a small fracture in his wrist last week, but plans to play through it. Jackson is well off of his pace from last year when he had 78 catches for 1,224 yards.

But don’t say he's been invisible. Quarterback coach Marcus Arroyo, who is calling the plays in the absence of offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, doesn’t agree with that assessment.

“I don’t know exactly what makes [you think] he’s been invisible,’’ Arroyo said when asked why Jackson has been invisible. “We’ve had the opportunities to get Vincent the ball and we’re going to continue to do that. The coverage will dictate where he is and how he gets open. Again, if they’re going to double-cover him in heavy personnel or they’re going to play off coverage and certain things, then we have to play in front of them much like we did two weeks ago and play off that a little bit and spread the ball around.’’

It’s obvious the Bucs are looking for Jackson, but he’s drawing heavy coverage. The Bucs haven’t been good at getting the ball to any of their receivers on a consistent basis.

That needs to change. Jackson is too good a receiver to be kept so quiet. The Bucs need to start finding more ways to get him the ball. Even with double coverage, Jackson should be able to get open.

At 6-foot-5, Jackson has a big height advantage on just about any cornerback. The Bucs need to start taking advantage of that.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Now, more than ever, the Buccaneers need to follow Jeff Tedford's vision for the offense.

The offensive coordinator is taking a leave of absence after having a heart procedure in the preseason. Tedford never has called a play for the Bucs, but the team needs to follow his original plan.

[+] EnlargeJeff Tedford
Kim Klement/USA TODAY SportsOffensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is taking a leave of absence after having a heart procedure in the preseason.
The Bucs are 0-3 and we haven't seen the up-tempo, diverse offense that Tedford was supposed to bring. That's due largely to the fact that the Bucs have spent most of the season trailing and never have gotten into an offensive rhythm.

But Tedford is a good offensive coach. I have no doubt that he drew up a good playbook and that's what the Bucs need to follow. Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo has been calling the plays and he'll continue to do that with input from the rest of the offensive staff.

Arroyo spent two seasons as an assistant to Tedford at the University of California. That's a good thing because Arroyo is more familiar with Tedford's offense than anyone else on staff.

Arroyo needs to get back to -- and stick with -- the basics of Tedford's offense. In simple terms, that's a solid running game with some shots downfield in the passing game.

With the likes of Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the Bucs have the potential to be a decent offense, even with second-year pro Mike Glennon likely filling in for an injured Josh McCown at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

You don't suddenly change offensive schemes in the middle of the season. The Bucs have to go with what they have and we can only assume that's more than we've seen. Tedford spent the whole offseason installing a new offense.

Now, it's time for the Bucs to use it.

Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
11:39
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ATLANTA -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 56-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night.

What it means: Hey, maybe Greg Schiano wasn't so bad after all. At least the Bucs usually were in games when he was coaching. That was never the case for Lovie Smith's crew Thursday. They were down 21-0 after the first quarter and it just kept getting worse. The Bucs seemed to take a big step backward after being close in Smith's first two games. Their defense was horrible and you can't use the fact that All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was out with a hand injury as an excuse. The offense was dismal and the special teams allowed a Devin Hester punt return for a touchdown. Losses don't come much more thorough than this one. The Bucs are 0-3 and they're showing no signs that would give their fanbase any hope.

QB controversy? After throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown, quarterback Josh McCown left the game in the second quarter with a thumb injury. Second-year pro Mike Glennon took over for McCown. Glennon didn't fare much better. But the way this season is unfolding, you have to wonder if the Bucs will do something dramatic to try to shake things up.

Stock watch: Vincent Jackson has been one of the better wide receivers in the league in recent years, but he's off to a slow start this season. Jackson hasn't been able to get open deep and hasn't made any big plays. His hands also have been an issue. Jackson dropped a pass that would have gone for a first down. He did have a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, but that was long after the game had been decided.

Fantasy advice: Stay away from Bobby Rainey. He lost two fumbles. As soon as Doug Martin gets healthy, I think we'll see Rainey disappear.

Game ball: This is a required category, so I've got to go against my instincts and give someone on the Bucs a game ball. I'll go with linebacker Danny Lansanah, who had a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown. That was about as close to a bright spot as the Bucs had.

What's next: The Buccaneers play at Pittsburgh on Sept. 28.

The Film Don't Lie: Buccaneers

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
4:00
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A weekly look at what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers must fix:

Back in the offseason, there was a lot of talk about how the Buccaneers could use the size of their receiving crew to create all sorts of matchup advantages.

But that hasn’t materialized so far, and the Bucs have to fix that as they try to offset a high-powered Atlanta offense Thursday night.

Sunday's 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams revealed some telling numbers about the passing game. Although taking shots downfield is supposed to be a big part of the offense, Josh McCown's longest completion was a 29-yarder to Mike Evans. That was a desperation heave on the last play of the game. Other than that, the only pass of at least 20 yards was a 20-yarder to Vincent Jackson.

Evans and Jackson are big, physical receivers who should be able to use their size to get open downfield. The Bucs need to start taking advantage of their skills.

W2W4: Buccaneers-Rams

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
7:00
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Three things to watch in Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the St. Louis Rams:

The offensive line. The Rams sacked Mike Glennon seven times when the two teams played last season. New starter Josh McCown is more mobile than Glennon, but the St. Louis pass rush still has the potential to do lots of damage. The fact Tampa Bay’s offensive line has been completely overhauled might only help the Rams. This offensive line hasn’t had much time together to develop chemistry and the Rams may be able to exploit that.

Doug Martin. The “bell cow’’ of Tampa Bay’s offense gained just 9 yards on nine carries in the season-opening loss to Carolina. The lack of anything close to a productive running game threw the entire offense out of kilter. The Bucs need to get Martin on track. If they do, that might force the Rams to not devote so much energy to the pass rush.

The vertical passing game. There was a lot of noise in the preseason about Tampa Bay’s plus-sized receiving corps of Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. But that trio was pretty quiet in the opener. The Bucs have a tremendous size advantage over any secondary and they need to start taking advantage of it.

Rams vs. Buccaneers preview

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
8:00
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It's tough to call the second game of the season a "must-win" situation. But that might not be far off what the St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are facing this week.

Both teams are coming off embarrassing losses that could set the tone for disastrous seasons. But a victory in Week 2 could save a season -- at least for the moment.

ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner and Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas take a look at this matchup:

Yasinskas: Nick, let's cut right to the chase. Are the Rams as bad as they looked against the Vikings in the opener?

Wagoner: I don't think the Rams are as bad as they were in Week 1, but I can understand why some might view it that way. That isn't to say this team just had an off-day and is about to string 15 wins together. The issue in Week 1 boiled down to the Rams failing to do the things they believe they will do well this year. Namely, this is a team built to run the ball to set up play-action on offense and dominate defensively, but they didn't control the line of scrimmage well enough on either side of the ball to do that. On paper, this looked like an offensive line that could be really good if everyone is healthy -- but even healthy, it looked like an aging group unable to block basic four-man rushes.

Still, I expect the Rams to be more competitive this week, so long as they have veteran quarterback Shaun Hill back from a quad injury.

I suppose the best option now is to redirect back at you: The Bucs disappointed in Week 1 against a backup quarterback, and either way, they're going to see another this week against the Rams. Are they as bad as they showed against the Panthers? How do they bounce back?

Yasinskas: The Bucs were horrible offensively for more than three quarters. Their defense, which is supposed to be a strong point, wasn't much better against Carolina backup Derek Anderson. There weren't a lot of good things to come out of the opener, and I'm not trying to make it out to be more than it was. But the Bucs did score 14 points in the fourth quarter, and they made it a game. It took a long time, but their offense finally showed some rhythm in the fourth and they had a chance to win at the end. Maybe this offense isn't that good, or maybe it just took some time to get things going in the right direction.

I know hopes were high with Sam Bradford, and that all changed with his injury. How much of a difference will it make if Hill is able to play?

Wagoner: Let's be honest here: It's not like the Rams are choosing from a quarterback trio of Elway, Marino and Montana. But of the three they have on the roster, it's pretty clear Hill gives them the best chance to win at this point. He's a steady hand and actually got off to a pretty good start against the Vikings last week before a dropped screen pass and a bad throw that resulted in an interception just before the half. For what it's worth, Jeff Fisher said Hill was trying to throw that ball away but couldn't get it out of bounds because of the quad.

Either way, the Rams need Hill under center because the options behind him -- Austin Davis and Case Keenum -- simply aren't going to get the job done. Of course, it won't matter who is under center if the offensive line doesn't perform better than it did the past week. That group has to give Hill time to throw and open some holes in the run game for this offense to have any chance of success against that Tampa defense.

Speaking of that defense, Lovie Smith once coordinated the group in St. Louis, and we all have a pretty good idea of what he likes to do. But now that he's back with the Bucs as the head coach, what are some wrinkles he's bringing to the table, and how good can that group be with guys such as Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David in the system?

Yasinskas: McCoy and David are two excellent cornerstones around which to build the defense. But as we found out against Carolina, the Bucs need more than that. The key to a Smith defense is getting pressure from the front four, and the Bucs didn't do that against the Panthers. They came up with one sack (by McCoy) and got no pressure on the outside. Defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Michael Johnson have talent, but they have to be more productive for Smith's defense to really work. If the defense gets pressure, the turnovers will flow. If it doesn't get pressure, the defense will be nothing more than ordinary. McCoy and David are the stars of the defense, but the Bucs need Clayborn and Johnson to really make things click.

Tampa Bay's offensive line is a huge question, and the Bucs might be without injured guard Logan Mankins. Like any quarterback, Josh McCown is going to struggle if he's pressured. Are the Rams capable of putting a lot of pressure on McCown? If so, that will stall Tampa Bay's offense.

Wagoner: The strength of the Rams' defense is certainly found in the front four and the pass rush in general. Of course, that wasn't all that evident this past week against Minnesota. The Vikings only allowed one sack, and that came because of a botched snap. But Minnesota had a good game plan and made it a point to get the ball out quickly, which negated the Rams' pass rush. In fact, Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel averaged the fewest air yards per attempt of any quarterback in Week 1.

The Bucs know exactly what the Rams' pass rush can do after Robert Quinn gave them all kinds of headaches in the past year's meeting. But the Rams have to be better in coverage on underneath stuff if they want their pass rush to take off as it should.

McCown had some success throwing against the Rams last year when he was with the Bears, and the Bucs have a couple big, physical receivers on the outside. If things are going how the Bucs want, what type of challenges do they present to the Rams' defense?

Yasinskas: Let's assume for a second the offensive line plays a decent game. If that's the case, McCown will have time to throw, and he has some nice targets to work with. Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are all at least 6-foot-5. That creates all sorts of matchup problems for a secondary. Evans and Seferian-Jenkins are only rookies, but they can be impact players. Jackson is a proven receiver who probably doesn't get the recognition he deserves.

But like I said, the offensive line will be the key. If McCown has time to throw, he can be an efficient quarterback. If he doesn't have time, he'll show why he's been a backup most of his career.

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' receiving corps has drawn comparisons to a basketball team due to its size.

Jackson
However, it has become obvious that the team’s best receiver doesn’t really like the comparison. For the second time in recent weeks, Vincent Jackson said he doesn’t want the team’s receiving corps to be known just for its size.

"You hope that’s a factor that helps you," Jackson said. "But that’s not what we focus on. We go out there to execute. We go out there to be complete receivers, a complete offense. We have great running backs, great tight ends, good receivers and we’re going to spread the ball around. I don’t care if you’re 6-5 or 5-11. If you can get that ball in the end zone, we’re going to find ways to do that."

Jackson is 6-foot-5. So is rookie wide receiver Mike Evans. Same for rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That’s an impressive collection of size. But the Bucs drafted Evans in the first round and Seferian-Jenkins in the second to be more than basketball players. They were drafted to help take some of the defensive coverage away from Jackson.

Last season, the Bucs didn’t have any consistent threats in the passing game besides Jackson. But Evans already has been plugged in as a starter and Jackson is happy with what he’s seen out of the rookie.

"I’m very happy with Mike’s progress," Jackson said. "What he’s done and the way he’s come in here and approached this season. Even though he was drafted high and had success on the college level, he knows there’s a lot more for him to do. As a receiver, he can grow in many areas. He’s working hard at his craft. He’s taking all the coaching that’s being delivered to him. That’s all you can ask for from a young guy. He’s going to continue to learn. It’s always going to be a learning process. But he’s up to speed. He’s doing great things in our offense right now, everything that we’re asking of him."
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elected captains Monday and, unlike last year, there was no controversy.

McCown
Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David were selected the defensive captains and Michael Koenen will represent special teams. The offensive captains are Vincent Jackson and Josh McCown.

The significant news there is that McCown is a captain. The quarterback almost always should be a captain.

But that wasn’t the case for the Bucs last year. As part of the soap opera that was the start of last season, Josh Freeman was not elected as a captain. That led to speculation that former coach Greg Schiano had rigged the voting to prevent Freeman from being a captain. Only a few weeks later, Freeman was benched and eventually released.

With McCown as a captain, there’s a much healthier situation for the Bucs than a year ago at this time.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Since his arrival in Tampa Bay, we’ve heard coach Lovie Smith talk a lot about “Buc Ball". But what that meant exactly never was very clear.

On Saturday, we started to get a picture of what Smith’s been talking about. His defense produced three turnovers and a touchdown in a 27-14 preseason victory against the Buffalo Bills. The offense wasn’t spectacular but it was opportunistic.

Clinton McDonald
Bill Wippert/Associated PressClinton McDonald returned a fumble for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.
“I talk about a full game," Smith said. “When I say full game I’m talking about offense, defense and special teams. We talk a lot about taking the ball away. We talk about scoring on defense. It’s not a good defensive game unless we’re able to do that. I thought the defense did a great job of setting the tempo on what type of day it will be.’’

Linebacker Lavonte David forced a first-quarter fumble that was recovered by Mason Foster. That set up a quick touchdown by the offense. In the second quarter, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald scored a touchdown after picking up a fumble that was caused by an Adrian Clayborn sack and a Michael Johnson strip.

Is that what Buc Ball is all about?

“Yeah, man," All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “The defense takes the ball away and puts it back in the offense’s hands and the offense puts it in the end zone. That’s kind of what we want to do. It felt good and we want to keep that going. It felt good to actually see it come alive today and now we have to take this into next week and into the regular season.’’

It had been difficult to see any signs of Smith’s philosophy in the first two preseason games, both losses. The Bucs produced only one turnover and the offense was largely ineffective.

But the offense showed some promise against the Bills. With some of the starters playing into the third quarter, the Bucs built a 24-0 lead before the backups let the Bills back in the game. Quarterback Josh McCown completed 13 of 16 passes for 112 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Doug Martin rushed 12 times for 38 yards, Vincent Jackson had five catches and rookie Mike Evans had three receptions, including one for a touchdown.

That’s a pretty good sample of what Tampa Bay’s offense is going to look like.

“I think we had 17 rushes in the first half," Smith said. “That’s what we want to do. To be a running football team you need to have attempts as much as anything."

We haven’t seen all of Buc Ball yet because the team likely is keeping tricks up its sleeve for the regular season. But what we saw Saturday was a rough outline of the type of product Smith wants to put on the field.

Reflections on Buccaneers' camp

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
9:57
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Some random thoughts on Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training camp, which ended Thursday:

McCown
• Don't worry that quarterback Josh McCown didn't have a good preseason debut. He'll be fine. He looked sharp throughout camp. McCown has a better arm and is more athletic than I thought. He also is a natural leader. This guy might be able to be more than a game manager -- if his offensive line can give him some help.

• I'm starting to think fans and media take Vincent Jackson for granted. If there was a Most Valuable Player in this camp, it was Jackson. The wide receiver seemed to make big plays in every practice.

• Rookie running back Charles Sims is going to be at least a nice player, but he needs to be really good to validate his drafting. Sims was taken in the third round even though the Bucs didn't have a big need at running back. They had a big need at guard and could have gotten a quality one in the third round.

Martin
• Speaking of running backs, I think Doug Martin showed the new coaching staff he can catch passes better than it thought.

• I'm curious to see what happens at cornerback. Alterraun Verner is penciled in as one starter. The No. 2 job is between Mike Jenkins and Johnthan Banks. Jenkins missed most of camp with a hamstring injury and Banks peformed well. Jenkins doesn't automatically become the nickelback because it looks like that job is going to Leonard Johnson. Jenkins could end up being an expensive fourth cornerback.

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