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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans Living up to Promise

October 31st, 2014 at 8:48 PM
By Michael Compton

Rookie wide receiver Mike Evans is living up to the lofty expectations that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entertained when they took him as the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

At 6-foot-5, 231 pounds, Evans creates matchup nightmares for cornerbacks. At the halfway point of the season, the first-year pro out of Texas A&M is getting more comfortable with the speed of the game and his growing confidence is showing on the field. He has hauled in 25 catches for 336 yards (13.4 average) and two touchdowns, often utilizing his height advantage to make plays.

“Seven games into the season, I’m getting a better feel for it,” Evans said this week. “Mike [Glennon] has given me a lot of opportunities, so I’m trying to make the best of them.”

With the Buccaneers taking on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in search of just their second win of the season, Evans remains optimistic that the Bucs can pull off a much-needed victory on the road.

“Everybody has to do their job,” he said. “Everybody has to make plays when the ball comes their way or when their number is called. We have to make plays and hopefully we’ll be in better position to finish at the end.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Charles Sims Eyeing Week 9 Return

October 30th, 2014 at 7:10 PM
By Michael Compton

Rookie running back Charles Sims, who has missed the first half of the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to an ankle injury that required surgery, may make his NFL regular-season debut in Week 9 against the Cleveland Browns. The third-round pick flashed promise in training camp and he could be the answer to the Buccaneers’ stagnant running game.

“There’s no doubt. When he’s ready to go, he’ll give us a spark,” head coach Lovie Smith said this week. “I feel pretty confident saying that. He’s making progress. I know that’s some broad and general term, but he’s been out a long time and it takes a while. You can run on the side, but when you have to make cuts and you have to push off when you have big defensive linemen yanking the ball away from you every snap – he’s getting back into the flow. I don’t know if he’ll be able to go this week. We’ll talk on those things a little bit later on, maybe right up until Sunday.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Part Ways with Mark Barron and Jonathan Casillas

October 28th, 2014 at 9:00 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that safety Mark Barron was traded to the St. Louis Rams and linebacker Jonathan Casillas was sent to the New England Patriots. Both players were traded for future undisclosed draft picks.

Taken by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Barron (pictured) has started 37 games and is credited with 224 tackles and three interceptions. The former Alabama standout started all 16 games for the Bucs as a rookie, 14 last year and all seven this season.

Tampa Bay signed Casillas as a free agent in 2013. He has appeared in 17 games and has made seven starts over two seasons with the Bucs, recording 34 tackles. Casillas has nine tackles for the Bucs this season.

Casillas spent four years with the New Orleans Saints before signing with the Bucs as a free agent in 2013. According to reports, the Patriots will also receive a 2015 sixth-round pick from the Bucs in exchange for a 2015 fifth-rounder as part of the deal.

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Takeaways from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 8 Loss

October 27th, 2014 at 9:33 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had hoped to parlay their Week 7 bye into a home win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The plan didn’t materialize, as the Bucs dropped to 1-6 following a gut-wrenching 19-13 overtime loss at Raymond James Stadium.

“Ideally, that’s not how we wanted to start it and it’s as simple as that,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “Yeah a fresh start, it said home game, home win, and we let one slip away.”

The offense failed to establish the running game yet again with Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey combining for just 52 yards rushing between them. The Bucs have struggled all season in the rushing attack and rank near the bottom of the NFL, averaging just 86.4 yards per game.

“We need more production from the running game, period,” Smith said. “But we played more than one guy. It’s just not on Doug. Doug is a part of it and we’d like to have more, but in order for Doug to get more yards, we need to get a lot more touches.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fall to Minnesota Vikings in Overtime

October 26th, 2014 at 6:04 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had two weeks to prepare for the visiting Minnesota Vikings, and despite a close game throughout (mostly thanks to a stout effort from the defense), the Buccaneers squandered an opportunity to make up ground in the NFC South, losing to the Vikings 19-13 in overtime and remaining winless at home this season.

Rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon with just 2:02 remaining in regulation to give the Bucs their first lead of the game at 13-10. It was the 27th touchdown pass of Glennon’s career, the ninth-most in Buccaneers history.

Behind the composure of Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who orchestrated the two-minute offense to perfection, the visitors moved the ball into Tampa Bay territory almost at will and kicked a field to tie the game as time ran out.

Bucs cornerback Johnthan Banks had a chance to seal the victory with a potential interception that he wasn’t able to secure when Bridgewater underthrew Cordarelle Patterson with :46 left in the game. Bridgewater went on to complete three passes for 32 yards to put the Vikings in position to hit the game-tying field goal to force overtime.

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