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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sharp in Preseason Win Over Cincinnati Bengals

August 26th, 2015 at 4:22 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured their first home victory in more than a year, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-11 Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.

Led by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers wasted no time putting points on the board.

Winston led the Bucs on an 80-yard scoring drive to open the contest. After marching the offense down the field, Winston scored his second rushing touchdown of the preseason, taking it in from the one-yard line. He also completed all three of his pass attempts, as the Bucs capitalized on Doug Martin’s 52 yards on four carries.

Winston, who left the game midway through the third quarter after a hard sack left him limping, departed after going 8-for-13 (61.5%) for 90 yards and earned a passer rating of 82.2.

“We have so many great weapons and so many great players," said Winston. "You have to be able to be versatile and let everybody touch the rock. We worked so hard to build on the positives from last week’s game and we came out here and showed it."

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Drop Preseason Opener to Minnesota Vikings

August 16th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled early against the Minnesota Vikings in their preseason opener Saturday night, losing 26-16 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota.

The game marked the much-anticipated debut of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Winston, who admittedly started the game “very anxious,” had an up-and-down professional debut.

He was shaky early, but had his moments, even scoring his first touchdown on an eight-yard ramble to the end zone against the Vikings’ second-team defense late in the first half.

All told, Winston connected on nine of 19 passes for 131 yards and threw one interception while rushing four times for 18 yards. Winston’s favorite target was Louis Murphy, who caught four passes for 54 yards on the night. Winston’s big play of the game was a 40-yard deep ball to Vincent Jackson that converted a third-and-long.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Face Minnesota Vikings in Preseason Opener

August 15th, 2015 at 4:43 PM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off against the Minnesota Vikings on the road Saturday night in a much anticipated preseason test that marks the NFL debut of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.

The Bucs dropped a close one to the Vikings during the regular season last year, losing 19-13 in overtime at Raymond James Stadium. The Vikings are fresh off a 14-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game last week.

Following practice on Thursday, head coach Lovie Smith said he is looking forward to Saturday night’s contest to get a better idea where his squad stands.

“Tough game last year, tough loss for us last year against them,” Smith said. “And they played well against the Steelers the first time. We get a chance to see where we really are after this first game."

There is a sense of excitement amongst Bucs fans to see Winston’s debut in a Bucs uniform. This year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Winston has impressed in training camp and is expected to start.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign Linebacker Lavonte David to Contract Extension

August 12th, 2015 at 10:14 AM
By Michael Compton

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed linebacker Lavonte David to a five-year contract extension. The deal, which makes David the highest-paid 4-3 outside linebacker in the National Football League, goes through the 2020 season. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We are very excited to announce that Lavonte will be a Buccaneer for the long term,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “Lavonte, along with Gerald McCoy, form the foundation for the championship-level defense that we are building, and it was crucial to have them both in the fold to lead our defense. I can’t say enough about Lavonte’s professionalism and his commitment to our team throughout this entire process. This extension is a prime example of our desire to reward the types of players who will play a key role in helping us achieve long-term success.”

David, 25, was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the second round (58th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Buccaneers, David has started all 46 games he has played, tallying 429 tackles, 58 tackles for loss, 18 passes defensed, 10.0 sacks, six interceptions, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. David received first-team Associated Press All-Pro recognition for his 2013 season, when he became the first linebacker since sacks became an official statistic to record at least seven sacks and five interceptions in the same season.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp: Rookie QB Jameis Winston Generating Excitement

August 6th, 2015 at 9:00 PM
By Michael Compton

It’s a given that Jameis Winston has a lot to absorb in his first NFL training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the rookie quarterback, who has had an up-and-down first week of camp, is demonstrating a penchant for learning from his mistakes.

After struggling with interceptions earlier in the week, Winston had one of his best days of camp on Thursday, connecting on 11 of 16 passes in 11-on-11 drills. He also completed 11 of 12 pass attempts in 7-on-7 drills.

Head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media following Thursday’s practice, saying that Winston is progressing as expected.

“I think you can use any rookie’s name in that sentence. That’s part of it,” Smith said. “Of course it is a lot harder at the quarterback position. He did some good things today. Again, every day we are giving him something different and it is all part of the progression he needs to go through. We are pleased with where he is.”

All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy also expressed confidence in the young quarterback.

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