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Doug Martin Seeks a Return to Rookie Form for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 27th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Michael Compton

A healthy Doug Martin enters the 2014 season with a sense of purpose and is anxious for a return to his rookie form for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Statistically, that may prove a difficult challenge for Martin as he is likely to share carries this season with  Mike James, Bobby Rainey, Jeff Demps and rookie Charles Sims.

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The plan to rotate running backs means fewer touches for Martin than he received in 2012—a season that saw him rush for 1,454 yards (a Buccaneers rookie rushing record) on 319 carries—is not a knock against Martin. Head coach Lovie Smith and new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford simply want to take advantage of the team’s depth at the position.

“Doug’s a good football player. He knows that. You don’t see Doug complaining,” Lovie Smith told ESPN. “He knows what our plans are for him…Everywhere I've ever been, if you look at my history, we played more than one running back. We had a great running back (in Chicago) in Thomas Jones and we drafted Cedric Benson and played them both. One running back just can't make it through the season."

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp: Day 2

July 27th, 2014 at 11:34 AM
By Michael Compton

Weather wasn’t a factor on day 2 of training camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A day after lightning delayed and subsequently halted practice early, the Buccaneers got a full session in under sunny skies at One Buc Place on Saturday, July 26.

Among the players appreciative of getting a full practice in was rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a second-round pick.

Forced to miss the Bucs’ offseason program because of the University of Washington’s academic calendar and an NFL policy designed to keep college players in classes for their final spring, Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t allowed to attend any professional workouts until classes concluded in mid-June. He was also recovering from a foot injury.

“Today was really my first time ever getting out there and running around with the defense in over six months now,” Seferian-Jenkins told Floridasportstalk.com. “I feel good in where I’m at.”

Seferian-Jenkins, who stands 6’5” and weighs 262 pounds, has made quite an impression on the coaching staff, as well as onlookers, during the first two days of training camp.

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Two-Time Pro Bowl Guard Carl Nicks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Part Ways

July 26th, 2014 at 2:09 PM
By Michael Compton

The Associated Press reports that Carl Nicks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have mutually agreed to part ways after two disappointing seasons.

The injured two-time Pro Bowl guard appeared in just nine games for the Bucs. A toe injury that required surgery and the recurrence of a MRSA infection kept him away from the playing field during his brief stay in Tampa. Nicks didn’t miss a game in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints before signing a lucrative five-year deal to the tune of $47.5 million with the Bucs in 2012.

“He wanted what was best for the Buccaneers,” said general manager Jason Licht. “He didn’t want to lead us down the wrong path. The whole time we were hopeful he could play.”

Nicks addressed the decision in a statement released by the team:

“I'd like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field. However, after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the game. This was by no means an easy decision, but I believe that it is what is best for me and my family as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."

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Inclement Weather Cuts First Practice of Training Camp Short for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

July 25th, 2014 at 11:13 PM
By Michael Compton

Following months of anticipation, the first practice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training camp was cut short at One Buc Place July 25 due to lightning and thunder storms that rolled through the area late in the afternoon.

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Not even 10 minutes into the first round of drills, which began at 4:30 p.m., horns sounded, signaling lightning in the area and sending the team inside. Nearly two hours later, players and coaches returned to the practice field to a round of applause from welcoming fans. The rains came again 40 minutes into the second session, halting practice for the day.

"That's not an ideal first day for us," head coach Lovie Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "When we play Carolina, we could get a rain delay. You have to be able to go in and then come back out.

"You don't change what you've been doing based on one day,” Smith added. “That's why getting too upset right now, that's just not going to happen.”

Despite the lengthy delay, Smith was encouraged that a large number of fans stuck around for the first practice.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aiming to Go from Worst to First in NFC South

July 24th, 2014 at 5:58 PM
By Michael Compton

On the eve of the start of training camp, hopes are high around One Buc Place that this year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers can go from worst to first in the always competitive NFC South.

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New Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who helped build Super Bowl teams in New England, Philadelphia and Arizona, believes the pieces are in place to orchestrate a turnaround and improve on last year's disappointing 4-12 season.

"It's crazy," Licht said in the Tampa Bay Times. “We'll look back at what we've added and… I'm legitimately excited and feel like we have a chance to compete for the (NFC South) division title. I really do.

"You would think, with a first-year head coach and a first-year general manager…we would both have a pass if we wanted to say, you know, I think we need some more time to turn this thing around. But that's not what we think. We think we can make a run at this thing this year. We feel we've got some major pieces in place to do that."

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