TAMPA — The goal still is written on a grease board in Jason Licht's office. The Bucs general manager left it there after a meeting several months ago as a constant reminder that his team had a need for speed.
Nowhere is this more important or obvious than on offense, where the Bucs quickly got quicker through free agency and the NFL draft to help quarterback Jameis Winston.
The Bucs started in March by signing Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson, who despite being 30 was clocked as the second-fastest man in the league last season. During the three-day NFL draft that ended Saturday, Tampa Bay added 6-foot-6 Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, in the first round; Penn State receiver Chris Godwin (4.42) in the third; and Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols (4.49) in the fifth....
The goal still is written on a grease board in Jacon Licht’s office. The Bucs general manager left it there after a meeting several months ago as a constant reminder that his team had a need for speed.
Nowhere is this more important or obvious than on offense, where the Bucs have quickly gotten quicker through free agency and the NFL draft to help quarterback Jameis Winston.
The Bucs started by signing Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson. On Thursday, Tampa Bay used their first round pick on 6-foot-6 Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. Then on Friday, the Bucs selected Penn State receiver Chris Godwin in the third round....
TAMPA — There's nobody else like O.J. Howard. At least, that's what everybody says. The 6-foot-6, 251-pound tight end from Alabama can block, run, jump and catch better than almost any man in the NFL draft.
He also is humble, polite, thoughtful, smart and has all the attributes you would want from your 22-year-old first-round pick.
Yup, O'Terrius Jabari Howard is one of a kind. But when his mother, Lemasa Parker-Howard, watched him from the first row of a news conference at One Buc Place on Friday, she thought of another athlete in the family, one who looked and sounded just like her son....
TAMPA — He was still standing there, wide open and all alone.
Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, at 6 feet 6 and 251 pounds, was very hard to miss when the Bucs scanned the field of players available with the 19th overall pick in the draft Thursday.
"It was a little bit of a pipe dream," general manager Jason Licht said. "I have no other words right now. I'm kind of shaken."
The Bucs were so sure that Howard wouldn't be available for them that they didn't include him among the 30 players who visited One Buc Place during the predraft process....
A robust quarterback market and a run on that position will give the Bucs their best opportunity to acquire more picks by trading down in the first round of Thursday's NFL draft.
Tampa Bay has discussed the possibility of moving down from the No. 19 overall pick with more than three teams. As many as four quarterbacks could go in the first round this year, although none are considered locks to become franchise passers such as Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, who went 1-2 to the Bucs and Tennessee, respectively, in 2015....
TAMPA — When it comes to the NFL draft under Bucs general manager Jason Licht, the offense has played with too many men on the field.
The first two years, Licht took only one player on defense: LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander in the fourth round in 2015 — a terrific talent who already is among the league's best at his position.
In fact, only five of the Bucs' 20 draft picks under Licht have been used on defense, including four last year....
TAMPA — There is a running back for every occasion in the NFL draft this year. You have power backs (Leonard Fournette), slashing/three-down backs (Dalvin Cook) and even Swiss Army knife backs (Christian McCaffrey).
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has watched them all, and there is a chance his team will be lucky enough to grab one when Tampa Bay picks 19th overall Thursday.
But regardless of the position, what Koetter says is more important in the first round is finding a player who can single-handedly change the outcome of games....
TAMPA — Here comes the Lord of the Rings. Here comes Captain Comeback. Here comes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
His first regular-season visit to Raymond James Stadium will be Oct. 5 for a Thursday night nationally televised game against the Bucs on CBS.
Brady is Leonardo DiCaprio with a chinstrap. Model wife. Drives a Brink's truck. He has won five Super Bowls, more than any quarterback in history. FBI agents deliver his shirts....
TAMPA — On the day Hard Knocks, HBO's NFL reality series, announced it was going to training camp with the Bucs, coach Dirk Koetter's reaction reflected that of most head coaches about the show.
"I like watching the show," Koetter said. "I wish I wasn't on it."
Quick to note "they picked us," Koetter nonetheless has accepted that the fans' pleasure may be worth his pain. For five weeks this summer, the Bucs will be the focus of the award-winning series that started in 2001 and is done in conjunction with NFL Films. The premier episode is 10 p.m. Aug. 8....
On the day that Hard Knocks, the HBO sports reality series, announced they were going to training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dirk Koetter’s reaction was reflective of most head coaches in the National Football League.
“I like watching the show,’’ Koetter said. “I wish I wasn’t on it.’’
But for five weeks, with the premier episode scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m., the Bucs will be the focus of the award-winning series in conjunction with NFL Films....
It’s a Hard Knocks life for the Bucs.
All indications are that the HBO sports documentary series, in conjunction with NFL Films, has chosen to go to training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. Wednesday for an undisclosed ‘major announcement.’
However, for the past several weeks, everyone from co-chairman Joel Glazer to general manager Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter have been bracing – if not embracing – the inevitability that they would be chosen for Hard Knocks this year. Both Koetter and Licht will be available to the media Wednesday, the team said....
He heard it once. Then twice. Three different times. From three "credible sources" at the Pro Bowl in Orlando last January, Gerald McCoy was given a humbling critique of his career, which has included zero playoff appearances in seven seasons.
McCoy said he was told that he has not produced enough fourth-quarter sacks with everything on the line in order for the Bucs to win football games....
Gerald McCoy says in the Bucs defensive meeting room there is a quote from L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers: Average players want to be left alone, good players want to be coached, great players want to be told the truth.
McCoy explained that he learned the truth about himself from three unnamed ‘credible sources,’ at the Pro Bowl in January who told him separately that in effect he hasn’t done enough in his seven seasons to lead the Bucs....
The Bucs begin phase one of their voluntary off-season workout program today. For players, think of it as the official start of the 2017 season, one certainly to be filled with burgeoning expectations and exposure.
Some introductions will be made with the addition of receiver DeSean Jackson, defensive tackle Chris Baker, safety J.J. Wilcox and place-kicker Nick Folk.
General manager Jason Licht, quarterback Jameis Winston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be available to the media this morning at 11:30 a.m....