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Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

Greg Auman

Greg Auman has been at the Tampa Bay Times since 1999 and has covered the Bucs and the NFL since 2013. He covered the University of South Florida's athletic department from 2004-13.

Phone: (813) 226-3346

Email: auman@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Twitter: @GregAuman

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  1. Jameis Winston could set Bucs' career TD record in 2017

    Blog

    How often can a player reset an NFL franchise's career passing record before his 24th birthday? Jameis Winston has a shot to do that with the Bucs this fall.

    Winston is entering his third NFL season, but his promising start -- combined with the Bucs' middling quarterback history -- could get him the team's career passing touchdown mark when he's still only 23 years old.

    Winston has thrown for 50 touchdowns in his first two seasons, so to pass Josh Freeman's franchise mark of 80, he'd need to throw 31 this year, which of course would reset the Bucs' single-season record of 28, set by Winston this past year. But with the Bucs adding receiver DeSean Jackson and drafting tight end O.J. Howard and so on, it's certainly possible for the upcoming season....

    Bucs QB Jameis Winston, shown last season, could set Tampa Bay's career record for touchdown passes in just his third NFL season.
  2. Bucs like their offensive line, but PFF, not so much

    Blog

    As the Bucs prepare for training camp and the buildup to the 2017 season, no position presents more of a he-said-she-said dichotomy than offensive line.

    Tampa Bay has had consistent, confident praise for the returning personnel on the offensive line -- not only in their words, but in their actions, by not drafting an offensive lineman or making any signings in free agency. Head coach Dirk Koetter and offensive line coach George Warhop have been unwavering in their support, as has the front office....

    The Bucs have confidence in third-year left tackle Donovan Smith (76) as well as right guard J.R. Sweezy and center Ali Marpet, shown during mandatory minicamp this month.
  3. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Blog

    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at SI.com.

    "I'd see a quarterback and be like, 'Dude is garbage, and I'm over here in the kitchen cooking turkey necks!?'" Young told the site. "I hate to name-drop, but Fitzpatrick is still playing!? He leads the league in interceptions, and he's still (expletive) getting paid? I mean, what the (expletive) is going on?"...

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  4. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blog

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    The former Heisman Trophy winner and fan favorite, who helped the Gators to football national championships in 2006 and 2008 and is now trying his hand at minor-league baseball, has been promoted the Florida State League.

    Tebow, 29, will play next for the St. Lucie Mets, which means he'll spend a full week in the Tampa Bay area in August, with games at the Tampa Yankees on Aug. 10-13 and at the Clearwater Threshers on Aug. 14-17.

    Tebow's second chapter in sports was an attendance phenomenon for the Columbia Fireflies, boosting their home crowds and drawing sellouts all over the South Atlantic League. He batted just .222 in 63 games with three home runs and 23 RBIs. His first home game with St. Lucie could be Tuesday night.

    If nothing else, the Tampa area can help wish Tebow a happy 30th birthday -- he's due to play in Clearwater on that day, Aug. 14....

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  5. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas

    Blog

    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    It would take the Bucs becoming a playoff team and Winston radically lowering his turnovers for the third-year quarterback to be realistically an MVP candidate. Another way to get into the conversation -- beat the presumed favorites, as the Bucs will face Bovada's top two choices, Patriots QB Tom Brady (4:1) and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (7:1) head-to-head this season. Raiders QB Derek Carr, who just signed a $125-million, five-year extension, is third at 9:1, with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson next at 12:1....

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  6. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blog

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    The Bucs ranked 25th overall and held the same ranking in "fan equity" and "social equity," with measurements weighted against market size to lessen the significance of major markets like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago....

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.
  7. Sapp pledges brain for concussion research

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Since being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot four years ago, Warren Sapp has traveled each August to Canton, Ohio, to join the game's greats returning for induction ceremonies.

    But with each passing year, it seemed too many of his fellow NFL players were in failing health and slipping further into a fog as a result of head injuries sustained during their careers....

    Warren Sapp, right, estimates that he had at least three concussions during his 13-year NFL career, possibly many more.
  8. Bucs announce dates for training camp, preseason practices

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs announced the dates for the 2017 training camp and preseason practices, with the first on July 28 and a total of 13 sessions open to the general public.

    Tampa Bay's rookies will report on July 25 and veterans July 27. As was the case last year, the Bucs will practice early in the morning to avoid midday heat — nearly all the practices start at 8:45 a.m. and should be done around 10:30....

  9. Warren Sapp to donate his brain to concussion research

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Since being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot four years ago, Warren Sapp has traveled each August to Canton, Ohio, to join the game's greats returning for induction ceremonies. But with each passing year, it seemed too many of his fellow NFL players were in failing health and slipping further into a fog as a result of head injuries sustained during their careers."I said, 'I can't do this. I can't stay on the sideline and watch Tony Dorsett and Willie Brown and all the great ones deteriorate before my eyes,' " Sapp told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday....

    In a first-person story and 3-minute video at The Players' Tribune, Warren Sapp detailed some of his own problems with memory loss, saying he needs to set reminders on his phone for everyday activities because he can't remember things the way he used to. [The Players' Tribune]
  10. Bucs' first practice set for July 28, with 13 open to public

    Blog

    The Bucs have announced the dates for the 2017 training camp and preseason practices, with the first on July 28 and 13 sessions open to the general public.

    Tampa Bay's rookies will report on July 25 and veterans on July 27, and as was the case last year, the Bucs will practice early in the morning to avoid midday heat -- nearly all the practices start at 8:45 and should be done around 10:30 a.m....

    Head coach Dirk Koetter and the Bucs will open training camp on on July 28.
  11. Ten position battles ahead for Bucs training camp

    Blog

    The Bucs have four more days of OTA workouts this week, then a three-day mandatory minicamp next week, but after that, they're done until the start of training camp, which should be right around July 27. HBO's "Hard Knocks" will be here in town, chronicling the Bucs for five weeks of training camp and preseason, so there will be a national audience as the buildup to Tampa Bay's 2017 season unfolds in August....

    Bucs rookie Justin Evans will be in the mix for a starting safety job and could also get a look on special teams for kickoff returns, two of several position battles ahead for the Bucs in training camp.
  12. Jon Gruden says joining Bucs Ring of Honor is 'humbling''

    Bucs

    The Bucs announced Tuesday that late owner Malcolm Glazer and former coach Jon Gruden would be this year's inductees into the team's Ring of Honor, and Gruden, speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio, said the nod will be very special to him.

    "It's humbling for me to even consider being up there with some of the greats," said Gruden, who was coached the Bucs to their Super Bowl XXXVII victory in January 2003, beating his old team the Raiders in San Diego....

    Jon Gruden, right, has a relationship with the Bucs dating to when his father was on inaugural coach John McKay’s staff.
  13. Bucs' Ring of Honor induction 'humbling' for Jon Gruden

    Blog

    The Bucs announced this week that the late Malcolm Glazer and former head coach Jon Gruden would be this year's inductees into the team's Ring of Honor, and Gruden, speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio, said the nod will be very special to him.

    "It's humbling for me to even consider being up there with some of the greats," said Gruden, who was the head coach for the Bucs' Super Bowl championship in January 2003, beating his old team in the Raiders in San Diego....

  14. Bucs' Ryan Smith settling in with return to cornerback

    Blog

    Ryan Smith didn't play a snap on defense in a quiet rookie season last year, but after working him at safety most of last season, he's back in a more natural position as Tampa Bay's third cornerback during practices this offseason.

    "I'm still learning, but glad to be back at corner," said Smith, who has filled in as a starter already during OTAs when starters Vernon Hargreaves or Brent Grimes haven't been available. "It's been really fun and everything's falling into place. Corner feels like a natural fit for me."...

    Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith, shown making a return last season, hopes to continue playing in key roles on special teams while working to get on the field on defense in 2017.
  15. Jameis Winston helping Bucs' Ali Marpet with move to center

    Blog

    Ali Marpet has had two weeks of non-contact practices to begin his transition from guard to center, and the third-year Bucs lineman said the mental aspect of his new position is a challenge in itself, though he's getting help from quarterback Jameis Winston.

    "Jameis does a phenomenal job of helping me out, and from there, I usually get the rest of the offensive line on the same page," Marpet said after Thursday's OTA practice. "He's fixed things that I've messed up, so that's been extremely helpful."...

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and lineman Ali Marpet came into the league together in 2015, and Marpet said Winston is helping him adjust to the mental demands of playing center this offseason.