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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. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Dotson said he suffered the injury in practice Tuesday and came out after 11 snaps in Thursday's preseason win at Jacksonville. Dotson was relieved to have only a low-grade sprain and should be able to return healthy for the season opener in three weeks at Miami....

    Jameis Winston, back, encourages James Gauntt, 13, during post-practice drills with Special Olympics Florida athletes during their annual training camp visit. “You can see pure joy on (the athletes’) faces,” Winston says. “And I just love it.”
  2. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    A year after suffering through injury after injury, the Bucs enter this season excited about how much better their pass rush can be with improved depth and the fresh legs that come with being able to rotate in high-quality backups.

    "To have a rotation keeps you more fresh," end Will Gholston said. "You can rush better; you can stop the run better. If I go out, if Gerald (McCoy) goes out and somebody can back them up and know exactly what to do, it's perfect."...

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  3. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Jacksonville's Dante Fowler got to Winston and hit the ball as he was starting his throwing motion -- the ball came out at an angle that looked like a pass, and five Jaguars players were around the loose ball, but only Humphries went after it. With Winston running at him and urging him to go, Humphries took off to the end zone for what was initially signaled as a touchdown on the field. As it turns out, in the final two minutes of a half, a player cannot advance a teammate's fumble....

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  4. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Dotson said he actually suffered the injury in practice Tuesday and came out after 11 snaps in Thursday's preseason win at Jacksonville. Dotson was relieved to have only a low-grade sprain, and should be able to return healthy for the Bucs' season opener in three weeks at Miami....

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  5. Demar Dotson should be back next week from groin injury

    Blog

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Dotson said he actually suffered the injury in practice Tuesday and came out after 11 snaps in Thursday's preseason win at Jacksonville. Dotson was relieved to have only a low-grade sprain, and should be able to return healthy for the Bucs' season opener in three weeks at Miami....

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks.
  6. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Blog

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Jacksonville's Dante Fowler got to Winston and hit the ball as he was starting his throwing motion -- the ball came out at an angle that looked like a pass, and five Jaguars players were around the loose ball, but only Humphries went after it. With Winston running at him and urging him to go, Humphries took off to the end zone for what was initially signaled as a touchdown on the field. As it turns out, in the final two minutes of a half, a player cannot advance a teammate's fumble....

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  7. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    The retired Bucs great, who had 122 sacks in 12 NFL seasons, spent time after practice Saturday with DEs Noah Spence and Ryan Russell, leaving them with knowledge and confidence.

    "It was great," Spence said. "He taught me things in five minutes I never thought to put into my game. He made me think about stuff I have to work on. It was a blessing to have him out here."...

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
  8. Practice everything: Bucs took a safety to seal win

    Blog

    Preseason games offer NFL teams a chance to practice everything, and the Bucs even worked on rare endgame strategy, taking a safety in the final minute of Thursday's win at Jacksonville.

    Up 12-6 and punting from their 9-yard line with 39 seconds left, the Bucs lined up punter Bryan Anger in the end zone. But rather than punt -- where the Bucs risk a blocked kick for a touchdown, or a long return to set up a short field -- Dirk Koetter instructed Anger to stall, run off as much as clock as possible, then run out of the back of the end zone to concede a safety....

    Bucs punter Bryan Anger, shown in minicamp this summer, took a safety in the final minute of Thursday's preseason win in a rare chance to practice endgame strategy.
  9. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    How would the Bucs replace Dotson if he had an extended absence? Second-year pro Caleb Benenoch, potentially the top backup at both tackle spots, filled in Thursday night when Dotson was hurt after only 11 plays. Coach Dirk Koetter said his run blocking looked better than his pass protection -- he was flagged for one of four holding penalties against the Bucs offense....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  10. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    On Friday, he was happy to report that the Bucs, by rushing for 130 yards in Thursday's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars, had checked off one of their statistical goals for the team in any game: rushing for 125 yards or averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

    It's an interesting threshold -- teams often set specific goals to remind players of their importance, whether it be winning the turnover battle or hitting a certain percentage on third downs. Go back a year or two, and the 125-yard mark is one that illustrates how much the Bucs missed a consistent running game last season, especially compared to 2015, when Koetter was Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  11. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    The 1.6 rating is the lowest for any ESPN preseason game since a tape-delayed 2005 game between the Falcons and Colts, which drew a 1.5 rating.

    The site also reported that the Bucs-Jaguars' games 2.6 million viewers makes it the least-watched (non-NFL Network) preseason game in more than a decade -- the previous low was 2.8 million viewers for a 2008 game between the Jaguars and Redskins....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  12. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Blog

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    The 1.6 rating is the lowest for any ESPN preseason game since a tape-delayed 2005 game between the Falcons and Colts, which drew a 1.5 rating.

    The site also reported that the Bucs-Jaguars' games 2.6 million viewers makes it the least-watched (non-NFL Network) preseason game in more than a decade -- the previous low was 2.8 million viewers for a 2008 game between the Jaguars and Redskins....

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston talks with head coach Dirk Koetter during Thursday's 12-8 win over the Jaguars.
  13. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Blog

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    On Friday, he was happy to report that the Bucs, by rushing for 130 yards in Thursday's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars, had checked off one of their statistical goals for the team in any game: rushing for 125 yards or averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

    It's an interesting threshold -- teams often set specific goals to remind players of their importance, whether it be winning the turnover battle or hitting a certain percentage on third downs. Go back a year or two, and the 125-yard mark is one that illustrates how much the Bucs missed a consistent running game last season, especially compared to 2015, when Koetter was Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator....

    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, shown in minicamp in June, said his team sets a goal of either rushing for 125 yards -- as they did in Thursday's preseason win at Jacksonville -- or averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
  14. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Blog

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    How would the Bucs replace Dotson if he had an extended absence? Second-year pro Caleb Benenoch, potentially the top backup at both tackle spots, filled in Thursday night when Dotson was hurt after only 11 plays. Coach Dirk Koetter said his run blocking looked better than his pass protection -- he was flagged for one of four holding penalties against the Bucs offense....

    Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson suffered a groin injury in the first quarter of Thursday's preseason game at Jacksonville.
  15. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs in a different place than the Jaguars right now

    Bucs

    Greg Auman recaps Thursday night's preseason game, a 12-8 win for the Bucs in Jacksonville, from Jameis Winston's strong first half with one play he'd like back to the defense dominating in the first half to the Jaguars being in a very different place as a franchise than the Bucs are right now in our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast. Listen below:...

    Jameis Winston attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jaguars Thursday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.  [Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]