The Buccaneers and the Vikings released their first injury report of the week on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnthan Banks – Neck – Full Participation
Jonathan Casillas – Hamstring – Limited Participant
Anthony Collins – Knee – Limited Participation
Dashon Goldson – Ankle – Limited Participation
Vincent Jackson – Rib – Limited Participation
Josh McCown – Right Thumb – Limited Participation
Keith Tandy – Hamstring – Limited Participation
Kyle Rudolph – Abdomen/Groin – Did Not Participate
Gerald Hodges – Hamstring – Did Not Participate
John Sullivan – Concussion – Did Not Participate
Corey Wootton – Low Back – Limited Participation
Sharrif Floyd – Ankle – Limited Participation
Vladimir DuCasse – Knee – Limited Participation
Jabari Price – Hamstring – Limited Participation
Antone Exum Jr. – Ankle – Limited Participation
Harrison Smith – Ankle – Full Participation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Tuesday that they have signed wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner Trindon Holliday and promoted defensive end T.J. Fatinikun from the practice squad to the active roster.
Holliday (5-5, 166) originally entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick (197th overall) of the Houston Texans in the 2010 NFL Draft. After spending his rookie season on Injured Reserve, Holliday spent the 2011 season and part of the 2012 season with Houston before being waived and signing with Denver, where he played the remainder of the 2012 and the 2013 seasons. This past offseason, the former LSU Tiger signed with the New York Giants, which placed him on Injured Reserve on August 30, prior to releasing him on October 6.
Holliday has played in 31 regular season games, totaling 80 punt returns for 752 yards, with two touchdowns, and 49 kick returns for 1,327 yards and two touchdowns. He has also appeared in four postseason contests, tallying three punt returns for 90 yards and a touchdown, as well as 12 kick returns for 344 yards and one touchdown.
Holliday is one of only 15 players in NFL history with at least three punt return touchdowns and three kick return touchdowns (regular season and postseason). Against Baltimore in the 2012 AFC Divisional Playoff Game (1/12/13), Holliday recorded the longest punt return in NFL postseason history (90 yards) and the second-longest kick return (104 yards), both for touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history to score multiple return touchdowns in a single postseason game.
Fatinikun (pronounced fah-tin-ih-kun) spent the 2014 preseason with the Buccaneers before being waived on August 29. He was signed to the practice squad on September 24.
The team also announced that they have waived wide receiver Solomon Patton and defensive end Scott Solomon.
In addition, the team has signed linebacker Mister Alexander and wide receiver Marcus Thigpen to the practice squad, while releasing linebacker Shayne Skov from the practice squad.
Alexander (6-3, 252) originally entered the league with the Houston Texans in 2011 as a college free agent out of Florida State. Alexander played for Houston for two seasons (2011-12), appearing in 14 games while also spending time on the practice squad, tallying three tackles and nine special teams tackles. In 2013, Alexander played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. This year he has played for the Omaha Mammoths of the Fall Experimental Football League.
Thigpen (5-9, 200) originally entered the league as a college free agent out of Indiana in 2009, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. Thigpen was waived by Philadelphia during the preseason and signed with the Denver Broncos before being waived prior to the start of the regular season. Thigpen then spent three years in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2009) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2010-11).
The Miami Dolphins signed Thigpen in 2012 and he spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons with Miami, playing in 32 career games, tallying nine catches for 112 yards and one touchdown, with seven rushes for 26 yards. He was with Miami through this past offseason and preseason before being released and signing to the New England Patriots practice squad, where he spent the first two weeks of the season before being released and signing to Miami’s practice squad. He was released from the Dolphins’ practice squad on October 14.
Scott Reynolds from Pewter Report joined The Booger and Ryan Show to discuss the rumors that teams are inquiring about trading for Bucs WR Vincent Jackson.
Reynolds said it comes down to the asking price for Jackson. If a team is offering up a 2nd round pick then they have to listen.
The issue with trading Jackson is you limit Mike Glennon and his options. This means you can’t get an honest evaluation of him.
To hear the full interview, click here.
SI.com’s Peter King in this week’s MMQB wrote about the Buccaneers struggles on defense but also pointed out the poor offensive production. King noted that in the Baltimore game last week, Tampa Bay ran 12 offensive plays to start the game and failed to pick up a single yard, in the meantime the Ravens put 28 points on the board.
King pointed to free agent Anthony Collins and a “declining” Logan Mankins as part of the issues on offense.
To read the full blog by King, click here.
Former Bucs great and current linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson told some of the media last week that it took he and the rest of the 1996 Bucs defense until Week 9 of that season to really feel comfortable in the Tampa 2 defensive scheme installed by then head coach Tony Dungy.
On Monday defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was told of Nickerson’s comments, and seemed somewhat surprised.
“For them, Week 9?” McCoy said. “Dang. I guess it’s okay that we don’t have it by week six. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but I guess when fans want to see a winner, they’re patience gets shorter. And I can understand that. You know having a game going into the bye week like the one we finished with, I can see how fans can get impatient and be upset. It’s very understandable.
“However, the same mentality that the fans keep claiming we need to have like those guys (90s defense) had, if you look at the history, they went through the same thing we’re going through. Like I said, this Tampa 2 does work. Dallas was last in the league last year and they’ve turned things around. It just takes time. We’re going to keep working.”
But McCoy also added that the issues the Bucs are having defensively somewhat has to do with an attitude.
“I can’t say that it’s assignment (related). There are a lot of times when we’re out of place, but guys know what they have to do. They’re just not doing it. That’s a mentality thing. It’s about being better than the guy you’re facing or more physical the guy you’re facing or playing harder than the guy you’re facing. You want to be smarter than that guy. It’s just simple things. It’s not like we’re going to out scheme them or try to trick them. If I have a reach block with a guard, I have to beat him, make the ball carrier cut back and let everything else fall into place.”
Fullback Jorvorskie Lane of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been suspended without pay for the team’s next two games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
Lane’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Monday, November 3 following the team’s November 2 game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Buccaneers on Tuesday announced they had signed fullback Lonnie Pryor who was with the team since last season but was cut by Tampa Bay during the team’s final roster moves in August. Pryor had been with the Bills since being released by Tampa Bay, but was cut from Buffalo’s practice squad last weekend.
Lane has been the starting fullback for the Bucs this year, with two rushing attempts for 56 yards, including a 54-yard burst against the Panthers in Week 1.
To fill the vacant roster spot, the Bucs signed former Bears cornerback Isaiah Frey, who will wear No. 32. Frey was a sixth-round draft pick by Bucs head coach Lovie Smith in Chicago in 2012. After being on the Bears’ practice squad during the 2012 season, the 6-foot, 190-pound Frey played in all 16 games last year with six starts at nickel cornerback.
This season he played in three games with one start, and has 58 tackles, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in the 19 NFL games he’s played in.
Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo spoke to the media on Tuesday and discussed the Bucs struggles and plans going forward. Below is a transcript from his press conference.
(On Glennon’s overall play)
“There were some spots where he did some good things again. We just got done looking at some of the tape. We’ve looked at it the last two days and obviously he’s looked at it on his own. And there were some spots where he thought he could’ve been a little bit better here or (thrown) a better ball here and some things there. There are some things I can do better to help him out. There’s a couple of those. But for the most part, he did some really good things under first off, a great defense and under duress some of the times.”
(On what has to be addressed this week to improve offense)
“I think you just go through what you’ve done with a fine tooth comb and find out where you can be more successful as you approach keys to victory. You have to be calculating that because it can get expansive. You can spend your whole time just combing over, getting really finite when in fact you need to make sure the bullet points in our opinion are in order. Parts being for example, ‘what are we doing well offensively as far as scheme?’ ‘Where are we going to be?’ ‘What’s protection look like?’ ‘Where are some things that are sticking out?’ ‘How to we get off to a better start and make the start of our game look more like the second half of our games?’ Right now it’s manic. Lets really get into it and find out what it is. Is it mental? What do we ask our guys? What is it about the second half that mentally, physically, or schematically (were better)? Because we’re not changing the game plan. The game plan doesn’t change in the second half. Whatever it is, we need to find it out to give us a little more spark. It’s been manic. We have to stay on the field. We can’t drop third downs. We can’t have execution errors and some of the things that are setting us back. Another bullet point is turnovers. These keys to victory are sticking out all of the time. What are we doing with the ball? How are we doing in critical situations? How’s our mental game? And when you get through those first three bullet points, you get some things to find out. Penalties: you look back on some of those games and thing, ‘Did we do a better job with penalties?’ Did we execute and give ourselves a chance?’ And keep ourselves in manageable situation. Third downs for us, in manageable situations have been good. Our percentages (in manageable third downs) are good. When you get in the long situations, it’s tough. How did we get there? Obviously we’re very disappointed in last week in not being able to keep fighting, start fast, get through and score more points. But that was a game that kind of got us out of our game plan, having to find chucks early. You have to go. You have to address protection because you can’t just drop back (44 times). We’d rather not drop back 44 times in a game to have to keep pressing it (the ball) down the field. (If that happens) you end up in a protection world where you’re going to put things on an island at times, guys will be tired and you have to be careful. For the most part we were. There were mixed in seven man protections. There were mixed in six man protections. There were some times you were trying to help that out a little bit by mixing in the quick game, knowing the ball still had to go down the field to move it. That’s really in a nutshell, as I talk quickly before practice, I apologize, but those are the things in the last 48 hours we’ve been trying to comb through.”
(On why the Ravens were able to bring pressure all game)
“Well one, I think they’re good. Lets not get past the fact that they have a good defense. Elvis Dumerville (Terrell) Suggs (are good), and (Haloti) Ngata is very good player up front. Our offensive line did a good job up until last week. They got a lot of pressure. They just got some guys on us to get some push. I think a lot of it was good players and we have to do a good job of trying to protect our guys and mixing in more seven man protections and maybe that helps. Other than that, you can’t throw a quick game in here and there. They’re (Ravens) a good screen team because they’re good at retracting. They have stand up ends and the line of scrimmage. Schematically, and I won’t get into too much detail, but certain teams are better to throw screens against than others. You have to find ways to put the ball in space a little bit. We’ll look into all of those things. Could we have been better in the screen game? Can you throw more quick’s? And yeah, you probably could throw more quick’s just to chuck it and get a few more (plays). Hinesight is 20/20 when you’re trying to throw that fast. I’m thinking 30 points in a quarter. You’re trying, that’s what you have to do. You have to think that way. It’s tough. You have to manage that.”
(On what happened to all the bubble screens, the plays designed to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers)
“We’ve got to ramp that back up a little bit, get a little more space plays to some of those guys. Our screen game two weeks ago was good. Again, it’s finding where those spots are, and who it’s against and how you get them lined up. That’s one of the emphasis’s – finding a little more space there and that would help. It definitely would.”
(On low-percentage of balls Jackson is catching)
“Well, last week we were pretty excited with the way he played. I think he did a pretty good job last week and we built off the week-before plan. Whenever you’re targeted and you don’t get the catches you’d like, if your using just last week in general, we’ve slowly tried to find ways to get him the ball and it started, last week we had a chance to target him a little bit more but didn’t get a chance to get him the ball that much. Or it didn’t get into his hands. It’s not a lack of knowing that the ball has to go him. It’s either a coverage or a ball needs to be a little better or find another way to do it. It’s a little bit of all that.”
(On how are the rookies are doing, ASJ and Herron)
“Good. Excited about their development, excited about them continuing to get better and staying healthy. They are promising, promising guys and we’re excited to get them again today, for the chance to give them a little more stuff.”
(On why they aren’t starting faster)
“As we go through that these next couple of days that’s going to come up a little bit more. I don’t know of anyone has a real definitive answer. In the beginning we just had some dropped balls. We’ve had some missed execution. We’ve got to figure out what it is, whether we need to change up what we go after, what we put out there the first few plays. I don’t know if there’s any true exact science to that yet. I don’t know the exact answer yet. We need to find a way to, maybe we change the way we practice offensive the first little bit of practice. That’s what we’re going to do this week.”
(On if he’s had any contact with Tedford)
“Yeah, just checking in, how he’s doing. I saw Donna the other day and talked with her a little bit and just exchanged texts and see how he’s doing to check in. We don’t talk about football. Just check in to see how he’s doing. That’s all I’m interested in.”
(On what they have done well offensively)
“Well, I think our red zone is good. For the most part as we look through it. We have to find a way to build off of that success. The third downs, six and under, have been good, converting those distances. We’ve had some good chunk plays in the way we’ve designed it in the last few weeks. And again, that goes back to finding ways to get the guys the ball and building off of some of the stuff that Mike can do well. Those are just a few components.”
(On Gilkey and Omameh battling at RG)
“Just continue to find ways to press those guys and get them more reps. That group is going to be competitive and we expect that and they expect it and so getting them more reps is important.”
For any fans still looking for the small chance offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford will return to the Bucs any time soon, Lovie Smith quickly shot that possibility down in his Monday press conference.
“We talked about and I told you the plan with Jeff – we’re moving on like he won’t be with us anymore and that will be the case,” Smith said. “Our offensive team has done [well]. The offensive production wasn’t good yesterday, but before that, in the previous two games, it’s been pretty good. We’re looking at all areas, but that probably won’t be one of them.”
Tedford suffered a health ailment during Week 3 of the preseason that required stents in his heart, and was scheduled to return to the team as the season began. But for undisclosed reasons Tedford was unable to rejoin the Buccaneers and has since been put on an extended leave from the team. Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo has assumed play calling duties in the interim.
The last person who envisioned the Buccaneers to be 1-5 after six games is Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith. On Monday, during his day-after-game press conference, Smith told the media the fans aren’t the only ones disappointed with how the season has started.
“Well a couple of things. I would say first off, I’m disappointed too,” Smith said. “That’s what I would say to them. I agree with the numbers that you threw out (56-0 & 38-0). That is disheartening. But like I would say also, when you’re in a game, you don’t crown anyone the winner of that game during the game. We’re disappointed right now is what I would say. We’re disappointed right now also. But lets let it all play out. And yeah, I’ve said that before, but the game isn’t over yet. That would be my statement. Give us time, we’ll continue to get guys back and there’s a lot of football left to go.
“If we were 6-0 right now, would you start buying your Super Bowl ticket? You have to just hold on a little bit is what I would say. And I don’t listen to talk radio, but I don’t have to alright. I know what’s out there and we’re all disappointed right now. But I’m going to keep going; I’m going to finish. We’re all disappointed what? Right now. That will change though.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday that they have signed fullback Lonnie Pryor and defensive end George Uko to the practice squad.
Pryor (6-0, 224) comes to Tampa Bay after spending the first five weeks of the season on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. Pryor was signed to Tampa Bay’s active roster in 2013 and was inactive for six games on the season. He also spent the 2014 offseason and preseason with the team, before being waived on August 29.
Uko (6-3, 284) originally entered the league this season as a college free agent with the New Orleans Saints. Uko, who played collegiately at USC, spent the 2014 offseason and preseason with New Orleans, before being waived on August 26.
The team also announced they have released wide receiver Kevin Cone and running back Jeff Demps from the practice squad.