Posts From Mark Cook

Bucs Add Three DBs, Waive Everett And Wells

2 comments 📅July 29, 2015 4:13 pm

With training camp set to open in just three day, the front office and coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are steadily tweaking their roster and on Wednesday announced that they have signed cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, safety Kimario McFadden and cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz.

Adjei-Barimah (5-11, 200) is a college free agent, who played collegiately at Bowling Green (2010-14), starting 20-of-52 games, totaling 150 tackles, 21 passes defensed, 8.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. He will wear No. 38 for Tampa Bay.

Bucs GM Jason Licht knows how important this draft is for the future of the franchise – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PRMcFadden (5-11, 197) originally entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Atlanta Falcons last season, before spending time on the Falcons’, Buccaneers’ and Carolina Panthers’ respective practice squads. The South Carolina State product also spent part of this offseason with Carolina. McFadden will wear No. 2 for Tampa Bay.

Shabazz (6-2, 185) comes to Tampa Bay after spending part of this past offseason with the Indianapolis Colts, where he signed as a college free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. Shabazz played collegiately at West Chester, where he appeared in 47 games, tallying 151 tackles, 32 passes defensed, nine interceptions, five tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick. He will wear No. 41 for Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers also waived safety Deshazor Everett and safety Derrick Wells. Wells had been placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury List yesterday, prior to being waived.

–Part of this report is courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department


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Winston, Bucs Rookies Battle Tampa Fire Rescue Rookies

1 comment 📅July 28, 2015 3:52 pm

The Buccaneers rookies reported to One Buc Place on Monday, and by Tuesday they were taking on another group of rookies. But in this matchup there was no grass, and the ball used was round and thrown down a waxed lane.

Quarterback Jameis Winston, offensive linemen Ali Marpet and the rest of the Bucs rookie class met at Pin Chasers Midtown on North Armenia Ave. just a few miles from their headquarters to take on the latest rookie class of the Tampa Fire Rescue Department late Tuesday morning. According to Winston, the Bucs rookies were the victors in the first matchup that both Winston and TFR Captain Tom Forward said they hope becomes an annual event.
Following the friendly matchup, Winston, Marpet, Kenny Bell and Donovan Smith met with the media who were there to attend the event. Winston told about his excitement level including playing in front of the fans for the first time in a Buccaneers uniform on Saturday when training camp officially opens.

“It’s very exciting, (because) usually at Florida State, our practices were closed, but now they’re open,” Winston said. “It’s good to have fan support, cheering for you after you make a good throw or a big catch. I’m elated.”

Bell, who was sporting his trademark afro hairdo, also talked about his excitement, and said while there is pressure on the rookies, he thinks the Bucs have a good mix of young players and veterans that will help the organization in the long run.

Following the bowling and media interviews, Winston huddled his teammates together with the rookie firefighters and presented them with an autographed ball.

You can watch’s video of the presentation by clicking the link below.


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Bucs Bring Back Bowers

16 comments 📅July 27, 2015 4:05 pm

In the words of the great former Yankees captain Yogi Berra, “It’s deja vu all over again.”
NFL: SEP 22 Buccaneers at Patriots
On Monday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they have signed defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.

Bowers (6-4, 288) spent four largely unproductive seasons in Tampa after Bowers originally entered the NFL in 2011 as a second-round selection (51st overall) by the Buccaneers. In four seasons with Tampa Bay (2011-14), Bowers played in 50 games, with 10 starts, totaling 70 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, seven passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

The Bucs are thin at the defensive end position, and Bowers does give them someone who is at least familiar with the system and does provide versatility to play both end and tackle.

In Bowers defense, the former Clemson All-American did have a number in injuries that prohibited his development, including a torn Achilles that happened during an offseason workout in 2012. But Bowers also contributed to his lack of development and success with poor offseason conditioning, admitting prior to the 2013 season that he wasn’t in prime shape during training camp.

It is reportedly a one-year deal with no guaranteed money, meaning unless Bowers makes the 53-man roster, the Bucs will not pay him any salary.

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Cook Talks Bucs Training Camp With ESPN 980 AM in Washington D.C. (AUDIO)

1 comment 📅July 27, 2015 3:01 pm
Bucs DE TJ Fatinikun - Photo by Getty Images

Bucs DE TJ Fatinikun – Photo by Getty Images’s Mark Cook joined in Washington D.C on Monday to preview the upcoming training camp for Tampa Bay. Cook talked about the rookie class, Gerald McCoy and a number of other topics during his interview.

ESPN 980 in D.C. can be heard on 980AM, 92.7FM & 94.3FM. Radio home of the Redskins.

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Optimism Abounds For Bucs – And Other 31 NFL Teams – As Football Season In Here

5 comments 📅July 27, 2015 8:48 am

At times it seemed this week would never arrive.

When the Bucs walked off the field last December against the Saints with their 14th loss off the season, the organization was at a crossroad. Fans were frustrated, the coaching staff and players were embarrassed and no one at that point had any idea what to expect during the offseason.

NFL: DEC 28 Saints at BuccaneersTampa Bay had wrapped up the No. 1 pick with the loss to New Orleans, but seven months ago no one had any idea where the Bucs would go with that pick. Would it be defensive linemen Leonard Williams? Would Tampa Bay trade the pick to aquire multiple picks to try and rebuild the franchise? Or would general manager Jason Licht and Lovie Smith take one of the two best quarterback options, either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota?

The draft debate raged on over the next four months. Bucs fans had heated arguments. National writers and pundits weighed in on what the Bucs should do. The Bucs tried to throw curveballs. In the end, as we all know now, it was Winston. And from what Licht and Smith have said this offseason, it wasn’t ever really much of a debate.

For many Bucs fans the opening of training camp is much like a kid trying to sleep the night before Christmas. Even most in the media are eager for the Bucs to get on the field. Training camp doesn’t officially kick off until Saturday afternoon when the Bucs take the field behind One Buc Place for the first time, but don’t tell that to eager Bucs fans.For most, the season starts today when the rookies begin filtering into the team’s facility.

While the drafting of Winston has ignited the fan base, the former Noles QB needs to do his part to live up to the hype. Doug Martin, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy, and Lavonte David have to do their part as well. Lovie Smith and his staff must be better. The front office still needs to be on the offensive, scouring the waiver wire over the next few weeks to find players that might help this football team.Bucs fans made their feelings felt on Sunday– Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

But for now, like the other 31 teams in the NFL, optimism runs high. Every team is 0-0 and tied for first place and home field advantage through the playoffs.

The day has finally arrived. Rookies report later on Monday, and the veterans are due in town on Friday morning. The 2015 season is upon us. For many, included, the last seven months have felt like seven years.

The world’s longest offseason is finally over and briefly all is right in the the football world.

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Former Bucs QB Freeman Released By Dolphins

12 comments 📅July 24, 2015 10:23 pm

The free fall of the once promising career of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman NFL took another hit on Friday when the Miami Dolphins released the former Kansas State standout.
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay made Freeman the No. 17 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and in just his second year in the league, Freeman led the Bucs to a 10-6 record as the team narrowly missed the playoffs that year, losing the playoff tiebreaker to the Packers. Green Bay went on to win the Super Bowl that season.

Freeman had a mediocre 2011 but in 2012, the first year of Greg Schiano’s tenure, Tampa Bay was 6-4 after 10 games and was once again in the playoff hunt. But the team, and Freeman, struggled down the stretch, and finished the season 7-9.

Fans and the organization had high hopes coming into the the 2013 season. But from the opening day loss to the New York Jets it was clear Freeman was not the quarterback of 2012 and he was benched after an 0-3 start. Freeman was released by the Buccaneers after the bizarre start to the season that including him missing the team photo and reports of other issues, including a revelation that Freeman was in the NFL’s drug testing program. Freeman’s camp insinuated that they felt the release of the private information came from the team. The Buccaneers denied the claim and even though it was investigated by the NFLPA, no resolution was ever announced.

After being cut by the Bucs, Freeman signed with the Minnesota Vikings where he started a Monday Night Football game and completed less that 50 percent of his passes. Freeman was released by the Vikings soon after and was signed by the Giants in the offseason last year before being released after a few weeks with the team. The Dolphins took a shot with Freeman this past offseason, but according to the Miami Herald, “ He was uneven in minicamp and the organized team activities open to the media, and never really put any pressure on Dolphins backup Matt Moore.”

Freeman is just 27 but his NFL days may be behind him although there remains a possibility that a quarterback desperate team could still take yet another flyer on the Bucs single season passing leader. 

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Winston Lawsuit Could Still Be Almost Two Years Down The Road

5 comments 📅July 23, 2015 11:23 am

The Buccaneers knew the legal challenge quarterback Jameis Winston was facing when they made him the overall No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. And now it appears the issue – and potential distraction – could linger until 2017.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Matt Baker, who has been on the forefront of the Winston-Erica Kinsman saga since it began almost two years ago, wrote on Thursday,Attorneys for Winston and the woman who sued him on a complaint of sexual battery have agreed to a tentative trial date of April 3, 2017, according to court records.”

Jameis Winston and Jason Licht - Photo by: Bucs

Jameis Winston and Jason Licht – Photo by: Bucs

While it may become a distraction in 2017, the fact that a trial could be almost two years away, can work in Winston’s and the Buccaneers’ favor. Winston has been able to deal with the situation since late in 2013 without any outward issues, as evidenced by his ability to continue to play at at high level in college, leading FSU to an undefeated regular season, and a spot in the first BCS playoffs last January. To be able to play two full seasons without a trial looming in the near future could help Winston adjust to life in the NFL quicker than had the trial been sooner. And having a tentative start date being in the spring as opposed to during the football season is also ideal for Winston and the Buccaneers.

Although the former Seminoles star has the ability to “compartmentalize” and focus on the task at hand, something Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher repeatedly said while Winston was at FSU, it is still hard to imagine it isn’t still in the back of his mind.

And Baker also noted, “Although both sides agree that a settlement is unlikely, they may informally discuss a settlement as the case progresses, according to the document.”

So there is still a chance the trial itself never happens, although could a settlement be considered somewhat of an admission of partial fault by Winston, and would Winston then be subject to discipline from the league?

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Bucs Reveal New “Join The Siege” Marketing Slogan?

9 comments 📅July 22, 2015 2:48 pm

While it hasn’t been officially revealed as such, it appears the Bucs have replaces the “It’s A Bucs Life” marketing slogan with a a new one.

In Sunday’s Tampa Tribune, a full page ad with “Join The Siege” was printed, and there is a website with a clock, counting down until the Bucs home opener in September, and “Will You Be There?” underneath the timer. Also according to a published report, there is at least one Tampa billboard also displaying the countdown clock.
The word siege has a couple of meanings, as pointed out on the message boards by JasonOfthetower. Unfortunately, the bottom one, “a prolonged period of misfortune” is most certainly not the one the Bucs are hoping applies to the next few years.

The Buccaneers have yet to respond back to an inquiry from Perhaps they have been “besieged” with phone calls about the new slogan.

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Kaufman Optimistic Former Bucs Head Coach Dungy Makes The Hall Of Fame

4 comments 📅July 20, 2015 9:37 am

Three Buccaneers have joined the honored ranks of NFL Hall of Famers, with Lee Roy Selmon being the first inducted in 1995, followed by Warren Sapp in 2013 and and linebacker Derrick Brooks last year. But how long will it be before another former Buccaneer gets the call to come to Canton?

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune is the Tampa media representative that makes the cases for former Bucs, and at a recent lunch of Holy Hog smoked brisket, ribs, corn fritters and green been casserole, Scott Reynolds and myself picked Kaufman’s brain on who might be the next member of the hallowed halls of Canton.
Former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy is a HOF finalist in 2015 - Photo by: Getty Images
“I am fairly optimistic about (Tony) Dungy going into San Francisco (site of this year’s Super Bowl and where the Hall of Fame member are announced),” Kaufman said. “He made the cut from 15 to 10 last year, and the year before, he did not. Now he has to make that one more cut (to make), from 10 to five.”

Dungy, who has a 139-69 record as a head coach, was hired by the Glazers prior to the 1996 season and helped turn around a franchise that had went 16 years without a playoff appearance. Under Dungy’s guidance, the Bucs became one of the top teams in the NFL and Tampa Bay went to the playoffs, beginning in 1997, four out of the next five seasons.

After being fired by the Bucs in 2001, Dungy was hired by the Indianapolis Colts where his playoff ways continued. Dungy produced five more straight playoff appearances, setting an NFL record for most consecutive playoff appearances by one coach. Dungy also became the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl when his Colts faced then Bears, and now current Bucs coach Lovie Smith in Super Bowl XLI.

Despite the records and longevity, Kaufman said there is still one thing that sits uneasy with a few of the voters.

“The one knock on Dungy is the one Super Bowl (appearance and win),” Kaufman said. “And there are guys with two Super Bowl wins who aren’t in. There are several guys with two Super Bowl wins that can’t get any traction. That came up with the Dungy presentation because they said, ‘Why are we talking about a guy with one Super Bowl when there is Tom Flores and Jimmy Johnson.’ “

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Bucs Verner Praises Winston; Thinks Defense Will Be Improved In 2015 (Video)

0 comments 📅July 16, 2015 8:36 pm

Bucs CB Alterraun Verner joined this week to discuss the upcoming season including his impressions on rookie QB Jameis Winston.
NFL: NOV 30 Bengals at Buccaneers
Verner spoke highly of Winston based on what he has seen from the rookie out of Florida State so far.

“I have been very impressed by him, just from his demeanor, work ethic, his drive – you just feel he loves football,” Verner said. “I mean he came in very relaxed and I think that as a rookie during the OTA season, things weren’t too big for him. You never sensed stress or tightness. He was out there just doing what he was able to do and what he loves to do and that is to play football.”

Verner added more on Winston and also talked about the Bucs defense being improved in 2015, his thoughts on some of the money NFL receivers have gotten lately, and even shared his thoughts on UCLA, his alma mater.

To watch and listen to Verner’s interview, click here.

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