Posts From Scott Reynolds

Banks Distraught Over Costly Dropped INT

7 comments 📅October 26, 2014 5:43 pm

Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks had the chance to be a hero with Tampa Bay leading Minnesota 13-10 with 46 seconds left in regulation. Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater underthrew Cordarrelle Patterson and Banks jumped in front of the pass, nearly picking it off.

Had Banks come down with that interception it would have sealed Tampa Bay’s second win of the season and capped off a Bucs rally that saw the team respond with 13 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 10-0 through three quarters. After the game he was distraught over his missed opportunity.

“It’s one of those plays – it’s what Coach [Gil] Byrd and Lovie [Smith] talk about all the time,” Banks said. “It’s making a play when it’s your turn. I made a great jump on the ball. It’s just unfortunate that I missed it. It’s one of those plays I wish I could get back. It’s tough.”

Instead, Bridgewater would complete three more passes for 32 yards to get the Vikings in position to kick a game-tying field goal and win the game in overtime, 19-13.

“It’s just a huge play,” Smith said. “In a game like that when it’s tight, every play, every conversion on third down – of course when you get a chance like that to take the ball away and end the game, really, you have to make that play. It’s about making plays when you are in position. Of course we did a lot of things before that, but late in the game we needed someone to step up.”

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who signed a seven-year, $98-million contract extension on Saturday, lamented over Banks’ dropped interception.

“Yeah, we have to get that,” McCoy said. “We got Teddy off the spot. We had him on the move and we were pressuring him and making him throw the ball up. They just made more plays than we did.

“I did, I thought for sure we were going to put that away. You have to. We have to. We have to get on the tape to see why it didn’t happen, but I’ll take that situation again. I’ll take it every game if that’s what it has to be. I love those situations. We just have to capitalize on it.”

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Bucs Part Ways With Harris After DUI Arrest

6 comments 📅October 16, 2014 5:09 pm

Although the Buccaneers are in their bye week, the team is still suffering losses and some embarrassment.

On Thursday morning, Isaiah Harris, the team’s director of player development, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of DUI and is accused of rear-ending a vehicle in a Taco Bell drive-thru.

As a result of his arrest, Harris, 35, was fired by the Buccaneers.

“Every member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is held to a high standard,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. “This type of incident, particularly for someone whose primary responsibilities are to mentor and develop our players off the field, cannot be tolerated. Due to the nature of his position and the expectations placed on our staff, we made the organizational decision to part ways with Isaiah.”

Harris declined to have a blood sample taken by police to test for the level of alcohol consumption after being investigated by the Tampa police at 2:06 a.m. After being booked at 4:35 a.m., Harris was released at 11:06 a.m. on a $500 bond.

According to the police report there was “a distinct odor of an alchoholic beverage” from Harris, whose “speech was slurred.” A field sobriety test “displayed several clues of impairment,” as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

According to Buccaneers.com, Harris’ role with the team as director of player development “focuses on the personal and professional growth of football players through guidance and support.” Harris occupied the same position under Lovie Smith in Chicago with the Bears from 2008-13.

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Bucs Release RB Demps From Practice Squad

4 comments 📅October 13, 2014 1:18 pm

Following the team’s 48-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, which dropped Tampa Bay to 1-5 on the season, the Buccaneers have released running back Jeff Demps from the practice squad. Following the loss, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith hinted that talent was an issue at some positions and that a roster shake-up could be coming.

“It’s happened too many times, so we do have to make improvements and look at our roster, and any other,” Smith said. “We have a week. The good part about it is we have a bye week coming up. We have a little bit of time to see what direction we need to go. But, of course, we need to change course.”

Demps could be the first of several players released this week as Tampa Bay heads into the bye week looking for the right personnel to get its second win of the 2014 season. The Bucs host the Minnesota Vikings following the bye week.

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LB David Now Calling Plays On Defense For Bucs

1 comment 📅October 9, 2014 1:39 pm

The Buccaneers are officially unhappy with their middle linebacker play. So much so that middle linebacker Dane Fletcher has been stripped of play-calling duties.

Subbing for the injured Mason Foster, Fletcher has not played well in pass coverage or in run fits in his starts at Atlanta, Pittsburgh and New Orleans. The Bucs defense has surrendered 103 points combined over the last three weeks, an average of 34.3 points per game.

Last week at New Orleans, Fletcher had several missed tackles and only five stops, while weakside linebacker Lavonte David posted a game-high 14 and strongside linebacker Danny Lansanah had a career-high 10 tackles against the Saints. Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy revealed that David is now calling plays as he did a year ago, and he feels David’s experience at that will help aid the defensive line in getting set and lined up faster.

“Drew Brees will come up to the ball and just snap it,” McCoy said. On our first third down nobody was even set. We were all standing up. [Joe] Flacco will do the same thing. We have to be aligned. When you have your feet set it’s easier to play fast. When you’re scrambling, it’s hard to get to your spot and play fast. We definitely have to line up. We can’t just line up [without getting a call]. Me personally, I know I do this sometimes because I watch so much film, I just know where to line. I know where to line myself up. But sometimes the linebackers have rules where it’s not normal where I would line up, so I have to wait.

“Sometimes I line myself up and you’ll see me scrambling to the other side because I didn’t know that extra rule they put in. You just have to kind of wait on the call; they’re working on it and making the transition with Lavonte making the calls. He hasn’t done this (make defensive calls) since last season. He’s getting back into it. So far, I’ve walked through today’s and yesterday’s practice and he’s doing a good job.”

When asked if David is only calling plays this week while Foster remains limited in practice, or if the move is permanent, McCoy said he didn’t know.

“I’m not sure,” McCoy said. “I really can’t answer that, but right now it is what it is. They say ‘Gerald, line up to the right and mess something up’, that’s what I’m going to do. Whoever tells me to do it, it doesn’t matter. If they say do it I’m going to do it.”

On Wednesday David said he can handle it again if called upon.

“I have no idea,” David said. “We (hopefully)  have Mason Foster back so I hope not, but if it comes down to it, that’s not a problem.”

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Banks Wonders How Bad Bucs Could Have Beaten Saints Without 15 Penalties

3 comments 📅October 7, 2014 12:05 pm

On Monday, Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith lamented over the team’s season-high 15 penalties for 113 yards in Tampa Bay’s 37-31 overtime loss in New Orleans.

“Penalties, which is something that hasn’t been a big part of who we are, it’s become a trend – and we need to stop it,” Smith said. “I think we had 10 in the second half. Critical penalties that kept drives going for them and stopped drives for us. These are some things that we have to clean up.”

On Tuesday, it was the players’ turn to address the team’s penalty situation, which cornerback Johnthan Banks blamed squarely on the Buccaneers themselves.

“It’s not the refs, it’s us,” Banks said. “We just have to be more disciplined and more focused on the job at hand.

“I know what this team can be with a clean game. Fifteen penalties? That’s crazy. If we don’t have those 15 penalties, who knows how bad we could have beat those guys? We were up by 11 points in the fourth quarter and we had 15 penalties.”

Banks, who had his first interception of the season, had a costly, illegal hands to the face penalty in overtime on third down that extended the Saints’ drive that New Orleans ultimately scored and won the game on.

“I did it. It was a penalty,” Banks said. “We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot every time.”

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Smith Discouraged Over Penalties, Encouraged By Improved Play

2 comments 📅October 6, 2014 8:44 pm

Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith was dismayed by the team’s 15 penalties at New Orleans as Tampa Bay racked up 113 penalty yards in a 37-31 overtime loss to the Saints.

“Penalties, which is something that hasn’t been a big part of who we are, it’s become a trend – and we need to stop it,” Smith said. “I think we had 10 in the second half. Critical penalties that kept drives going for them and stopped drives for us. These are some things that we have to clean up.”

The Bucs had several costly penalties in the second half as they built an 11-point lead, and in overtime after the Saints tied the game at 31-31 at the end of regulation. Right tackle Demar Dotson had a holding penalty prior to a delay of game penalty and a fumbled snap that backed up the Bucs to their own goal line and set up a sack for a safety by New Orleans linebacker Junior Gallette that pulled the Saints to within a field goal of tying Tampa Bay.

With the scored tied 31-31, the Bucs had a chance to win the game on their final possession, but a holding penalty by left guard Logan Mankins negated a big gain and ultimately forced a Tampa Bay punt. In overtime, the Bucs defense could have gotten off the field on third down, but an illegal hands to the face infraction on cornerback Johnthan Banks proved to be costly and gave New Orleans a first down.

Despite the Bucs’ tendency to beat themselves, Smith saw improvement in Sunday’s loss, specifically on offense and from a turnover standpoint on defense where Tampa Bay recorded three interceptions, including a pick-six by linebacker Danny Lansanah.

“Danny Lanasanah, how many linebackers have two touchdowns?” Smith said.

“It seems like each week we’re putting a better product out there on the football field. We’re disappointed [we lost after] an 11-point lead, but you have to be a pretty good team to get an 11-point lead on the road like that, which we are. We will tighten up these things that I’ve talked about, to a man, and we’ll start winning football games consistently.”

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Bucs WR Evans Expected To Miss 2-3 Weeks With Groin Injury

8 comments 📅September 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith will address the severity of injuries to free safety Dashon Goldson (ankle) and rookie wide receiver Mike Evans (groin) later this afternoon, but NFL.com’s Ian Rappaoport is reporting that Evans’ groin strain will keep him out 2-3 weeks.

Evans was having his best game as a pro in Sunday’s 27-24 win at Pittsburgh, catching four passes for 65 yards, including a career-long 40-yard catch, when he suffered a groin strain while tracking a deep pass from Mike Glennon that was picked off by Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen after Evans went down during his route. Evans also recorded his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard scoring reception to help the Bucs build a 7-0 lead against Pittsburgh in the first quarter.

Veteran Louis Murphy stepped in for the injured Evans in the second half and recorded six catches for 99 yards, including a 41-yard reception down to the Steelers 5-yard line that set up Vincent Jackson’s game-winning 5-yard touchdown. Murphy will likely get the start in place of Evans on Sunday in New Orleans.

Evans, the team’s first-round draft pick in April, is Tampa Bay’s leading receiver with 17 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown in his first four games.

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Bucs Will Face A “Bad Team” In New Orleans On Sunday

4 comments 📅September 29, 2014 11:26 am

The 1-3 Buccaneers will travel to New Orleans on Sunday to face the 1-3 Saints, a team that is “not a very good football team.” At least that’s what the Saints are saying.

“We have to be realistic right now with ourselves. Right now, we’re not a very good football team,” Saints left tackle Zach Strief told ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett after the team’s 38-17 loss at Dallas. “You’re glad it’s the fourth game of the year, and it’s not just decided – it’s the 15th (game), and you were a bad team. But, right now, we’re a bad team.”

Well, the Saints aren’t all bad. The Drew Brees-led offense ranks third in the NFL in yards per game with 425.8, and is 10th in points scored with 23.8 per game. But it’s Rob Ryan’s defense, which ranked in the top 5 a year ago, that has fallen off in 2014. While Tampa Bay has the league’s 31st-ranked scoring defense, allowing 29.8 points per game, New Orleans ranks 28th, and is surrendering 27.5 points per game and 396 yards per game, which ranks also ranks 28th in the NFL.

With the Bucs offense showing some improvement behind Mike Glennon’s 302-yard, two-touchdown performance in Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay’s passing game could continue to click in the Bayou as the Saints are surrendering 278.5 yards through the air, which is tied with Tampa Bay for 28th in the NFL.

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As Lone NFC South Victor On Sunday, Bucs Can Still Win Division

11 comments 📅September 29, 2014 9:36 am

Not only did a come-from-behind, 27-24 win in Pittsburgh produce the first victory of 2014 – and of the Lovie Smith era – for Tampa Bay, it also allowed the Bucs to stay in contention to win the NFC South division.

That’s right.

The Bucs can still win the division – thanks to Sunday losses by Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans, coupled with a Tampa Bay victory at Heinz Field.

The Bucs are still last in the NFC South with a 1-3 record, but they have some company as the Saints, whom Tampa Bay faces in New Orleans on Sunday, also fell to 1-3 last night with a brutal 38-17 loss at Dallas. Carolina, which started off the season 2-0, has lost its last two games and is now 2-2 on the season after a 38-10 thrashing at Baltimore. Atlanta is with Carolina with a 2-2 mark thanks to a 41-28 loss at Minnesota on Sunday, but they are 2-1 and a half game back in the division.

What hurts Tampa Bay is its 0-2 start in the division and its 0-3 record in the NFC. Carolina is still in the driver’s seat atop the division with a 2-0 mark in the NFC South. However, a win on Sunday at the Mercedes Benz Superdome over New Orleans would move the Bucs into third place ahead of the Saints with 11 games left in the 2014 campaign.

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Bucs Promote QB Kafka To Active Roster, Release G Johnson

3 comments 📅September 25, 2014 11:54 am

With starting quarterback Josh McCown unable to play this week due to a sprained thumb that he suffered in last Thursday’s 56-14 loss at Atlanta, the Buccaneers promoted QB Mike Kafka from the practice squad to the active roster to back up Mike Glennon, who will start this week at Pittsburgh.

To make room for Kafka on the 53-man roster, Tampa Bay released guard Rishaw Johnson, whom it acquired in a preseason trade with Kansas City for safety Kelcie McCray.

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