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PostPosted: Wed 06.20.2007, 12:03 
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -It's only June, but the competition for Tampa Bay's starting quarterback job is turning into a one-man race.

Veteran Jeff Garcia, signed as a free agent in March, has quickly established himself as the frontrunner in coach Jon Gruden's plans, leaving younger hopefuls Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski to try for No. 2.

``I'm accused of not liking young players. I just like good quarterbacks like everybody else in the league,'' Gruden said Tuesday after the opening practice of the Buccaneers' three-day mandatory mini-camp.

``I like guys that can make plays in a number of ways, whether it be through experience - seeing a look and not running a ball into a corner blitz, making a change at the line of scrimmage; a guy that can create with his legs; a guy that works the pocket and can throw the ball into congested areas and be accurate; a leader; a consistent performer.''

Although Garcia, who led Philadelphia to the playoffs last season while filling in for the injured Donovan McNabb, turned 37 in February, he and the Bucs are confident that he can continue to perform at a high level.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection won five of six games after replacing McNabb, helping the Eagles win the NFC East. He's thrown for more than 20,000 yards over the past eight seasons and led teams to the playoffs three times.

``Garcia's a guy we've coveted. We've made no secret about that over the last few years,'' said Gruden, who also tried to sign Garcia as a free agent in 2004, when the quarterback signed with the Cleveland Browns.

``He's in great shape, he's doing a good job and I don't want to jinx him. He still has a long way to go. We do like his progress, and we think he's got a nice future here.''

Garcia, who was surprised when the Eagles didn't try to retain him, is excited about the opportunity.

The Bucs were 4-12 last season with Gradkowski starting 11 games as a rookie after Simms, who thought he was Tampa Bay's quarterback of the future, went 0-3 and was lost for the year after having his spleen removed in Week 3.

Under pressure to turn the team around after posting losing records three of the past four seasons, it didn't take Gruden long to decide his nearly acquired veteran may offer the best chance to win soon.

Garcia's success in previous stints with the 49ers, Browns, Lions and Eagles provided instant credibility with his new teammates.

``I don't necessarily have to step out here and prove that I can play. They know that I can play already,'' Garcia said. ``It's just a matter of now of backing that up. And I expect to back it up every single day that I'm out here.''

Simms, preparing for his fifth NFL season, signed a two-year contract extension in December and has been participating in offseason workouts. He insisted Tuesday that he's not discouraged by falling behind Garcia on the depth chart.

``Competition's always on. ... It's not any different than years past when I've been here. It's football,'' the 26-year-old Simms said.

``The way the NFL is now, you need good quarterbacks. You need at least two good ones because guys are getting hurt every year. That's the way it is. All I can do is worry about myself.''

The only no-show for the start of mini-camp was quarterback Jake Plummer, acquired in a trade from Denver on the same day the Bucs signed Garcia. He has said he's retired, so his absence was expected.

Gruden said there was no update. Plummer has three years left on his contract and is due $5.3 million in 2007.

``He's a heck of a quarterback,'' the coach said. ``We just hope that at some point he reconsiders and considers saddling up with the Bucs.''


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PostPosted: Thu 06.21.2007, 09:47 
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TB - Bucs WR Stovall Challenging WR Clayton For Starting Job

Source: Jim Flynn, PewterReport.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Maurice Stovall is apparently challenging wide receiver Michael Clayton for the starting Z (flanker) job with the team. "Maurice Stovall isn't here to sign autographs on the sideline. He's here to play and he's going to get a great look here in the offseason," head coach Jon Gruden said. "David Boston hasn't caught a pass, I don't think, in the NFL in three seasons. If there are two guys that have really worked their butts off, it's those two guys. Mike Clayton, I think, sees that, realized that, and it will make for a very competitive situation here in training camp."

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PostPosted: Thu 06.21.2007, 11:26 
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Carnell "Cadillac" Williams says there's one thing he'll never forget about the only losing season he's gone through as a football player.

"I found out you definitely shouldn't take winning for granted," the third-year Tampa Bay running back said.

"Sometimes you beat teams and think that's what you were supposed to do. After the season we had last year, I'm counting every win and going to be thankful for however it comes."

Source: AP


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PostPosted: Fri 06.22.2007, 07:38 
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TB - Tampa RB Williams Catching On

Source: Joanne Korth, St. Petersburg Times

Buccaneers RB Cadillac Williams continues to work at becoming a better receiver out of the backfield and it showed this week with the third-year pro making a few difficult grabs away from his body and at his feet. "He could be a force on the perimeter as a pass receiver and down the field. His versatility as a pass receiver has really gotten better," HC John Gruden said.

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PostPosted: Fri 06.22.2007, 07:41 
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DEF - TB - Tampa Bay DT Competition Heating Up

Source: Roy Cummings, Tampa Tribune

The best position battle this offseason for the Buccaneers will take place in the trenches along the defensive line. DTs Kevin Carter, Ellis Wyms, Darrell Campbell, Jovan Haye and rookie Greg Peterson are all battling for the "under" position. Carter and Wyms are the incumbents, while Haye and Campbell are the flashy newcomers. "We're looking for somebody to make it obvious to all of us that he is the Bucs' [under tackle] for the '07 season," DL Coach Larry Coyer said.

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PostPosted: Sat 06.23.2007, 09:04 
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DEF - S Donavin Darius Contacted By Bucs

Source: Rick Stroud, TampaBay.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have contacted safety Donavin Darius, who was released by the Jaguars last week. Darius, 31, has visited Oakland and received interest from Carolina and Buffalo. He has played just 12 games in the past two seasons because of injuries. "We've checked into Donavin Darius, " Bucs GM Bruce Allen said. "But we like where we're at right now."

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PostPosted: Thu 06.28.2007, 11:46 
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -A federal appeals court cleared the way for pat-down searches to resume at Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games, rejecting a fan's contention that they violate his constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

High school teacher Gordon Johnston successfully challenged the frisking of fans entering Raymond James Stadium in three lower courts, but a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned those rulings Tuesday - saying Johnston forfeited his right to challenge the constitutionality of the pat-downs when he consented to them.

The court also said Johnston doesn't have a constitutional right to watch a football game, that he was aware of the search policy before entering the stadium and that the Bucs can revoke game tickets for any reason.

``Considering Johnston's ticket was only a revocable license to attend games, there is in the court's opinion at least a question concerning whether Johnston had a constitutional right to pass voluntarily through the stadium gates without being subjected to a pat-down search, even if he had not consented to one,'' the court wrote.

At three games in 2005, Johnston accepted the pat-down searches but told security officials he did not consent.

NFL officials have contended such searches, which began in 2005, provide an essential layer of security in an age of constant terrorism threats.

The 61-year-old Johnston said Wednesday that he was talking to his attorneys to determine his next move. He could ask the panel to reconsider its decision, request a review by all 12 judges of the 11th Circuit or appeal to the Supreme Court.

``I don't want to give up on it,'' said Johnston, who vowed to get rid of his season tickets if pat-downs resume. ``Being a government teacher and knowing the Constitution, I think it's the wrong decision.''

Rick Zabak, an attorney for the Tampa Sports Authority that runs the stadium, said he's trying to determine whether the court's decision allows the searches to automatically resume at the Buccaneers' first preseason game Aug. 10 or if he has to ask a court to reinstate them.

The NFL lauded the ruling.

``Pat-downs are an important part of our comprehensive security procedures, including secure facility perimeters and bag searches,'' NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. ``These limited, consensual security screenings are designed to enhance the protection and safety of our fans.''

Tampa is the only NFL city where the pat-downs had been successfully challenged in court, although lawsuits also have been filed in Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco.


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PostPosted: Fri 06.29.2007, 10:57 
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DEF - TB - MLB Ruud Projected Starter In Tampa

Source: Buccaneers.com

With the departure of LB Shelton Quarles, LB Barrett Ruud is expected to take over the role in the middle to start the 2007 season. Ruud started five games last season, four for an injured Quarles and one at OLB for Ryan Nece. He finished with 59 total tackles. "I think Barrett has been a great understudy. He's stayed ready, and he's had a great camp. He's really going to be a fine middle linebacker,? HC Jon Gruden said.

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PostPosted: Sat 06.30.2007, 10:42 
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TB - QB Simms May Be 4th On Depth Chart

Source: Rick Stroud, St. Petersburg Times

Bucs QB Chris Simms may enter training camp behind Jeff Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski and perhaps Luke McCown, at least based on reduced reps in the offseason. "It's tough. Of course I want to be out there and taking all the reps, " Simms said. "That's part of being an athlete and being a competitor. But the time will come. I know when July comes, nobody is going to be begging for more reps. I see myself battling for No. 1. Without a doubt. No doubt."

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 12:09 
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Buccaneers cornerback Torrie Cox was suspended four games without pay Tuesday for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Cox, 26, will miss the first four contests of the 2007 regular season and is not eligible to return to the active roster until October 1 - one day after the Buccaneers' game against the Panthers.

The 5-9 Cox still can participate in all preseason practices and games, and the Bucs remained supportive of the reserve defensive back.

Source: Yahoo.com


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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 16:11 
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DEF - TB - Bucs CB Cox Suspended Four Games

Source: TBO.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Torrie Cox has been suspended without pay for the first four regular-season games of the 2007 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Cox is eligible to return to the active roster on Mon., Oct. 1, following the team's Sept. 30 game against Carolina. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games as well. "We are hopeful that Torrie Cox can overcome this personal setback," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement.

Cox is eligible to return to Tampa Bay's active roster on Oct. 1 after the team's fourth game against the Carolina Panthers. The Buccaneers had re-signed Cox in March.

"We are hopeful that Torrie Cox can overcome this personal setback," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement.

Cox was picked as a Pro Bowl alternate last season when he returned 18 kickoffs for 387 yards and made 30 tackles.

Cox was drafted by the Bucs in the sixth round in 2003 and has played 41 games. He has 35 tackles and one interception in his four NFL seasons. He has also made 45 special teams tackles and returned 75 kickoffs for more than 1,700 yards.

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PostPosted: Mon 07.09.2007, 11:48 
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Torrie Cox of the Buccaneers is appealing his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

"The punishment did not fit the crime and Torrie was not afforded the due process required under these circumstances," Peter Schaffer, Cox's agent, told the Tampa Tribune. Schaffer told the newspaper he filed the appeal Thursday and hasn't heard from the NFL . "The league [NFL] has a policy and they have to follow the letter of the law. It can't be convenient."

Source: ESPN.com


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PostPosted: Mon 07.09.2007, 12:07 
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Despite speculation, we've learned the Bucs haven't made any overtures to Tank Johnson - yet. But if the defensive tackle, released by the Bears last month, stays on the market long enough, who knows what could happen.

Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/07/08/Bucs/ ... need.shtml


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PostPosted: Wed 07.11.2007, 12:03 
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The Bucs have left the light on for Jake Plummer but for how long? Word is, Bucs coach Jon Gruden and his trusty tracker, GM Bruce Allen, have ditched their own vacation plans to expand the search for the missing quarterback. Allen and Plummer had been in contact, but, well, who knows with flighty Jake.

Source: http://www.tbo.com/sports/MGBYN3G9Z3F.html


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PostPosted: Mon 07.16.2007, 12:05 
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For the next six months or so, quarterback Jeff Garcia and coach Jon Gruden will be inseparable. They will share more than initials. In fact, their futures will be intertwined.

It's the 37-year-old quarterback with his fourth job in as many years and the coach trying desperately to hold onto one.

If you think another player has a chance to win a starting job under center in training camp, which begins July 26, think again.

"I love Garcia," Gruden said recently. "I like what he's doing a lot. I just think he's got some traits we haven't had around here - his mobility, his experience."

Source: St. Petersburg Times


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