Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Devastating news for Bucs: Carl Nicks out for season

The Tampa Bay Bucs, who were just starting to be talked about in serious conversation about a possible playoff run, released some devistating news today when they announced All-Pro Guard Carl Nicks would be lost for the season.

Bucs All Pro Carl Nicks out for season
The free agent acquistion from New Orleans will require surgery to repair a torn plantar plate in his left toe. He started all seven games with the Buccaneers since joning the team and had recorded 68 consecutive starts.

It's a particularly tough blow for Tampa because the Bucs had already lost , their other highly touted guard, before the season to an injury.
With Nicks anchoring the offensive line, the Bucs have allowed the fifth fewest sacks in the NFL and were ranked ninth in the league in points per game. Their run game with rookie Doug Martin has been particularly effective when running from the left side behind Nicks and Donald Penn.
In the last three weeks, the Bucs led the NFL in points, total yards, passing yard and yards per play and ranked third in rushing yards.
The Bucs also placed TE Danny Noble on Injured Reserve and announced it has elevated guard Roger Allen to the active roster from its practice squad.
 Noble (hamstring), a rookie from Toledo, has played in four games and been inactive for three others this season.
Allen (6-3, 325) is in his third season from Missouri Western State after entering the league with St. Louis in 2009. After earning a 53-man roster spot out of training camp, he went on to play in two games that season, including one start.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bucs look like an offensive juggernaut behind Doug Martin

The Tampa Bay Bucs 36-17 victory over Minnesota brought head coach Greg Schiano a lot of equity with his players that could jettison the team beyond pre-season expectations.

Doug Martin has career game vs Vikings
It also added credibility to the coach for wanting to move up in this year’s draft and select Doug Martinin the first round. There were a lot questions surrounding that decision and the Boise State product had not done a lot to quell the critics.

But he answered with a resounding thud Thursday night with his performance, gaining 214 yards from scrimmage (135 rushing/79 receiving), which is the fifth highest single game mark in Bucs history. It came on the heels of Vincent Jackson getting 216 total yards against New Orleans.

The fact that Martin and Jackson did this in consecutive games has to make Schiano and maligned GM Mark Domink feel good for bringing in these guys during the off season.

Could this be an offensive juggernaut in the making?

 Martin now ranks sixth all time among Bucs rookie running backs with 543 for the season and figures to move up the list. One of his targets is the man he replaced, LeGarrette Blount, who ran for 1,007 yards in 2010 as a rookie. At the top of the list is “Cadillac” Williams who ran for 1,178 yards in his 2005 rookie year.

Offensive records might be falling quick for the Bucs, who have found a new life in recent weeks. Josh Freeman is now fifth all time in team history with 10,698 yards passing and is sure to pass Brad Johnson soon.

How about this: in the last three games, the Bucs have 416 yards total offense against Minnesota, 463 vs Kansas City and 513 against New Orleans.  



Player Opponent-Date Total Yards from Scrimmage

1. RB James Wilder at MIN-11/6/83 239

2. RB Warrick Dunn vs. DAL-12/3/00 221

3. WR Vincent Jackson vs. NO-10/21/12 216

3. RB James Wilder vs. GB-9/30/84 216

5. RB Doug Martin at MIN-10/25/12 214

6. WR Mark Carrier at NO-12/6/87 212

7. RB James Wilder vs. DET-11/23/86 201

8. WR Antonio Bryant at CAR-12/8/08 200


Rank Player Year Yards

1. RB Carnell Williams 2005 1,178*

2. RB Errict Rhett 1994 1,011*

3. RB LeGarrette Blount 2010 1,007*

4. RB Warrick Dunn 1997 978*

5. RB Jerry Eckwood 1979 690

6. RB Doug Martin 2012 543*

7. RB Reggie Cobb 1990 480

8. RB Lars Tate 1988 467*

9. FB William Howard 1988 452

10. RB Ricky Bell 1977 436*

*-Led the team


Rank Player TDs

1. Vinny Testaverde, 1987-92 77

2. Doug Williams, 1978-82 73

3. Trent Dilfer, 1994-99 70

4. Josh Freeman, 2009-12 65

5. Brad Johnson, 2001-04 64


(Team History)

Rank Player Yards

1. Vinny Testaverde, 1987-92 14,820

2. Trent Dilfer, 1994-99 12,969

3. Doug Williams, 1978-82 12,648

4. Brad Johnson, 2001-04 10,940

5. Josh Freeman, 2009-12 10,698

6. Steve DeBerg, 1984-93 9,439

7. Craig Erickson, 1992-94 6,094

8. Jeff Garcia, 2007-08 5,152

9. Brian Griese, 2004-08 4,841

10. Shaun King, 1999-2003 4,064  











Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bucs-Saints game will be televised locally; should we thank Brees

Did Drew Brees make it happen?
The Tampa Bay Bucs might get riveted Sunday when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints come to town, but don’t blame local fans for breaking out the welcome mat for the man who recently broke John Unitas record for throwing a  touchdown  pass in 48 consecutive regular season games.

Brees (and it is him, let’s not tip-toe around that) creates so much excitement that enthusiasm to see him in person enabled the Bucs, more than anything else, to sell enough tickets that it won’t have to blackout the game.

This is the first time since last December 17 when they faced the Dallas Cowboys that the Bucs sold enough tickets to avoid a blackout. The only other home game televised last year was against the Indianapolis Colts.

 The Bucs sold the needed 85 percent of general admission tickets that allowed the NFL to lift its mandated blackout. The game will be televised on Fox TV at 1 p.m. Former Bucs great John Lynch and Dick Stockton will do the commentary.

 The Bucs have failed to sell enough tickets to avoid blackouts in 16 of their last 18 games. But fans in Bradenton and Sarasota who know where to go have been able to watch the games, which are televised in certain bars, taverns and eateries in Manatee and Sarasota County.




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fans be flexible for Florida-South Carolina game

If you are planning on attending the Florida-South Carolina game at the Swamp on October 20th be flexible and ready to move quickly.

It looks as if CBS, which has first rights to the game, is going to use its six-day option and wait until Monday to announce the start time.

The network has the rights to an SEC game at 3:30 pm and is considering UF-USC along with Alabama at Tennessee or LSU at Texas A&M.

Local interest is ratcheting up with the possibility some former Manatee County standouts might be going against each other; perhaps South Carolina punt return guru Ace Sanders from Manatee High and Southeast grad Brian Poole, who as a true freshman has seen time on special teams for Florida.

If CBS chooses the UF-USC game it will kickoff at 3:30. If it picks another one, ESPN has the next two SEC games that it can televise at noon or in its 7 pm – 7:45 pm slot

The guess is CBS will chose UF-USC if they both win. If one looses and they pick another game, ESPN will likely put UF-USC in its nighttime slot.

The game could have national championship implications, particularly if both undefeated teams win this Saturday; that task would seem a lot easier for Florida, which is at Vanderbilt. South Carolina has to travel to LSU and face a Tigers squad that is fuming over its loss to the Gators last week.




Monday, October 8, 2012

Ace Sanders electrifies a nation with dazzling punt return

Ace Sanders had arguably the best highlight reel in last Saturday's full college football slate in providing a key spark that helped ignite South Carolina to its biggest victory of the season.

Check out Sanders electrifying punt return
For his scintillating 70-yard punt return for a touchdown that played a huge role in South Carolina’s 35-7 triumph over previously undefeated Georgia, Sanders was named the co-SEC Special Teams Player of The week.
It was the second career touchdown for the 5-8. 175 pound Manatee High product, who is ranked first in the SEC and 15th nationally averaging 15.47 yards per return. The junior is third in the nation in total punt return yardage with 263 yards (min 1.2 returns per game).

“I didn’t field it cleanly and dropped it and had to scramble to pick it up. I saw the lane open up and tried to hit it as fast as I could,” Sanders said in his post game press conference. “I think I probably provide a pretty big spark (on punt returns) because I can see when I am about to go out there (to field a punt) the whole team is behind me and just tell me to put it in the endzone ‘we know you can do it.’
“I do my best and when I actually do it I see how the stadium erupts and the players respond and they just come out and start playing and that’s when I know special teams is pretty big part of the team.”

It was the second punt return for a touchdown in Sander’s career and his fourth TD this season with his three others coming on pass receptions. Last season he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown against East Carolina and has nine career TDs.

The victory propelled South Carolina to third in the AP and USA Today Coaches polls marking its highest ranking since 1984 when the Gamecocks were second with a 9-0 record.

But South Carolina has two big back to back challenges coming up. The Gamecocks face AP No. 9 LSU Saturday and then travel to Florida to play the fourth ranked Gators.