Buccaneers Preview Capsule
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-11)
NEW FACES: Coach Bruce Arians, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, LB Devin White, DL Ndamukong Suh, LB/S Deone Bucannon, LB Shaquil Barrett, P Bradley Pinion, WR...
Bucs ready to showcase potent offense against Steelers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — So much for struggling without Jameis Winston.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not only thriving in the suspended quarterback's absence, they're evolving into an offensive juggernaut that's set to perform on a national stage when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Monday night.
FANTASY PLAYS: Sit Rodgers? Worth at least mulling for W3
Patrick Mahomes is good. 2018 David Johnson looks nothing like 2016 David Johnson. The Rams defense has not only replaced the Seahawks as the NFC's most dominant unit, but may be the best the NFL has to offer.
Week 3 will go a long way toward helping fantasy football owners decide how those clear early observations play out. Mahomes, Johnson and the Rams defense are certain starts, but the same can't be said for some others whose fate will hinge on the faith of their owners.
Pederson: Self-inflicted mistakes undermine Eagles
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Doug Pederson summed up a hot, frustrating day for the Philadelphia Eagles.
"A lot of self-inflicted wounds," the coach said Sunday after the reigning Super Bowl champions stumbled to a slow start in the blistering Florida sun and never fully recovered in a 27-21 loss to the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Game-time temperature was 91 degrees, with a heat index of 105.
Buccaneers Preview Capsule
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-11)
New faces: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Beau Allen, DE Vinny Curry, DT Vita Vea, RB Ronald Jones, C Ryan Jensen, DT Mitch Unrein, K Chandler Catanzaro.
Key losses: RB Doug Martin, DE Robert Ayers, Jr., G J.R. Sweezy, DT Chris Baker, DT Clinton McDonald, S T.J. Ward.
Titans’ Jackson flips after 2 interceptions against Bucs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Adoree Jackson was flipping for joy after a couple of interceptions defending Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jake Butt prepares for NFL debut after sitting out 2017
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The forgotten member of last year's deep tight end class makes his NFL debut Saturday night, and Jake Butt is fired up to show he's just as good as O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku.
A look at the Alabama-Clemson playoff showdowns
No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Alabama will meet in the College Football Playoffs for the third straight year when they square off in the Sugar Bowl. They split the first two meetings in down-to-the-wire national championship games.
Here's a look at those epic clashes and the teams' seasons heading into Monday night's semifinal showdown:
Buccaneers place Howard, 4 others on injured reserve
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay rookie tight end O.J. Howard and four other players have been placed on injured reserve and will miss the final two games of the season for the Buccaneers.
Howard, a first-round draft pick out of Alabama, started 14 games and finished with 26 receptions for 435 yards and six touchdowns.
He injured an ankle scoring on a 30-yard reception during last Monday's 24-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Tampa, Fla. — When Quandre Diggs saw the flag, and heard the ruling he was being penalized for unnecessary roughness against a defenseless receiver, the Lions defensive back initial concern was his bank account.
"First thing that goes through my mind is that's 50 racks, gone," Diggs said. "I told the ref, 'Y'all trying to take all my check.'"
Allen Park — A familiar frailty has resurfaced for the Lions in recent weeks — defending the tight end.
The past three games, Detroit's defense has been burned by Chicago's Adam Shaheen, Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph and Baltimore's Benjamin Watson, surrendering a combined four touchdowns during the span.
MATCHUPS TO EXPLOIT
Buccaneers Preview Capsule
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-7)
New Faces: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Chris Baker, TE O.J. Howard, S Justin Evans, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, K Nick Folk, WR Chris Godwin, S J.J. Wilcox.
Key Losses: QB Mike Glennon, WR Russell Shepard, LB Daryl Smith, CB Alterraun Verner, S Bradley McDougald.
Strengths: Bucs go as Jameis Winston goes. With additional playmakers — Jackson, Howard, Godwin — around young QB, coach Dirk Koetter is counting on offense being more explosive.
Alabama not sweating massive talent exodus on defense
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A trophy shelf's worth of hardware accompanied several of Alabama's biggest defensive stars to the NFL, but linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton and the Crimson Tide don't seem too concerned.
"We're Bama," Hamilton said. "We just reload. Everybody is going to embrace the challenge."
The 2017 Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football magazine is on newsstands now and available online. In addition to rankings, mock drafts and loads of player reports, it features 32 team fantasy depth charts. Here's a small taste of the Buccaneers information you'll receive by purchasing your copy today.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made good on a promise to put more playmakers around young quarterback Jameis Winston, who's eager to use them to help an improved team fulfill its potential this season.
Free agent acquisition DeSean Jackson and draft picks O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin are among the newcomers the Bucs are counting on to give Winston a chance to end the franchise's long hiatus from the playoffs.
Buccaneers training camp capsule
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 28, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida.
- Norfolk Daily NewsFantasy Football: Week 3 TE rankingsSeptember 22, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsRyan Fitzpatrick-led Bucs improve to 2-0 with upset of EaglesSeptember 17, 2018
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tight end O.J. Howard has signed his rookie contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Howard, who was the 19th overall pick in last month's NFL draft, signed a four-year deal on Monday that includes a team option for a fifth season. He is the first of Tampa Bay's six draft picks to sign.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — One of the first people to contact O.J. Howard after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the tight end in the opening round of the NFL draft was an elated Jameis Winston.
From one native of Alabama to another, the Bucs' young quarterback wanted to welcome the latest addition to what has the potential to be one of the NFL's most improved offenses next seasons.
"He text me," an excited Howard said. "He's a great quarterback, a good guy. ... I'm looking forward to playing with him."
The 2017 NFL Draft is set to begin in a little more than 24 hours and the Philadelphia Eagles will be on the clock with the 14th overall pick. At 14, the Eagles can go with the best player available on the board as they have many needs to fill.
With that being said, I decided to do my first and only full seven-round mock draft projecting what the Eagles may do in the draft. The Eagles own eight picks, including two in the fourth round.
Now, it’s Alabama that wants to pull a Clemson
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Bo Scarbrough and Ryan Anderson sat side by side in Alabama's somber, mostly silent locker room, their shoulders hunched over.
Anderson stared glumly at his phone. Scarbrough kept his head down. There was nothing to say.
Both the tailback Scarbrough and senior linebacker Anderson delivered big games in Alabama's 35-31 last-second fall to Clemson. They had wanted a celebration. Instead, they got an unfamiliar feeling: loss.
TAMPA, Fla. — Hunter Renfrow, as clutch as they come in College Football Playoff championship games.
And yet, unfortunately for Clemson, so is O.J. Howard.
With his momentum-turning 24-yard touchdown catch, Renfrow helped Clemson inch closer on the scoreboard to Alabama – but only briefly, as Howard’s response TD restored the Tide’s lead to 24-14 entering the fourth quarter of the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Tide-Tigers II: The matchups that will decide national title
Every defensive meeting at Clemson this week might as well have started with coordinator Brent Venables passing around a photo of Alabama's O.J. Howard with the caption "Know where 88 is at all times."
CLEMSON – Predictably the big plays by O.J. Howard in last year's championship game lingered during media day Wednesday at Clemson, as did the special teams miscues that helped the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Tigers last January in Arizona for the national championship.
While that's what was on the mind of the reporters in attendance, Tigers players and the coaching staff have long since moved on from it – to them it's a different ball game, literally and figuratively.
Alabama-Clemson 2: New characters, plot lines for CFP sequel
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — As with any sequel, Alabama-Clemson II will have some new characters and fresh plot lines.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3 Tigers will meet in Tampa, Florida, on Jan. 9 in the College Football Playoff national championship game. Last year they played a wild 45-40 game won by 'Bama. It gave Nick Saban a fourth national title with the Tide and fifth overall.
Hurts, No. 1 Alabama race past No. 16 Auburn, 30-12
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's defense still seems to have a wall erected at the goal line, and Jalen Hurts remains unflappable enough to shrug off mistakes.
The combination has been good enough every time so far.
Hurts rebounded from two early interceptions to pass for 286 yards and the top-ranked Crimson Tide's defense did the rest in a 30-12 victory Saturday over No. 16 Auburn to finish an undefeated regular season.
"We have bigger goals in mind," tight end O.J. Howard said.
Allen making big plays for ‘Bama, including ‘Superman’ sack
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Jonathan Allen isn't really interested in talking about the "Superman" play where the blocker went low and he went airborne into Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight. No. 1 Alabama's talented defensive end also shrugs off any questions about whether he could garner some Heisman Trophy votes.
No. 1 Alabama rolling as it heads into Texas A&M showdown
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Alabama is reaching peak form just in time for its toughest test of the season.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide dominated Tennessee 49-10 on Saturday to beat a ranked foe on the road for the second straight week. Alabama next returns home to face No. 6 Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0 SEC) in a game that could go a long way toward determining who represents the Western Division in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
Now Airing: Alabama’s Ridley & Stewart receiving show
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's passing game is no longer primarily the Calvin Ridley show.
ArDarius Stewart has muscled his way into a co-starring role for the top-ranked Crimson Tide with a dogged running style after the catch and a knack for the deep ball.
The gap separating defending national champion Alabama from its Southeastern Conference rivals doesn't seem to be closing. If anything, it's getting wider. While every other team in the SEC either already has lost a game or had a relatively close call, No. 1 Alabama (2-0) has outscored its first two opponents 90-16 and is still finding things it could have done better . "It's the Bama way," Alabama tight end O.J. Howard said. "It's just the way that we carry ourselves. We are a hard-nosed...
SEC teams battle to tighten widening gap with No. 1 Alabama
The gap separating defending national champion Alabama from its Southeastern Conference rivals doesn't seem to be closing.
If anything, it's getting wider.
While every other team in the SEC either already has lost a game or had a relatively close call, No. 1 Alabama (2-0) has outscored its first two opponents 90-16 and is still finding things it could have done better .
Alabama, LSU lead way on coaches preseason All-SEC teams
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — SEC West rivals Alabama and LSU each had 13 players make the coaches preseason all-conference teams.
The Crimson Tide had three players picked as first-teamers on each side of the ball Thursday, including wide receiver Calvin Ridley, left tackle Cam Robinson, tight end O.J. Howard, defensive end Jonathan Allen, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Reuben Foster. Punter JK Scott is also a first-teamer.
PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Tide’s ‘process’ seeks to continue producing championship results
HOOVER, Ala. – If there’s one football player on Alabama’s roster that is the definition of ‘the process’ head coach Nick Saban refers to so often, it would have to be senior tight end O.J. Howard.
Howard has been a work in progress since his freshman year. He finally realized his potential last season, catching 38 passes for 602 yards, including a breakout performance in the Tide’s 45-40 national championship victory over Clemson.
Clemson aiming for College Football Playoff again
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — When Clemson came back from its national championship loss to Alabama, coach Dabo Swinney showed his Tigers a handful of plays that could have changed the result.
"And none of them," Swinney said, "were in special teams."
Most remember that Clemson's fortunes in the 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide turned on two special team plays — a dramatic onside kick in a tie game and Kenyan Drake's kickoff return touchdown soon after that gave Alabama an...