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Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

Greg Auman

Greg Auman has been at the Tampa Bay Times since 1999 and has covered the Bucs and the NFL since 2013. He covered the University of South Florida's athletic department from 2004-13.

Phone: (813) 226-3346


Blog: Bucs Beat

Twitter: @GregAuman

  1. Bucs' Mike Evans remembers 'emotion' of his draft night


    It's been three years since the Bucs took Mike Evans with the No. 7 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the Pro Bowl receiver remembers well how emotional he was that night, realizing what he had been able to accomplish for his family. Evans couldn't stop himself from crying in joy, especially as he held his daughter Mackenzie.

    "The whole week, everyone was asking me was I going to get emotional," Evans said this week. "I was like 'Naw,' I guess because it didn't feel real at the time. Then I got off the phone with Lovie (Smith) and Jason Licht, and then I was holding my daughter and they called my name. I was overwhelmed with emotion. To know that I could provide for my daughter and my family, it was a great experience."...

  2. Bucs trading down? Here's Jason Licht's draft-deal history


    Given the perceived depth of the 2017 NFL Draft, it's not too surprising, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday morning that the Bucs, sitting at No. 19, have reached out to at least three teams about trading down, potentially out of the first round entirely.

    We'll get to Jason Licht's three-year history as an active draft-day trader, but first -- what might the Bucs be able to get by sliding down at bit? The most likely option would be to trade down a few picks -- say you anticipate having several prospects you'd be happy with at 19, but would like to pick up, say, another pick Friday. There's an old "draft value card" that Jimmy Johnson came up with, giving a relative value to all picks -- I'm sure it varies from draft to draft and team to team, but as a starting point, you can always use it to float trade possibilities....

    The Bucs, having traded down 19 spots in the fourth round, used a seventh-round pick to trade back up four spots to get Kwon Alexander in 2015.
  3. NFL Draft: Where the Bucs could find a development quarterback


    TAMPA — The Bucs, quite blissfully for their fans, do not need to draft a starting quarterback this week.

    Appreciate that fact, as teams that don't have an answer at football's most crucial position scramble to try to find one. For all the drama involved in trading up or reaching for a quarterback at the top of a draft, the Bucs can be bystanders, knowing that each passer taken in the top 18 picks is another talented non-QB available to them at No. 19....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Brandon Myers (82) celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston (3) in the second quarter of the first regular season game of the year between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
  4. Finebaum: Warren Sapp has 'no credibility' to criticize Myles Garrett


    Two days before the NFL Draft, former Bucs star and Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp is under fire for his criticism of the draft's likely No. 1 overall pick, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, as being "lazy."

    Sapp made his comments to ESPN's Adam Schefter on Sunday, saying of Garrett: "I don't see it from this kid. I see the splash plays; everybody gets those. Where's the game he took over? Where? Any defensive lineman who's the No. 1 pick, you turn up and you say 'There it is!' This kid, no, I don't. I'm a pretty plain and frank guy, and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape and he absolutely disappears. ... I see a lazy kid that makes four plays a game. This is the No. 1 guy? No, no, no. This ain't even close."...

    Warren Sapp is under fire for his criticism of the draft's likely No. 1 overall pick, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, pictured, as being "lazy."
  5. Adrian Peterson chooses Saints, will face Bucs twice


    Running back Adrian Peterson, who had expressed an interest in playing for the Bucs, is signing with the Saints, which means the former NFL MVP could face Tampa Bay twice this season, including the season finale in Tampa on Dec. 31.

    Peterson, 32, is signing a two-year deal worth $7-million, according to ESPN. He rushed for an NFL-best 1,485 yards in 2015, but was limited to three games and 72 yards last season due to a knee injury. He also played only one game in 2014 due to a suspension related to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault, alleging Peterson had "an incident of abusive discipline" with his then 4-year-old son....

    Running back Adrian Peterson, who had expressed an interest in playing for the Bucs, is signing with the Saints, which means the former NFL MVP could face Tampa Bay twice this season, including the season finale in Tampa on Dec. 31.
  6. Linebackers not a high priority this draft for Bucs


    TAMPA — In Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, the Bucs have two young linebackers who never come off the field when healthy, key parts of Tampa Bay's defense for the present and future.

    The Bucs' third linebacker spot is something of a part-time job, as the strongside linebacker comes off the field when Tampa Bay goes to its nickel defense, which means he's playing only about 35 percent of the defensive snaps....

    FILE -  This Jan. 2, 2014, file photo shows Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (9) hitting Oklahoma running back Roy Finch (22), resulting in an incomplete pass during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game in New Orleans. Vicious hitter who is probably too light to play middle linebacker in the NFL. Top-10 talent who might slip a bit because the value of linebackers who are not edge rushers is down in the NFL. He also was dismissed from NFL combine for argument with hospital worker. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File) NYSH919
  7. The next step Bucs' Mike Evans knows he needs to take


    TAMPA — Even at 23, Bucs WR Mike Evans understands he needs to take on more of a leadership role with veteran Vincent Jackson not back for 2017.

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Evans, entering his fourth season in the league. "I always try to lead by example, but I'll be more vocal now, since V-Jax is gone."

    The Bucs brought in free agent DeSean Jackson, 30, who can take over the veteran presence that Vincent Jackson had, but the Bucs will also be without Louis Murphy and Cecil Shorts, both 29, and Russell Shepard, 26, who were part of last year's group....

    Receiver Mike Evans, who is entering his fourth season, says he believes a team’s best players need to be its leaders.
  8. Bucs' Kwon Alexander pulling for old LSU teammates


    Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander is entering his third NFL season but is still only 22, so he remains close with his former LSU teammates, who could be a big part of Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft.

    "All of them -- back at LSU, we're all close. We always want to see somebody succeed," Alexander said Monday as the second week of offseason conditioning began for the Bucs. "We've got a couple of guys being top-flight going in the first round, like (safety) Jamal Adams, (running back) Leonard Fournette and (cornerback) Tre White. I can't wait to see where those guys go. It's going to be a fun draft to watch."...

    Kwon Alexander lasted until the fourth round in 2015 before the Bucs took him.
  9. Bucs' Mike Evans ready to take on leadership role, even at 23


    A year ago, Mike Evans excelled on the field, catching 12 touchdowns on the way to his first Pro Bowl, but with some of the veteran presence gone from the Bucs receiving corps, he understands he'll have to be more of a leader in 2017.

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Evans, entering his fourth season in the league. "I always try to lead by example, but I'll be more vocal now, since V-Jax is gone."...

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Mike Evans, entering his fourth season in the league.
  10. 19 for 19: Nineteen players mocked as Bucs' pick at No. 19


    Pretty much any time a national site or newspaper that covers the NFL throws up a mock draft, I'll tweet out a link to give people another perspective on what the Bucs might do with the No. 19 pick. You certainly agree with some more than others, but I see a value in sharing as many different views as possible -- this shows how difficult it is to project a pick deep into the first round, and reminds people how much guesswork is usually involved....

    The most frequent pick for the Bucs' first-rounder is Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.
  11. Bucs might look to draft to add downfield receiving threats


    TAMPA — It was only one day after the 2016 season had ended when Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was frank about his team's offseason needs.

    "We need more speed and when we say playmakers, playmakers and explosive plays are one and the same," he said. "Guys that can make explosives, guys that can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain. … In my opinion, we played close to our talent level."...

    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 08:  Wide receiver John Ross #1 of the Washington Huskies heads off the field after the game against the Oregon Ducks on October 8, 2016 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The Huskies defeated the Ducks 70-21.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
  12. With no pressing need, Bucs look ahead


    TAMPA — At first glance, offensive line doesn't seem like a pressing need for the Bucs.

    They have their entire starting offensive line back from last season, with guard J.R. Sweezy now healthy after missing 2016 season due to back surgery. They are moving guard Ali Marpet to center, where they also have two former starters on the roster.

    So though they have depth, if there is an opening for a rookie -- even a high draft pick -- it would be at right tackle, where veteran Demar Dotson is 31 and in a contract that carries no salary cap hit if he's released. A rookie could compete for a starting job this year and eventually replace Dotson....

  13. Mike Mayock: RB should be Bucs' priority with 19th pick


    NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call on Friday to talk about next week's NFL Draft, and he offered his insights on what the Bucs should do with their first-round pick, No. 19 overall.

    "They've got to take some pressure off Jameis Winston ... 24 turnovers last year, too many," Mayock said. "They've got to help him with the run game. I think that's got to be their first priority."...

  14. Oh, snap! Bucs guard Ali Marpet transitions to center


    CLEARWATER — Ask Ali Marpet what he has tried to work on most this offseason, and his response is, promisingly, quick and accurate.

    "Snap," says the 24-year-old offensive lineman, making a transition — coach Dirk Koetter called it an experiment — from guard to center in the spring.

    Marpet has snapped before and during practices to be an emergency center but never in a game — not with the Bucs, not at Division III Hobart College, not in high school, never. He's making up for it now....

    Ali Marpet, left, on the Bucs' spring experiment with him at center: ""I'm a center. It's always been in the back pocket. I can still play guard. I know. I've played guard. I imagine they're not saying 'You're the starter, no matter what you do.' But they like the idea, so we're going to try it." (Monica Herndon, Times)

  15. Patriots? Packers? What will toughest Bucs ticket be in 2017?


    Thursday night's schedule announcement means that NFL fans finally have dates for Bucs games they've known were somewhere on the 2017 schedule months ago, so there's an initial rush of demand for tickets on the secondary market.

    For now, any seats available are from fans who are splitting up their season tickets -- the Bucs are putting you on a watch list as we write this -- but there are plenty being sold, so you can already get a sense of what will be the most expensive seats to buy....