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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

Email: auman@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Twitter: @GregAuman

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  1. NFL draft: Offensive line not a need for Bucs

    Bucs

    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....

    FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2016, file photo, Alabama offensive lineman Lester Cotton (66) and offensive lineman Cam Robinson (74) line up against Southern California during an NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. Robinson has perfect body and athleticism for the position, but needs to play with better balance. He is a first-rounder, but probably not the top-10 pick many expected going into last season. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) NYSH914
  2. Mike Mayock: RB should be Bucs' priority with 19th pick

    Blog

    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."...

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

    Bucs

    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)

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

    Blog

    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....

  5. Beat Giants and Jets? Bucs have doubled up New York before

    Blog

    Last year's scheduling quirk saw the Bucs travel to California twice and win at both San Diego and San Francisco -- amazing, considering they'd been 4-24 in their history in regular-season games played in California before 2016.

    This year's challenge? Can they beat both the New York Giants and the New York Jets in the same season? Both come to Tampa to play the Bucs -- the Giants in Week 4 on Oct. 1 and the Jets in Week 10 on Nov. 12....

    Cornerback Jeremiah Castille returns an interception in the Bucs' 41-21 victory over the Jets in 1984.
  6. In Green Bay, in December? More on the Bucs in cold weather

    Blog

    So the Bucs are playing the Packers in Green Bay ... in December.

    How cold is Lambeau Field likely to be on Dec. 3 when the Bucs play there? Last year, the Packers had a home game on Dec. 4 and at kickoff it was 32 degrees. Fahrenheit.

    A few things to bring up: The Bucs haven't done well in cold weather historically -- they're 17-56 all-time (.233) when the temperature at kickoff is 49 degrees or colder, though they've won three straight games under such conditions -- at Kansas City last year, at Philadelphia in 2015 and at Washington in 2014....

    Packers safety Charlie Peprah closes in on Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow during Green Bay's 35-26 victory in 2011.
  7. Breaking down Bucs' 2017 schedule

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs' 2017 schedule includes two high-profile games in prime time against last season's Super Bowl teams, with Tom Brady and the defending champion Patriots coming to Tampa on a Thursday in Week 5 and the Bucs hosting the Falcons in a huge Monday night showdown the week before Christmas.

    The Bucs open their second season under coach Dirk Koetter on Sept. 10 at Miami. In all, Tampa Bay's schedule, announced Thursday, is unusually skewed, with home games bunched early and late in the year. Three of the first five games are at home, as are three of the last four, creating a tough stretch in the middle of the season with just two home games over 66 days....

    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) takes the field before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.
  8. Patriots at Bucs, Oct. 5: Five things to know, plus Tom Brady trivia

    Blog

    The Patriots are coming to Tampa, with a national CBS audience tuning in on a Thursday in Week 5, Oct. 5 -- here are five things to know about that game and the two teams' history ...

    -- The Patriots are back in Tampa for the first time in the regular season since 1997 -- since 2002, all AFC teams rotate in with trips to Tampa every eight years, but the 2009 Bucs-Patriots game was a "home" game played in London. As such, Bill Belichick has never beaten the Bucs in Tampa (in the regular season), despite an NFL coaching career that predates the Bucs by a year, to 1975....

    The Patriots are back in Tampa for the first time in the regular season since 1997.
  9. Schedule unveiled: Bucs learn their path for 2017

    Blog

    The Bucs' 2017 schedule, released Thursday with the rest of the league, includes two high-profile showcase games, with Tom Brady and the defending champion Patriots coming to Tampa on a Thursday in Week 5 and the Bucs hosting the Falcons in a huge Monday night showdown the week before Christmas.

    (PRINTABLE 2017 BUCS SCHEDULE)...

    The Bucs' schedule is uniquely skewed with home games early and late in the year, creating a tough stretch in the middle of the season that has just two home games over a span of 66 days.
  10. Draft breakdown: Don't look past pass rushers as top Bucs pick

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you don't have a franchise quarterback in the NFL, the search for one is always a draft priority. And once you have one, another must is a dominant pass rusher who can get to the other team's franchise quarterback.

    Do the Bucs have such a pass rusher on their roster? Noah Spence had 5.5 sacks as a rookie last year. But until the Bucs can get 10 sacks in a year from someone, anyone — it hasn't happened since Simeon Rice in 2005 — they'll be closely linked to pass rushers as potential top picks....

    Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton, middle, has interviewed with the Bucs and could be available for them at No. 19.
  11. New name for Bucs' RB search: Oklahoma's Samaje Perine

    Blog

    We've written about how extensively the Bucs have invested time in potential second- or third-round running backs in this draft, and there's another name to add to the list: Oklahoma's Samaje Perine, who was on Pro Football Talk Live on Thursday and said the Bucs have shown the most interest of any NFL team in him.

    Perine -- whose interest from the Bucs had not been previously reported -- said the Bucs not only worked him out on campus at Oklahoma but flew him to Tampa for a visit and time with the Tampa Bay coaching staff. The Bucs also brought in another Sooners running back in Joe Mixon as well....

    Samaje Perine set the NCAA single-game rushing record in 2014 with a 427-yard, five-touchdown game against Kansas.
  12. Ten things to know about Bucs and 'Hard Knocks'

    Blog

    The Bucs have been officially announced as the featured team for this year's edition of HBO's Hard Knocks, which goes up close and personal with one NFL team each year in training camp for five weeks of behind-the-scenes drama. The first show is Aug. 8 at 10 p.m., and five episodes will wrap up the Tuesday before the Bucs' season opener, which is Sept. 5.

    Here are 10 things to know about the show and what to expect in training camp:...

  13. Draft breakdown: Bucs need influx of DB talent

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As much as the Bucs finished one interception short of the NFL lead last season, and as much as they return their secondary nearly intact for next season, defensive back might be the position most likely to be addressed with multiple picks in next week's draft, which begins Thursday in Philadelphia.

    In the past three years, the Bucs have drafted only two defensive backs — cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith last year — and that matches San Diego for the lowest total in the NFL in that time. The league average is 4.6, with a high of eight, by the 49ers....

    Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, considered a first-round candidate outside the top 10, could be available for the Bucs at No. 19.
  14. Bucs' Josh Huff agrees to probation on gun charge

    Blog

    Bucs receiver Josh Huff has entered into a pretrial diversion program that will allow him to resolve a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon by completing six months of probation, his attorney said Tuesday night.

    Huff, 25, was released by the Eagles in November after he was arrested in New Jersey on the gun charge. His attorney, Andrew Smith, said the gun was bought legally in his home state of Texas, where he has a permit to carry it, but he did not have a permit in New Jersey. If Huff completes a six-month probation period without incident, the charge will be dropped; he entered into the program April 4. Huff still faces a DUI citation for suspicion of being under the influence of marijuana, Smith said, but that charge has yet to be heard in local court. News of the agreement was first reported by TMZ Sports....

  15. Draft breakdown: Rounding up the Bucs' likely RB options

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Of all the questions to be answered in next week's NFL draft, the largest for Bucs fans is likely this: Will Tampa Bay draft a running back early and move on from Doug Martin?

    Much of that centers around the Bucs' first-round pick, No. 19 overall, and which of the draft's consensus top three backs — LSU's Leonard Fournette, Florida State's Dalvin Cook and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey — will be available when the Bucs are on the clock....

    PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03:  James Conner #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers warms up before the game against the Villanova Wildcats on September 3, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)