Exclusive Bucs coverage by Gary Shelton Sports

Pierre-Paul thinks he’ll make a difference for Bucs

March 24, 2018 general

Saturday, 3 a.m. You imagine the front four, all shiny and new. You imagine them staring at the quarterback, and their teeth are long. You imagine them collapsing the pocket. You imagine the linebackers, sleek and fast. You imagine them cleaning up behind a stronger line, a fiercer line. You imagine what third-and-12 might look […]

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Licht grabs his pass-rusher in trade for JPP

March 23, 2018 general

Friday, 3 a.m. By its nature, it is a profession that demands a blend of skills. There is the quickness of the start. There is the strength of the initial engagement. There is the twisting, turning motion of the second step. There is the raw speed of the close to the quarterback. Pretty much, that […]

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Will the final chapter be kind to Lightning?

March 22, 2018 general

Thursday, 4 a.m. Juliet died. The Godfather made amends. The Death Star blew up. Hannibal had a friend for dinner. Rick put Ilsa on the plane. Private Ryan lived to be old. We are all about the endings. The rest of the story, really, is just details. Rocky lost, then he won, then he made […]

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What can you expect from Bucs’ free agent class?

March 20, 2018 general

Tuesday, 4 am. They sit in the front of the room like trophies. The price tags are still on them. No one has ever missed a block, and no one has ever missed a tackle. Right now, they are found money, lost Lotto tickets, mercenaries here to make winning a bit easier. Right now, Vinny […]

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Random thoughts: Bucs improve in free agency

March 18, 2018 general

Sunday, 4 a.m. The Bucs didn’t break the bank in free agency this year, but with a defensive end, a center, two defensive tackles and a kicker, they at least got a bit better. Did they get better enough? Not yet. — Vinny Curry isn’t the pass-rusher you would have wanted, but he’s solid with […]

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Bucs wrap up Evans, Brate to new contracts

March 14, 2018 general

Wednesday, 3 a.m. For the Tampa Bay Buc, the key to getting better is to re-sign the players they already had. The Bucs, who haven’t chased yet in free agency, have made millionaires of wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Cam Brate with new six-year contracts. That’s continue a battle-plan that earlier featured new […]

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Do the Bucs have an off-season plan?

March 13, 2018 general

Tuesday, 4 a.m. He has a plan. Doesn’t he? Mustn’t he? Jason Licht sits in his office, the midnight oil burning. He is watching game tape, and he is poring over scouting charts. He has a blueprint in his mind to negotiate his Tampa Bay Bucs from a fairly bad team to a fairly good […]

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Random thoughts: Just how cheap are the Rays?

March 11, 2018 general

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. I realize the bullpens are close, but I can’t shake the feeling that the reason that that the Rays have declined the retro-car that would haul their pitchers to the mound is that the players’ union won’t let them kick in for gas. — Of all people, Johnny Manziel has called for […]

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Why isn’t there an Oscar for sports movies?

March 5, 2018 College Sports in Florida

Monday, 4 a.m. What we need here is a red carpet. What we need here are blinding flashes and stupid questions and an actor out of 1997 who still thinks he’s a star. What we need are Caitlyn Jenner and Dennis Rodman and Will Farrell and Margot Robbie, presenting awards. What we need is an […]

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Random thoughts: Rays’ fans punched again

February 25, 2018 general

Sunday, 4 a.m. Forgive me if I’m repetitive, but that hollow feeling when you read about the Rays is, too. After the injury to prospect Brent Honeywell, you have to ask, though. Is this the worst spring training a team ever had? — To recount: The face of the franchise? Gone. The All-Star? Gone. The […]

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