2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Buccaneers sport new look, attitude on defense

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 18:57

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Mason Foster stood in a mostly empty locker room talking about why the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers feel good about where they're headed.

The team's revamped defense has yielded game-winning field goals in the closing seconds each of the past two weeks. Still, Foster believes the Bucs (0-2) clearly are better on that side of the ball than a year ago, when the unit nearly set a NFL record for passing yards allowed.

The third-year linebacker points to the job the defense did against Drew Brees during Sunday's 16-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints as proof.

The Bucs sacked the New Orleans star four times, pushing their total to nine in two games - one-third the number they had all of last season. They also had two interceptions, one of which Foster returned 85 yards for a touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 14-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

``It's tough. Any time you lose games the way we've lost the last two weeks, it hurts bad,'' Foster said Monday. ``At the same time, it makes people more hungry. I feel that everybody on our team wants to push harder, wants to do the extra things now because we know we're right there.''

The Bucs were last in the NFL in pass defense a year ago, but have taken on a new look - and attitude - with the offseason addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson.

In addition to limiting New Orleans' explosive offense to one touchdown, Tampa Bay was penalized three times for unnecessary roughness for helmet-to-helmet hits against the Saints. The Bucs also were flagged for three personal fouls in Week 1 against the New York Jets, and Goldson was fined $30,000 for a hit on tight end Jeff Cumberland.

Goldson, an All-Pro last season with San Francisco, was suspended by the NFL for one game without pay after being penalized again Sunday for hitting Saints running back Darren Sproles in the head.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn drew a penalty for a hit on Brees, and safety Ahmad Black was flagged for hitting tight end Jimmy Graham in the head.

Before Goldson's suspension was announced, Coach Greg Schiano reiterated he wants his players to remain aggressive, but also play within the rules.

``It really doesn't matter whether you think it's a penalty. It's called, so it's a penalty,'' Schiano said in response to a question about whether he agreed with all of the calls.

``That's really the issue. If something's going to be called, we have to avoid it because it's hurting the football team,'' Schiano added. ``On the same token, I want our guys to play hard. I don't think anybody's intentionally trying to do that, so we just have to be more and more aware of that situation and make sure we avoid that as much as we can.''

The Bucs have committed a league-high 23 penalties for 220 yards in two games.

Foster said the personal fouls - five of them for hits to the head and the other for a late hit on Jets quarterback Geno Smith - have been the result of teammates playing hard.

``Everybody knows the rules. It's football. Everybody's playing as fast as they can,'' Foster said. ``Playing at a fast pace, it's really hard to make a good tackle and play how you want to play and think about it. Nobody's out there trying to hurt anybody or trying to hit them in the head, but it's part of football.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

A.J. GreenSep 21 11:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is active against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 21.

Anthony SpencerSep 21 11:52a

The Dallas Cowboys have declared DL Anthony Spencer, DL Davon Coleman, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, LB Justin Durant, LB Rolando McClain, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 3.

Bryce BrownSep 21 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared RB Bryce Brown, TE Chris Gragg, OG Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Keith Rivers, LB Randell Johnson, CB Ross Cockrell inactive for Week 3.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch for the game.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Don Jones, RB James White, OL Josh Kline, DL Michael Buchanan, C Ryan Wendell, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 3.

Akeem JordanSep 21 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared LB Akeem Jordan, TE Jordan Reed, DL Kedric Golston, OT Morgan Moses, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Santana Moss, CB Tracy Porter inactive for Week 3.

Brandon WattsSep 21 11:42a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Brandon Watts, WR Charles X. Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, OG David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DL Scott Crichton, CB Shaun Prater inactive for Week 3.

Arthur JonesSep 21 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared DL Arthur Jones, LB Chris Carter, WR Da'Rick Rogers, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis inactive for Week 3.

Brandon ThompsonSep 21 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared RB Ben Tate, DL Eric Martin, TE Gerell Robinson, DL Ish Kitchen, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson inactive for Week 3.

David HawthorneSep 21 11:42a

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB David Hawthorne, FB Erik Lorig, DL John Jenkins, SS Marcus Ball, RB Mark Ingram, WR Nick Toon, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 3.

Justin ForsettSep 21 11:39a

Forsett will start the Week 3 game for the Ravens. Bernard Pierce is out.

Bernard PierceSep 21 11:39a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is inactive Sunday, Sept. 21, for the Week 3 game. RB Justin Forsett will start.

Akeem AyersSep 21 11:32a

The Tennessee Titans have declared LB Akeem Ayers, OL Byron Stingily, DT DaQuan Jones, WR Kris Durham, DL Mike Martin, WR T.J. Graham, QB Zach Mettenberger inactive for Week 3.

Charles BrownSep 21 11:32a

The New York Giants have declared OT Charles Brown, DL Devon Kennard, OT James Brewer, DL Jay Bromley, LB Jon Beason, DT Kerry Wynn, WR Odell Beckham Jr. inactive for Week 3.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, DL Louis Nix, SS Shiloh Keo, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 3.

Jordan CameronSep 21 11:32a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) is inactive for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. RB Alfred Blue is expected to start.

Arthur BrownSep 21 11:32a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, RB Bernard Pierce, OT Jah Reid, OG John Urschel, WR Michael Campanaro, FS Terrence Brooks, DL Timmy Jernigan inactive for Week 3.

Earl WolffSep 21 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared SS Earl Wolff, WR Josh Huff, OT Kevin Graf, OG Matt Tobin, QB Matt Barkley, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 3.

Dontrelle InmanSep 21 11:32a

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Chris Davis, WR Dontrelle Inman, DL Ricardo Mathews, RB Ryan Mathews, DT Ryan Carrethers, CB Steve Williams inactive for Week 3.

Zach ErtzSep 21 11:22a

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz has seven receptions on the season, and six of them have gone for 20 or more yards. He's second in the league in that category.

Shaun HillSep 21 11:22a

St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis is likely to start Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Dallas Cowboys. QB Shaun Hill (thigh) is likely out.

DeSean JacksonSep 21 11:22a

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) will play Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Alshon JefferySep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Brandon MarshallSep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Shane VereenSep 21 11:02a

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) is likely to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Justin ForsettSep 21 10:32a

Updating an earlier report, Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) has a 5 percent chance to play Sunday, Sept. 21, according to a team source. RB Justin Forsett is likely to start.

Jordan CameronSep 21 10:22a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is expected to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Vernon DavisSep 21 10:22a

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is doubtful to play Sunday, Sept. 21, and was on crutches until Thursday, Sept. 18. TE Derek Carrier would start in his place.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 10:15a

Updating an earlier report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is not expecting to play Sunday, Sept. 21, but he will test his ankle on in pre-game warm-ups. [ More ]

Bernard PierceSep 21 10:15a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is in serious doubt to play Sunday, Sept. 21, in Week 3. He'll be a game-time decision. RB Justin Forsett would start.

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