Since he's already had a setback (and his replacement is getting 100-yard games), Bucs will be very cautious with M… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:01:19 PM
Taggart: Woodie to remain defensive play-caller
By Joey Knight Times Staff Writer TAMPA -- While Bulls coach Willie Taggart has suggested some defensive changes are forthcoming in the wake of Friday's debacle at Temple, one of them won't be the voice of the play-caller.
Beleaguered first-year coordinator Raymond Woodie will continue calling the shots, Taggart said during his regular weekly press conference Tuesday.
"Who do you want me to use?" Taggart said.
When a reporter suggested first-year safeties coach John Jancek, a former coordinator at three Division I schools including Tennessee, Taggart dismissed the notion.
"But he was a former defensive coordinator that ran a totally different defense," Taggart said. "We're in the middle of the season, so no. We're going to get better -- everybody. So you guys write about that now. Write about that: No, (a new play-caller) is not going to happen, okay? So we're going to get better."
Criticism of Woodie intensified Friday after the Bulls' listless defense surrendered 319 rushing yards in the 46-30 loss at Temple. USF, one of only five Division I schools to allow two players to run for at least 200 yards this season, ranks last in the American Athletic Conference against the run (206.3 ypg).
Taggart blamed Friday's struggle on myriad factors: lack of energy, failure to fill gaps and poor angles. MLB Auggie Sanchez, the defensive captain, blamed himself.
"That's my bad for not going back and making sure guys are right, making sure guys are flying around," he said. "Because if you're not aligned right but you play 100 percent, I guarantee you'll make a few plays. ... So it just goes back to not having much energy, and I put that on me."
INJURY UPDATE: Taggart re-stated that QB Quinton Flowers, who exited with a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter Friday, "absolutely" would be ready to go this Friday against Temple.
"He's a tough guy," Taggart said.
Elsewhere, CB Ronnie Hoggins (calf) is expected to play after missing the last two games. WR Ryeshene Bronson (shoulder), who didn't make the trip to Philadelphia last weekend, practiced Tuesday and made a nice catch, Taggart said.
CHIRPING OWL: Taggart and Sanchez had little reaction to Temple RB Ryquell Armstead's postgame comments that essentially questioned the Bulls toughness.
Speaking of his fullback, 240-pound Temple junior Nick Sharga, Armstead said: "By the end of the third quarter he had USF players falling to their knees out of fear of making contact with him."
"It's a slap in the face," Sanchez said. "Were we falling on our knees to cut him, or was he making us fall to his knees? That's the only question I would ask. ... Kudos to them, they beat us. (Armstead) had a career night (210 rushing yards), I think that's the most yards he's ever had, so good for them. They can say it, they won."
Taggart basically concurred: "If he had said it before the game, I'd have something to say. But it's afterwards. He can say that. They beat us. They ran the ball hard. They beat us. He can say what he wants to say. Pretty cool."
ODDS AND ENDS: Friday is USF's "Salute the Service" game, in which the Bulls will wear uniforms (details to come) honoring those who serve in the military. ... The Bulls enter Friday's game three rushing TDs shy of the program's single-season record (30) set in 2007. ... If he can play through his tweaked hamstring, Flowers (745 rushing, 1,722 passing yards) could become the first 2,000/1,000 player in program history. ... Navy is 22-4 over its last 26 games, with three of those four losses coming against ranked teams. ... For the second consecutive week, USF will have the broadcast crew of Adam Amin (play-by-play), Mack Brown (analysis) and Molly McGrath (sideline) calling its game, this time for ESPN2.
AUDIBLE: "If you ask me what I'm more ticked about more than anything, it's the selfish penalties. We can't have those." -- Taggart, whose team was penalized 11 times for 88 yards (including a personal foul and a taunting whistle) against Temple.
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:16:02 PM
Storm names former Portland coach to same post
TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Storm named Ron James as head coach on Tuesday, team president Derrick Brooks announced.
James spent last season coaching the Portland Steel, which folded in recent weeks.
“Ron has over 30 years of coaching experience that he is bringing with him to Tampa Bay,” Brooks, the Hall of Fame Bucs linebacker, said in a statement. “After spending time with him throughout this vetting process, we believe he best exemplified what we want to do, and where we want to go, as a team.”
James, 52, has been a head coach for eight seasons in the Arena League including stops in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Utah as well as Portland. His teams have been to the playoffs three times.
James replaces longtime former Storm player Lawrence Samuels, whose three-year tenure ended with a 2-14 season in 2016, the worst mark in franchise history.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to join one of the most storied franchises in the Arena Football League,” James said in a statement. “It’s a great feeling to be a part of a team that has such strong management and leadership.”
James, a native of Albany, N.Y., played in college at Siena and began his coaching career there as an assistant in 1986.
by Carl Lisciandrello, Times...10/26/2016 12:19:19 PM
Rowdies move to the more populous United Soccer League
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced Tuesday afternoon that the team will move to the United Soccer League in 2017.
The latest version of the Rowdies began play in 2010 and a year later joined the North American Soccer League, which consisted of 12 teams this season. The USL, which also dips into Canada, had 29 teams this season and saw a record attendance of about 1.5 million. Orlando City B was one of six new teams that joined the USL this year.
“We are excited to join the United Soccer League in 2017,” Rowdies chairman and CEO Bill Edwards said in a news release. “I have said from the day I acquired controlling interest in this club that I wanted to make it one of the most successful teams in North America. The USL is a vibrant league, and this move is a necessary and positive step toward reaching the long-term goals and objectives of the club.”
The Rowdies likely will be placed in the Eastern Conference for 2017. The 32-game season starts March 24. Ottawa was also moving from the NASL to the USL.
“With our league headquartered in Tampa, we are pleased to welcome the Rowdies to the USL for next season,” said Alec Papadakis, the USL’s CEO, in a news release. “This allows us to expand our footprint into the Southeast with a storied soccer brand while meeting our key tenets of market size, committed local ownership and stadium development.”
by Carl Lisciandrello, Times...10/26/2016 12:20:33 PM
Bucs practice at 1:10 today, we can report injury updates on Twitter at 1:40 and with luck, have a story online sho… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:29:03 PM
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:39:37 PM
Bucs practice today now at 1:25, so first injury updates of the week will be here at 1:55. Adjust your workday accordingly ...
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:48:04 PM
That was in preseason. They have gone in early afternoon since season started. They need meeting time before practi… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 12:51:09 PM
Indians lefty, former Rays draftee Andrew Miller changing game for relievers
By MARC TOPKIN
Times Staff Writer
CLEVELAND — The player with the potential to have the single biggest impact on the World Series that opened in Cleveland on Tuesday night could have been a Ray.
Or at least a Devil Ray.
Andrew Miller, the dominating reliever whose early-and-often usage by the Indians has changed the dynamic of postseason bullpen management, was a third-round pick in 2003 by Tampa Bay’s first regime.
And, as a product of Gainesville’s Buchholz High, he was intrigued by the prospects of pitching for what was essentially his hometown team.
But money was something of an issue, as was Miller’s own maturity, or lack thereof. He said he wasn’t ready at 18 for the pressures of the big-league deal and fast track the Rays were offering, figuring he’d probably be better prepped for pro ball after three years at North Carolina.
Packers' opponents have NFL-best 244 more penalty yards than Packers have. Next best: 49ers (+217), Chargers (+194), Redskins (+166).
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 1:02:11 PM
NFL's worst on penalty yard differential? Jaguars have 167 more penalty yards than their opponents. Eagles 156, Falcons 135, Vikings 124.
by Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times...via twitter10/26/2016 1:03:00 PM
Jones: It’s up to LeBron to derail Warriors’ dream team
By TOM JONES
Times Sports Columnist
Once he was a part of the problem.
Now he is a part of the solution.
LeBron James. Oh, save us, LeBron. Save us from the dreaded Dream Team known as the Golden State Warriors. You’re our only hope to keep a fantasy team made up of All-Stars and constructed by gobs of money and greed and selfishness from turning the NBA, which opened play Tuesday night, into a season of yawns.
This a Warriors team that won an NBA regular season-record 73 games and then added, arguably, the second-best player on the planet in Kevin Durant. The Warriors would have won the NBA title last season, but one man stopped them: LeBron.
And now LeBron is our best hope to push a pin in Golden State’s bubble, the one man who can stop the dream team.
Indians deliver on banner night for Cleveland sports
By Marc Topkin, Times Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — The Indians did their part Tuesday in contributing to one of the greatest nights in Cleveland sports history for several reasons.
Taking the field a half-hour after the Cavaliers raised their NBA championship banner in the arena next door, the Indians beat the favored Cubs 6-0 in the opener of the best-of-seven World Series.
Because their stoic ace, Stetson University product Corey Kluber was dominating, outpitching World Series-wise Jon Lester by working six sterling innings with nine strikeouts, and pulled then only to preserve bullets for a potential quick return in Game 4.
“I think he’s a good pitcher all the time. I mean, I think for the last three years he’s been pretty good,’’ Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But to your point, in these playoffs he’s been about as good as — and we need him and we’re going to need him more. But he prepares so hard and we’re talking about before the game his routines and his work ethic. That’s why, here late into October, and the needle on the gas tank doesn’t point towards empty.’’
Tune in regularly for live coverage of Tampa Bay events, breaking news and Florida court trials. Participate in live chats with Tampa Bay Times experts about local sports and other topics, like cooking in our weekly #CookClub chats.