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TAMPA http://www.ravensfootballauthentics.com ... -authentic , Fla. (AP)Despite winning just five games and missing the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feel they’re progressing under Dirk Koetter. Koetter is the coach the Bucs are betting on to help quarterback Jameis Winston realize his potential in 2018. That’s a bit of a surprise considering ownership’s lack of patience with predecessors hired to change the team’s fortunes. The Bucs have made four coaching changes during a decade-long playoff drought. Raheem Morris was fired after three seasons, while Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith exited with losing records after two years. The Glazer family met last week with general manager Jason Licht, who informed Koetter two days before a 31-24 season-ending victory over New Orleans that the coach would retain his job despite the Bucs (5-11) taking a step back after going 9-7 in 2016. ”Again, I am very appreciative of the Glazer family. They are going to give me and my staff the opportunity to come back and fix the things that we didn’t do good enough this year … and I do think it took courage,” Koetter said. ”Just look around the league. There are (situations) that surprise you the way they went, and there are other ones that surprise you the way they didn’t go,” Koetter added. ”I’m sure plenty of people are surprised by this, but I appreciate the opportunity, and we are going to do our best to fix it.” The Glazers are sticking with Koetter despite rumors about of a possible rift between the coach and Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 23-year-old quarterback missed three games with a shoulder sprain that also hampered Winston during a four-week stretch in which he tried to play through the injury. Winston returned to the lineup in December and played well down the stretch. The third-year pro denied his relationship with Koetter had deteriorated and that he’s happy the coach will get a chance to build on the progress the Bucs have made. ”He truly deserves that. You could just see this locker room and how we kept fighting for him,” Winston said. ”Our coach comes to work every single day, and he is so consistent. His message is always the same. He expects a lot from us and he holds us accountable.” Takeaways from a disappointing season: INCONSISTENCY: In addition to stopping a five-game losing streak, the Bucs avoided going winless in the NFC South by beating the division champion Saints to close the season. The team lost 10 of 13 after a 2-1 start, including five of six down the stretch. They went 3-7 in games decided by a touchdown or less. While injuries were a factor, red zone scoring difficulties Miles Boykin Jersey , as well as the absence of a consistent pass rush and productive running game, held them back, too. ”Score more points – that is one issue,” Koetter said. ”The No. 2 biggest issue is we can’t get pressure with a four-man rush. I’m not telling anybody any big secrets here. Those were our two biggest things that need to be addressed.” WINSTON’S GROWTH: With 11,636 passing yards, Winston has thrown for more yards than any player in his first three NFL seasons except Andrew Luck (12,957) and Peyton Manning (12,287). He remains a turnover machine, though. He threw for 19 TDs this season, giving him 69 in his career, but he also had 11 interceptions and lost 10 fumbles in 13 games. ”Turnovers are the No. 1 thing that get you beat. … Jameis knows that,” Koetter said. ”It’s definitely something that has to be corrected.” WE BELIEVE: The Bucs set club records for pass attempts (605), completions (378), yards per attempt (7.61), net passing yards (4,366) Deandre Baker Jersey , total first downs (352) and passing first downs (243). ”Let me tell you something: When we’re healthy, we can beat the heck out of anybody. … This offense works,” Winston said. QUITE A START: With five catches for 55 yards in the finale, WR Mike Evans joined A.J. Green and Randy Moss as the only players in league history to begin their careers with four consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards receiving. He finished with 71 receptions for 1,001 yards and five TDs. MOVING FORWARD: Change is inevitable, however don’t anticipate a massive overhaul for next season. Koetter stands by his assertion during training camp that the Bucs are talented enough to win consistently. He has no intentions to stop calling offensive plays, and there’s no indication that defensive coordinator Mike Smith is on his way out. ”I’ll stand by my comment that it is the most talent that we have had,” Koetter said. ”Getting that talent to score enough points and rush the passer enough is what we didn’t do.” — DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill dropped back to pass and the pocket quickly collapsed, making it just like old times.An onrushing end merely waved as he went by because Wednesday’s drills involved no contact, which spared Tannehill a blow. Instead, he scooted away on his reconstructed left knee toward the sideline and encountered a linebacker, who also pulled up at the last moment.The hits will come soon enough, but for now Tannehill is healthy and optimistic about leading a turnaround by the Miami Dolphins.He’s practicing this week for the first time since a torn left ACL in training camp ended his 2017 season before it began. A serious injury to the same knee forced him to miss the final four games in 2016, meaning he hasn’t played in nearly 18 months.More Miami Dolphins newsDolphins sign hometown WR Allen Hurns to 1-year contractNew Dolphins coach Brian Flores has his own daily workout at training campDolphins assistant coach Jim Caldwell takes leave of absence to address health issuesTwo-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones rejoins Dolphins after skipping voluntary practicesDolphins QBs Josh Rosen http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/au ... nes-jersey , Ryan Fitzpatrick embrace battle for No. 1 job“It was a long year, some dark times,” Tannehill said, speaking publicly for the first time since he was hurt last August.Tannehill has received medical clearance without limitations and isn’t even wearing a knee brace this week, although he plans to wear one in games.“It’s purely to prevent what started the whole train wreck,” he said.Tannehill said his return to practice stirred painful memories of watching workouts last year while sitting inside the team complex, his injured leg in a brace and propped on a chair.“It feels amazing to be back out there,” he said. “It has been a lot of work to put a helmet back on and step on the grass again. I was just telling the guys, I can remember sitting in the cafeteria looking through the glass like a little kid that’s not allowed to go outside and play.”Also back were linebacker Raekwon McMillan and cornerback Tony Lippett, both of whom missed the entire 2017 season because of injuries. The entire roster was on hand, although 35-year-old running back Frank Gore was on the field only briefly and won’t be involved in drills much this spring to keep him healthy.Tannehill, a starter since his rookie season in 2012, has never played in the postseason. But he and the Dolphins are optimistic he can regain the form he showed in 2016, when he enjoyed the best stretch of his career and helped put the team in playoff contention before his injury.“I feel like I kind of went on a run there,” Tannehill said. “I felt like I was finally starting to play really good football, being in command of the offense and understanding what we were trying to accomplish with every play call.”With Jay Cutler as an emergency replacement for Tannehill Julian Love Jersey , the Dolphins slipped to 6-10 last year. Gase is so confident about Tannehill that they didn’t draft a quarterback last month.“It’s great to have him back out there,” Gase said. “As long as we don’t have a setback, I feel good. We’re in a good place. I’ve seen him move around just as well as he ever has.”Newcomer Josh Sitton, a four-time Pro Bowl guard, offered an endorsement of his new QB after just two practices together. Sitton took particular note of one strike Tannehill threw.“He rolled out after a play action and was running to his left,” Sitton said. “I thought, `That’s pretty impressive.'”Tannehill didn’t miss a game in his first four NFL seasons, enduring 212 sacks behind a leaky line without serious injury. He said he’s not worried about his knee holding up, and won’t be thinking about it on the field.The knee probably won’t be tested with contact until the preseason in August.“I’m never eager to get hit,” Tannehill said with a chuckle. “I’d be sadistic. But I don’t think about it any different than I would any other season going into a new season. It’s a physical game, and I love that.”
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