September 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) stuff arms Carolina Panthers strong safety Charles Godfrey (30) in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Panthers Vs. Buccaneers: Tampa Bay Holds On For A 16-10 Win Over Carolina

Tampa Bay starts the 2012 season with a 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.

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26 Total Updates since September 3, 2012
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Bucs Rookies To Get Trial By Fire

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open their season against the Carolina Panthers, and the Buccaneers will look considerably different than they did when they finished off last season, with reinforcements coming in across the board.

In among the facelift is an influx of impact rookies. Three will start Sunday and three more are expected to play, Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times wrote.

Two of the rookie starters were first-round picks: strong safety Mark Barron, who was drafted No. 7 overall out of Alabama, and running back running back Doug Martin, the 31st overall pick from Boise State. The third rookie starter Sunday will be linebacker Lavonte David, a second-round pick from Nebraska.

Drafting players from big-time college programs was part of the team's strategy, head coach Greg Schiano told Holder. Talent wins out, but rookies that played marquee games in college have one less thing to adjust to in the NFL.

From Holder:

"If you look at the common denominators, these are guys who played in big venues and really had performed at a high level at the highest level of college football," he said. "I think that certainly gives you an advantage.

"Mark Barron, coming from Alabama where there's ... 100,000 people every week, I'm not sure this is going to be too big for him."

For updates on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation as well as Carolina Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Week 1 NFL Odds: Panthers Vs. Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the season at home against the Carolina Panthers as underdogs, though Vegas expects a closely contested game. The Panthers opened as three-point favorites, but they are now favored by as little as one point at some sportsbooks.

Related: Veteran Free Agents Could Be a Possibility for Bucs After Week 1

The Panthers head into 2012 looking to build on a 2011 season that was fueled by a breakout performance by quarterback Cam Newton. The Bucs will be trying to end a 10-game regular season losing streak that dates back to Oct. 23 of last year.

Kickoff for the game between the Bucs and Panthers is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET.

For updates on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation as well as Carolina Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Amobi Okoye Calls Out Bucs' Coach Greg Schiano

Amobi Okoye has returned to the Chicago Bears after being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he had some parting shots for Bucs' head coach Greg Schiano.

Schiano had made some comments about a knee injury that bothered Okoye for much of the offseason, and they did not sit well with the defensive tackle. Okoye fired back on Monday, via Pro Football Talk:

"It really makes me question the character of he himself, because, while I was there, he was trying to mold us to be kind of like him. It made me question all the things he was teaching me, as far as TBA — Trust, Belief and Accountability — his way of doing things," Okoye said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It’s like, ‘Wow, what type of guy is this?’ That really hurt."

The Bucs jettisoned a number of players in the offseason that were expected to be major contributors in 2012. Okoye was one of those players, as he finished with 27 tackles and four sacks while playing in all 16 games for the Bears a season ago.

For more on the Buccaneers, head over to Bucs Nation and stick with SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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Bucs Release Julian Vandervelde, Sign Wallace Gilberry

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, just two days after releasing him on Saturday. To make room on the roster, the Bucs have released G Julian Vandervelde.

SB Nation's Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation, examined the reason for the roster move:

Gilberry can play both defensive end and defensive tackle and looked decent during the preseason. Apparently, the Bucs have decided that carrying just four defensive tackles, one of them with injury issues, was a really bad idea.

The 5th-year veteran Gilberry played in 53 games for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2008-2011. In that time he amassed 57 tackles and 14 sacks.

Vandervelde is in his second NFL season out of Iowa. He played in just one game for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.

For more on the Bucs, head to Bucs Nation and stick with SB Nation Tampa Bay. For all things pro football, head to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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