March 13, 2014
Thursday, March 13
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Bucs may draft a QB anyway

Bucs coach Lovie Smith made it clear Wednesday that newly signed veteran Josh McCown is his starting quarterback for 2014. "I've known him for a while, got a chance to see him in every situation, as a leader, a guy coming back from adversity," Smith said. "When you have a little time to reflect on a lot of things, and say 'Hey, this next chance, I want to do it right in every way.' I wanted to have people that I really knew how they would react in every situation. Josh is just a heck of a guy. ... You have to be the guy that knows how to get everybody going in the right direction. That's what he's done. It's a new year. We have a long way to go, but we'll start it together." Smith also made it clear that signing McCown does not preclude the Bucs from drafting a quarterback in May: "Not at all." (Tampa Bay Times) Comment

Thunder GM: League to blame for tank talk

Earlier this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver responded, again, to allegations that teams may be tanking for higher draft positions. He reiterated his stance that it doesn't exist. Instead, the newly-appointed commissioner chooses to view losing teams as "rebuilding." I asked Thunder general manager Sam Presti [Tuesday] for his thoughts on the subject and thought I'd share his statements. I found them pretty interesting. "Oddly enough, I think it's a narrative that was created to tweak the league office, and they are showing to be quite reflexive to it," Presti said. "I'm actually a bit surprised they have fed into it and devoted so much public energy to it given the lack of evidence. The records of the teams in the bottom four of the league are in line with those over the last 20 seasons." (The Oklahoman) Comment

Florida's most important spring yet

On March 19, the University of Florida will begin spring football practices. [The sessions mark] the fourth for Will Muschamp as the Gators' coach and perhaps the most important anyone has had during their tenure here. Muschamp led Florida to an 11-win season two years ago and a BCS bowl only to tumble to 4-8 last season with a rash of injuries, the firing of offensive coordinator Brent Pease and the hiring of Kurt Roper. "At this time of the year, there are a couple of things you're looking for going forward: a belief and confidence in what we're doing," Muschamp said. ... Muschamp has opened nine practices to the public this spring -- including the first four. He asked Roper if that would be OK, first, because Roper is installing a new spread offense and got his blessing. (USA TODAY Sports) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta falls in front of Manchester City's Vincent Kompany during a Champions League match Wednesday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Must-See Video

Creighton forward Doug McDermott talks about being on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: Dan Marino
  • 1960 -- The NFL's Chicago Cardinals franchise moves to St. Louis.
  • 1992 -- Legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn calls his 2,500th straight Lakers game, a streak that started in November of 1965.
  • 2000 -- Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino announces his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons. The 38-year-old had turned down an offer to play for the Vikings.
  • 2012 -- BYU overcomes a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history.

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