Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones writes columns and television/radio commentary for the Tampa Bay Times' Sports section. He has covered everything from high schools to colleges to professional sports since starting with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1986. After the Independent, Tom worked at the Times (1987-91), the Tampa Tribune (1991-96), the Times again (1996-2000), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2000-03) and returned for his third stint at the Times in 2003. Though he has covered all sports, Tom is a hockey writer at heart. He covered the Tampa Bay Lightning from its first game in 1992 until moving to Minnesota to cover the Wild for three years. He returned to the Times again to cover the Lightning until taking over as writer and editor for Page Two in 2006. He lists Herb Brooks, Lou Piniella and Wayne Gretzky as the most interesting personalities he has covered and the 2002 Winter Olympics as the best event he has covered. Tom co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM. He previously hosted a weekly sports roundtable show on Bright House Sports Network. Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): listen live

In this file photo, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly arrives before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game with Wisconsin, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. Kelly is reportedly considering offers to become the head football coach at the University of Florida and UCLA. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well,...
Published: 11/21/17
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bayís 30-20 victory

MIAMI GARDENS ó That was one ugly football game.The Bucs had a bad game. The Dolphins had a really bad game. And who had the...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/20/17
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston greets Miami Dolphins players following Tampa Bay's win. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

MIAMI GARDENS ó A dark cloud is hanging over this football team.Itís a heaviness. A dread. A dread for what might have...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/20/17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) takes a moment before the first defensive series of the first quarter of the game between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?íí there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Both are defensive tackles. Both went to, what were at the time, Big 12...
Published: 11/18/17
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) takes water during the second period of Saturdayâ\u0088\u009A¢â\u0080\u009A\u0082 \u0308â\u0080\u009A\u0084¢s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Jones: The goalie who could make us forget Ben Bishop

TAMPA ó Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop showed up at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.So howís the big guy doing?Donít know. Donít care.Sorry, thatís wasnít meant to be mean. Bishop is a great goalie, a good guy and a class act. He...
Published: 11/15/17
LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden chats with fan Leigh Dittman, 17, during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Gruden will be inducted into the Buccaneers

Jones: The idea of Gruden and the Bucs beats the reality

Jon Gruden to the Bucs?Sounds like one sloppy, happy mess.It would be one part delicious, one part debacle and all parts completely compelling.I can see it now.The Bucs season ends Dec. 31. They could hire Gruden before we...
Published: 11/13/17
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) is sacked by Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs-Jets report card: This win was no masterpiece, but it counts just the same

TAMPA ó The last time the Bucs won a football game was two years ago. Actually, before Sunday, it was Oct. 1. But in the NFL, when you go...
Published: 11/12/17
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (25) runs into Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) during the first half. [AP Photo/Jason Behnken]

Jones: Lavonte David is the best thing the Bucs have going for them

TAMPA ó The Bucs won a football game Sunday. After losing five in a row, thatís a pretty big deal.And donít you dare take the air...
Published: 11/12/17
A Bucs fan hangs out before a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

Bucs-Jets: What to do with the final eight Bucs games

TAMPA ó Know what might be the most sobering part of the Bucsí disappointing season?Weíre only halfway through it.Doesnít it feel like the Bucs already have played like 14 games?Ugh. Eight more games to go.While Bucs...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/11/17
Kentucky's Kevin Knox, left, looks for an opening on Morehead State's Emanuel Thompson (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball exhibition game against Morehead State, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp) KYJC105

Tom Jonesí Two Cents on college basketball season

Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the 2017-18 college basketball season.The top fiveMy picks for the nationís top five teams:1. Duke: As if the Blue Devils werenít loaded enough, they add four sensational...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17