The first game of the preseason has come and gone. In what seemed like forever, we finally had the chance to see the Buccaneers back in action. The performance we saw from them had many fans on social media bolstering disapproval. Some screaming, “We have returned to sucking.”
Penalties, turnovers, dropped passes, a missed extra point, holy crap we looked sloppy. But we also looked good. How can I say that? If you watched the game closely you saw some very encouraging things happen.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to have a pass rush again. The Bucs pass rush that included starters and second stringers sacked the Eagles QB four times in the first half and kept their passes off balance forcing bad throws. Noah Spence’s lightning fast speed forced the Eagles offensive lineman to keep a watchful eye on the rookie. Jacquies Smith along with Robert Ayers turned the pressure up on the Eagles offense forcing mistakes. Jacquies Smith recorded a sack, Akeem Spence got some sack action, Howard Jones recorded a sack (Expect more from him this season. He had five last season), and Clinton McDonald accompanied that first half sack fest. If the pass rush continues to show this level of tenacity, then Gerald McCoy will have a career season!
The Buccaneers secondary complimented the pass rush nicely as the Eagles as a whole, were only able to complete 50% of their passes. Isaiah Johnson recorded Tampa’s only interception as he picked off the second overall selection in the 2016 draft, Carson Wentz.
Jameis Winston was stripped of the football and that turnover resulted in a touchdown, but that was really his only fault. Winston had a good game, otherwise. Winston looked to be fairly accurate although he had missed a couple of opportunities to hit receivers deep. No worries. He did find Russell Shepard, who had an outstanding game, for the Team’s only TD of the evening.
Mike Glennon looked good despite what everyone is saying. He played with the Buccaneers second string offense vs the Eagles first-string defense for quite some time. He went 7/14 for 82 yards and threw up a ‘duck’ that was intercepted. I think he played rather well considering he only gets to play in practice and preseason anymore. I also noticed that a lot of the passes he chucked out there were on point, the receivers dropped most of them or his percentage would have been higher.
Overall in game one of the preseason, the Buccaneers seemed to have improved on two of the major issues the previous team had, and that is pass rush and secondary. The next game in Jacksonville will shed more light on how the secondary is coming along, as Blake Bortles will test our secondary with a group of talented and speedy receivers.
Dirk Koetter’s attitude is refreshing. I love it! He does not sugar coat anything.