The preseason is officially underway. The first scrimmage for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a 26-24 loss to the visiting Miami Dolphins. And while the score certainly doesn’t matter in a scrimmage, there were plenty of things to see that did.
Specifically, there were a few players on the offense who made their mark. Between the battle for depth wide receiver spots, as well as the starting left guard job there were a lot of guys with jobs on the line. This made for an interesting competition.
There were a few in particular who stepped up and have given themselves an edge. It’s still early in camp, but here are the guys who stood out in the Buccaneers first preseason game.
This time a week ago I would have told you that Tyler Johnson had his bags packed and two feet out the door. The third year receiver has had a few shining moments, but has overall been very underwhelming. With all the talent on the roster, it was clear that Johnson would have to step up.
And step up he did. After a few chippy practices against the Dolphins, Johnson has begun to show a fire that I’m not sure we’ve seen from him. That passion translates to the field on Saturday night.
Johnson led the team in both catches and yards, 6 for 73 respectively. Keep in mind that this was largely done in the first quarter when the Dolphins had their “starters” (or more realistically their best backups) in the game. If there was one guy who saved his roster spot in the game then it was Johnson.
It feels like Rachaad White plays at a different speed than everybody else. His patience and understanding of the game stand out when he has the ball. This allows him to set blocks up and seemingly turn nothing into something.
White led the team in rushing and he did it on an efficient 4.6 yards per carry. He also did a nice job in the passing game, both in pass catching and blocking. White might be listed fourth on the depth chart right now, but he was definitely the best running back on the field for the Buccaneers.
Most people will only remember his missed 49 yard attempt to win the game. However, before that he had made three point after attempts and a 55 yard field goal. Going 4 / 5 is nothing to be ashamed of. With that said it would have been great to see him hit that game winner.
Jose Borregalas is in a kicking competition with Ryan Succup. Both have reportedly been great in practice and it’s believed that the winner will be determined by what they do in the preseason games. This was an overall good night for Borregalas.
I thought Luke Goedeke looked the best of the interior offensive lineman. Of course, this comes with acknowledgment that he played mostly in the second half and against the worst competition. Even so, he showed some good things.
Goedeke’s ability to get movement at the point of attack as well as his ability to get to the second level we’re on display. He was a big part of why the Bucs were able to run the ball with success down the stretch. Overall a solid first game for him.
The one starter the Dolphins player on their defensive line was Raekwon Davis. As nose tackle that put him right over the Bucs’ young center. This came with mixed results.
More often than not this matchup was a stalemate. Robert Hainsey didn’t get pushed around, but he didn’t do a lot to create running room. It’s said that a draw is a win for the defense, but it’s about what you expect matched up with a nose tackle.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad showing. Hainsey could have been better, but he also could have been much worse. We will continue to watch how he progresses.
Kyle Trask saw most of the snaps on offense. This is something many people wanted to see just because we need to see what the second year quarterback can do. Especially after what has been reported as a pretty disappointing camp.
All in all, Trask did well. He had a few turnovers; a flukey interception and a strip sack fumble. He also had a few great throws, including a beautiful touchdown pass.
More than anything, it was nice just to see Trask manage the game. Throws were generally accurate and he didn’t look out of place. He definitely needs to process things faster, but that’s what you expect of a young and inexperienced player.
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