Josh Freeman

Bucs Win First Game Since Last October

August 13, 2012 at 11:56am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

preseason20121

I finally got a chance to see the Miami preseason game last night since NFL Network insisted on waiting until yesterday morning at 7:00AM to air it for the first time. Add to that the fact that every single write-up about this game focused on the Dolphins with barely any analysis of Tampa Bay and my theory that there is an anti-Buccaneer conspiracy within the NFL starts to make sense. Someone call Jesse Ventura and tell him to get on this.

* Josh Freeman looked pretty sharp, but Dan Orlovsky was on fire. Every pass was on target and his 100% completion rate showed it. He’s really one of the only guys I have to make fun of this season, so if he keeps doing well this preseason, it’s going to really screw me over.

* Greg Schiano and Mike Sullivan were making a point with his play calling. This is a running team and they run when they feel like it. The Bucs ran the ball 34 times and passed it 24. They only got 2.5 yards per carry, but a lot of that had to do with the poor run blocking in the second half. Michael Smith had nowhere to go. But when the starters were in (sans Donald Penn), LeGarrette Blount looked great. One time he was even split out at receiver. Some backups came in and Doug Martin also looked good with a sweet ten yard run showing off his balance.

* Speaking of Michael Smith, his kickoff return for 74 yards was a great display of vision and body control, but I thought he was supposed to be the fastest guy on the field. He got chased down from behind. Here’s a tip: If your greatest asset is your speed, you are not allowed to get chased down from behind.

* Luke Stocker‘s one catch was super sweet and was a great example of the kind of play he can make when they need him to. Between two defenders and behind him, Stocker still snagged it. Go Vols.

* Tiquan Underwood caught all three passes thrown his way, including one that never should have been thrown. The Miami safety should have had that pick, but Underwood kept his eyes on the ball and came down with it when everything shook out. Awesome concentration and hands.

* In the middle of my typing this review, the Bucs defense was called for another offsides penalty. Schiano isn’t going to stand for penalties, especially bullshit ones that are totally avoidable like offsides. Some dudes are going to be running gassers today so they can remember to wait until the ball is snapped.

* Another avoidable penalty: Preston Parker‘s personal foul. It was a scrap with a Dolphins player and might have been overlooked if he hadn’t muffed that punt. Stars can get into fights and get flagged and get away with it. Guys who drop footballs can’t.

* I think the Bucs had more big plays during this game than they did in the last ten games last season.

* Lavonte David is fast. Did you see him make that tackle on punt coverage? He got down there before the ball did.

* Adrian Clayborn is so fast off the ball. He didn’t post any stats in the game, but he’s going to be tough to block this season.

* Myron Lewis started the game but looked hesitant and lost. I’ve heard good things about him in camp, but he was invisible during the game. I’m guessing this is his last chance with the Bucs and he may not survive the cut to 53. But at least he’ll have one more chance with the Redskins when Raheem Morris convinces them to pick him up.

* But Anthony Gaitor looked great. Passes broken up, solid tackling, tight coverage. It’s not even a contest right now if the decision is between Lewis and Gaitor.

* Mason Foster had three tackles and played for less than a quarter. There is a new dedication to stopping the run and it looks like Foster is going to be leading that charge.

I thought it was an impressive showing and a great indication of the direction the Bucs are headed. Your impressions in the comments.

4 Comments to “Bucs Win First Game Since Last October”

cubsandbucsfan

cubsandbucsfan (August 13, 2012 at 01:14pm:

From what I have seen of the game, I am very pleased with the Schiano game plan. It was almost like we were Giant-Lite, a mix of physical and efficient with the right kind of big play threats.

The next 2 pre-season games should be more telling, since I don’t really know how much of test the Dolphins are and/or will be.

So far, so good.

Mark S

Mark S (August 13, 2012 at 02:38pm:

I am getting psyched for the season. I know this is only pre-season and doesn’t mean diddley, but I saw effort, control and physical in your face play.

I love Tiquan Underwood. What an awesome display.
Parker, you should probably just start practice by running gassers until you pass out. Totally disapointed in Parker. The personal foul cannot happen and neither can bad decision making. Neither shows control, which is a prerequisite for playing smart football. I have been a Parker fan, but now, I am thinking he won’t be here.

BaldBuc4055

BaldBuc4055 (August 13, 2012 at 05:13pm:

Positives:

1. If Freeman goes down, we’re not totally screwed if Orlovsky has to come in. He looked pretty good even though he got bailed out by Tiquan Underwood on their longest pass completion of the night.
2. Coaches didn’t stray from the running game. Stick with it even if you’re not getting a high YPC, and eventually you’ll wear a team down, as well as keep some of the high-powered NFC South offenses off the field. The competition between Blount and Martin will only get more intense.
3. Underwood looked like a man possessed. He may overtake Preston Parker as the #3 receiver.
4. Adrian Clayborn has the potential to get double-digit sacks this year. Lets hope he can inspire the rest of the d-line.
5. Loved what I saw from Lavonte David. The kid has speed to burn.
6. Mason Foster didn’t look lost. Helps when you have a full offseason to work with.

Negatives
1. FOR THE LOVE OF JOHN MCKAY, STOP JUMPING OFFSIDE!!!
2. Where was Gerald McCoy? For all the talk about him being the key to the defense this year, I wasn’t impressed with what I saw from him Friday night. He needs to get it together soon.
3. The depth at safety is not impressive. If Ronde Barber or Mark Barron miss any extended time, the secondary is screwed. Cody Grimm was horrendous. His injuries from the last two years must have caught up to him, because he doesn’t look like the same guy who played well in 2010.
4. Myron Lewis should just pack his bags and turn in his playbook, because he’s never shown any signs of being a player in the NFL.
5. The defense has nowhere to go but up, but they’ve still got a long way to go. Plenty of missed tackles.
6. Preston Parker, need I say more?

TheBrainStem

TheBrainStem (August 14, 2012 at 02:30pm:

Schiano looks like an actual coach. Short shorts above the knees with a tucked in shirt and slight muscles. That alone is a plus.

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