Though the final score was not lit up to Tampa’s liking, the Bucs were able to get more positive production out of a few of their new faces.
Both teams had their starting units on the field for the majority of the first quarter, and Tom Brady showed the Bucs defense that they’re far from polished by completing all eight passes on the opening drive with the last pass being a 26-yard toss to newcomer Danny Amendola. However, the story wasn’t about Brady being Brady — even Greg Schiano referenced Brady as a future Hall of Famer in the post-game interview. The problem early on was that the Bucs pass rush never even touched Brady. After the game, Schiano said that instead of a “truckload” of mistakes they have to correct, they now have a “boatload” of mistakes to correct — I’m assuming that’s less, but we might need to call in a specialist — and I’m sure pass rush is still one of them. If Tampa can’t get pressure on QBs, it’s going to be another long season defending the arial attack. But, it’s early, and even Schiano said, “That’s what preseason is about.”
Although Doug Martin left the game early with a head injury (nothing serious), Tampa saw a much-improved run game appear on Friday night. Peyton Hillis carried the ball 18 times for 73 yards and rookie Mike James recorded 81 yards off his 15 carries.
Mike Glennon racked up 121 yards on 12 completions with two touchdowns and an interception, but Greg Schiano said the offense “wasn’t very sharp”. The head coach was obviously focused on throwing efficiency during these first two preseason games with a quote like that despite James and Hillis performing well on the ground.
As for the injury report, Nicks, Joseph, Tynes and Revis did not participate and aren’t even guaranteed to start in the team’s third game versus Miami.
Overall, experiencing a week where the team got to practice and play against the Patriots probably did a lot of good for a group that slaves in hot Florida climate. Tampa scrimmaged against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, as well as see how a well run organization operates on the practice field.
“I thought we got a lot out of last week, for a lot of reasons,” he said. “No. 1 obviously was going against a quality football team that’s well coached. No. 2, getting out of the heat, that was big for us, to let our guys recover a little bit. And then the thing I really liked is we were kind of sequestered, alone by ourselves, so we had a chance to build some team chemistry.”
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Greg Schiano
That being said, Tampa has a lot to work on. Preseason games are tough to judge, but the third game is traditionally where most of the starters play most of their snaps. Saturday’s game in Miami should tell us whether the Bucs mistakes are self-correcting or much deeper.