Bucs prepare for forgettable preseason game

by Gary Shelton on August 25, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Winston has been sharp this preseason./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston has been sharp this preseason./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 2 a.m.

Winston leads his team against Cleveland./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston leads his team against Cleveland./CARMEN MANDATO

In two days, the Tampa Bay Bucs play their most important game of the preseason.

You won't remember a lick of it.

Seriously. In the years to come, someone may ask you about the game against the Browns, and odds are, you'll draw a blank. Instant amnesia. You won't remember who scored, or who fumbled. The preseason is that way. No one remembers the first-ever Bucs preseason, the year the team went 0-14 (they were 1-5). No one remember the preseason of the Super Bowl year (they were 3-1). No one remembers the 1999 preseason, the year the Bucs lost to the Rams in the NFC title game (they were 4-0).

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Humphries has shown that his hands as good as ever./CARMEN MANDATO

Humphries has shown that his hands are as good as ever./CARMEN MANDATO

Oh, you may remember your ticket prices. And that Hard Knocks was there. And that Jameis Winston was in his third year.

Everything else will be kind of hazy.

The coaches? Oh, they'll remember. They'll remember the fifth wide receiver and the

O.J. Howard had an impressive day./CARMEN MANDATO

O.J. Howard had an impressive day./CARMEN MANDATO

backup corner and the starting running back and the kicker and the pass rush and the special teams.

Of course, that's what preseason is, and that's why it was interesting to note when the Bucs wound up the training camp part of their summer. Oh, they'll still practice, but from now on, it isn't training camp. It's just preparation.

"What you want to do is you want to get everything installed that you’re planning to use in the season,” Bucs' coach Dirk Koetter said. “We’ve talked about this other times, but you’ve got way more plays on offense, way more schemes on defense than you could ever use in one game.

"You want to teach it to the players, get it on tape, review it and then you’re going to be pulling in and out of that as the season unwinds. I feel good about the amount of schemes that we have in and now these last couple weeks heading into Miami, you’re going to polish up and gear everything towards Miami.”

If Thursday was indeed the last day of training camp, several players ended it with a bang. Winston was sharp throwing the ball, and rookie O.J. Howard flashed. Running

McCoy expected to lead Bucs' defense again./CARMEN MANDATO

McCoy is expected to lead Bucs' defense again./CARMEN MANDATO

back Charles Sims was good, and kicker Nick Folk had an impressive day.

On what  Sims has  done to impress him: “Pretty much everything. He is hitting the holes hard in the running game, he can play every position in the passing game and he is one of our best protectors. He’s also doing a really nice job on special teams. He’s playing in the core on special teams, so he is doing the dirty work on special teams because he is such a good blocker. Charles – he doesn’t say much, so nobody talks about him, but he’s as solid as the day is long. He’s just a really good football player.”

On the progression of Howard, the team's top draft pick: “O.J. had a really nice day today. I mean he was a first-round draft pick for a reason. The guy is a really good player and it showed today. The fans have a tendency to notice the ‘wow’ plays when he is running downfield, but O.J. does so many little things. O.J. is going to be a major

Folk had an impressive day kicking./CARMEN MANDATO

Folk had an impressive day kicking./CARMEN MANDATO

contributor to our run game, he can also protect – there are just not a lot of tight ends who can do it. He’s an all-around player.”

On defensive end DaVonte Lambert: Ironic that you ask after Chuck [Charles Sims], but he is a lot like Charles Sims in that he doesn’t say anything. He’s quiet with his mouth, but he’s just solid with his play. And the other thing about him, he’s versatile. He can play both inside and outside. And [he’s] another guy – a defensive lineman – [that] plays on special teams.”

On Folk: “He had a good day. I joked with him that we were going to move the skinny goal posts over to Raymond James [Stadium] because he has been killing it on those skinnies.”

On what he wants to see against the Browns: “You want to see crisp execution – that’s what you want to see. We have to temper that with it’s still a preseason game, you’re building your stamina for your guys, but at the same time you’re going to hold some guys out that maybe aren’t 100 percent that maybe would play if it was a real game. For the guys that are in the game, you want to see crisp execution on both sides.”

On the positives of training camp: “We probably developed the best depth we’ve had in the three seasons I’ve been here. It’s going to be tough at the end. It’s going to be tough because we’ve got decent depth at several positions.”

The Bucs play against the Browns Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

Godwin catches the ball in front of Mariel Cooper./CARMEN MANDATO

Godwin catches the ball in front of Mariel Cooper./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS August 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

Sounds like we have an over abundance of talent! So now who gets cut? Hard Knocks will be right there watching for the drama.

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Gary Shelton August 25, 2017 at 10:16 am

I think most of us could cut down this roster and miss, at most, four players. Maybe five. It’s a fairly set roster.

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