Looking back at the preseason loss to Jacksonville

by Gary Shelton on September 1, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Jones is off to a poor start with the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Jones is off to a poor start with the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Observations

1. My eyes hurt. Someone owes me three hours. I'd rather watch fruit rot. I'd rather  dig up Jeffrey Dahmer's back yard. I'd rather see my doctor snap on his rubber glove. Yeah, I hate preseason, and I particularly hate Game Four of preseason. If there is an argument that the NFL needs fewer preseason games, this is it. It's practice. Give the teams another practice. Donate the profits to charity. But pull the plug on this game.

2. Has there been any NFL team that has gotten less out of its top two draft pick than the Bucs? Vita Vea has missed almost the entire camp, and Ronald Jones has been swallowed up. There are icebergs that have bigger gains than  Jones. I haven't written him off lately, but he's starting in a hole. It's the worst performance by a Bucs' draftee running back since Bo Jackson. Jones is supposed to be a home-run hitter, but frankly, I'd settle for a bloop single.

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3. On the other hand, I haven't seen a lot of openings that Jones has missed, either. When Dirk Koetter says the problem isn't one guy, but a lot of them, I find myself nodding. There aren't a lot of heroes when Jones runs the ball.

4. Except for a couple of positions, you could cut this roster in your sleep. Injuries are the only thing that makes you think.

5. Those who are moaning because the Bucs didn't trade for Teddy Bridgewater should ease up. They couldn't play him as their No. 2 quarterback, because he wouldn't have enough time to learn the offense enough to challenge Ryan Fitzpatrick. And Bridgewater will make $5 million, which is steep for a No. 3. He's also a free agent after this year.

Koetter faces tough odds at the start of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Koetter faces tough odds at the start of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Comments

(From Dirk Koetter's day-after press conference)

(On the struggles of rookie running back Ronald Jones):  “Ronald Jones had three straight runs in the first half where we had a mental error by the blockers up front, which (laughs). Then the fourth one is when we were backed up on our one-yard line and I’m sure if I were Ronald Jones I’d be thinking the same thing — get this ball out of the end zone after I’d just been hit for a five-yard loss. As I said last night, you know it’s frustrating as a coach that we couldn’t figure out something to get Ronald Jones in space. I just want to make it clear that this guy is working hard in practice. He’s improved as a receiver. He’s improved as a pass blocker. He knows his assignments, it’s not a playbook issue. He just didn’t get very many good running opportunities. That’s really all I can say about it.

"Ronald’s doing good things in practice. We’re happy with where he is. I’m not happy — not anything to do with him — how we blocked some for him and then how coaching-wise we didn’t do a good enough job getting him in space.”

(On quarterback Jamies Winston's comments that he might not be the starting quarterback in Week Four): “No, because Jason (Licht) and myself have both talked to Jameis about it and Jameis is a very mature guy. I think the word in there was, ‘Can (Licht) guarantee (Winston will start),’ right? We can’t guarantee anything. Jameis had an excellent preseason and as I’ve been saying all along, Week 4 is Week 4. It’s a shortened week coming off of a Monday night game. Who knows what’s going to happen then? We’d be foolish to be focusing on anything else except Week 1. Then after Week 1, Week 2. After Week 2, Week 3, which is a Monday night game. Then a shortened week leading into Chicago. I’m confident that Jameis is going to do everything that he can do to be ready when he comes back, but it’s just that — when he comes back. He’s going to be out of the building for a while and when he gets back we’ll see and we’ll see how we’re doing and we’ll see how the quarterbacks are playing. I promise you we’ll make the best decision that we think gives the Bucs the best chance to go beat Chicago, when it’s time to make that decision. Today, or last night or any time before that is not the time.”

(On defensive end Noah Spence, who played a long time Saturday): “I see a guy that’s working hard to get better. He needed to play. I mean, Noah – I think I mentioned last night, I don’t think you were in there when I said it – Noah told me at halftime that he was having a great time playing on all downs, not just on pass downs. And I think Noah got better last night. I think he needed to go out there and play like he was an every down player. I’ll just say that if you look around the league – I think their first-round pick was playing in that game, I mean not in the fourth quarter, but he was playing. I mean, playing is playing. Noah needed to play. It was a good experience for him and I think he got better last night.”

(On the importance of continuity on the offensive line): “I think it’s a big thing that they work together. Like we were talking earlier, it goes how it goes and you’ve just got to make the best of it. In a perfect world that you paint the picture up there, I wish we had the five starters out there, we knew who they were, they played together 1,000 snaps of training camp — they don’t take all 1,000 reps, but I think it’s in the 300-400 range of snaps that those guys take. But every year it seems like you get one or two position groups that get hit hard and we went through three cycles. The O-tackle, D-tackle and corner, all at different times. On one hand, it makes you build your depth. Sometimes you don’t have depth. Then, at offensive tackle, my biggest disappointment is I think there’s a couple of guys that had a really good chance to improve their status that we really didn’t get to look at. We got to look at them in shorts and offensive tackles don’t play in shorts. That’s a regret, but again, it’s nobody’s fault. Nobody can do anything about it. We have to make the decisions in real time. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

(On cornerback Brent Grimes): "When you say he’s in rare company, that’s because he’s such a rare athlete. Brent’s just a rare, elite athlete with incredible flexibility, athleticism, taking care of his body and — knock on wood — has remained major injury free over most of his career. When we had him in Atlanta, he had the Achilles that cost him to miss a year. That was his exit from Atlanta and Miami picked him up. Brent’s a remarkable player. A little bit unheralded, maybe, as to how good he really is. We’re looking for big things, starting next week.”

Griffin had a good preseason  for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Griffin had a good preseason for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

5 of the Best Takes

"The Jags’ defense struggled mightily when Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin was on the field as he carved them up with the short range passing game. He finished the night 18-of-28 for 159 passing yards and also had a touchdown to receiver Justin Watson in the second quarter."

-- Jay Johnston, JagsWire.com

 

"Projecting the Jags 53-Man Roster: Tight ends: 1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins: A quiet preseason of one catch for 14 yards should not be a concern. Seferian-Jenkins represents a big target for Bortles on third down and in the red zone."

-- Phillip Hellman, Florida Times-Union

"The Jacksonville Jaguars earned — and I say earned — a penalty on a kickoff after scoring a touchdown after a third quarter touchdown. Sounds normal, right? Wrong! It was on punter Logan Cooke, who was handling kickoffs as a way to test out his leg in a meaningless preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers. Cooke had to make the tackle and he did in a way that looked legal. He actually lowered his shoulder (according to the referee) and got called for a 15-yard penalty."

--Ryan Day, BigCatcountry.com

"Standing on the sideline and watching one-on-one drills, Jalen Ramsey had an up-close look at this touchdown. The receiver used a triple move to beat one of Ramsey’s fellow defensive backs. Ramsey shook his head in disbelief and hollered a few choice words across the practice field. That ain’t happening in a game,” Ramsey said, noting how long it took the play to develop. “Our defense is too good.” Ramsey was being modest. Jacksonville’s D has a chance to be great, maybe even generational.

-- Mark Long, Seymour Tribune

 "Dante Fowler was running around Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night during the Jaguars' preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- not a game in which you'd expect to find a third overall draft pick. The fourth preseason game is not for franchise players around whom teams want to build their defenses. It's for players desperately trying to make one last impression before cuts and players who know they likely won't make the roster but hope to prove to other teams that they deserve a chance. Fowler, 24, sort of fits into that last category, though there's no question he’ll make the Jaguars' roster this season. Still, the fourth-year defensive end has a long list of things he has to prove if he's going to continue his NFL career: being an asset in the locker room and a mature kid who doesn't ignore the rules; controlling his temper; being reliable; and showing he can be a dominant player at one of the league's premium positions."

-- Mike DiRocco, ESPN

Barber led the Bucs in rushing in the preseason./CARMEN MANDATO

Barber led the Bucs in rushing in the preseason./CARMEN MANDATO

Grades

Quarterback: If Ryan Fitzpatrick says healthy, it probably won't matter. But Ryan Griffin has had a nice little preseason with a rating of 105.3. If he plays, it means trouble. It means that Fitzpatrick is hurt or is playing terribly. Grade: A.

Running back: Peyton Barber had a good preseason. He doesn't have dazzling speed or take-your-breath-away moves, but a back can make a lot of money in this league for getting just what the line affords him. Dare Ogunbawale has played well enough to get consideration for the practice squad. But Jones hasn't made a dent. In a run-to-daylight league, he's feeling his way around a dark room. Grade: C.

Wide receiver: Justin Watson, Bernard Reedy and Bobo Wilson all made arguments for the end of the Bucs' roster. Do they keep five or six? The injuries among the line could help decide that. Grade: B+.

Tight end: Antony Auclair reminded fans of why the Bucs kept him on a 12-yard catch. The Bucs didn't use the tight end a lot against the Jaguars. Grade: B-..

Offensive line:The Bucs are beaten up, and it showed against Jacksonville. The Bucs gave up three sacks, and they aren't helping Jones' image. Grade: D.

Defensive line: It'll be interesting to see how the Bucs work Vea into the rotation when he's back. You'd think it would be slowly. Still, with the starters sitting out Thursday night, there wasn't much to see. Grade: D.

Linebackers: Jack Cichy had four tackles in his effort to make the team. It's a deep position, though. His special teams play may make the difference. Grade: C+.

Defensive backs: Isaiah Johnson made a late rush to make the roster. But he's behind a lot of players. There weren't a lot of other challengers. Grade: D.

Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro made a field goal. He's past this round of concerns. Grade: A.

Bobo Wilson hopes to make the team./JEFFREY S. KING

Bobo Wilson hopes to make the team./JEFFREY S. KING

Game Balls

Offensive: Ryan Griffin has had an impressive preseason. You wonder if he would have challenged for the backup spot if Jameis Winston had been eligible. As it it, the Bucs need the experience of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Defensive: Jerel Worthy just signed with the Bucs only 10 days ago, but Saturday night, the third-year pro made five tackles. He probably won't stick, but it was a nice effort.

Special teams: BoBo Wilson returned five kicks for a 24.0 average. That can't hurt his effort to make the team.

Pierre-Paul has to show he can still play./jEFFREY S. KING

Pierre-Paul has to show he can still play./jEFFREY S. KING

5 Best Newcomers

(Based on Training Camp)

1. Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end

2. Carlton Davis, cornerback

3. Chandler Catanzaro, kicker

4. Justin Watson, wide receiver

5. Ryan Jensen, center

#14 Ryan Fitzpatrick pre game-72065 Best Fitzpatrick Games

       Date                              Opp.   Yds.    Tds        Ratiing

1. 11-30-14   Tennessee  24-33    358     6             147.5

2. 9-15-16.     Jets             24-34.  374.     1.           116.5

3. 11-29-15.  Miami           22-37    277    4            118.2

4. 9-25-11     New England 27-40  369   2.              92.6

5. 10-24-10  Baltimore      29-42.  382.  2.           106.9

Fitzpartrick will try to keep the Bucs afloat./CARMEN MANDATO

Fitzpartrick will try to keep the Bucs afloat./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Worst Fitzgerald Games

Date               Opponent.     Ints.      Rating

9-25-16      Kansas City        6        18.2

12-11-05     Minnesota          5        32.4

1-1-12          New England     4       60.7

9-30-12      New England.    4    81.1

9-28-08     Cleveland           3        44.5
Bucs fans are hoping for a surprise season./JEFFREY S. KING

Bucs fans are hoping for a surprise season./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Power Rankings

1. ESPN                        25
2. NFL.com.               28
3. CBSsports.com.    28
4. Bleacher Report.  31
5. Sporting News.      32
Licht will need another good class./CARMEN MANDATO

Licht will need another good class./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Early Mock Draft Candidates for 2019

1. Nick Bosa              DE        Walter Football
2. Jarrell Stidham   QB         ESPN
3. Justin Herbert     QB         Sportingnews.com
4. Jonah Williams.   OT         NBCSports.com
5. Trey Williams       OT         Drafttek.com
Gerald McCoy-7226

McCoy needs another good season for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Bucs Who Need Huge Seasons

1. Jameis Winston
2. Gerald McCoy
3. Brent Grimes
4. Mike Evans
5. Jason Pierre-Paul
Aguayo was released in a hurry./CARMEN MANDATO

Aguayo was released in a hurry./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Bad Second-Round Picks

(In honor of Ronald Jones)
1. Booker Reese
2. Dexter Jackson
3. Brett Moritz
4. Sabbi Piscatelli
5. Roberto Aguayo
Williams didn't complete many, but he made them count./JEFFREY S. KING

Williams didn't complete many, but he made them count./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Great Openers

 .
1997 -- After an eternity of losing, the Bucs signaled they had turned it around with a 13-6 victory over the 49ers, knocking out Steve Young and Jerry Rice. Warren Sapp had an arrival game with 11 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks. It was the first game in the new uniforms for the Bucs. That wasn't all that had changed.
2003 -- In some ways, it was the last night of the Bucs' greatness. Only a few months after winning the Super Bowl -- including a big win over the Eagles on the way -- the Bucs visited Philly again.  This time, they won 17-0 as Joe Jurevicius scored twice. A story: I was writing an article about the Hall of Fame prospects of several Bucs. Late in the night, a voter walked past, looked at me and said "Put them all in."
1987 -- Talk about fooling the world from the start. In Ray Perkins first-ever game, the Bucs blasted the Atlanta Falcons, 48-10.  Steve DeBerg threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns. It was amazing, since the Bucs were coming off back-to-back 2-14 seasons and had lost 53 of their previous 65 games.
1979 -- The Bucs won their first opener, beating the Lions 31-16, even though starting quarterback Doug Williams completed only four passes. Half of them were for touchdowns, a 66-yarder to Jimmie Giles and a two-yarder to Ed O'Bradovich from the seat of his pants. The Bucs started 5-0 and went on to the NFC title game.
1980 -- The Bucs should have paid attention to the quarterback on the other side. Jack Thompson started for the Bengals and completed just six passes and had a net of 16 yards (47 before sacks). Yet, the Bucs traded for Thompson later, a sad memory.
Winston had rocky start for the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston had rocky start for the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Bad Openers

2015 -- At home, the Bucs were embarrassed by Tennessee 42-14. Jameis Winston's first pass was returned for a score, and rival Marcus Mariota had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3.
1996 --It could have been a day that tore down a stadium. Days before the voters decided on whether to build. a new stadium, in the first game under TonyDungy, the Bucs were pounded 34-3.
1976 -- It was the first of 26 straight losses for the Bucs. Houston won a 20-0 victory over Tampa Bay. The Bucs had only eight first downs on the day.their first with 6:20 to go in the first half.
2006 -- The Bucs managed to win 11 times in 2005, but wasted little time in saying the same sort of success wasn't on its way. The Bucs were clobbered 27-0 by Baltimore. Quarterback Chris Sims had a rating of 33.6 and threw three interceptions. The team would win only four games.
1998 -- A season after finally stopping the losing and finally making the playoffs, the Bucs sagged in their opener and allowed two touchdowns each to Randy Moss and Cris Carter, all thrown by future Bucs' quarterback Brad Johnson. The Vikings won 31-7.
Bees has beaten the Bucs 16 times./JEFFREY S. KING

Brees has beaten the Bucs 16 times./JEFFREY S. KING

Looking Ahead

5 Great Saints
1. Francis of Assissi
2. Jude
3. Christopher
4. Michael
5. Joan of Arc
5 Best New Orleans Saints
1. Drew Brees
2. Rickey Jackson
3. Archie Manning
4. Willie Roaf
5. Morton Andersen
Kamara has been good early for New Orleans./CARMEN MANDATO

Kamara has been good early for New Orleans./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Favorite New Orleans Saints

1.  Drew Brees
2. Archie Manning
3. Doug Atkins
4. Danny Abramowicz
5. Alvin Kamara
Brees' 5 Highest Yardage Games vs.Tampa Bay
(Brees is 16-9 Against the Bucs).
1.        383   (2011)
2.       381   (2013)
3.       377   (2012)
4        371   (2014)
5.       343  (2008)
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