Preseason Game 1 - Bucs vs. Dolphins Recap

Let’s first start with the opening preseason game for the Bucs.  A few starters did not play, which is to be expected with minor injuries and the general tendency of Jon Gruden to not overwork the starters in the preseason. 

  • The one image that keeps popping up in my head is the drop by WR Michael Clayton.  He has been impressive thus far in camp, but he if continues to drop beautiful touchdown type passes from any of our QB’s, he will not be employed in the next few weeks, at least by the Bucs.
  • My man Josh Johnson actually got some PT.  He only threw one pass for 15 yards, but the fact that he got in the game was the shocker to me. 
  • Warrick Dunn and Ernest Graham, played, but it almost seemed like a formality, neither got a carry. 
  • Michael Bennett was impressive.  I know a lot of his yards came in the second half, but nonetheless, the guy who couldn’t process the playbook last year, looked solid, and could be a contributor for the Bucs this season.
  • The early FG miss from 32 might irk some people, but I have faith in Matt Bryant, he has been stellar in camp thus far.  He also missed a 51 yarder, but yet again, not too concerned on that front. 
  • Brian Griese looked solid, but seems to be more confident checking down to his underneath options than risking making a bad throw. 
  • Ricky Williams will have a nice year for the Dolphins, he looked motivated and in great shape.
  • No penalties.
  • Jimmy Wilkerson might be my 2nd incorrect player on my 53 man roster guess. The guy  looks really good.  Marques Douglas might be the odd man out. 
  • Sabby Piscatelli and Jermaine Phillips both had huge hits in the game.  It will be interesting to see how we get Sabby on the field.  The guy can play, but we have two great safeties in Jermaine Phillips and Tjax.  It is funny how last year, had Sabby not gotten hurt, he might have had the chance to take Flip’s SS spot from him.  This year, no chance.  The life of an NFL player, fickle to say the least. 
  • Luke McCown forced a few passes, but otherwise, looked real solid.  I love our QB depth. 
  • Jeff Faine did not play much.  I believe he only played 2 or 3 drives.  Dan Buenning came in after that.  It appears as though Gruden was trying to sort out his interior lineman’s backup spots. 
  • We did not have an injury all game!!!!
buccaneers.com (Michael Bennett stiff arm)A couple quotes from the game.
  • Luke McCown on playing a live game – “It’s always fun to get out and play football again,” he said. “I felt like we did some good things on offense. Two really good things were no penalties and no turnovers. We did some good things, we’ll look at the tape and get better from it.”
  • Luke McCown on Michael Clayton’s dropped pass – “I don’t think Mike Clayton has dropped a ball all training camp,” he said. “He’s been sharp so that’s not a problem. We’ve got a classy veteran group of receivers and I don’t see [drops] being a problem.”
  • Luke McCown on Michael Bennett – “I really like Mike Bennett,” quarterback Luke McCown said. “I think he looked pretty good last year with limited understanding of the offense. He can be a real weapon for us. He’s got unbelievable speed and when he gets on the edge, you’re not going to catch him.”
  • Barrett Ruud on the game – “We just have to get used to game speed, game tackling and just get honed in,” Tampa Bay linebacker Barrett Ruud said. “I think we did a pretty good job. Everybody was hustling. We have a couple of big hits out there but all around we are just trying to get a feel for the game again.”
  • Michael Bennett on getting extensive PT during the game – “It definitely means a lot, especially at the running back position,” Bennett said. “A receiver can go in, run a great route and make a big catch but as a running back you really need to get into the rhythm of the game. You have to know how their defense is playing and how their linebackers are running. I think that once you get adjusted to that, you can really dictate what they’re going to do.”
  • Jon Gruden on Michael Bennett’s play – “He had 19 carries (Saturday) and he made a couple mistakes he’s got to clean up to be a force. He’s got to be able to play in every situation. I was really pleased the way he ran. He had a really good draw, showcased his speed and had a couple nice pickups versus the blitz.”
  • Jon Gruden commenting on the play of the offensive line – “They played very well. It’s good, clean football. No penalties and no turnovers. It’s a real credit to the players and coaches. It’s solid execution. We just have to catch the ball a little better and make some more plays.”
  • Ronde Barber on Jermaine Phillip’s first half crushing hit – “Flip has been dying to get a hit on somebody. This stuff we do in practice is nothing like the real deal, and he finally got his opportunity. We expect our safeties to be that physical, and all of them are going to bring it this year.”

 

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Sunday, Nov 22 Nov1:00at Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets

Tags: Brian Griese Buccaneers Dan Buenning Dolphins Jeff Faine Jermaine Phillips Jon Gruden Josh Johnson Luke McCown Michael Clayton Preseason Tanard Jackson

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