The Buccaneers lost on Saturday night and while the game was a failure, there was plenty to watch and take note of as the Bucs make their final preparations for the long anticipated season opener. These are just a few areas that I watched and took note of during the game.
The quarterback situation – Josh Johnson was solid out there, both with his arm and legs. If he has to, he could lead the Bucs in the season opener (if Freeman is not healthy in time). Carpenter struggled and Snead didn’t take a snap. The Bucs looked stagnant on offense without Freeman leading the offense. They need him back healthy.
Rookies continue to shine – Both DTs Brian Price and Gerald McCoy continued to improve and impress, even without recording a sack during the game. Both were able to get tremendous pressure on the Jags and were solid against the run all game long. They are ready for the season. WR Mike Williams continues to shine with another solid performance. He will be a starter when the season begins, there is no question about that.
Safety position is final – Sabby the goat left the game with a concussion, so he should not be talking anymore about his position and especially after the performance by Sean Jones, who had 4 tackles and was solid.
Cody Grimm is good – Grimm has another strong performance and is continuing to push his way onto the starting rotation for defensive backs. It will be tough with E.J. Biggers and Ronde Barber playing well.
Punting is a concern – The Bucs only have one punter, rookie Brent Bowden and he struggled in the game, averaging only 35 yards a kick. He will have to improve on his numbers to help the Bucs win the battle of field position and help the defense out.
Kellen Winslow sighting – Kellen Winslow caught one pass in very, very limited action. It was good to see the pro-bowler on the field, but will his knee hold up for the entire season, no one is sure right now.
Can we run the ball – Derrick Ward, yes the Derrick Ward, led the team in rushing as Cadillac was stuck in neutral and Huggy Bear Huggins looked bad in this game. There are major concerns for the running attack, which is bad news for the quarterbacks.