Random Thoughts from Final Preseason Game (that matters anyway!)



The QB play looked stellar once again. NBC threw up a stat midway through the first quarter that said Bucs QB’s as a whole have led the league this preseason in QB rating. We had our first INT of the preseason thrown last night, and it was more of a great play by DE Matt Roth, then it was a bad pass by Jeff Garcia. Roth dropped back off the line as Garcia was about to throw a swing pass into the flats, and just made a spectacular play. Backup Luke McCown came in and played solidly, although he is still showing a propensity for taking sacks. I feel harsh in making this assessment because I happen to like what McCown brings to to the table but, he reminds me of Rob Johnson. Johnson had all the physical skills, a rocket arm, nice legs, but could not avoid the sack, and consequently the fumble. Last years starter, Bruce Gradkowski came in and led two impressive TD drives, and finished the night 10 of 16 for 104 yards.


As a collective unit, the backs finished the night with 133 yards on 28 carries. The Caddy looked impressive as he was lowering that shoulder and shimmying through the line on a few seperate runs. Ernest Graham upheld his Mr. August title, and looked impressive running the ball once again. All of our Qb’s showed the ability to break out of the pocket and pick up some nice yardage as they accounted for 30 of those yards on 5 seperate scrambles.


One player stuck out all night while I watched the game live, and once again when I re-watched this morning. RG Davin Joseph looks like a future Pro Bowler. He is stout in both run and pass defense, and his wide frame and low center of gravity make it tough to both bull rush him, or finesse him. Center hopeful Dan Buenning made a couple nice blocks as well that stuck out in film. The unit looked solid overall as evidenced by both our passing and running output for the evening.


Joey Galloway made a beautiful route adjustment while Garcia was being pressured and it turned into a gorgeous pass and catch for a TD. Gruden has transformed Galloway from being just a deep threat to being a heady, good route running but still blazing fast WR. Paris Warren made an incredible catch in the endzone for a TD and his performance this preseason coupled with a solid camp make it hard for me to see how he couldn’t make the final 53. Michael Clayton had a much needed solid catch and run.


The defensive line to me has been the most impressive unit of the preseason thus far. While not accumulating a ton of sacks every game, they are making life very difficult for the opposing team, especially in the passing game. 5th round draft choice, DT Greg Peterson was impressive penetrating the interior of the offensive line, and finished the night with 2 sacks. The Bucs drafted this guy because of his agility and oft mentioned (by Bruce Allen) similarities to Warren Sapp. Another guy that is going to be hard pressed to not make the final 53. Gaines Adams was impressive all night and is going to bat down a lot of balls this season. His wing span and athleticism bring a new dimension to our Dline. One of last years late round picks, DE Julian Jenkins had a solid game as well.


Wacthing the game with my tailgating partner last night, I had to mention Ryan Nece’s name as least 5-7 times for making real solid plays. He is able to line up for us at either the Mike or the Sam linebacking spot, and will prove to be a very valuable player for us, albeit as a starter or a backup. Besides missing one easy tackle for him, 3rd round pick Quincy Black looks like an animal. All through camp they have been raving about this guy, and he shows why on the field. Cato June made a ridiculous INT last night (should have been a fumble in my eyes) as he just ripped a just thrown pass from Ronnie Brown’s hands and took it in for a score. The speed of our linebacking core is very evident.


An average night from the secondary. They have looked like the weakest link all preseason. Ronde Barber’s lack of coverage skills are starting to show on the field as QB’s are picking on him when he is lined up in man coverage. Philip Buchanon and Brian Kelly are the only two CB’s on the roster who have any sort of man coverage ability. Recently acquired CB Sammy Davis looks like a bum and will not make the final 53. The safety play was adequate but continue’s to be a weakspot for us. Rookie SS Sabby Piscatelli still plays with a little too much reckless abandon, FS Will Allen is just a backup who is starting at this point, and should be pressed by 4th round draft pick Tanard Jackson out of Syracuse who has looked real good in both camp, and in game action. . SS Jermaine Phillips has looked solid in the preason thus far though.


Matt Bryant and Josh Bidwell are our two most consistent and reliable players at this point. I even said to my friend last night how I don’t get nervous when Bryant comes out there anymore. With kickers it is all mental (see Martin Grammatica before he left here) and after Bryant hit the 63 yarder against the Eagles, I saw this one coming. His confidence in himself is sky high, and it shows. Bidwell was his normal Pro Bowl caliber self as he kicked 4 punts for an average of 41.5 yards, with 3 of those inside the 20.