Bucs Tuesday Recap
It was a busy day at One Buc Place as the Bucs trimmed their roster down to 75 players. The biggest cut was probably P Micahel Koenen, who had been with the team the past four seasons. Veteran CB Tim Jennings, who was cut by the Chicago Bears on Sunday, visited Tampa but left without signing a contract.
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, DC Leslie Frazier and HC Lovie Smith all spoke with the media to talk about Saturday night’s loss and the roster moves today.
DT Gerald McCoy
Just like Jameis Winston yesterday, Gerald McCoy wasn’t letting the Bucs poor play on Saturday night get him down. He acknowledged the Browns good play, but thought the Bucs had plenty of opportunities on defense that they didn’t take advantage of.
“All credit to the Cleveland Browns,” McCoy said. “But it was more of us not being where we were supposed to be, which is why those two long drives happened.”
McCoy gave several examples of how the Bucs defense kept letting the Browns keep drives alive on third down. Moving forward, McCoy has a plan for how the Bucs can become more consistent and ultimately a top-tier defense.
“It’s going to start with how hard we play,” he said. “And then just being assignment-sound. Last thing, which is probably the most important…is taking the ball away.”
Not many teams are probably scared of playing the Buccaneers given the way they’ve played this preseason, but McCoy wants to change that.
“We have to make people fear coming to Ray-Jay (Raymond James Stadium),” he said.
DC Leslie Frazier
The Bucs released injured CB Leonard Johnson as well this morning. Johnson was at one point the favorite to win the starting Nickel CB position, but now Frazier says that’s between Isaiah Fraye and Sterling Moore.
“It’s a critical position (nickel CB),” Frazier said. “In a lot of ways that guy is a starter on your defense with all the multiple wide receiver sets you get today.”
Frazier had more praise for rookie MLB Kwon Alexander. When asked why the defense will be better this year, Alexander was the first name that came to Frazier’s mind.
“I think Kwon (Alexander) will really help us improve,” Frazier said. “We’ve plugged a hole in our defense.”
The Bucs DC made his feelings about Tim Jennings quite clear and I think its no secret that Frazier would love to have Jennings join the team. Frazier was coaching in Indianapolis nine years ago when the Colts first drafted Jennings.
HC Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith quickly let everyone know that he didn’t plan on playing his starters very long, if at all, this Thursday night. He was pretty tight-lipped about Tim Jennings visit, not giving away much on the matter.
“We know Tim (Jennings), of course,” Smith said. “He became available so we wanted to get him in here as soon as possible let him see what we had to offer.”
Smith wasn’t critical at all of P Michael Koenen, who the Bucs released this morning. He just praised Jacob Schum and said they were doing what was best for the team.
“Michael Koenen…has been a good punter for us throughout,” Smith said. “I just feel like this is the direction we need to go in at this time.”
Talking about the battle for the starting kicker position, Smith wouldn’t elaborate on who was in the lead. Kyle Brindza has only been with the team for a day, but he seems to be the most likely to win the job right now.
Patrick Murray didn’t practice today while “nursing an injury,” and may not play Thursday night. That will be the last chance for each of the three kickers to prove themselves as the best option for the Bucs.
Kenny Bell still hasn’t made it back to practice since straining his hamstring last Friday and Smith said Bell still needs more time before testing it out.