Preseason week 2 is right around the corner and the Buccaneers play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Buccaneers have some players that need to improve if they want to make a good impression on the new coach, earn a starting spot, or even make the final 52 man roster this season.
Kenny Bell has been a hot name in OTAs but once the pads come on he’s been a no show. He was hyped up last year as a potential replacement for Vincent Jackson but an early hamstring injury cut his season short before it even had a chance to begin. The 2016 didn’t start out so hot for him either, fumbling the kick-off on the first play of the entire year. He also did not record a catch on two targets. The cancellation of the Hall of Fame game kind of put a little spotlight on the Bucs Eagles game for being the first game of the year. Kenny Bell has an opportunity to do great things with the Buccaneers but he has to prove to coaches he can hold on to the ball and make some plays.
Mike Glennon has been labeled as a top backup in the NFL and has been in multiple trade rumors this off-season. However if he continues to perform like he did this past week he will not be looked at as highly. Completing only 50% of his passes while getting picked off once against the Eagles back-ups is no way to prove to the coaches that the Buccaneers will be ok if anything were to happen to Winston, or even other teams who are looking at him for next season when he’s a free agent. Glennon should be receiving a good chunk of playing time in the preseason and if he wants to show off he’s gotta prove to the NFL what he’s got.
The Running Backs
The Buccaneers amassed an astounding 31 yards on 21 carries. 13 of those yards came from clear cut starter Doug Martin and 4 of those came from a Glennon scramble. So on 15 carries the back ups had 14 yards. Yes they were down Charles Sims but they have quality depth but can only keep so many people. One of them needs to show that they are capable of more than one yard per carry. I mean Doug Martin had multiple carries last season against practically the same team of nearly double the total yards they had on Thursday. The running game needs to get better if they are going to be a run first team like Dirk Koetter recently said.
Roberto Aguayo had a rough debut, missing his first career extra point. In college he went 199/199 so missing his first one on an NFL team didn’t sit well with many Bucs faithful. I recently said in a previous article that he was going to be under immense pressure. Aguayo has to make the “easy ones” if he doesn’t want to be ridiculed by the media. Yes, the extra point was moved back but he never missed a kick inside 40 yards at college so they shouldn’t have been a problem for him this year. I understand the nerves, he even said he had butterflies, which is normal, but he has to settle in and become a consistent kicker if he wants to make it in the NFL. He managed to make his only field goal attempt of 38 yards and that calmed some fans down a bit but he’ll still be under close watch by everyone on Saturday. Bucs definitely don’t want another Kyle Brindza on their hands.
The Buccaneers had many great performers last week including Jameis Winston, Lavonte David, Russell Shephard, and the entire defensive line. These guys made a great impression but the others need to step it up. It will be interesting to see what happens as the preseason continues and I look forward to the start of the regular season.