2017 Buccaneers Preseason: Week 2 grades vs Jacksonville Jaguars
This is the biggest area of concern for the Buccaneers amongst most media and fans.
The team did little in splash moves to improve the secondary, but additions like JJ Wilcox and rookie Justin Evans will hope to build upon the late season improvement seen in 2016.
Veteran Brent Grimes missed his second-straight game of this preseason as he continues to heal from a lacerated shin he suffered in practice. He’s also not expected to play against Cleveland in the preseason’s Week 3.
This isn’t too big of a concern. Entering his 11th season as an NFL player, Grimes is seasoned and knows how to prepare his mind as well as his body.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In fact, as far as the team is concerned, his absence is a blessing for younger players who get to play in the deep end so to speak.
Instead, guys like Ryan Smith, Jonathan Moxey, and Isaiah Johnson get some valuable experience while Robert McClain gets more time to acclimate himself to his new team.
The starters have looked pretty solid for the most part. Even the understudies thrust into the spotlight have looked good.
Vernon Hargreaves III has the lone interception of the preseason to this point, a beautiful grab made last week against Cincinnati.
It’s the second and third team who have Buccaneers fans, and surely the coaches, concerned.
In both game this off-season, the backup quarterbacks have fared better than the starters.
This week, quarterback Brandon Allen completed 10-of-15 passes for 144-yards and a score for a passer rating of 199.9; way too high, preseason or not.
He led the Jaguars to their only scoring drive of the game, and it looked like the former Razorback might bring his team back for the win for a minute there.
On top of the passing yards, Allen also got 27-yards on three carries, and it was the second week in a row the depth of the Bucs defense just couldn’t contain a young mobile quarterback.
I don’t know if it’s scheme or execution more, but whatever it is, Mike Smith’s unit is looking susceptible to quarterbacks with mobility.
Not good when you play against guys like Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor in the regular season.
The secondary looked solid against Blake Bortles and Chad Henne, less so against Allen. It’s a group project, so the weak links bring down the group.