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September 10, 2012 @ 1:11 pm
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs Claw Panthers: Most Impressive And Disappointing

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Which players made the most impact Sunday in the Bucs 16-10 win over the Panthers? Who had a sub par game and needs to step things up next week against the Giants? Find out in this regular Pewter Report after game feature.
Most Impressive
The Buccaneers played their best overall game in nearly a year Sunday defeating the Carolina Panthers 16-10 at Raymond James Stadium. The entire defense most likely could have made the list. Offensively the first half was solid but the Buccaneers must learn to turn FGs into TDs, and capitalize on turnovers.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
The Glazers, general manager Mark Dominik, and Bucs’ fans have been waiting on a game like Sunday from McCoy since the former Sooner was drafted No. 3 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. McCoy was credited with one sack and just two tackles, but it was clear to see McCoy was the most dominant defensive player on the field Sunday. McCoy got his first sack in nearly a year, but could have had perhaps at least two more, and if Cam Newton were a typical pocket passer the total might have actually been three. McCoy has spent less time this offseason talking and tweeting and it appears the focus had paid off. For Bucs fans and the organization it is must. As we saw last season when McCoy was hurt, the drop off is steep and sudden without the presence on No.93. One of the most impressive things took place in the locker room when McCoy was being interviewed and told the media he and the defense can still get so much better and that despite having a good game, McCoy felt he left too many plays out on the field.

Safety Mark Barron
Barron was an instant upgrade at the safety position the minute his plane touched down in Tampa the night of the NFL Draft. Barron has been described as “NFL-ready” and did nothing to change that perception Sunday. Barron’s range was impressive Sunday, covering half the secondary on one play to knock a Cam Newton pass to the turf late in the second half. Not only was Barron’s secondary play solid, the former Crimson Tide star packs a punch with his physical style. Barron gave Steve Smith a warning Sunday of what it to come in these Panthers-Bucs games over the next few years with a shot near the sidelines. Barron may be a rookie but apparently isn’t intimidated by anyone – Smith or Brian Price for that matter.

Safety Ronde Barber
You cant write or say enough good things about a guy like Ronde Barber. Barber increased his “Case For Canton” Sunday in his 200th consecutive start, nabbing an interception and also adding a sack. Barber doesn’t really like the focus and spotlight to be on him as much as some professional athletes do, but if the old man continues to defy Father Time, and put up the production he did Sunday, the spotlight will continue to shine. Barber looked like he was having fun on the football team for the first time in quite a while Sunday, something Bucs fans, coaches and the organization had to smile about.

Linebacker Lavonte David
Lavonte David gets it. He just gets what playing linebacker in the NFL is all about, something Geno Hayes struggled with throughout his four-year Buccaneers career. David, like Barron was an instant upgrade the day he arrived in Tampa. David, as all players will do from time to time, will make some mistakes, but with a high-revving motor and a love for the game, he makes up for his few mental lapses. David led the team with six tackles and is a good bet to lead the entire team in tackles when the 2012 season ends.

Running back Doug Martin

During the course of the game Sunday it looked like Martin was always one step or wiggle away from breaking a long run. But credit the Panthers linebackers who were sure tacklers and allowed very little running room past the first level. Martin ran hard and very physical, carrying the ball 24 times for 95 yards, with not one single one of those yards not earned. Martin also showcased his hands Sunday catching four passes for 23 yards. The comparisons to Ray Rice are inevitable, but Martin is still learning how to run in the NFL, and he may never reach Rice’s production. But that’s ok, as even a “poor man’s” version of Rice would make for a pretty good NFL career.

Honorable mention: CB Aqib Talib, G Carl Nicks, DE Michael Bennett, DT Roy Miller, LB Mason Foster, FB Eric Lorig, TE Dallas Clark

Disappointing
For the first time since last November the most disappointing list was difficult to select. The game wasn't perfect however, and a few players are most likely frustrated with their play on Sunday.

Guard Ted Larsen
While it can be financially rewarding to be an NFL offensive linemen it is rarely a showcased position – except when a lineman makes a mistake. In the case of Larsen, his faults overshadowed his accomplishments Sunday as a false start penalty and a crucial holding call had everyone focusing on the negatives. Larsen didn’t have a terrible game but his third quarter holding penalty negated a 33-yard reception from Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson. Larsen deserves a pass this week to a degree, as he was thrust into a prominent role trying to replace Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph. Larsen knows he needs to improve and the Bucs are hoping it happens sooner rather than later.

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson
Jackson had two drops Sunday and although he finished as the leading receiver for the Buccaneers (4 catches, 47 yards) those two drops shouldn’t happen to a veteran like Jackson. But PewterReport.com saw it in several training camp practices last month and voiced a little concern. Jackson has amazing hands, but for whatever reason struggles at times with the shorter between-the-hash-mark grabs. Jackson had 33-yard reception wiped out because of a holding call, and if he catches the two dropped passes, and the 33-yarder stood, Jackson would have had a 100-yard day and a place on the most impressive list. The game plan was obviously a ball-control style script which the Buccaneers worked pretty well, and no doubt the Buccaneers will be looking to open up the passing game a little more which will help showcase Jackson’s ability in future weeks.

Dishonorable Mention: RT Jeremy Trueblood, CB Eric Wright, RB LeGarrette Blount




 


Last modified on Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:01
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    Hey Mark Cook, what's up with the title? Bucs don't have claws. You could have used: Bucs declaw the Panthers. Bucs sink the Panthers. Bucs plunder the Panthers. Bucs bury the Panthers. Bucs blast the Panthers. Just sayin'.
  • avatar


    The second half play calling did get a little conservative but at the end of the day we won the football game. Also people have to remember this was Sullivans first game calling plays, granted he has been a position coach for years but thats still different. He will learn and grow with Freeman and they will take more chances down the road once Freeman grasps the basics and shows the improved decision making that he showed on Sunday. My only gripe is that once we had them worn down we need to use LeGarrette bc thats when he breaks off his big runs when the defense is tired. But I think it was an adjustment for everyone and they will figure it out as they go. I got up from the TV and actually came back bc I heard a thump from the defense....a sweet noise I havent heard in almost 3 or 4 years. Welcome to town Mr. Barron!!!
  • avatar

    My God, what did Blount do to get on the "Disappointing"? The daily attacks on this guy make the media and alot of fans look like complete fools. Can anyone explain why the media is so hell-bent on beating this guy into the ground? He's not making millions, rookie minimum I would guess. He was not a high draft pick, he is an UDFA. He's not been arrested or failed any drug test. And, he's been the most exciting player we've had on our offense over the past 2 years. Does this guy really deserve the criticism he's getting? Maybe he's not the starter, but he's not overpaid like Q. Black, hell, he wasnt even drafted. He's meant more to this team than ALL the draft picks over the past 4 years and our brilliant fans and media cant run him out of town fast enough. Yea, there are 31 other teams that would love to have a RB with Blounts talent, but our great "fans" and media, cant wait to run this guy out of town. Just another reason why we have the most ignorant, un-informed fan base AND sport media in the entire country. Is it any wonder why we cant get 40,000 fans to the opening game of the year?
  • avatar


    Disagree on the choice of CB Eric Wright. He may not have been great matched up against one of the best receivers in the league, but his play was certainly acceptable. You must have thrown Trueblood in there based on perception. I sure didn't think he had a bad game. If we must choose a disappointment, I was hoping to see better returns from Michael Smith. Funny how no one mentions PK Connor Barth or P Michael Koenen on the Most Impressive list. I guess we just take their excellent play for granted.
  • avatar


    Michael Smith would have been on my ugly list as well. He seemed hesitant on his returns and didn't show the burst we saw in the preseason. I'm not so sure he'll get a second chance to prove himself next week. Coach might replace him.
  • avatar


    I agree with cbrady2k, play calling in the second half reminded me of last year with Olson. It stunk.
  • avatar


    I disagree. Coach Olson was never really able to play keep away at all. Time of Possession for our Bucs was terrible. We managed the game and won it. Bucs had the ball for nearly 2/3 of the game and never committed a single turnover.
  • avatar

    I was surprised with the defense and how they showed up,great job.Offense seemed poised to build into a nicely managed game~then the second half happened,offense almost ground to a halt.. Big ups to McCoy who im often critical of~if he could stay healthy and play like that ever week,he would finally live up to his draft hype.. Jacksons drops should be something Tampa becomes used to in the future.I watched a lot of SDC football here in L.A. and Ive drafted Jackson a couple times in fantasy leagues~he just drops a lot of balls..He is a huge target who seems to sometimes play timid and smaller than his stature.Also He seems to get lazy or lose focus a bit..He is a serious weapon if he could only seem to get serious about being an elite WR in this league.. Good show Bucs~hope next week we can make it 2-0....
  • avatar

    I just loved watching this team play at a high level with a sense of pride unlike last yr
  • avatar

    Thanks Mark - good analysis. It did seem to me that the big disappointment was Michael Smith's kick returning - I don't think we started past the 15 or so and I was really expecting good field position out of him based on preseason ( dangerous making expectations based on preseason). We I'll need a better performance out of him against the G-men - and Stroughter too.
  • avatar

    Ronde Barber Pro Bowl 2013......2-13 was a typo not a prediction!!! lol.
  • avatar

    Talib was super solid, too. The tip for the INT, and the blocked punt.....awesome!! Ronde Barber Pro Bowler 2-13.......bet.
  • avatar

    Controlling the ball for 35+ minutes can never be considered bad play calling. Conservative maybe, but not bad.
  • avatar


    WELL THIS DIE-HEARTED BUC AT AGE 67 THIS SEPT. ITS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I SEEN TAMPA HAD A GAME PLAM LIKE YESTERDAY-go BUC
  • avatar


    Good article Mark and agree with you. Tomorrow it's the Giants and how we can defeat them. I think we can contain Manning; it's their defense I am concerned about. The Giants lately seem to be a team that starts slow. Here's hoping they have one more slow start. I am sure they got a big wake up call with the Cowboys. I'm glad those nasty New Yorkers and New Jersey fans are not in our area. I sure hope the Bucs put the speakers on very loud during the practices this week. Go Bucs!
  • avatar


    I'm so happy, I'm so happy Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    Overall, just glad to see us get a WIN as a whole & be able to watch a game without feeling sick. Great Job BUCS!! Keep up the hard work!!
  • avatar


    Agree with you Mark, Wright was ok overall. He started out rocky as Smith was abusing him a little bit, but he did seem to settle in as the game went on. He was hardly stellar!
  • avatar


    I agree with Mark Cook on the Eric Wright assessment. Stellar? Not hardly. I was at the game. Smith schooled him all day long.
  • avatar


    I agree nmkinely. Wright was stellar. Not sure what game they were watching.
  • avatar

    I wouldn't say stellar. Wright played decently, most importantly keeping Smith out of the end zone. But Smith did have over 100 yards. And look like I said it wasn't easy trying to pick guys this game. And the mention was strictly – it wasnt his best game. One more thing – we are in the press box and had fogged up windows from the rain. We get little replays. So for those at home on the 50-inch with DVRs replaying, you have a benefit over the press who tried to look at 22 players every play. Appreciate the feedback though.
  • avatar

    Smith's big catch and run (when Barron lit him up) was made possible by his aggressive - and very obvious - push off of Wright. No way that should not have been called. Take that away, and Wright had a good night.
  • avatar


    You should've left the press box and sat in one of the 15,000+ empty seats so you could see the field...LOL
  • avatar


    You dont rewatch the game or watch the all 22 film or anything after the game? That seems silly if you dont have any replays
  • avatar


    By the way, how does Eric Wright make the dishonourable list? I thought he was really good vs Smith on many plays - especially the deep routes where he was step for step with him. Yes, Smith made a couple of sideline plays which were mostly harmless. His big play was a crossing route behind the LB's, but I couldn't tell if he was Wright's assignment or not. The commentators even noted Wright's solid coverage during the game, so I would disagree with including him on the bad list. S Smith is going to make plays on anyone, but he was held out of the endzone.
  • avatar


    By the way Mark, the Lesslie swell as been insane.
  • avatar

    Been checking out the pics of the CFL website. My buddy over at Satellite Beach has been in heaven. Be safe.
  • avatar


    Ahmad Black gets my honorable mention.Black made the most of his opportunities with a pick, and deflection. The future of the safety position is bright with Barron,and Black.
  • avatar

    It's funny had Black on most disappointing after dropping the earlier pick but redeemed himself next time.
  • avatar


    Did anybody see how Adrian Clayborn played? Haven't seen the game yet. I gave my tickets to a neighborhood kid and his girlfriend early Sunday. I thought the weather was going to be terrible. I missed a good one!
  • avatar


    macabee - Sorry to hear you missed a win at home, as they have been few & far between of late. Clayborn was solid, while unspectacular, and stout against the run. He brought pressure at times, and had a hand in at least one of McCoy's pressures. He recovered the blocked punt as well. But at times, it looked as though he was just pushing the pocket on orders to keep containment on Newton, which was likely his assignment on many plays. Hey, Newton wasn't able to scramble for many yards, so whatever works! Looking for more heat from AC when he gets freed up to rush the edge vs Eli.
  • avatar

    Disappointing list should include the 2nd half offensive play calling. The defense did an amazing job yet Sullivan seemed to do everything he could in the second half to not score any points. He should stick to his opening script which included a great mix of run and passes at all levels.
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