Which Buccaneers defenders shined against the Dolphins? Which Tampa Bay players made a positive impact on offense and special teams versus Miami? Find out in PewterReport.com's Most Impressive Buccaneers vs. Dolphins report.
Outside of the play from the Buccaneers’ starters, there were mistakes and turnovers aplenty in Tampa Bay’s 20-14 loss to Miami in the second preseason game of 2014. As a result, there weren’t too many impressive Buccaneers to note, but Josh McCown, the team’s starting quarterback was one of them, which is a sigh of relief to Tampa Bay fans.
“We took a better step – we improved,” McCown said of the starting offense, which struggled mightily last week in a preseason opener at Jacksonville.
Here’s a look at which other Bucs aside from McCown had some of the better performances against the Dolphins.MOST IMPRESSIVE BUCCANEERS
DT Gerald McCoy
For the second straight preseason game, McCoy was dominant. Against Miami, McCoy had a huge tackle for loss and finished his night, which lasted just past one quarter, with three tackles. However, McCoy’s biggest play was a 7-yard sack of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on the first play of the second quarter. McCoy forced a fumble on the play that was recovered by defensive end Michael Johnson, who advanced the ball six yards to the Miami 25 and helped set up Tampa Bay’s first touchdown.QB Josh McCown
What a difference a week and improved pass protection makes. Although he didn’t always have the cleanest of pockets, McCown was more effective as a passer against Miami. He led the Bucs on a touchdown drive after Johnson’s fumble recovery, capping it with a 7-yard scoring strike to Vincent Jackson in the back of the end zone. McCown finished the game 5-of-7 for 46 yards and one TD and a 4-yard scramble in just over one quarter’s worth of work and a QB rating of 128.6. WR Mike Evans
Evans had the chance to score his first NFL touchdown against Miami, but made a costly rookie mistake by not securing the ball on a 41-yard catch. Evans bounced off safety Jimmy Wilson en route to a possible score before cornerback Brent Grimes tracked him down at the Miami 1-yard line and forced a fumble. Because the ball went through the end zone it was a touchback for the Dolphins. Evans will learn from his mistake and it’s the preseason, so Saturday’s game doesn’t count. But his physicality on that 41-yard catch in bouncing off Wilson and running up field for a huge gain was impressive. Evans finished the night as the Bucs’ leading receiver with two catches for 52 yards.KR-PR Solomon Patton
After some lackluster returns from Jeff Demps last week and Bobby Rainey and Mike James this week, Patton, an undrafted rookie free agent from Florida, shined against Miami with three kickoff returns for 91 yards, including a long of 33 yards. Patton averaged 30 yards per kick return and 10 yards per punt return with a long of 21. Patton showed explosiveness and an extra gear that had been missing from Tampa Bay’s return game this preseason. Patton also had one catch for eight yards against the Dolphins.LB Lavonte David
Tampa Bay’s playmaking weakside linebacker notched four tackles (two solo, two assists) in the first quarter against the Dolphins. Had he played in all four quarters, David was on pace to record 16 tackles, which would have been a monster night for the All-Pro linebacker.P Michael Koenen
Koenen punted the ball eight times and averaged 43.5 yards per punt with a 41-yard net. He had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line and just one touchback with a long of 57. Koenen also had a touchback on his opening kickoff to start the game.
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