Each week PewterReport.com will offer up our analysis of each unit on the offensive side of the ball and hand out grades based on how they performed. This week the offense managed just nine points in the loss to the Eagles, and while the overall production wasn’t what head coach Dirk Koetter expected, there were some bright spots mixed in with some issues that will need to get resolved. Here is what PewterReport.com thinks of the play of each offensive unit in Thursday night’s 17-9 loss to the Eagles. QUARTERBACKS Jameis Winston, know for sometimes being a slow starter, was solid on Thursday against the Eagles going 7-of-9 for 97 yards and one touchdown. Not all of his passes were perfect, but he showed a good command of the offense and that ability to put the ball in spots where only his receiver comes down with it, as evidenced by his 26 yard TD pass to Russell Shepard. Most quarterbacks wouldn’t have even attempted that throw – and maybe Winston shouldn’t have – but it worked. Mike Glennon, who has looked very good in training camp didn’t play well. While most would still consider him to be a solid backup, last night’s game did nothing to make Bucs fans breathe any easier when having nightmares of Winston going down at some point this season. Glennon was 7-of-14 and had one interception, an an ill-advised pass into double coverage late in the second quarter. Ryan Griffin, while moving the ball at times, also had an overall forgettable night, finishing 13-of-23 for 148 and two interceptions, including a poor decision on the Bucs final offensive play, on a pass intended for Bernard Reedy. GRADE: D+ RUNNING BACKS Doug Martin started the game and ran well, but he was the only Bucs RB to show much on the ground. Mike James, Storm Johnson, Peyton Barber and Russell Hansbrough did very little to stand out as runners, but in the pass game all were effective as receivers coming out of the backfield, including James who has a 26-yard reception on the Bucs lone TD scoring drive of the game. Johnson had two catches and Hansbrough added three receptions. GRADE: C WIDE RECEIVERS THe Bucs receivers had an up and down game. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson performed well in limited duty, but the battle of the backups failed to produce much of anything other than Shepard who finished with three catches for 67 yards including the lone Bucs touchdown on the night. Kenny Bell and Jonathan Krause failed to impress their coaches with subpar nights, although Koetter noted Bell did beat his man several times in the game, but the quarterbacks were unable to deliver him the football. And guys like Bernard Reedy, Freddy Martino and Adre Davis, while all had a decent night, didn’t stand out with any type of consistency. Besides Shepard, Donteea Dye was mentioned by head coach Dirk Koetter for his performance on Thursday night. GRADE: C TIGHT ENDS The Bucs tight ends, of of the deepest units on the team were steady, but didn’t do anything spectacular. Austin Seferian-Jenkins led all Bucs tight ends with two catches for 10 yards. Cameron Brate, Danny Vitale, Tevin Westbrook and Kivon Cartwright all recorded just one catch. GRADE: C OFFENSIVE LINE When your football team averages less than three yards per carry in a game, you assume the offensive line played poorly. But in the Bucs case, head coach Dirk Koetter said the lack of a running game was more about personnel shifts and play calling, as opposed to poor blocking. The Eagles also presented the Bucs with eight men in the box a good portion of the game, but Koetter said on Friday that the Bucs were able to get most of it blocked correctly up front. Pass protection was iffy at times but not terrible. Both QB fumbles were a result of the quarterbacks not stepping up far enough or holding onto the ball too long according to Koetter on Friday. GRADE: C
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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