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5 Most Disappointing Bucs
S Sabby Piscitelli The first play from scrimmage was a disaster for Tampa Bay and safety Sabby Piscitelli. Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Troy Williamson got a step on cornerback Ronde Barber, and Piscitelli saw Williamson running free right at him. Piscitelli did not react quickly enough and the speedy Williamson ran by him. Jaguars quarterback David Garrard tossed a pass in perfectly to Williamson who coasted down the field for a 74-yard touchdown. Piscitelli's rough night continued. In the second quarter, the Garrard to Williamson connection burned Piscitelli again. Williamson beat cornerback Elbert Mack, and Garrard threw a strike to Williamson in the middle of the field. Piscitelli took a bad angle and could have stopped Williamson, but instead Piscitelli over pursued. Williamson streaked down the field for a gain of 61 yards. The play started at the Jaguars 23-yard line and ended at the Bucs 16-yard line. If Piscitelli made the stop on Williamson they would have had a first down, but would not have crossed midfield. On the same drive Piscitelli made a good tackle on tight end Marcedes Lewis at the one-yard line, but Piscitelli was playing off the tight end enough for Garrard to make the 12-yard completion to get within a yard of the end zone. As the last line of the defense at safety, Piscitelli allowed two big plays for the Jaguars that led to two of Jacksonville's touchdowns.
G Jeremy Zuttah The Bucs second-year guard had his second rough preseason game on Saturday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the Bucs first possession Zuttah allowed penetration on the first run by Derrick Ward, and that play went nowhere. Zuttah allowed a hit on quarterback Byron Leftwich after initially holding off Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson. Zuttah struggled to open holes in the running game. When most of the starting offensive line left the game in the second quarter Zuttah remained in the game to get work with the backups. During those plays Zuttah allowed defensive tackle Terrence Knighton to deflect a pass from quarterback Luke McCown. Offensive line coach Pete Mangurian and the coaching staff clearly wanted to get Zuttah more reps running the offense, and wanted to see something more from him.
CB Torrie Cox Cox was beat often by the Jaguar receivers. In the game the Jacksonville wide outs did not have trouble getting separation from Cox. During the Jaguars goal line series on their second touchdown drive, Cox jumped into the neutral zone and was called for offsides. The referees screwed up and called Piscitelli for the penalty, but it was Cox who jumped. On the play that Cox negated defensive tackle Dre Moore stuffed the run, and it would have forced a third-and-goal. Instead Cox's penalty allowed the Jaguars to move halfway to the end zone, and gave them a second attempt at second down. That's all they needed as Greg Jones charged in for a touchdown on the next snap.
OT Xavier Fulton The Buccaneers backup offensive tackle got a lot of work for the second straight preseason game. Fulton had some good plays where he made effective blocks in the run game, especially on a few runs by fullback B.J. Askew, and had some good plays protecting the quarterback. The rookie left tackle had a number of mistakes as well. Fulton allowed a pressure on McCown on first-and-goal and the veteran quarterback had to throw the pass away in order to avoid taking a field-goal inducing sack. Later in the game, Fulton was called for holding and his penalty called back a first down run by Askew. The next play saw an incompletion and the Bucs punting. On the next possession Fulton was called for illegal formation, but the penalty was declined. Fulton has good athletic ability, and is still learning the game. Fulton has been improving while being on a crash course of playing left tackle in the NFL during training camp and the preseason, but Saturday night saw some disappointing growing pains. K Mike Nugent With kicker Matt Bryant sidelined with a hamstring injury, Nugent was in prime position to make a strong case to lock up the kicking job for 2009. Nugent's night started out well when he made a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter. Nugent had some solid kickoffs, but had one kickoff that almost went out of bounds. Inside the five-yard line Jaguar Brian Witherspoon caught the ball and stepped out of bounds at the three-yard line. If Witherspoon let the ball continue bounce it could easily have gone out of bounds and given Jacksonville ball at the 40-yard line. It was a lucky break for the veteran kicker. Nugent had another shot at a 46-yard field goal, and if he made it would have further bolstered his grip on the kicking job. In the fourth quarter Nugent missed the 46-yarder that could have iced the game for the Bucs. The miss gave the ball to the Jags with 5:07 at the 36-yard line down by seven. The Jaguars scored a touchdown on their final possession, and missed a two-point conversion to win the game. If Nugent had made his kick that touchdown and two-point attempt would have been irrelevant.