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FIVE MOST DISAPPOINTING BUCS PewterReport.com lists the five players who disappointed us in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 20-17 overtime win in the preseason opener at Tennessee. Pewter Report has already listed the top five players who impressed us in an article posted on the front page of PewterReport.com.
CB JAMES PATRICK He received some praise from coaches and even Pewter Report during the first week and a half of training camp, but Patrick didn’t live up to the hype on Friday night when he allowed Tennessee quarterback Billy Volek to hit wide receiver Ronyell Williams down the sideline for a 76-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Patrick completely fell for a stop-and-go route by Williams, who proceeded to leave the Bucs’ rookie cornerback in a trail of dust en route to scoring. With CB Blue Adams coming on strong as of late, Patrick will be extremely hard pressed to make the practice squad, never mind the active roster.
QB CHRIS SIMMS Although he completed 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) of his passes for 54 yards against the Titans, Simms appeared to be uncomfortable in the pocket throughout the night. In the second quarter, Simms threw a pass that got picked off by Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck, who returned the ball 29 yards for a touchdown. In his defense, Simms’ throwing arm was hit by a defender on the play, but it’s still disappointing seeing as the Bucs have spent so much time and even brought in QBs coach Paul Hackett this offseason to help eliminate this type of mistake. Simms was also sacked after failing to get rid of the ball in a timely manner. His ability to lead the Bucs down the field on their first possession of the third quarter was encouraging, though, especially since the drive finished with a touchdown after Simms hit running back Earnest Graham in the corner of the left end zone for the score. The Bucs are expecting great things out of Simms, who had two straight impressive preseasons heading into this year’s, but he didn’t play much better than a backup quarterback on Friday night.
RB IAN SMART Tampa Bay’s ground attack was potent against Tennessee, producing a total of 169 yards on 37 carries. While running backs Earnest Graham and Derek Watson rushed for 63 and 62 yards, respectively, Smart produced just 35 yards on 10 attempts. While he caught two passes, Smart gained just six yards. Don’t be surprised if Watson leapfrogs Smart on Tampa Bay’s depth chart when the Bucs return to practice on Sunday.
TE ANTHONY BECHT: Becht did a great job of helping to block on the perimeter, and he deserves just as much credit as anyone for Tampa Bay’s early success via the ground game. But after watching him display some impressive hands in the passing game at training camp, Becht’s drop on a pass thrown by Simms in the first half was disappointing, especially since the ball was catchable and would’ve given the Bucs a first down. The Bucs ran a lot of two-tight end sets on Friday night, so Becht will likely get more chances to make up for that big drop.
THIRD-TEAM DEFENSE: Tampa Bay’s third-sting defense allowed Tennessee to send the game into overtime by letting the Titans convert not one, but two fourth-down tries. The first one was converted by QB Gino Guiduglio, who scrambled eight yards on fourth-and-7. When Guiduglio faced fourth-and-10, the Bucs allowed him to hit WR Gregg Guenther for a whopping 24-yard gain. This drive resulted in the Titans kicking a 53-yard field goal to tie the contest and send it into overtime, where the Bucs eventually won. Even though it was a bunch of backups, those two fourth-down debacles are simply unacceptable for any defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin-taught defense.
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