RB Cadillac Williams Tampa Bay's offense struggled to move the ball against Jacksonville's potent defense on Saturday night. Bucs second-year running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams saw his first significant action of the preseason, and both he and his blockers looked rusty. Williams carried the ball four times for just 3 yards (0.8 avg.). His longest run was a 5-yarder. Williams' biggest play of the game came in the first quarter when he hauled in a 10-yard pass from quarterback Chris Simms to help set up Tampa Bay's first and only touchdown of the first half. The Bucs will have to hope Williams shook off the rust on Saturday night as their offense will need him when they kick off the regular season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 10.
CB James Patrick Patrick will be hard pressed to make Tampa Bay's 53-man roster after his performance against Jacksonville on Saturday night. Patrick was part of a Bucs second- and third-team defense that allowed the Jaguars to score four touchdowns in the second half after the Bucs first-team defense had shut out the Jags' first-team offense in the first two quarters. In the third quarter, Patrick missed a tackle on Jaguars fullback Derrick Wimbush, who gained 27 yards on a pass play that set up Jacksonville's touchdown a few plays later. Not only did he miss that tackle, Patrick was in on coverage on quarterback Byron Leftwich's 19-yard pass into the corner of the end zone for wide receiver Matt Jones. Patrick finished the game with two tackles.
WR David Boston Although he drew two pass interference penalties against Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis on consecutive plays in the second quarter to help set up kicker Matt Bryant's 29-yard field goal, Boston was noticeably absent from Saturday night's game. He caught just one pass for 3 yards and dropped a pass during the preseason game. Boston saw a significant amount of playing time against the Jaguars, but he didn't flash and struggled to get open. With one preseason game to go, Boston appears to be on the bubble in terms of whether he makes the 53-man roster.
K Matt Bryant Bryant, who made 84 percent of his field goal attempts last season, missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide right in the first half of Saturday night's exhibition game. To his credit, Bryant bounced back and drilled a 29-yarder in the second quarter. However, the Bucs offense will need Bryant to deliver on his field goal attempts this year, especially if the offense is going to continue to stall around the red zone.
QB Bruce Gradkowski Tampa Bay's rookie signal caller served as the offense's No. 2 quarterback behind Chris Simms, but he didn't play with the accuracy he had displayed over the first two preseason games. In the third quarter, Gradkowski got pressured in the pocket and threw a desperation pass across the middle of the field that got intercepted by linebacker Nick Greisen. That turnover set up a Jacksonville touchdown drive. In the fourth quarter, Gradkowski threw another errant pass, this time hitting Jaguars cornerback Dee Webb, whose interception set up yet another Jaguars touchdown drive. Later in that quarter, Gradkowski got sacked and fumbled the ball on his way down to the turf. The Jaguars recovered the loose ball on the Bucs' 13-yard line and scored a touchdown in just four plays. Much of the offense's lack of success can be attributed to the offensive line's poor pass protection in several instances, and while he managed to finish the game on a strong note, completing seven of his final eight passes, including a 4-yard touchdown strike to WR Paris Warren, Gradkowski was sacked twice and had three turnovers that led to Jacksonville touchdowns on Saturday night.