This story is intended to be read by Pewter Insider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.


QB Tim Rattay
Tampa Bay’s passing game struggled mightily in the first half. In fact, starter Chris Simms and Rattay combined for three completed passes in the first half, and all three of those passes were completed to running backs Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman. Although he eluded a sack and completed a key 26-yard pass to Graham on a third down play in the second quarter, Rattay completed just 1-of-4 (25 percent) passes for 26 yards and finished the game with a quarterback rating of 54.2. Bucs rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski made a strong case for being Simms’ backup in the next preseason game by completing 11-of-13 passes for 104 yards and tossing two touchdowns. Gradkowski’s performance made Rattay’s look even worse. Rattay is said to be a better player in games than he is in practice, but his play in Friday night’s game certainly didn’t support that notion.

RB Michael Pittman
With Carnell “Cadillac” Williams given the night off and Derek Watson (ankle) out, the Bucs relied on Pittman to carry the running game, but he struggled to get the ground game going by fumbling twice on the same series in the second quarter. Luckily for Pittman, neither fumble resulted in a turnover. On the first fumble, rookie guard Davin Joseph recovered the loose ball. Pittman was ruled down on his second fumble, but replay showed that he let go of the ball before he hit the ground. However, replay wasn’t conclusive in terms of which player recovered the ball, so the Bucs retained possession. Still, Bucs head coach Jon Gruden wasn’t happy with Pittman’s fumbles, evidenced by the fact that Pittman never touched the ball again during the game. Pittman fumbled five times during the 2004 season, and one has to hope that he isn’t having a relapse after remedying that problem last year.

K Xavier Beitia
Bucs kicker Matt Bryant has struggled over the past week in training camp, and Beitia appeared to be seriously challenging him for the kicking job in Tampa Bay. But that might have changed on Friday night when Bryant drilled a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Beitia missed a simple extra point attempt in the fourth quarter. Bryant struggled for about one week during last year’s training camp, but he was clutch in preseason, which allowed him to beat out Todd France in 2005. After Friday night’s game, Bryant definitely has the edge over Beitia.

WR Chas Gessner
After arguably being Tampa Bay’s most surprising player in training camp, Gessner was hardly heard from on Friday night. He saw a decent amount of playing time, but Gessner didn’t get a lot of looks from the quarterbacks, and the one pass tossed his way was thrown behind him. After tearing it up in training camp, it certainly was a disappointment for Gessner to not catch at least one pass against the New York Jets. However, one also has to consider the possibility that the Bucs might not be throwing Gessner’s way on purpose in an effort to place him on their eight-man practice squad.

Tampa Bay’s Defensive Line
It’s hard to find any disappointing players on the defensive side of the ball after the Bucs held the New York Jets to 185 yards of total offense. However, the Bucs’ pass rush probably could have been better on Friday night. Although Tampa Bay’s defense notched two sacks and forced two fumbles, the defensive line failed to record a sack, and the defense as a whole didn’t record an interception in its preseason opener. That’s a disappointing stat, but certainly not a disappointing effort from the Bucs’ defense.


This story is intended to be read by Pewter Insider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.



Visit BucGear.com today to view and choose from the largest selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers merchandise in the world.

Share On Socials

About the Author: PRStaff

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments