We’re not trying to be Debbie Downers following the Bucs’ 26-24 preseason win over the Miami Dolphins, but as the saying goes, “preseasons games don’t count, but they do matter.”
With that in mind, there were certainly some areas of the Bucs’ team, and some players in specific, that didn’t have their best night on Thursday night.
These were our most disappointing Buccaneers from Game 1 of the preseason.
CB Ryan Smith
For the most part, the Bucs’ secondary played very well on Thursday night. Carlton Davis started outside for Brent Grimes, and Davis played well. When Vernon Hargreaves went out with a groin injury, rookie M.J. Stewart played well in his place. But Ryan Smith struggled. The Dolphins went after Smith quite a bit during that game, and they had success doing it. If Smith isn’t careful, too many performances like that will get him passed up by one of those second-round rookies, Davis or Stewart. Smith nabbed the game-sealing interception, but it was a gimme. However, you still hope it gives him confidence moving forward on what was mostly a rough night.
Bucs Backup O-Line
Once quarertback Ryan Fitzpatrick left the game thing started to go downhill for the Bucs’ offensive line. There were penalties, inconsistencies and just overall bad play. It was just Game 1 of the preseason, so we don’t want to overreact, but we’ll just say that there’s a reason neither Winston or Fitzpatrick played into the second half. Alex Cappa and Caleb Benenoch especially have to step it up as potential starters.
K Chandler Catanzazro
Catanzaro ended up making the game-winning field goal, but his night was a disappointment overall. It started when he missed his first kick of the night — an extra point. He ended up going 2-for-3 in extra points and 2-for-3 in field goals, and the field goal he missed was from 53 yards, but he was brought in to make that kick. We know it’s a hard kick to make, but he’s here to make it; he didn’t.
His night could have been better.
RB Charles Sims
It was a very quiet night for Sims and that doesn’t help his chances of making this team. Sims was re-signed very late in the free agency process, so we know it wasn’t an urgency to bring him back, and with just six yards on five carries on Thursday night, he didn’t exactly have a night that helped his chances. If rookie running back Shaun Wilson gets back and healthy before next game, we’ll have to monitor how much he eats into Sims’ carries — and his potential roster spot.
RB Ronald Jones
Jones scored a touchdown in his first game as a Buccaneer, but for what he’s hyped to be for this Buccaneers team, nine yards on eight carries isn’t going to cut it. He also dropped a pass on his first snap of the game, which wasn’t great, either. His night was OK (the touchdown saved how it looked), but Jones wasn’t drafted to be OK. On a night where players like Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice were going off for big runs around the league, the Bucs need Jones to do the same.