CB Vernon Hargreaves – Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs lost in their first preseason action of the 2017 season by a score of 23-12 on Friday night in Paul Brown Stadium. PewterReport.com takes a look at the players who were the most impressive amidst the loss. Take a look and see if you agree.
CB Vernon Hargreaves
PewterReport.com has noted the night and day difference we have seen in the play of cornerback Hargreaves thus far in camp and it translated to the game on Friday night against the Bengals. Cincinnati had driven the length of the field on their first offensive possession with relative ease and were poised to take a 7-3 lead before Hargreaves stepped in front of an Andy Dalton pass in the end zone.
WR Mike Evans
Evans wasn’t perfect, dropping a slightly thrown behind pass from Jameis Winston on third down, but was the leading receiver for the Bucs with four catches for 58 yards. Evans and Winston failed to connect on the end zone on two passes
QB Jameis Winston
Winston was efficient in his first drive of the game, one that ended in points. Though he himself said after the game that they need to turn those kinds of drive (which ended within the 10-yard line) into six points and not three, he still go them there from starting at his own six-yard line. He wasn’t as sharp as hell need to be by Week 1, but he still showed good command of his unit.
WR Bernard Reedy
Of all the wide receiver not named Mike Evans, Bernard Reedy had the most impactful night. Reedy caught all three of his targets for 24 yards, and also had a nice return in special teams. Reedy flashed consistency, which many others did not.
DT Clinton McDonald
Since the defense wasn’t doing much contact in practice, it was to be expected that their first game into full speed and hitting would be a little rusty – and it was. However, one man who didn’t show any rust was defensive tackle , Clinton McDonald. With Chris Baker starting with the first team, McDonald was mainly on the second team, and, boy, did he shine. He was consistently blowing up the inside of the trenches in the second quarter, and showed that he could be an excellent rotational defensive lineman.
P Bryan Anger
What can we say, Bryan Anger is simply a pro. The Bucs punt team unit, which was one of the best in the NFL last year, picked up right where it left off with a couple kicks inside the opponent’s 10-yard line last night. Anger, along with special teams ace, Josh Robinson, looked to be in midseason form.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya’ll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
I was going you guys how Anger was doing in camp. Apparently, pretty good.
Anger is a weapon.
Winston looked good, but he targeted Evans too much. Very solid first drive, but he blew the touchdown by trying to force it to Evans. Then again, he and Evans need to get that play down, so practicing it in a game might be a good thing.
I also think those uncreative fades had something to do with it being the preseason and the team not wanting to show much on film. i.e. They did some good things to move the ball down the field. It being preseason, there isn’t anything to be particularly gained from actually scoring 7 instead of 3, so you just toss a couple no thought jump balls and take the TD if it comes, but don’t sweat it if it doesn’t. I have a feeling our red zone offense will be incredibly deadly this season, and it won’t be because of an endless stream of Evans fade routes. But why show anything we’d like to use in that area of the field later? There’s no upside in it, really.
Where was Chris Godwin? One catch? Was he targeted more than that? Seems like you guys expected him to get a lot of attention, and he didn’t seem to be in the script much.
Winston’s focus on Evans is understandable, however, how do the coaches evaluate other receivers if Winston does not throw to them. Chris Godwin, Brate and Howard were ignored. Disappointing game plan and the Bucs seemed flat and unimpressed. Bad sign for a team with high expectations…looked like the old Bucs to me.
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