Along with game planning and execution, the Buccaneers seemed to lack resilience on Sunday.

It took only one mistake on the first play from scrimmage – Major Wright’s personal foul for a high tackle on Bishop Sankey – to rattle the defense and send the Titans on a five-play, 74-yard scoring drive.

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason - Bengals at Buccaneers“We didn’t execute on defense better than they executed on offense,” linebacker Lavonte David said on Monday. “I don’t think the fire was there. We kind of let that first play, the penalty, kind of knock our momentum. We let that get to us. We have to look past that and keep going.”

Other plays that seemed to deflate the Bucs defense early on was a near interception by Kwon Alexander in the first quarter and an apparent fumble recovery in the end zone following Gerald McCoy’s sack. Both plays would’ve put the game within one score, but they didn’t and the defense never recovered.

That has to change soon for Tampa Bay, as the defense is expected to drive this team and bear most of the weight with a rookie quarterback and young offense.

“We (the defense) have to have that mentality every time,” David said. “When we’re on the field, it doesn’t matter (what the score is), we have to get the ball back to our offense. We have to have that mentality from here on out. We have to do a better job of helping each other out on defense and playing together.”

Bucs defensive end George Johnson took it a step further, saying it’s up to defensive line to set the tone. The front four applied little pressure on Marcus Mariota, as the rookie was often able to throw from a clean pocket within a couple seconds of dropping back. And while the secondary didn’t offer much help in giving the line time to get off blocks, Johnson still puts it on his unit to build momentum.

“On the D-Line, we always feel like we have to be the engine of the team,” Johnson said. “We feel like as we go the team should go. I think it all starts with our D-Line. If our D-Line picks it up, then everyone else will pick it up around us.”Lions DE George Johnson played in Tampa Bay from 2010-12 - Photo by: Getty Images

Tampa Bay isn’t making any excuses, but dwelling on the first game won’t accomplish anything and they know that. They have to show more resilience throughout the rest of the year than they did on Sunday. With an entire season left to play, the mind set at One Buc Place – from head coach Lovie Smith on down – is “Just one game.”

“It’s the first game of the season and it didn’t turn out as we expected,” David said. “You know what, we have 15 more games left and we look forward to that. Now, we have to get ready for New Orleans, a division opponent and another hard football game for us. We’re ready to get up there and fight our butts off.”

“This is just one game,” Johnson said. “This isn’t college where you’re one and out. You have a lot of games to go and you have playoffs. You have to just take this game, learn from it and move on to New Orleans.”

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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Garv
Garv
5 years ago

Talk talk talk.
WALK WALK WALK!!!
WHY were they not resiliant? WHY did they not execute? WHY did they lose their fire?
DAMN! WHO IS IN CHARGE!
ST. LOVIE SMITH.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Garv
5 years ago

Garv, I agree. I had previously thought Smith could get this team going and we would follow that up a few years from now with an up and coming coach; this is now thrown out. Smith has to get at least 5 wins to stay. I know you don’t like to read this, but we need another draft in order to fill the DE need.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

When your so called team captain, and leader, Gerry not so real McCoy says after a beating like this pretty much don’t worry be happy it’s just one game, this is what you can expect more of. The reality is this was the tenth home loss in a row, and the 15th loss, in the last 17 at bats. Suh yesterday kicked the helmet off a Red Skin player when he was on the ground! Gerry would’ve helped the player up and thanked him for kicking his ass! Horse you’re old school, imagine how Butkus, or Lott would’ve reacted to… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  surferdudes
5 years ago

surferdudes; i agree there has to be some leadership displayed vocally. I’m keeping my mouth closed Gerald; i think Smith’s defense is something from the past and doesn’t work in today’s NFL. GM needs to talk to Lovie.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
5 years ago

No fire? How in the hell do you play the first game of the season and have no fire?
This is what’s wrong with this defense, they have to find a reason to get into it. And if a first play of the game took you guys out of it, we are screwed with that mental weakness.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Scott, can you please shed some light on that mysterious referee call in the first half when the refs moved the ball back negating the first down.
Did the Titans throw a red flag at any point or was this done on a whim during the TV timeout

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Yes, the Titans challenged the spot of the ball.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

d.I believe the above did more to turn the tide of the game than anything else. It completely took the air out of the Bucs and the Titans took the ball down and scored almost making it a 14 point turnaround. I used to be okay with McCoy’s nature but it doesn’t seem like anything gets him upset which means he lacks passion. As mild mannered as Selmon was, players knew it was best not to get him upset because he was simply unstoppable when that occurred. I don’t want McCoy kicking players when they are down but it would… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

The entire defense seemed to be going through the motions. Glad to see them admit what we all observed. Praise “Super Mariota” all you want but what I saw was a defense reluctant to do anything but watch the quick slant executed to perfection. Things might not be so easy for #8 in the coming weeks.