DOLPHINS DROP BUCS, 13-10
Miami escaped Raymond James stadium with a 13-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night. The Dolphins, led quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington, moved the ball on the Buccaneers backups en route to 196 passing yards. The Buccaneers faced the same problems on third downs, allowing Miami to convert 5-of-13 attempts.

LINEUP CHANGES
Several Buccaneers did not participate against the Dolphins. The defense was without four starters with linebackers Derrick Brooks (rest) and Shelton Quarles (rest), safety Will Allen (rest) and defensive end Simeon Rice (rest) sitting out. Running back Cadillac Williams, center John Wade, wide receiver Joey Galloway, running back Derek Watson and tackle Torrin Tucker did not see playing time against the Dolphins.

STARTING DEFENSE FLEXES ITS MUSCLES
Despite being down four starters, the Buccaneers defense kept the Miami offense in check, giving up a paltry 66 yards while notching two sacks by defensive tackle Booger McFarland and linebacker Barrett Ruud, respectively. The defense kept the ground game in check all game, giving up only 86 yards on the ground.

MAHAN GETS THE NOD OVER WADE
Offensive lineman Sean Mahan was introduced as the starting center with the first-team offense for Saturday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Mahan, who has been pushing incumbent starter John Wade for playing time, played for the first two series. Mahan was called for a holding penalty during the second offensive series, nullifying a first down catch by wide receiver Ike Hilliard.

GRADKOWSKI’S HIGHLIGHT REEL
Rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski showed great maturity and leadership while at the helm of the Buccaneers offense. Momentum shifted back in the Buccaneers’ favor in the fourth quarter thanks to a 10-yard completion on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive. On the ensuing play, Gradkowski launched a 48-yard strike to a wide-open Edell Shepherd for a touchdown. Gradkowski finished the game 11-of-14 for 193 yards. Gradkowski displayed pinpoint accuracy until an ill-advised interception late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Dolphins.

STOVALL PROVING HIS WORTH
Rookie receiver Maurice Stovall continued his stellar preseason effort with a 36-yard reception from rookie quarterbac Bruce Gradkowski in the third quarter to get the Buccaneers in the red zone. On the play, Stovall split two defenders to haul in a perfectly thrown pass.Stovall now has four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in two preseason contests. Stovall is averaging 14.3 yards per catch.

GRAHAM IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Running back Earnest Graham was in the starting lineup against the Dolphins with Cadillac Williams seeing no playing time and Michael Pittman seeing little action. Graham responded by rushing six times for 28 yards and hauling in one catch for 11 yards.

WALKER RETURNS TO THE STARTING LINEUP
Right tackle Kenyatta Walker replaced rookie Jeremy Trueblood in the starting lineup against the Dolphins. Walker had been battling a knee injury throughout training camp and saw many of his reps go to Trueblood. Trueblood was a mainstay during the second half of the game at the right tackle position.

RUUD LEADS THE DEFENSE
Tampa Bay second-year middle linebacker Barrett Ruud made two impressive plays in the first quarter while starting in place of Shelton Quarles. On the Dolphins’ second offensive series, Ruud forced a fumble while sacking Daunte Culpepper. On the Dolphins’ ensuing drive, Ruud again shot through the line getting his hands on Culpepper again and forcing an intentional grounding penalty. Ruud finished the game with a team-leading eight tackles to go along with his forced fumble and sack.

STARTING LINEUPS
First-Team Offense
QB Chris Simms
RB Earnest Graham
FB Mike Alstott
WR David Boston
WR Michael Clayton
TE Alex Smith
C Sean Mahan
RG Davin Joseph
RT Kenyatta Walker
LG Dan Buenning
LT Anthony Davis

First-Team Defense
CB Ronde Barber
CB Brian Kelly
SS Jermaine Phillips
FS Kalvin Pearson
MLB Barrett Ruud
SLB Ryan Nece
WLB Jamie Winborn
RE Dewayne White
DT Anthony McFarland
DT Chris Hovan
LE Greg Spires

Second-Team Offense
QB Tim Rattay
RB Carey Davis
FB Jared Sowell
WR Michael Clayton
WR Edell Shepherd
TE Alex Smith
C Sean Mahan
RG Jeb Terry
RT Jeremy Trueblood
LT Scott Jackson
LG Toniu Fonoti

Second-Team Defense
FS Kalvin Pearson
SS Donte Nicholson
CB Torrie Cox
CB Juran Bolden
MLB Barrett Ruud
WLB Jamie Winborn
RE Andrew Williams
LE Keight Wright
DT Jon Bradley
DT Ellis Wyms

Third-Team Offense
QB Bruce Gradkowski
RB Carey Davis
FB Rick Razzano
WR Paris Warren
WR Maurice Stovall
TE Mark Aneli
C Jonathan Clinkscale
RG Tonui Fonoti
RT Jeremy Trueblood
LG Jeb Terry
LT Scott Jackson

Third-Team Defense
CB Dwight Ellick
FS Steve Cargile
CB Justin Phinisee
SLB Jermaine Taylor
DT Julian Jenkins
LE Andrew Williams
RE Charles Bennett
MLB Anthony Trucks
WLB Antoine Cash
SS Donte Nicholson
DT Jon Bradley



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

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments