Bucs QB Sefo Liufau – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
In the Buccaneers’ final game of the preseason, they fell to the Washington Redskins by a score of 13-10. The Bucs ended the preseason with just three offensive touchdowns and the lowest points per game total in the league.
Stats like that don’t just come from one or two missed opportunities. These were our most disappointing players from game four.
It’s been a rough preseason for the free agent signee Fitzpatrick, and in his final preseason game of the season, he wasn’t able to right his wrongs. Fitzpatrick started the game 0-for-3, and while playing almost the entire first half, only finished with six total passing yards on 2-of-7 passing.
The team signed Fitzpatrick in hopes of him bringing some veteran consistency, but so far he’s been anything but that. He’s erratic with his throws, and his gunslinger mentality is missing more than hitting. With Ryan Griffin not available, Fitzpatrick will be the team’s only back up. If Winston goes down, they’re in trouble.
For the second game in a row, the Buccaneers’ pass rush was non-existent. In fact, their run game defense was no better with the reserve units playing the entire game while the starters rested.
Mike Smith’s defense does not work without a pass rush. The defensive backs are playing off coverage, and don’t get any room to anticipate if there’s no pressure. That showed on the field half as Redskins quarterback Nate Sudfeld had open receivers left and right. Minus blitzing plays from the linebacker group, there was no disruption at all from the reserves on Thursday night.
The first team offensive line hasn’t been too bad this preseason, but the back ups have been, well, bad.
Tonight, whether it was Fitzpatrick or back up quarterback Sefo Liufau, there was no time to throw and barely any running lanes to run through. Immediate back up tackles Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester didn’t look great this preseason, and the guys behind them looked like non-roster players. As a unit, they hurt some of the fringe skill players’ chances at putting their best tape out there in their final night.
Though it’s cruel to put the only quarterback to throw a touchdown pass for the Buccaneers in the preseason on this list, Liufau’s night was poor, in context.
He threw a pick-6 to go along with his touchdown, but really could have thrown three or four more picks for lack of accuracy. It was good for Liufau to get on a bit of a roll at the end and get into a rhythm for the first time in his NFL career, but we don’t think he’s shown what it takes to make the team.
Did we miss anyone? Who were your most disappointing players from the preseason finale?
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Pewter Report might want to ask GM where is our pass rush and backup quarterback.
A few thoughts now that preseason is over….
(1) Sefo is a bad player, but if Jameis goes down, I’m not sure that Fitz actually gives us any better of a chance to win a game. Seriously – if Winston goes down and we need any plays from the QB, between these two, we’re screwed no matter which one is on the field. It’s shocking how bad Fitz is. Taking that into consideration, I’d like us to cut Fitz outright, then have Griffin be the backup as soon as he’s healthy. We’d save $1.75M in cap room by doing so, which could come in handy as the contracts of many of our young core players expire in the next couple of offseasons. If Fitz suits up week one, his entire salary for the year is guaranteed due to his status as a vested veteran. Save that money, cross our fingers for Jameis until Griffin is healthy, and give Griffin the job (which he reportedly earned throughout camp) once his shoulder is better.
(2) All offseason, we heard from PR how wrong we all were on the O line needing help. So far, the proof is in the pudding – Donovan Smith has continued to get abused, although it hasn’t resulted in sacks for Jameis yet. JR Sweezy has shown promise, but has also struggled at times, much as he did during his entire career prior to his back injury. Our tackle depth is embarrassing. I think we have okay depth inside, but the overall point stands – this line is not where it should be, and we need to invest some major assets into improving it next offseason. We should have already done it this past spring, but that ship has sailed. If any of Dotson, Smith, or Marpet goes down, we’re in big trouble. And even if they don’t, we still have a below average line….just like most of us have been saying for months.
(3) I really couldn’t stand Bobo after seeing him on HK, but he made some serious plays, including on special teams. Reedy is currently my pick as the #5 WR, but there might be something there with Wilson. I was glad to see Dye show out these last couple games, too. He’s got some really high end tools. I’m not a Huff fan, but he’s obviously still in this, too. This position might be the toughest roster cut calls. Wouldn’t shock me for us to end up keeping 6.
(4) I think McNichols is getting cut. Tough, but it is what it is. He just hasn’t shown any reason to keep him around at this point, IMO.
After watching this team for now over 40 years, including every preseason game, until the 4th quarter, that had to be the worst exhibition of QB play I’ve ever witnessed. First we had the Harvard man showing no signs of the experienced game manager we need him to be. Then we trot out Liufau. I was anxious to see him since I was sitting next to a Colorado alumnus who told me how good he was in college. Until he actually started to throw the ball in the 4th quarter, I thought he must have been watching those old 1960’s nuclear bomb videos in which we youngsters were told to “duck and cover” under our desks. He was certainly no Randy “Why Not Minot” Hedberg.
Other than that, my biggest disappointment was that once again the opponent’s players looked more interested in having a good performance and winning the game.
Redskins 3rd QB Sudfelds is better than our backup Fitzpatrick. Fitz was a starter just last year. WTF is wrong with him? He’s had all preseason to learn playbook and develop some chemistry with the Bucs. It’s been pathetic 4 games in a row. 1 or 2 bad games you say he will likely be ok. But this? Crazy. If Sefo had any ability at all I’d cut Fitz. Guess we are stuck with him just pray his number isn’t called.
The O line is going to be what Im watching on offense all year. Jameis and all our talent on offense won’t matter if never enough time for routes to develop. If we run the ball well we may be ok IF nobody gets hurt. That’s a big IF because there is no depth at several spots. One or two O line injuries and it will be a long year for us.
I also hope Baker gets his ass in gear week one because the D line wasnt much better so far. Hope we didn’t land us a lazy clown in free agency.
A don’t know why we need 5 TE’s either. I’d keep 6 WR’s before keeping extra lackluster blockers. There are at least a couple WR’s that look intriguing. Some of the no name TEs , I just don’t know why need to take roster spot.
The article should read….
Bucs vs Redskins Most Disappointing
The Game Itself
With more and more fans clamoring for less preseason play, the new NFL roster rule added fuel to the fire on this hot topic. The Bucs forth preseason game, and perhaps the rest of the league, was nothing more than an unexciting college game. Most starters did not dress as players who are trying to make the team showcased their talents in one last attempt to make the team, any team. The new NFL roster cut down rule allowed teams to protect most anyone of importance and trot out players to comply with playing a 4th preseason game.
Enough already. Do football fans and season ticket holders a favor. Don’t waste our time with this game, or at the very least don’t charge season ticket holders for preseason. The NFL could promote teams by giving away tickets on a first come first serve basis for preseason games and promote fan growth. An expansion of regular season doesn’t necessarily have to happen, but a reduction in preseason games needs to happen.
But the bucs shouldnt sign kapernick….yea right. Fitzpatrick is horrible and has always been horrible. What did the bucs and fans expect? Did you think just because he put on a buc uniform that he was going to become this good qb all of a sudden? Yea but kapernick kneeled …….lol
It looks like PR is not going to do a most impressive list and maybe that’s because there wasn’t one. So I need to give a mention for a long shot player that surprised and impressed me with his defensive play.
Medhi Abdesmad, the Tunisian Canadian from Montreal by way of Boston College looked pretty good. He has a good motor and natural pass rush ability. Now I know he was playing against future UPS deliverymen, but after only 4 days with the Bucs, he played well. He may have earned himself a spot on the practice squad. We could use the pass rush help. Could be a diamond in the rough. I hope he makes it.
Meant to say he already released.
Yes, I knew that my friend, but as you know you must first be released and clear waivers before you can be added to the practice squad. Can’t happen until Sunday. I’m hoping he makes it to the PS as strictly developmental guy.
D line was my biggest concern going into this season – and still is. But have to say I’ve been really disappointed in Fitz and the O line. The O line is average and thin at tackle. And I agree with the other posts that if Griffin is healthy going into week 1 we should cut Fitz. He really looks like he’s just collecting a paycheck and going through the motions. And as far as the WR’s go, I’d hate to have to make those cuts. We’ve got some talent and Wilson, Ready and Dye all can play for this team. [I’m not a Huff fan, but I respect guys that are in his camp.] Good luck to Licht and Koetter….
I thought it was encouraging that I didn’t see Fitz snoozing on the sideline until my buddy told me he saw him taking a quick Ben Franklin in the huddle.
Sefo really was bad at the beginning but he did seem to warm up in the fourth quarter but he is no NFL QB. I say if the ‘Skins cut Sudfield grab him and kick Fitz to the curb. I’d rather see Kapernick burning flags on the sideline than watch the disinterested Fitz get behind center again.
I don’t care if Kap wears a t shirt with Hillary hugging Fidel and both of them smoking reefer,, I don’t give a damn about his politics, I just want someone who wants to win football games.
If you didn’t notice and from what I have read many of you didn’t, the ‘Skins blitzed a lot last night while once again we stayed in a pretty vanilla offense and defense.
I think Koetter is treating the preseason as just that, the preseason. He wants to judge an evaluate players, not win meaningless exhibition games.
But what if Kaepernick suddenly did a flip flop and wore a Make America Great cap as he was holding the clip board on the sideline? Surely some would associate him with the Ku Klux Kaepernick.
Obviously if he wore a make america great again cap then those who hate him now would love him. I could care less. I need a back up qb and fitz is not it.
Scubog, only if he was stupid enough to put his arm around the Donald and say he thinks there are some really fine Nazis and KKK members out there who just think its a good idea to turn against your country and to own human beings and treat them like farm animals.
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