All Twenty-Tuesday Part 2: Defense

Gerald McCoy is a monster. I don’t know how else to say it.

Fan can complain however they want about a lack of fourth quarter sacks or him not having a mean streak or whatever other excuse they want to tell themselves if they miss Warren Sapp. But whatever those are, don’t change the fact that McCoy is one of – if not the best – 3-tech defensive tackle in the NFL.

The two plays above are back-to-back plays, and were back-to-back plays in which McCoy stopped the entire Jaguars offense by himself. He’s so savvy at this point of his career with how to use his hands, where to jump on the line of scrimmage and that’s not to mention how elite his “get off” still is.

McCoy made the Jaguars offensive line look pretty bad that Thursday, but I can’t blame them too much. This unquestioned All-Pro is as motivated as ever.

SAM I AM

Ah, yes. The play you’ve all been waiting for me to review: Kendell Beckwith reading all of my tweets and sticking it to me by getting his first tackle for loss as a SAM linebacker.

In all seriousness, I thought the linebacker group played excellent against the Jaguars, and though that was led by Lavonte David, it’s clear that Beckwith is feeding off David and Kwon Alexander’s energy and performing well.

The video above ones with some commentary, so I break it down more in-depth is you’ll listen, and where it was a good play by Beckwith (not trying to take that away from him), it didn’t show him overcoming weakness I’m still worried about, rather, it showcased what he can be good at.

Beckwith knows how to sift through traffic as a former middle linebacker.

The Smith Experience

First-year cornerback Ryan Smith got torched in the two joint practices the team had – and I mean really torched. He looked lost at times, timid at times, and just didn’t have the confidence we saw from him in the game against the Bengals.

However, when game time came around, we saw some of that confidence again.

What we saw last week from Smith was a good display of fearless athletic ability. Smith was closing in on ball carrier faster than any other defender, and showed sure tackling on multiple occasions. In the play above, Smith just barely missed an interception. You can listen to the commentary for more.

Smith is going to go through plenty of lumps, same as we saw from Hargreaves last year as a first-year player as an outside corner. However, we’ve already seen flashes of why they wanted to move this guy to the outside. He can play there with more experience.

Joe Dirt

Everyone’s favorite Hard Knocks darling, Riley Bullough, had a solid game against the Jaguars.

He’s been one of Pro Football Focus’ top run defenders in all of the NFL during the preseason, and play like the one above show you why.

This guy is reckless to get the tackle. He will throw his body at a bulldozer if it means there’s a chance he can blow up a play. In the play above, he somehow forced his way through two blockers to trip up the running back. He also had a play where he was run over initially, but held on and was able to drag a ballcarrier down. And then, there was the touchdown-saving tackle on Jags wide receiver Dede Westbrook on a big play nearly 40 yards down the field.

We’re not sure if Bullough makes this team, but it does seem he’s doing everything he can to do so. Worst-case scenario, he’ll be a practice squad guy.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

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]
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Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

I don’t get very concerned at all about a receiver like Mike Evans not giving up his body to get a few extra yards after contact … in the pre-season. Pre-season football not only doesn’t matter, it’s simply nothing like a real game that counts. Just like regular season games are not much like playoff games. Game context matters. And getting those extra yards after contact are where a runner with the football is most likely to get injured. I was really pleased with the offense with the exception of Jameis’ continued devotion to hero ball when the other members… Read more »

nitey
nitey
4 years ago

>> We’re not sure if Bullough makes this team, but it does seem he’s doing everything he can to do so. Worst-case scenario, he’ll be a practice squad guy. <<

Sorry, other teams are watching Hard Knocks too. I'm sure he's played well enough to be picked up as soon as we cut him. I would be surprised if we were able to add him to the practice squad.

nitey
nitey
Reply to  nitey
4 years ago

BTW, another excellent article Trevor. I wonder how long PR is going to be able to keep you – have to think some other sites will be making offers to you soon. I don’t think I’ve read a bad article from you yet.

nitey
nitey
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

All you need is one team to like him better than one of the guys currently on the team. Have to believe there are a few teams that have some weak linebackers that could pick him up. He’s put out some good tape and if he plays well on Saturday it would almost make it a sure thing someone will sign him.

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Good job Trevor. I always enjoy your Articles.

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
4 years ago

It’s preseason: The games don’t count. But, the injuries do. I don’t want to see any major impact injuries.
I want to see Jameis improve his decision making. I am not looking for perfection this Saturday night (even though that would be nice). He’s 23. So he’s still maturing and learning. I believe he will get there (even though he’s not bad now).
Go Bucs!

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

Another great cover 3… First, as far as Winston and his accuracy/decision making. Winston is a gunslinger, I think Koetter said it best when he said he doesn’t want to coach the gunslinger out of him. His mentality of always being able to make a play is great when it works out and bad when it doesn’t. As much as we’d all like to avoid the turnovers, they kind of come with the territory. Overall though, Jameis has been a lot more accurate so far in the preseason. He will no doubt get himself into and out of trouble with… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  plopes808
4 years ago

Correction…RAC yards

tnew
tnew
4 years ago

You are one, if not the first, to point out that Martin is our best option. I get tired of those that still clamour that he should be cut if Rodgers or Sims start out hot. One thing on the touchdown run. Brate throws what is the best block I’ve ever seen him make on a DE for this play. He engages, stands his man up, turns him then seals the edge off. I’m glad you brought out that second and 17 play. I was way more concerned about that play than the should’ve been interception/sack at the goal line.… Read more »

Justin2626
Justin2626
4 years ago

Hey Trevor, Love your articles man, always appreciate the content you produce….Tampa market has been lacking in the Xs and Os being reported and evaluated and I really enjoy you parsing the game for us and not being afraid to stick your opinions into it as well. Very much enjoy your writing! That being said, the performance of the Bucs’ D was exciting, invigorating and uplifting to witness. We looked like the far superior team, as we should have against a decrepit Jags team, and imposed our will on their offense. I’m sure you noticed, even our No 2s on… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
4 years ago

I don’t think Trevor was here when Martin was originally hit with his suspension but I do know a number of people in the media were screaming for the Bucs to cut him as soon as it happened and throughout the offseason. Thankfully cooler and smarter heads (Licht and Koetter) prevailed. Even a lot of fans were wanting to dump the second best RB in the NFL in 2015 when the problem wasn’t the fact he had lost a step or two. Loyalty with those fans lasts until you have a personal medical problem that affects your play. I am… Read more »

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
4 years ago

Am I the only guy who can’t get to page 2/3 on this article? It’s taking ages to get anywhere on this :X It’s only on this article, the rest of the entries work beautifully.