The Buccaneers got their first win at Raymond James Stadium since the 2013 season when former head coach Greg Schiano roamed the sidelines, after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-11 on Monday Night Football. Tampa Bay started hot on both sides of the ball scoring on their first drive with a Jameis Winston touchdown run, and the defense added the second score of the night with an interception return for a touchdown by Alterraun Verner. PewterReport.com takes a look at a long list of impressive players from Tampa Bay’s first preseason win of 2015.

QB Jameis Winston
After being criticized for some slow starts in practice, and in last week’s loss to the Vikings, Jameis Winston came out on fire and finished his first drive 3-of-3 and scoring a rushing TD from one yard out. Winston looked in command and sharp for the most part, and perhaps his best throw of the night ended up being an incompletion to a diving Tim Wright who couldn’t hang onto the ball. Winston got dinged in the second quarter after a sack, but from information released to the media, it appears the Bucs dodged a bullet and the former FSU star will be fine. Winston finished up his quarter and-a-half of play 8-of-13 for 90 yards with no interceptions and the mentioned rushing touchdown.

DE George Johnson
Everyone has asked the question, PewterReport.com included, where will the Bucs pass rush come from? On Monday night, Bucs fans – and the media – might have got a glimpse, as the Bucs front four pressured Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton by notching three first half sacks and two interceptions. Former Bucs and Lions defensive end George Johnson, who Tampa Bay traded for last spring, made an impact on Monday taking Dalton down for a first half sack and spending considerable time in the backfield, and was also later credited with a half sack. For the game Johnson finished with four tackles and 1.5 sack.

QB Mike Glennon
While the buzz around the stadium on Monday night was the encouraging sign of play from Jameis Winston, backup quarterback Mike Glennon may have played even better. Granted it was a lot against the Bengals second team, but to be fair, Glennon for the most part was being protected by, and throwing to, the Bucs second team as well. Glennon looked very much in command and poised most of the evening. He threw a strike on a deep route to Russell Shepard in the second quarter after replacing Winston, and led all passers with a 10-of-15 night for 121 yards and a 113.5 QB rating.

CB Alterraun Verner
Vowing to be a better player than he was in 2014 after signing as a free agent with the Bucs, cornerback Alterraun Verner looks to be backing it up so far in 2015. Going up against the talented A.J. Greene, Verner managed to nab a throw that went off of the former Georgia receivers hands, and weaved his way through traffic and into the end zone for a Bucs score. Verner’s night ended with two tackles, a pass breakup and the interception return for a score.

WR Russell Shepard
Backup receiver Russell Shepard’s night didn’t start well, as the special teams standout was called for a 10-yard holding penalty before the Bucs second drive, after the defense forced a Bengals punt. But the former LSU product made up for it later by hauling in a 22-yard TD from QB Mike Glennon. Shepard had two receptions for 44 yards in the Bucs win on Monday night.

RB Doug Martin
When most people talk about the Bucs offense led by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, one player that could prove to be extremely valuable is running back Doug Martin. After his sensational rookie season in 2012, Martin has only put up pedestrian stats the last two seasons, but appears to not only have regained his rookie form, but he may actually be better. Slimmer, stronger and quicker so far, Martin could end up being the Bucs most valuable player on offense in 2015, especially if he plays like he did against the Bengals on Monday night. The former Boise State standout led all rushers with 59 yards on just six carries.

LB Danny Lansanah
Relegated to backup status so far with the signing of Bruce Carter and and the drafting of Kwon Alexander, 2014’s bright spot on defense, Danny Lansanah, isn’t going down without a fight, and had a solid game working with the second team on Monday night, including using his quickness to beat a Bengals offensive linemen for a tackle for loss that ended up a safety and extended the Bucs lead in the second half. The journeyman linebacker notched four tackles against Cincinnati.

Honorable Mentions:  DE Larry English, RB Mike James, DL William Gholston, S D.J. Swearinger, LB Kwon Alexander

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 mark@pewterreport.com
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scubog

Jeremiah Warren, Brandon Myers and Adam Humphries caught my attention.

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pinkstob

I agree about Myers…where’s he been?

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gracelivin

Myers missed about 5-6 blocks that just killed plays, I thought he had a terrible night. Brate on the other hand looked to have the best night for our TE’s

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Justin2626

I agree, I think Brate is a good mix of Stocker/Myers. I’d like to see the final TE depth at:

ASJ
Brate
Myers/Stocker

with Tim Wright getting cut.

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surferdudes

Warren solidified himself as back up center,like to see him some at guard. No offensive linemen on this list, and that’s a problem. Marpet, and Smith are works in progress, Edwards, Gilkey, looked bad. Bringing in a vet R.T. was a good move, but so would bringing in a vet guard.

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JayBuc52

Last year the knock on Doug Martin was that he wasn’t creating runs. I can’t tell you how many times last night I thought he’d been stuffed at the line of scrimmage only to see him squirm his way through and get a sizeable gain.

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macabee

Still learning, but we got us a QB. His play was great, but his after game presser was even better. We get us an experienced line, we’re gonna win games.

Everybody should take notice of what could happen if our O-Line can’t protect our QB – one play away from ending our season – that’s scary!

Don’t quite know who to applaud here – Lovie’s play calling or the defense playing with intensity. Anyway, much improved!

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stlbucsfan

The offense looked great they just need to clean up the penalties and I think we have the makings of an explosive offense. The defense looked much better and I credit that to the changes we made up the middle of our defense. Moore defending the slot, Kwon in at MLB and Swearenger on the back end. Didn’t hear Sterling Moore’s name called all night which is good, Kwon hit everything that came in his path and DJ appears to finally have lowered his strike zone and delivered some legal big hits which is needed in this defense. Very excited… Read more »

pinkstob

Lansanah needs to be starting at SLB ahead of Carter. Lansanah has been making plays at the position going back to last season and the only play Carter has made this offseason (practice or preseason) is a recovered fumbled and I don’t consider that making a play. I consider the guy who forced the fumble the guy who made the play; anybody can land on a football. I know we’re paying Carter a grip, but the best players should be on the field.

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stlbucsfan

I agree Lansannah should be starting, I think he will make enough plays to eventually win that job back even if its not right out the gate. Also wanted to add that Mariotta has impressed me so far, granted it is preseason. He seems to be more advanced than I originally gave him or you credit for. Looks like it will be a good QB comparison for years to come.

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seat26

If we get a handle on penalties and Martin continues to look like he did in his rookie year, we are going to be a lot better than what most including myself thought. What surprised me most was our Defense. They look hungry.

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e

There’s no mention of special teams here… Penalty after penalty. Missed FG and extra point. They did have a couple of nice punt lock downs within the five yard line. I also thought that Gruden made a good point at the end of the night; The Bucs will very likely pick up a player or two over the next two days off of the waiver wire as they get first dibs. I’d like to see some more experience & depth on the O-line, myself. But, overall… The Bucs absolutely stuck it to a perennial playoff team when the starters were… Read more »

Gulfstrings

A heart-felt gesture to the refs last nite. Thought Chuckie was gonna break a free speech rule a time or two when reviewing some calls. But what about our quarterbacks? When blitzed, I thought Mike’s experience showed but Jameis’ mobility in the pocket showed as well. Both threw excellent balls. Wish we had that incomplete by 81 over again. What a highlight! He’s so fast in his routes – hope he sticks. All I wanted to see last nite was our ones against their ones. Good show. Go Bucs!

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Ronald

Great observations by all you guys. I still say we need to be patient with the OL. They were better last night than the Vikes game. Hope to see improvement every game.

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warren

Doug Martin is in for a monster year if he can get just a tiny bit of blocking from the O-line. In hind sight, the Bucs probably should have picked up his option year.

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jshumaker

I think if after a few weeks into the regular season he still looks like he did last night, they will immediately talking about an extension.

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drdneast

Stlbucsfan, Swearinger never had a problem with the strike zone but our previous two safeties, Barron and Goldson did. Goldson never would stop being a head hunter and trying to injure someone permanently. Neither one of them could cover worh a damn.
Offensive line is using a lot of different combinations which doesn’t help consistency.
Lovie, Koetter and Warhop need to decide who is going to start and get them going in the final two games.

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stlbucsfan

You are correct about Swearinger it was more “dirty” hits than hitting too high. Either way I’m very glad to see big hits that don’t have flags on the field afterwards.

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jongruden

Russel Sheppard, George Johnson, Jeremiah Warren, Winston and Doug Martin were my standout performers. Don’t know why Scu thinks Meyers is one but its all subjective I guess. Yes, agree with glasses half full guy (Pinkstob) that we need to start Lansanah he is better player than carter and with Kwon in the Middle we have a lot of speed in the line backers. Swearinger needs to start he is an intimidator and if anything we have that back there. Jeremiah Warren is bigger than Dietrich-Smith and looked like he can play the position so let him, the rest of… Read more »

scubog

I thought Myers caught the ball well. Blocking was so-so, but that’s not one of his strengths. He’s typically been somewhat invisible.

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Horse

Very enjoyable game to watch because I saw improvement in many areas. Lets remember that the first three series I didn’t see any Bengal blitzing. Despite all the penalties called this team improved from the last game; that’s all I care about in the next game Saturday. Go Bucs!

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EastEndBoy

Good list Mark – Dougernaut was #1 for me…his running opened up the passing game IMO and limited the Bengals ability to pass rush while he was playing. Overall, an excellent game on both sides for us…really pleased to be honestly expecting that we would win, instead of wondering how we would manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like last year.

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deeznuts

My most impressive: [1] Doug Martin – all i can say is I told ya so, threw a great pass block as well. [2] Mike Glennon – drafting Jameis might be the best thing that happened to Glennon. he didnt flinch in the pocket. [3] Jameis Winston – Came out throwing lasers but tailed off the next few drives. [4] The bucs front 7 – they were fierce; why is Lansanah not starting over Carter? [5] DJ Swearinger – he was hitting everybody last night AND played great on special teams. [6] Mike James – ran hard, got tough yards… Read more »

ryan24

Lansanah started at SAM. Not sure where the “backup” comment comes from. Lansanah does play on the 2nd team nickel defense as it is David/Alexander and Lansanah/Carter in that case.

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DrT1066

Scott
I kept telling you and the other pundits that Doug Martin’s lack of production was due to his injuries, a lousy OL, and a terrible QB.
All of you wanted to trade or cut him!
Hmmm maybe not.

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owlykat

I would have also listed Melvin as honorable mention as well because his penetration made Johnson’s sacks possible, running the QB back to his left to get away from Melvin who was dominating Cincy’s RT. Otherwise great ratings Mark. We need to keep starting Melvin at DE and when Smith comes back use him as a speed rushing reliever. We have plenty of good DTs since we added another Seahawk DT. Delaire and the other speed rushers didn’t look too good. We need to hang on to Gholston who can play DT and DE and can be moved to DE… Read more »