Former Bucs DT Henry Melton - Photo by: Getty Images
Despite dropping their first preseason game of the year 26-16, and even with a ton of sloppy play, there were a few bright spots for the Buccaneers on Saturday night. PewterReport.com takes a look at the Tampa Bay players who were impressive in the snaps they received against the Minnesota Vikings.
DT Lawrence Sidbury
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into the 2015 preseason with a goal of finding better results at the defensive end position than what they were able to achieve in 2014. While Jacquies Smith and George Johnson have gotten the first team reps – and the majority of press through training camp – there are other players on the roster who are pushing for playing time. On Saturday night Sidbury only recorded one official tackle but also added a QB pressure, a forced fumble, in addition to a fumble recovery after William Gholston stripped a Vikings running back in the second half. The Bucs forced three Minnesota turnovers on the evening, and despite still losing, it will still be something pleasing to the defensive coaching staff as the review the game film on the charter flight back to Tampa Bay in the early Sunday morning hours.
WR Louis Murphy
After missing the first week and a half of training camp, and giving up valuable reps to rookies Rannell Hall, Kenny Bell and others, veteran receiver Louis Murphy showed up on Saturday night, looking like he never missed a day of action. Murphy led the Buccaneers with four receptions for 54 yards. Many fans, and and some in the media, have already given his job away to one of the rookies, but on Saturday night Murphy showed the rookies how an old man does it.
LB Lavonte David
Not many, if any, expect Lavonte David to be a take-the-money and get lazy player. The former Husker star loves the game too much and has too much pride to take the easy route. On Saturday, six days after signing a $50.25 million extension, David came out on the first two series and showed why the Buccaneers made him the highest paid 4-3 linebacker in the NFL. David was flying all over the place, and finished his select playing time with three tackles and one for loss. If the Bucs defense is going to make a significant jump in 2015, David will be a big part of it.
LB Khaseem Greene
Former Rutgers standout (and Greg Schiano pupil) Khaseem Greene has been somewhat of a forgotten man this training camp but on Saturday he clearly set out to prove he belongs on the Buccaneers 53-man roster. Greene tied for the team lead in tackles with five, and also added a forced fumble in the second half that prevented a Vikings touchdowns and resulted in a touchback.
DT Henry Melton
The Buccaneers are still trying to determine where their pass rush is going to come from in 2015, but on Saturday night Henry Melton showed it doesn’t have to always come from the edge. Other than Gerald McCoy, Melton is the easily the team’s most proven pass rusher and at some point this season you can expect the duo to be lined up next to each other on passing downs. Melton finished with the Bucs only sack on Saturday night.
Honorable Mentions: DE William Gholston, CB Alterraun Verner, WR Robert Herron, DT George Uko
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 [email protected]
Seemed to me, the Bucs were good at run blocking, but not pass blocking. Likewise, they were good at run stuffing, but not pass-rushing . . .
Im glad you guys didn’t put McCoy on this list. He got taken for a ride on the rushing touchdown in the first quarter. I mean, a Vikings lineman grabbed him and ran him through the back of the end zone. Ouch.
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It’s really difficult in an “exhibition” game, when playing time is limited, to name Most Disappointing and Most Impressive players other than one or two standout plays. Shouldn’t the body of work be the most important measuring stick? For this game there were a lot more candidates who did not live up to anyone’s expectations than the few who showed well. But the Vikings are a fairly good team that has been in Training Camp longer and already played in a game. They should look better than our collection of rookies and second year players at this point. I tend to focus on individual players and attitude. I liked what I saw from LB Kwon Alexander, who at just 20 years old, seems to have an uncanny confidence. Our your QB shows no fear. I like that he isn’t always looking for the easy check-down only to punt on 4th and 2. Any QB can play it safe, have a great completion % but lose because he never makes any plays either. I always say, a person learns more when things go bad than they do when things go right. The key is how they react.
So Scu I’m assuming you were as happy as me when at the end of the game down by 10, 3rd and long Glennon checks down to his back!
Exactly Surfer. The defense just sits back and lets those types of QB’s stop themselves.
Keon Anderson looked pretty good to me.
martinii, You inspire me and give me hope. I have nothing bad to say about our young players. After a few times, they’ll get it right too! lol.
I saw nothing really bad except for my bud Gilkey. Murphy looked liked his old self; really nothing stood out for me on either side of the line nor either team.
Mark can Gilkey play RT? I know he is your bud…but I found myself screaming a lot of the same words I used last year! Lets hope that’s not the norm.
Kwon Alexander was easily the most impressive Buc last night.
Marpet was also impressive.
bucsmaniac; I can answer that one too? He can’t play LT, LG, C, RG, RT, but he could be good at keeping an eye on for anyone deflating the footballs. We need to get past Gilkey and let real players get more time to play.
Horse you are sooo Right, why is he still on this team??
Always liked Murphy and I said in that thread at beginning of summer I expected him to be the third receiver over any of the other guys on roster. I got one right anyways. Lol. I need to go back and watch the game again but short list of impressive performances. Hopefully second game is better.
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I was most impressed with Marpet and Alexander. Although he had a rough game, Winston’s poise was impressive as well. After his initial botched block, Smith seemed to get it together. Murphy looked like a man who isn’t ready to give his job up to a rookie. As expected, David looked like the highest paid 4-3 LB. We showed some promise and it’s only week 1 of preseason
People need to get off Gilkey’s back. I thought as a guard he had a good game. Bad snap in the shotgun but you can’t tell who was at fault on the other bad exchange.
Besides, Gilkey is a guard who is learning how to play center so cut the poor guy some slack.
Seems like Buc fans always have to have a whipping boy.
Thought Robert Herron also had a good game along with Louis Murphy.
Vikings looked a tad sharper because they have been in camp a week longer and also already have a preseason game under their belts.
Simple as that.
Umm…, he played Center last year as buck up and was horrible. What are you seeing? Other than Martin scrmbling at the Line there were no holes to run thru. Gilkey was man handled is what I saw.
Game is on again tonight at 8 p.m. on NFL Network. Try again. Offensive line had a much better time in their first game this year opposed to the first game last year.
If you can remember that game, it was a complete disaster. Except for Smith missing on his first play, the offensive line more than held its own.
Gilkey played one game last year as center so I don’t think that qualifies him as a veteran center.
It makes no matter to me if the kid makes the team or not, I just don’t like to see guys punted around and made the scapegoat.
Gilkey got blamed for the Bengals loss yet I don’t believe he was the 12th man on the field at the end of the game.
Every center in the league has bad snaps.
Okay so we will agree to disagree. There was a reason even Cleveland didn’t want him and so far I see why. Lets hope he plays sooner like a starter.
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