The Buccaneers first and second team offenses were very sharp and efficient in the Bucs 33-30 loss to the Lions on Friday Night.
Although the Bucs ended the game with a loss, they had a 27-6 lead early in the second half. Koetter then emptied the bench and the defense collapsed. The offense became stagnant and the Bucs ended with the loss.
Lots of positives to write about offensively from the third pre-season game. Let’s start with Peyton Barber. The man is in mid-season form as he ran with authority against the Lions averaging 6 yards per carry. Barber averaged 5.8 yards per carry with 2 TD’s during his three games in pre-seson action and convinced everyone that he is the best back on the team and will be the starter in Nw Orleans on Sept. 9th.
The high level of play of the QB’s continued as the 4 QB’s on the roster have not thrown an interception during the pre-season. Jameis Winston has had the best pre-season of any QB in the NFL passing for 388 yards, 3 TD”s and a 126.9 passer rating.
Ryan Griffin and Ryan Fitzpatrick also performed very well. Fitzpatrick, who will start the first three games of the season finished with 183 yards passing and a 79.9 rating. Although he did not have a TD pass, Fitzpatrick was able to move the team efficiently and get the team into scoring position.
Ryan Griffin and Austin Allen will handle the QB duties against the Jaguars on Thursday night.
Although Ronald Jones continues to struggles running the ball, getting hit and stopped behind the line of scrimmage, I think everyone was surprised when he caught a 37 yard pass from Fitzpatrick in the first quarter as receiving is not a strong point of Ronald Jones game. Jones has carried the ball 18 times and gained just 18 yards. H e should get a good deal of playing time in the final pre-season game.
I really like Shaun Wilson. I think he has earned a roster spot after the Charles Sims injury. Wilson, seeing the most action off the preseason against the Lions averaged over 26 yards per return on 5 kickoff returns. Wilson so far has rushed for 27 yards on 8 carries and should see extended playing time in the final pre-season game. Wilson I think can develop the versatility that Sims brought to the roster. Wilson can contibute in the return game, running the ball and receiving.
The Bucs are averaging 29 points agame in the pre-season and this offense has the potential to be the best offense in Buccaneers history with this array of playmakers on the roster.
OC Todd Monken has been calling the plays during the pre-season. This was a task that Koetter did all of last season. Based on the success of the pre-season, I think Koetter should eat a slice of humble pie and leave Monken in charge of play calling during the regular season. If it doesn’t work, Koetter can always take back control of the play-calling.
-The Bucs did sign three players to the roster due to the injuries to WR Sergio Bailey, and Charles Sims. RB Devine Redding was signed. Redding spent last pre-season with the KC Chiefs, but was cut before the regular season. They also re-signed WR Dontea Dye wh had a cup of coffee last year, primarily in the return game, and LS Garrison Sanborn was re-signed. Sanborn was the long snapper last season.
Drew Farris has been the LS this pre-season, but with the low snap on a missed Cantanzaro extra point on Friday night, The Bucs may be looking to go in a different direction.