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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Drop Preseason Opener to Jacksonville Jaguars

August 9th, 2014 at 9:41 AM
By Michael Compton

Judging by a 16-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field Friday night, the rebuilt Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot of work to do before the regular season opener a month away.

With quarterbacks Josh McCown, Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka on the run and under pressure most of the game, the Bucs’ offense sputtered against the Jags.

The Jaguars opened the scoring early courtesy of a hurried throw from McCown that sailed well over rookie Mike Evans and was intercepted by Winston Guy, who returned it 68 yards to the end zone.

“There are things we have to work on, and we see those as we go, as we get out here and go against a different defense than we do in camp,” McCown said on “You learn a lot from these games, things that you don’t maybe discover in practice, that you discover when you get in live action. We certainly learned some things and that will help us.”

McCown, who flashed good mobility and rushed twice for 13 yards, finished the night connecting on just two of four pass attempts for 20 yards. He was sacked twice and fumbled twice.

“We’re not ready yet,” said head coach Lovie Smith of the Bucs’ offensive line. “I mean, this first game, we kind of see where we are a little bit. [We] had some protection issues, didn’t protect the quarterback well enough. That’s pretty much it.”

Glennon had a better night than McCown statistically, completing 11 of 19 passes for 140 yards. He also engineered the only offensive score of the night for the Bucs. Following an 85-yard drive in the fourth quarter, Glennon tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to first-year receiver Tommy Streeter to tie the game at 10.

Louis Murphy led all Bucs receivers on the night, hauling in three receptions for 43 yards.

If there was a bright spot in the Bucs’ performance against the Jags it was the defense. Appearing more season-ready, the defense, led by Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, looked crisp early.

“Everybody flying around, getting to play fast – the defense is simple and hard at the same time,” said McCoy on “It’s hard to get down, but once you do, it’s very simple and you can play fast. I think we did that tonight. They got a tipped pass that got them a couple extra yards, but past that they didn’t really get anything. I think it was a good first outing. It could be better, a little bit, with our fits, but overall I think it was good.”

The only touchdown given up by the defense came with 6:27 remaining in the fourth quarter when the Jaguars’ third-string offense marched down the field in a 62-yard drive that resulted in Denard Robinson’s 23-yard touchdown run to secure the 16-10 win.

“The defense did a good job of keeping them out [of the end zone],” said Smith. “But we say it’s defense versus defense. Their defense scored a touchdown, we didn’t. We [played] hard, but we’re still not where we need to be on the defensive side either.”

The list of players who did not play in the game included cornerbacks Alterraun Verer and Mike Jenkins, safety Dashon Goldson, defensive end Scott Solomon and defensive tackle Jibreel Black.

Despite a strong effort on defense, the story of the night was the miscues on offense. The Bucs committed 11 penalties for 103 yards, most of it on offense.

"We didn't play well as an offense," Smith said in his post-game press conference. "We never got into a rhythm tonight. We didn't play as well as we will need to play later on. I've been doing this a while. Most first games, you want to be regular season-ready and you're not most of the time. We're not pleased with it. One penalty is too much. Again, this is a starting spot. We'll play the guys a little longer next week and clean these things up."

Smith and his coaching staff have plenty to tackle this week in camp as the Bucs prepare to host the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium next Saturday night.


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