BY: John Mamola
Denard Robinson’s 23 yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter sent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a pre season loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-10. Lovie Smith’s debut as new Buccaneers head coach was mired by a lot of penalties and faults with the offensive line in particular as those highlighted a lackluster pre season tilt between in state rivals.
Unlike in years past the starters for the Buccaneers played into the second quarter on both sides of the football. The Buccaneers defense shined led by Gerald McCoy who got pressure in the Jaguars backfield on multiple plays, and not allowing a single point on the Jacksonville starters.
“It felt good to finally go against somebody else,” said McCoy. “We’ve been hitting against our own team for a long time, and to finally get to hit another team is good. We played a lot of base defense, so it’s really kind of man-on-man and seeing what our defense is really about.”
It was another story for the Buccaneers offense who had issues with their offensive line all evening. Josh McCown’s debut as a Buccaneers was one of collapsing pockets and turnovers. McCown was pressured the entire quarter he led the Buccaneers offense which led to Jacksonville’s first points of the game. On the Bucs third possession of the game, McCown overshot Mike Evans and was picked off by Winston Guy who took the errant pass 65 yards for a Jaguars defensive touchdown.
McCown’s night would end early in the second quarter after he was hit from behind and fumbled the football for his second turnover of the night. McCown finished the evening 2-4 for 20 yards with one interception and sacked twice.
“We’re not ready yet,” said Lovie Smith. “I mean, this first game, we kind of see where we are a little bit. Had some protection issues, didn’t protect the quarterback well enough. That’s pretty much it.”
Connor Barth returned to action for the Buccaneers and connected on a 44 yard field goal in the second quarter giving the Bucs their only points of the first half. Barth missed the entire 2013 season after an injury at a charity basketball tournament last year.
“It felt amazing. You always want to get the first one under your belt,” said Barth. “It felt so good to finally put the jersey on again and be out here with the guys. I’m excited about the year and I’m glad I put the first one through.”
Mike Glennon played a majority of the game after entering early in the second quarter. Glennon played well passing 11-19 for 140 yards and one touchdown to rookie Tommy Streeter in the fourth quarter. Streeter’s touchdown tied the game at ten but the Buccaneers third string defense couldn’t stop Ricky Stanzi and the Jaguars third string offense as the Jags scored in the fourth quarter on seven play, 62 yard drive capped off by Robinson’s touchdown.
The Jaguars outgained the Buccaneers 266-249 although Tampa Bay won the time of possession. Penalties were the dagger in any momentum for the Buccaneers as they racked up 11 penalties for 103 penalty yards.
Doug Martin played little in the first quarter and rushed for 6 yards on three carries. Bobby Rainey led the team with 25 yards rushing. Louis Murphy led the team with three catches and 43 yards receiving. The overall good news for the Buccaneers is the team seemed to get through the entire game almost 100 percent healthy with no reported injuries.
The Buccaneers will return to One Buccaneers Place to begin preparations for the Miami Dolphins next Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. You can catch all the action on WDAE beginning at 5:00pm, with a 7:30pm kickoff.