The first game of the Pre-season looked exactly the part from an Offensive standpoint. On defense I think that they looked a bit more organized then the offense and it is usually the other way around.
As we all know Lovie is a Defensive coach so it would only be fitting for the defense to start the game out on the field first. They did not disappoint. 1st snap of the game we see right away what this system can do for a guy like 2-time Pro Bowler DT Gerald McCoy. He pretty much could have taken the handoff he got into the backfield so fast. I thought the first team defense looked really good. They looked fast and quick to the point of attack. Linebackers and secondary looked very aggressive in the running game and also the passing game. Didn’t see too much from Free Agent DE Michael Johnson but, the defensive line as a whole were putting a lot of pressure on the QB and disrupting the running game also. They Left the game after the 1st qtr. not giving up any pts and not allowing Jacksonville to really generate anything on offense. I thought the defense as a whole played a good game. A couple of guys I paid close attention to were DE Adrian Clayborn who showed that he could play on the left side. Getting off the ball and into the backfield often. DE Da’Quan Bowers came into the game and had a few pressures. Knocked down a pass and also almost had an INT. so I would say he played a pretty good game and the coaching staff has said Bowers is having a really good camp. Another guy I wanted to watch was 2nd string MLB Dane Fletcher. He was bought in from New England to mostly be on special teams but he’s having a good camp and proving that he can be a number 2 if needed. I though he played okay. Saw a few times he got caught biting on the play action fake a few times and failed to get back deep enough on his drop into the cover two zone and got a few passes thrown over his head. But I like his motor. He hustles to the ball and is a very good tackler. The defensive backfield played a clean game. I didn’t see to many breakdowns in coverage that I can remember and really made Jacksonville wrs work for everything they got.
On the Offensive end what we watched was really offensive. Kind of looked like the Jets game last season. But, this is the pre-season and I understand things happen but the way the O-Line looked specially the first team. I thought the second and third team line blocked a little better but let’s get back to the 1st team. Josh McCown got a raw deal to me. He had no protection at all and even though he only threw 4 passes. Didn’t it seem like he dropped back 20 times? Even in the running game there was nowhere to go. This was one of the main concerns coming into training camp that we didn’t do enough to fill the Voids that were left by an Injured Nicks and Davin Joseph who was cut back in March. I said it at the time that Joseph getting cut would come back to hurt the team because they didn’t know the playing status of Carl Nicks who didn’t get cleared until a week or so before training camp. Then reached an injury settlement and was released. So they go into camp with Oneal Cousins, Jamon Meredith, Rookie Kadeem Edwards and 2nd yr. player Patrick Omameh. Those are steps down from what we had last season and it showed big time. I know it’s a new system and also blocking scheme maybe. But blocking Is man on man no matter what system your running and I just saw a lot of people getting beat one on one. Anthony Collins gave up a bad sack on the sack fumble on Josh McCown in the first also. It didn’t look good. Lovie says don’t panic. Okay we won’t panic but we got our hands closely next to the button because no matter who’s throwing the ball. Neither one will succeed if we get blocking like that. Hopefully these next two preseason games they can get it together. They have to because that’s all we got to put our hopes on. There’s no one coming off the IR to help us.
Now to the rest of the offense. I didn’t see much else from the starters to gloat about. I thought Josh made the best of what he could extending some plays with his legs to avoid the rush. The INT for the TD wasn’t good but due to the fact that he got hit on that to. It could have changed the trajectory on the throw. Who knows right? Another play Josh made was the jump ball to WR Vincent Jackson but other than that nothing. We couldn’t establish the running game at all with the 1st team either. In the 2nd qtr. I thought the second team got something going. 2nd Yr. QB Mike Glennon moved the ball pretty good and got a few FGs. He made a very good throw down the middle of the field in his first series to TE Tim Wright that was dropped had a few erratic throws. He hit Rookie TE Austin Safarian Jenkins for a long gain down the sideline and also hit Rookie RB Charles Simms on a Flat route for a long gain also. In the 3rd qtr. Glennon led a 10 play 85yard drive to score the Bucs only TD in the game to WR Tommy Streeter. As I expected though if Mike Glennon is going to be the guy in the coming yrs. he has to show that he can manage the game against lower competition and he did that. Overall for the game we a very shaky start to the preseason and hopefully next week at home against Miami they can show a better performance in front of the home crowd.
I also thought that Rookie QB for the Jags Blake Bortles played really good. Showing his arm strength, quick strike ability, recognizing the coverages and being decisive with his throws. That will be big for his confidence and I don’t know how the coach is going to keep this guy off the field if he keeps progressing the way he showed on Friday night. Jacksonville may have found their franchise QB.