The Bucs fall to division rivals New Orleans in the Superdome - 11/6/2011
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday October 16.
Ntohing beats a win in on national TV in front of a sold out crowd!
By Tom Krasniqi
The Greg Schiano Era got off to a successful start Friday night in Miami. The Buccaneers were sloppy at times and even undisciplined, but they showed flashes of brilliance in all three phases in a 20-7 win over the Dolphins in the preseason opener at Sun Life stadium.
The Bucs starters on offense played in just one series but they made the most of it. Quarterback Josh Freeman engineered a 13-play, 56-yard drive that took up more than 7-minutes. The drive culminated in a LeGarrette Blount 1-yd TD leap over the pile on 4th and goal. Freeman hooked up with WR Mike Williams on an 18-yard reception to set up the Bucs with a 1st and goal from the Miami 6-yard line. Schiano made it clear that he wants to pound the football and they did. Blount got the football four straight times before punching it in to give Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead. Blount finished the night with 7 carries for 30 yards and a score. “We came out to put points on the board and the offense is just clicking”, says Blount.
The battle at running back is certainly one to watch throughout the preseason. Rookie Doug Martin also scored on a 1-yard TD when he leaped over the top to give the Bucs a 14-0 lead in the 2nd quarter. That score was set up by a Dan Orlovsky completion of 44-yards to WR Tiquan Underwood. Martin finished the night with 7 carries for 21 yards and a TD.
Defensively, the first team looked good in spots but tackling remains a concern. In addition, the defense was called for numerous off-sides penalties. Schiano did mention that he wants to see better tackling from his defense. On the Dolphins opening drive, the Bucs defense enabled Reggie Bush to rip off runs of 12 and 7 yards. Miami’s drive stalled at the Bucs’ 33- yard line but Dan Carpenter misfired on a 51-yard field goal. Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn showed terrific burst off the ball. Clayborn combined with Mason Foster to drop Dolphins RB for a 2-yard loss. McCoy was seeing his first action since Week 5 of last season when he ruptured his biceps tendon. “It was fun…I loved going out there with my teammates. It’s just another practice for us, but I enjoyed it”, beamed McCoy.
The Bucs have a long way to go before they can erase last year’s dismal 4-12 season. Even though it’s a preseason game against a lousy Dolphins team, you got the sense that this Bucs team will be much improved. If they can improve their tackling and cut down on their mistakes, they could make things interesting in 2012.
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