I've been noticably absent the last week (or judging by my hits no one noticed) but that should change over the next few weeks. With the first round of cuts approaching we could see a few well known names not making the team, especially with the influx of new players. Additionally, coming soon I will release my second fantasy football look at the Bucs.
Jeff Garcia is still not 100% comfortable with the offense. He had two fumbles which resulted from miscues with the center and with Michael Pittman. Garcia's struggles are to be expected, he is after all learning an entirely new offense in addition to working on his timing with new receivers. But at this rate Garcia will struggle going into the beginning of the regular season.
That being written Garcia did display some flashes of excellence which goes to show why Gruden wanted this guy so badly. Garcia's mobility gave the Jags top rated defense problems and Garcia's ability to buy time in the pocket allowed David Boston to get open in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
It is looking more and more likely we will see a considerable amount of the 3-4 formation out of the defense this season. The Bucs ran the formation successfully during yesterday's game, which produced at least one sack. The Bucs added some personnel (Patrick Chuckwara, Kevin Carter, Quincy Black) who are tweeners well suited to running the 3-4. In fact, considering both the 3-4 and Tampa Two defenses rely on speedy tweeners it makes a good deal of sense to run both defenses.
Was that really Luke McCown who caught Jags safety Jamal Fudge from behind? For those who missed the play Fudge recovered a fumble in the middle of the field and looked like he a clear lane to the endzone before McCown caught up with Fudge. He's no Vince Young but McCown has some wheels as evidenced by his team leading 37 rushing yards yesterday. Speaking of fast white guys.....
Just when Sabby Piscistelli seems like the next great Bucs safety he goes and makes a boneheaded play. Sabby did a good job of putting himself in position to makes plays and clearly has some speed, but he also missed at least one tackle in the open field and dropped an easy interception. Sabby is competing with Jermaine Phillips for the starting spot, and Sabby would be the clear favorite is he was just a bit more consistent.
B.J. Askew appears to be the favorite to win the starting fullback spot, although to be honest I don't know for sure who the Bucs starting fullback was. I watched a replay of the game on the NFL Network which showed the local Jacksonville broadcast of the game for the first half. No surprise but the local Jacksonville guys didn't even bother mentioning who was starting for the Bucs and rarely announced position changes.
Tackling, which was one of the Bucs weaknesses last season, was problematic again last night. It wasn't just the backups who missed tackles, Ronde Barber struggled against guys in the open field for the second straight exhibition game. One of the Bucs hallmarks during the zenith of their defense was their sure tackling, once they wrapped somebody up that person rarely escaped.
Finally, for the second straight game Chris Simms did not play. It it looking very likely Simms will be cut from the team.