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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

7:30: Stephen F. Holder blogs from Bucs-Ravens



The Bucs' preseason opener tonight against the Ravens is blacked out in the Tampa Bay area, so follow along as Times beat reporter Stephen F. Holder blogs live from Raymond James Stadium, starting at 7:30 p.m. How much will the starters play? Which newcomers will make an impact? And what might it mean come cutdown day? Stephen will sort it all out for you.


*The Bucs actually started Doug Martin and gave him a carry on the game's first play. Count me mildly surprised. It went for minus-1.

*The offense fizzles on the first drive, goes three and out. Freeman under duress on both second and third down.

*Johnthan Banks gets the start at right cornerback. That's where he'd probably start when Darrelle Revis returns, so I say you should get used to it. He stops Vonta Leach in the open field on his second play. Also, he's been matched up with Torrey Smith. Tough assignment.

*Lavonte David's delayed blitz just now was a thing of beauty. Joe Flacco never had a shot.

*Danny Gorrer's interception was a great example of a player making a great break on a ball. He caught it in full stride.

*Two carries now for Martin, which is two more than I expected.

*Brian Leonard has a 13-yard run, a great blitz pickup and a hard-nosed run on third and short. He is having a fabulous series. Liking what I see so far.

*Bucs settled for a field goal on their second possession and lead 3-0.

*Banks looking good again, with another impressive tackle in the open field. He is acquitting himself nicely in his first-ever pro game.


*Mike Glennon's NFL debut begins with a 61-yard dump off pass to tight end Tom Crabtree. This NFL thing isn't so hard, huh?

*All kinds of shifting going on with the offensive line. Demar Dotson was at left tackle just now, with Gabe Carimi at right tackle. Mixed results for both.

*Derek Dimke hits his second field goal of the night, giving him more of an advantage over injured Lawrence Tynes.

*It's pouring rain here at Raymond James now, meaning this could get interesting.

*Banks continues to stand out, with a pass defensed to help the defense get off the field.

*Leonard is now on the scoreboard after his 3-yard touchdown run. A solid all-around night for him.

*Da'Quan Bowers is playing late into the second quarter when most other starters aren't. That's part of coach Greg Schiano's effort to find out if Bowers can handle the increased workload.

*The Bucs trail 24-13 after a blocked punt in their own end zone. Poor execution up front allowed the Ravens to leak through a gap and smother Chas Henry's kick. Special teams not stellar tonight.

*With the first half in the books, I'd say standouts so far have been Leonard and Banks. Looking forward to seeing the likes of Rashaan Melvin and Peyton Hillis in the second half.


*Melvin gives up a 21-yard touchdown pass that he could well have deflected. He misplayed it badly and Taylor threw a strike right on the money.

*Peyton Hillis' debut started well, with a pair of impressive runs. But he fumbled on his third carry, taking a shot to the knee and coughing up the ball. He left the field with the help of trainers.

*Mike Glennon threw an ugly interception on the next play, waiting way too late to release the ball.

*Saw Hillis when he returned to the sideline from the locker room, and he was still limping pretty good.

*Not a strong performance for Derek Hagan. The vet receiver had a drop and lost track of a ball in the air that could have been caught for a touchdown. He's a long shot at this point.


*Dan Orlovsky had been warming up, seemingly expecting to relieve Glennon. But the Bucs inserted Adam Weber instead. He rewarded them by throwing an interception on his first play from scrimmage.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 8, 2013 10:15pm]


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