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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs McCown, offense hopes for better showing vs. Dolphins



Bucs QB Josh McCown has the ability to scramble when the blocking breaks down, but he knows he has to do a better job of protecting himself.

On the first play of the Bucs’ second offensive series at Jacksonville Friday, McCown picked up his own fumble and rushed for 9-yards before taking a pretty big hit from Jaguars defensive end Sen’Derrick Marks.

“There’s always that moment in preseason when you escape the pocket and go, “Oh, yeah, nobody is blowing a whistle,’’ McCown said Thursday. “It was good though. You kind of get that first hit, get a little banged up and feel like it’s football again. So that was certainly the case and it felt good.

“Obviously, the night did not go the way we wanted it to, especially that first group. But we learned, and that’s the thing, you learned and you want to make progress from preseason (game) one to preseason (game) two and that’s the process. We learned a lot, but for me, it was good to go out there and get hit a little bit.’’

The Bucs offensive line played poorly in the Bucs 16-10 loss to Jacksonville in first preseason game as McCown was sacked once, fumbled twice (losing one) and threw an interception. The Bucs have tried different combinations at offensive guard this week in hopes of ironing out their protection problems and hope to have a better showing against the Miami Dolphins Saturday.

INJURY UPDATES: RB Charles Sims was wearing a walking boot during practice and will not play Saturday. Sims left Tuesday’s practice with a right ankle injury, and Smith said Sims was in a cast.

“That’s normally not a good thing,” Smith said. “He won’t play in the immediate future.”

CB Mike Jenkins didn’t practice and won’t play Saturday. CB Alterraun Verner participated but will also be held out against Miami. DE Steven Means, DL Da’Quan Bowers and OT J.B. Shugarts didn’t practice, but Smith didn’t rule them out, either.

CBs Rashaan Melvin and Keith Lewis returned for individual work but didn’t participate in 11-on-11 drills.

CHANGING OF THE GUARDS: The Bucs used their third different combination of guards in their last four practice, with Thursday’s lineup featuring Oniel Cousins at left guard and Patrick Omameh at right. Kadeem Edwards was the second-team left guard, with Jace Daniels at right.

“I’ve talked about giving guys an opportunity to show us what they have,” Smith said. “We’ll follow that same script. I realize we need to get five guys working together as soon as we can.”


[Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:16pm]


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