Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs fall to Redskins in preseason finale

TAMPA — Logan Mankins stood on the sideline at Raymond James Stadium trying to get used to his new surroundings. Still reeling from his stunning trade by the Patriots to Tampa Bay, the Pro Bowl guard arrived Thursday morning, received his playbook, held a news conference, ran a few pregame sprints and settled in to watch the dog(s)-and-pony show that is the final NFL preseason game.

One can only imagine that his first impression of the Bucs was something like this: the Patriots didn't ask for nearly enough in the deal.

The Bucs were outgained in total yards 197-14 in the first half, and quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka combined to be sacked more (three times) than the passes they completed (two) before halftime of a 24-10 loss to the Redskins.

"We talk about leaving a last impression," coach Lovie Smith said. "Terrible football by us in the first half."

As bad as the Bucs' starting offensive line was in the preseason, the collection of second- and third-team players who lined up Thursday were worse. So the compensation the Bucs sent to New England for Mankins — a fourth-round pick and tight end Tim Wright — were assets well spent.

At least Mankins saw what the Bucs will be known for under Smith —taking the football away.

Free agent cornerback Keith Lewis and linebacker Nate Askew each intercepted Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (22-of-29 for 321 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) in the end zone, turning away promising drives in the first half.

"Just sloppy play as much as anything," Smith said. "O-line, d-line, tackling — it just wasn't great football really throughout the night. It's not like we really played well."

Mankins also saw a former Patriots teammate show the flash and dash that might have secured a roster spot for him Thursday.

Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps had a 37-yard kickoff return and looked explosive from the tailback position. His 19-yard dash set up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kafka to rookie Solomon Patton to cut the Redskins' lead to 17-10 with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter. But Demps finished with only 59 yards on 20 carries.

"He's the fastest guy in the NFL," Smith said. "The fastest guy in the NFL, you want him to use that speed, and we just weren't able to break him so he could show it throughout the preseason."

Patton, who like Demps played at Florida, needed to show something at the receiver position Thursday to help his chances. He caught the pass from Kafka in the right flat, put on the brakes to make safety Akeem Davis miss and won the footrace to the end zone. He finished with two receptions for 34 yards and a score but dropped two passes.

"I feel good, but it's still so nerve-wracking," Patton said of his chances of making the team.

One player worth the admission was linebacker Danny Lansanah. In the win at Buffalo last Saturday, he started at strong side linebacker instead of veteran Jonathan Casillas, who violated team rules and was left at home.

On Thursday, Lansanah was all over the field. He made five tackles, two for losses, and tipped the pass that Askew intercepted.

"There was a point in time when I wasn't on the football field, I was working a regular 9-to-5 job," Lansanah said. "That's where I put my stamp, working as hard as I can each and every day. … I wish I'd gotten the interception, I let the little rookie take it."

Lansanah's last impression was a good one. But the Bucs' first impression on Mankins? Well, let's just say he now knows why he's here.

 
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