Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

And its members were disappointed.

"We want them to have negative-90 (yards), negative-80. We don't care," DT Gerald McCoy said. "We want to keep it going. This is just one showing. We have to be consistent."

The Jaguars, with top rookie RB Leonard Fournette sidelined by injury, didn't have a run longer than 3 yards in the first half, but the Bucs said they need success against the run as the starting point for their defense.

"We've got to get better on stopping the run," said DT Clinton McDonald, who had one of the Bucs' seven tackles for loss. "Our job is never done. We still have to work on things to improve and be a better defense. It's all about consistency in the NFL. You can't just come out and do it one night and expect to be a great team. We still have a long ways to go. We know where our mark is set now with what we did (Thursday). We have to do that every play."

RELATED: Tom Jones: What the Bucs need in their final preseason games, more or less.

One that got away

WR Mike Evans had an efficient half, with six balls thrown his way and five catches for 57 yards. But the one that got away is what will continue to motivate him.

Up 9-0 in the second quarter, the Bucs had a first down at the Jacksonville 43-yard line when QB Jameis Winston (left) threw a long pass down the left sideline, only to have the ball go through Evans' hands incomplete.

"I had a drop in the end zone. Things I can work on," Evans said after the game. "These preseason games are good practice for us, to get ready for the real thing. I think we did well."

Evans said he can't make excuses for his single miss. The ball was well thrown, and he just couldn't bring it in.

RELATED: Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day.

"I tracked it pretty bad," he said. "It got caught in the lights, but the lights don't get the drop. I do. I can make that. Hopefully we'll be playing a lot of prime-time games (under the lights), so I've got to get ready for that."

Waiting for 'Dot'

RT Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, was scheduled to have an MRI exam on his injured groin today, three weeks before the season opener.

How would the Bucs replace Dotson if he had an extended absence? Second-year pro Caleb Benenoch, potentially the top backup at both tackle spots, filled in Thursday when Dotson was hurt after 11 plays. Koetter said Benenoch's run blocking looked better than his pass protection. Benenoch was flagged for one of four holding penalties against the offense. "But we're really happy with how he's progressing in the run game," Koetter said.

CANNON FODDER PODCAST: The Bucs are in a different place than the Jaguars right now.

If Dotson has a long-term injury, another option would be to shift starting LG Kevin Pamphile, who played tackle at the start of his time with the Bucs, to right tackle, with veteran Evan Smith stepping up at left guard.

"Both those things would be under consideration," Koetter said.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard 08/18/17 [Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.