Saturday, February 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs journal: Nick Folk's 3-for-3 on field goals is lone bright spot on offense

TAMPA — Nick Folk, who missed a field goal and had an extra point blocked last week against the Jaguars, bounced back nicely Saturday night against the Browns, going 3-for-3 on field goals and providing the only points for the Bucs.

Folk connected on a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to tie the score at 3. He was good again from 42 yards in the third quarter for a 6-3 lead and again from 43 in the fourth quarter.

Folk lined up for another kick from 45 yards on the opening drive of the game, but the Browns jumped offside to give the Bucs a first down. But Jameis Winston's interception kept Tampa Bay from scoring on the drive.

STOUT DEFENSE

After only one takeaway in the first two preseason games, the Bucs defense stepped up with two in the first half, holding the Browns to three points .

CB Vernon Hargreaves, whose interception against the Bengals in the preseason opener had been the only takeaway before Saturday, got another on a pass deflected by Lavonte David in the second quarter.

Cleveland had gone on an 85-yard drive to the Bucs 12-yard line when rookie LB Kendell Beckwith hit Browns RB Duke Johnson and forced a fumble that was recovered by Adarius Glanton, filling in for Kwon Alexander at middle linebacker.

After holding the Jaguars scoreless in the first half last week, the Bucs held Cleveland to three points, clamping down after allowing 135 yards in the first two drives.

ALL STANDING

The national anthem came and went without any protest: All Bucs players stood on the sideline, and the Browns — who had 12 players kneel in protest last week — all stood, with a large portion together with their arms interlocked.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter spent part of a team meeting Wednesday allowing players to talk about the issue of anthem protests and letting players know they were free to handle the anthem as they pleased.

OH-FOR-FIRST HALF

The Bucs went 0-for-7 on third downs in the first half, with Jameis Winston going just 2-for-6 for 12 yards on third downs, with a sack and an interception. The Browns opened 4-for-5 on third downs, with rookie QB DeShone Kizer moving the chains against the Bucs defense.

HUMPHRIES HURT

With the Bucs' top two receivers sitting out, Adam Humphries had two catches for 24 yards during the first two drives, but he left the game in the second quarter with an injury. Humphries said after the game that he had a hip pointer.

DaVonte Lambert, who started in place of Will Gholston at defensive end, left the game in the third quarter with a wrist injury.

RODGERS' NIGHT

With Doug Martin missing the first three games while suspended, the Bucs gave Jacquizz Rodgers an extended look in the first half Saturday, and he totaled 34 yards on 10 carries. Rodgers also caught one pass for 17 yards in his most extensive work of the preseason. Martin barely played in the first half, catching one pass for 7 yards.

PIN THEM DEEP

Best unit on the field for the Bucs in the first half? Bryan Anger (below) and the punt coverage team. Coach Dirk Koetter opted to punt from the Cleveland 38, and Anger's situational punt was downed by rookie Justin Evans at the Cleveland 1.

Twice, the Bucs pinned the Browns deep and got a half-the-distance penalty, for drives starting at the 3 and the 9 to win the field-position game.

SIXTEEN MEN OUT

Erring on the side of caution, the Bucs held out 16 players from the game with various injuries, including eight starters: WRs Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, LG Kevin Pamphile and RT Demar Dotson on offense; and DT Gerald McCoy, DE Will Gholston, LB Kwon Alexander and CB Brent Grimes on defense. Also out: WR Josh Huff, S Josh Robinson, LB Devante Bond, T Caleb Benenoch, QB Ryan Griffin, DE Jacquies Smith, DE Justin Trattou.

Contact Greg Auman at gauma[email protected]tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

     
         
Comments
Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

TAMPA – Jameis Winston is heading for a big payday with the Bucs. He's played well enough to make that an easy decision.But what impact will that have on the type of players they surround him with?The Bucs are expected to exercise the fifth-yea...
Published: 02/16/18
Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

The Bucs continue to move quickly with the defensive line opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff, interviewing former Cardinals assistant Brentson Buckner.Buckner, 46, spent the last five years as Arizona's defensive line coach, leading the unit to...
Published: 02/16/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

It’s a Mailbag Friday as Rick Stroud answers your questions, including what will happen with the Jameis Winston investigation, who should the Bucs sign in free agency and would Warren Sapp make a good defensive line coach?Also, who will win more game...
Published: 02/16/18
Kevin Pamphile on Bucs’ O-line: ‘We’re not far from breaking through’

Kevin Pamphile on Bucs’ O-line: ‘We’re not far from breaking through’

Free agency is less than a month away, and the Bucs have several decisions to make about unrestricted free agents from their 2017 squad. One is Kevin Pamphile, who started all but one game at left guard last season but still split the job with backup...
Published: 02/16/18
Jameis Winston’s ‘Eat a W’ ritual lives on at Florida State

Jameis Winston’s ‘Eat a W’ ritual lives on at Florida State

Jameis Winston's pregame "Eat a 'W'" speech didn't go over too well the last time he gave it in front of the cameras and teammates.Before the Bucs-Saints game in New Orleans on Nov. 5, Winston formed a "W" with the fingers on his right hand and proce...
Published: 02/15/18
Browsing the Bucs’ needs and possible free-agent answers

Browsing the Bucs’ needs and possible free-agent answers

No sooner had the Bucs 5-11 season ended than coach Dirk Koetter identified the two areas his team needed to improve for 2018."I think we were 3-7 in one score games. You're going to have a hard time getting where you want to go when you win 30 perce...
Published: 02/15/18
Free agency preview: Brate, Humphries lead Bucs’ restricted free agents

Free agency preview: Brate, Humphries lead Bucs’ restricted free agents

NFL free agency is now just a month away, and as we begin the process of previewing the 2018 free agent class, we'll start with a less prominent part that is still relevant for the Bucs this year: restricted free agents.Unrestricted free agents have ...
Published: 02/14/18
Derrick Brooks to sign autographs at sub shop for charity

Derrick Brooks to sign autographs at sub shop for charity

A Tampa sub shop is offering fans a deal to help raise funds for former Bucs linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks' charity efforts.From Feb. 21 to Feb. 25 next week, the Jersey Mike's shop at 14839 North Dale Mabry Highway (inters...
Published: 02/13/18
The Bucs pass rush was so bad, Dirk Koetter sacked his friend

The Bucs pass rush was so bad, Dirk Koetter sacked his friend

TAMPA – It was friendly fire. The decision by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter to terminate a guy he's been buddies with for nearly 40 years was not an easy one. But defensive line coach Jay Hayes was let go last Friday, an apparent fall guy for the 5-1...
Published: 02/12/18
Updated: 02/13/18
Bucs D-line coach name to watch: former Colts DC Ted Monachino

Bucs D-line coach name to watch: former Colts DC Ted Monachino

The surprising firing of defensive line coach Jay Hayes on Friday is one that was difficult for Bucs coach Dirk Koetter.Not only had the Bucs picked up  the one-year club option on Hayes' contract, he and Koetter go back nearly 40 years when the...
Published: 02/12/18