Make us your home page

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 look unprepared for opener

Biggest omen

No one ever again tell me the preseason doesn't matter. The Bucs looked like a mess in the preseason, and they looked like a mess Sunday.

Yes, Bucs linebacker Lavonte David pulled one of the all-time boneheaded moves getting called for a personal foul to set up the Jets' winning field goal. But David doesn't deserve the blame for the loss. There's no way a team as bad as the Jets, with a rookie quarterback making his first start, should even have had a prayer to win that game. Heck, the Bucs had a chance to win only because they kicked a field goal in the last minute.

Go back and look at key stats — total yards, first downs, time of possession — and the team that deserved to win did.

In the end, the Bucs lost because it was their quarterback who too often looked like a rookie. The Bucs lost because their offensive line imitated orange cones. And they lost because their toes-on-the-line disciplinarian coach has a team that constantly puts its toes over the line.

The Bucs were called for 13 penalties for 102 yards, and the Jets didn't even accept all the Bucs' infractions.

Bad penalties, grumbling on the sideline, looking rattled when the headsets went out, an ill-advised center snap when the quarterback wasn't even looking — it's a wonder the Bucs found their way out of the locker room and onto the field.

Either this team is poorly coached or the players ignore the coaching they get. Whatever the case, the Bucs seemed totally unprepared to play Sunday.

Good news, bad news

Cornerback Darrelle Revis looked healthy and effective in his debut. That's certainly a welcomed addition to a pass defense that was among the worst in NFL history last season. Then again, how much did Revis really help? Jets rookie QB Geno Smith was an impressive 24-for-38 for 256 yards. If a rookie playing his first game can do that, what will Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady do?

Depressing and telling numbers

Bucs QB Josh Freeman failed to complete at least 60 percent of his passes for the sixth consecutive game and for the seventh time in his past eight starts. In 30 of his 57 career starts, Freeman has completed less than 60 percent of his passes.

Three things that popped into my head

1. Did the Bucs sign Dashon Goldson or George Atkinson? I'm not sure the new Bucs safety deserved either of his two personal foul penalties for blowing up Jets receivers, but he had better cool his jets if he wants to stay out of trouble with the NFL. More important, he can't be extending drives for opponents.

2. After watching the Jets' defensive game, it's obvious what other teams are going to try against the Bucs: load up to stop running back Doug Martin and force Freeman to win the game. So far the formula is 1-0 against Tampa Bay.

3. A player faces his former team and has a tremendous day. Revis? Actually, I'm talking about Kellen Winslow Jr., the former Bucs tight end who had seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Final (scary) thought

Sunday was an easy game. Now come the Saints and Patriots.

Bucs look unprepared for opener 09/08/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium


    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  2. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  3. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  4. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  5. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.