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)

Protecting QB among Bucs' offensive issues

Despite protection issues, QB Josh McCown says it felt good to take a hit against the Jaguars.


Despite protection issues, QB Josh McCown says it felt good to take a hit against the Jaguars.

TAMPA — 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 against the Jaguars on Friday, McCown picked up his fumble and rushed for 9 yards before taking a pretty big hit from DE 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."

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

"We realize what's at stake this week," coach Lovie Smith said. "We want to play a lot better. Any time you open up the season — preseason, regular season, whatever — you get a chance to start off in front of your fans at home, and it's kind of special."

BUCS SIGN FORMER FIRST-ROUND PICK: DE Larry English was selected 16th overall by the Chargers in the 2009 draft, one pick before QB Josh Freeman went to the Bucs. Freeman is out of football, but English was signed by the Bucs on Thursday.

In San Diego, English struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness at outside linebacker in the Chargers' 3-4 scheme, recording 11 sacks in 52 games during five seasons. He will be an outside rusher for the Bucs.

"He's a good football player," Smith said. "Injuries have kind of held him up a little bit. But he's what we're looking for: speed, edge rusher. I had a chance to see him work out a little bit (Wednesday). … We'll try to give him a couple reps this weekend."

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. DE Steven Means, DL Da'Quan Bowers and T J.B. Shugarts didn't practice, but Smith didn't rule them out, either. Cornerbacks Rashaan Melvin and Keith Lewis returned for individual work but didn't participate in 11-on-11 drills.

CHANGING OF THE GUARDS: The team used its third different combination of guards in their past four practices, 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."

Protecting QB among Bucs' offensive issues 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Erasmo Ramirez #30 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Wilson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays


    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  3. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  4. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback


    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
  5. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way


    UPDATE, 5:32: 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) is not doing much in the way of baseball activity yet so that means he won't be ready when eligible to come off the DL on Friday. ... SS Matt Duffy (left heel) said he is still slowed by the big left toe he bruised taking BP on Saturday and does not have a date to …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.