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)

Schiano not discouraged by Bucs offense

Dolphins linebacker Jonathan Freeny takes down Josh Freeman, one of nine times he has been sacked during the preseason.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Dolphins linebacker Jonathan Freeny takes down Josh Freeman, one of nine times he has been sacked during the preseason.

TAMPA — Poor protection, dropped passes and a wobbly quarterback chucking them wildly is not the picture of the Bucs offense coach Greg Schiano envisioned for the preseason.

But with few starters expected to play in Thursday's finale against the Redskins, that's the portrait the Bucs are left with until they open the regular season at the Jets on Sept. 8.

"A little disappointed; not discouraged, though," Schiano said. "I wish we would have played better on offense. But I can see how we're going to. The worst thing is you can look at that vision and say, 'I don't know how we're going to do this.'

"So turn up the stakes a little bit, and hopefully, we'll perform. That's what we're banking on."

Schiano hoped the Bucs would be sharper in the second season under coordinator Mike Sullivan.

Quarterback Josh Freeman is 12-of-26 for 101 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. He has been sacked nine times and fumbled once, and his yards per attempt is 3.88, just more than half of his 7.28 in 2012. The Bucs also have converted just 31.8 percent of third downs (14-of-44).

Schiano reviewed video of Saturday's 17-16 win over Miami and said while Freeman (6-of-16 for 59 yards) missed a few throws, he made a lot of good decisions.

"I thought he actually saw things pretty well," Schiano said. "When you look at his progression, why he did what he did, he saw it pretty well. You sit there from the sideline and say, 'What are we doing?' Then when you look at what he saw, … it's easy to say, 'Yeah, I would have gone there.'

"But protection breakdowns, (we) didn't uncover sometimes. We have to beat man coverage. Just because they're playing man doesn't mean, oh, we're covered. You have to beat man coverage one on one. And then some of the things that technically the ball sailed on him. That one you wish you had back. But far too many drops. And it's not just this week. We just have to get in synch."

Because of injuries, the Bucs offensive line has been a turnstile at guard. Saturday, Davin Joseph made his first appearance since tearing his right patellar tendon in the third preseason game last year. Carl Nicks, who is battling a MRSA infection in his left foot, is out indefinitely. Tackle Gabe Carimi shifted to replace him.

Freeman was under consistent pressure. He also fumbled late in the first half, which led to a Dolphins touchdown.

"As always, (Freeman is) just one part of it," Schiano said. "Receivers have to get open. We have to protect better at the running back position. The line has to block better. It's a combination of things.

"I think Josh has done a good job of moving up in the pocket. But a couple of times, he moved right up to the rush. If the middle isn't firm, then the theory of sliding up in the pocket doesn't work. We have to firm up the middle whether it's back protection or center-guard-center protection."

Like Schiano, Freeman is disappointed.

"Preseason is not quite the level of game plan, not quite the level of preparation," Freeman said. "Still, you want to go out and put a good product on the field. I, personally, want to go out and make some things happen."

But now Freeman and the Bucs will have to flip the switch in two weeks — when it counts.

Schiano not discouraged by Bucs offense 08/25/13 [Last modified: Sunday, August 25, 2013 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.