Bucs mistakes start early vs. Jets

The Bucs are pumped up as Jeremy Kerley stays down after a hit, but it results in a personal foul on safety Mark Barron.
The Bucs are pumped up as Jeremy Kerley stays down after a hit, but it results in a personal foul on safety Mark Barron.
Published Sept. 9, 2013

The Bucs' first drive Sunday against the Jets was a comedy of errors. Four penalties included consecutive delay-of-game calls, which coach Greg Schiano dubbed "inexcusable." Their second delay of game came after a timeout. The Bucs tried to call another timeout but weren't allowed to, resulting in another flag. QB Josh Freeman said part of the reason was due to the speaker in his helmet going dead a number of times, so he couldn't hear the play calls from the sideline. "We've just got to find a way to get into a manageable play and run it," Freeman said. There were also two false-start penalties on the drive, one declined. Schiano said the Bucs didn't handle the noise at MetLife Stadium well. "For whatever reason, I don't know if we were too amped up or what it was, but we just didn't efficiently operate," Schiano said. Several Bucs linemen said they had miscommunications. Most notably, C Jeremy Zuttah made an early shotgun snap that soared past a surprised Freeman into the end zone; Freeman kicked the ball out for a safety. Freeman said he was trying to get WR Mike Williams instructions and "as I'm leaning over, the ball goes flying past me."

Bucs CB Darrelle Revis said he didn't feel any added emotions in his much-anticipated return after starring for the Jets the past six seasons. The most important thing to Revis was that he felt good physically in his first game since Week 3 of last year, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Revis played well, with two pass breakups and one tackle. "It felt good getting back out there and doing what I love to do," Revis said. "I've been anxious. It was a great feeling to be out there and be playing and competing at a high level." Many fans wore a Revis Jets jersey in the stands, but the four-time Pro Bowl player received some boos when his name was announced during a pass breakup. "That's not my concern," he said. Revis said his "antennas were high-flying" regarding his knee but that he was comfortable from the start, with coach Greg Schiano leaving it up to him how much he played. "The times he was out there, you definitely felt his presence," said DT Gerald McCoy.

. Jets coach Rex Ryan said they knew they would have their hands full in trying to contain Bucs Pro Bowl RB Doug Martin, but they did the job really well. Martin was limited to 65 yards on 24 carries (2.7 average), with his longest a 17-yard gain late in the game. Martin didn't play much in the preseason, and coach Greg Schiano said they weren't in a rhythm. "It wasn't good," Schiano said. "At times, we hit a few things. I think we ended up, I don't know how many yards, but that's neither here nor there. (It's) not the running game we're going to have." RG Davin Joseph said the offensive line needs to play better and execute. But the Jets made it tougher, stacking the box and, as Ryan said, keeping their big tackles on the field even when the Bucs were in three-receiver sets. "We had a game plan for him and we executed," Jets DL Sheldon Richardson said. "It was as simple as that."

. The Bucs sacked Jets rookie QB Geno Smith five times, and four of them came by linebackers. LB Mason Foster had two — for a combined loss of 24 yards — and LBs Lavonte David and Dekoda Watson each had one. Foster said it wasn't necessarily the game plan for linebackers to rush so much, but he enjoyed getting a chance to hit the quarterback, including forcing a fumble by Smith near the goal line to set up a second-quarter score. "If they call our blitz, you've got to show up, and that's what we try to do," Foster said.

Bucs safeties Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron are known as big hitters, and that's always going to be part of their games. But each got flagged for a personal-foul penalty Sunday — and could be subject to fines — due to second-quarter hits that officials deemed illegal. With about five minutes left in the half, Goldson was called for hitting a defenseless receiver when he came over from the left side and struck TE Jeff Cumberland, who was leaping over the middle to catch a pass. Goldson appeared to lead with his shoulder, and hit Cumberland in the upper body. League rules state a defenseless receiver is one who is attempting to catch a pass, or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself. "It was clean," Goldson said. "I'm not going to sit here and do anything dirty, but at the same time I've got to do what it takes to help my team win games. If that's getting a guy low, getting a guy high, I've got to do what I've got to do." A few minutes later, Barron was called for unnecessary roughness when he came flying in to hit WR Jeremy Kerley, who was getting tackled by two other Bucs. "I hate that it happened, and I'm going to hate to see the letter (from the league) that comes with it, but that's just me playing ball, and that's the only way I know how to play," Barron said. "It's hard. You're running at a guy and this guy starts to fall and you're already taking off and aiming where you want to go and he falls and the target changes."

Quick hits

. As expected, Gabe Carimi started at left guard for injured All-Pro LG Carl Nicks (MRSA), who was inactive. It was Carimi's first career start at left guard; he made three starts at right guard and 13 at right tackle for the Bears. Among the other inactives Sunday: TE Tom Crabtree, FB Erik Lorig and CB Rashaan Melvin. TE Nate Byham served as a fullback on occasion.

. New York's Robert Malone unleashed an 84-yard punt in the third quarter: from the 16 to the end zone.

. With a 17-yard TD catch in the first half, Mike Williams is tied with Dave Moore on the franchise all-time receiving TD list with 24.

. With 210 passing yards, Josh Freeman passed Trent Dilfer on the Bucs' all-time list, his 13,173 ranking second behind Vinny Testaverde (14,820).

Kudos for Jackson

. WR Vincent Jackson picked up where he left off from his Pro Bowl season a year ago, racking up a Bucs-high seven catches for 154 yards Sunday. All seven resulted in first downs, five of them on third-down conversions. Jackson's biggest catch, a 37-yarder on third and 10 with just more than a minute remaining, set up the go-ahead field goal. Jackson did not speak to reporters after the game. His teammates continued to rave. "I told you guys earlier in the week, he's the best receiver in the league," said WR Mike Williams, who had four receptions for 52 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown. "If you guys don't believe me, just keep on watching." Said QB Josh Freeman: "You get the ball in his hands and the guy does something special."