Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bucs Win 16-3, In First Preseaon Game.

As always I was there and watched the game live. What a feeling being at Raymond James Stadium for the opening Preseason game. The new grass looks great, the new seats look great, no more pink seats their back to Buccaneer red. The Pirate Ship even got repainted for this season. The stadium looked brand new again.

FIRST QUARTER:The Jets won the kickoff, and drove down the field pretty good against the NFL's number one defense. Chad Pennington looked as good as ever after all his surgeries. The Jets drove down the field, only to end up with a couple of penalties that made them punt the ball.

The Bucs got the ball at their 20 yard line after a touchback. The Bucs offense took the field without Cadillac Williams. Coach Gruden said Cadillac won't see preseason. The Bucs are going to save his legs for the entire season. So Pittman was the starting tail back.

First play for the Bucs: Simms threw a short pass Pittman for 3 yards.
Next play, is a damn PENALTY on Michael Clayton, False Start, 5 yards.
Next play, M.Pittman up the middle for 3 yards (He is not Cadillac or even Earnest Graham) Pittman always has a hard time running, it is like he stutter steps through the hole.
Next Play, another damn PENALTY on our new rookie and number one draft pick, Darvin Joseph, Face Mask (15 Yards).
Next Play, Simms pass incomplete to Clayton.
Another damn PENALTY, but thank God it is on the Jets. 1st down Tampa Bay. Mickens, Defensive Pass Interference, 6 yards.
Next Play, Pittman up the middle for 3 yards.
Next Play, and the crowd goes wild as Mike Alstott up the middle for 8 yards and another 1st down ( a real running back)
Next play, Simms pass incomplete to Alstott
Next Play, Pittman left side for no gain. (We need Cadillac back)
Next Play, Simms short pass left to Pittman for 5 yards.
We now have to punt: Bidwell punts 43 yards.

The Jets had a good drive going during their second possession, which takes the game into the SECOND QUARTER. In fact they got into the red zone and were getting ready to score when Kalvin Pearson sacked Pennington which caused a FUMBLE, which was RECOVERED by Barrett Ruud.

Tampa starts their second drive: Simms is out and Rattay is in.
Handoff to Pittman up the middle for 3 yards.
FUMBLES, recovered by the Rookie Davin Joseph (making up for that penalty).
Next Play, handoff to Pittman for 4 yards.
Next Play, handoff again to Pittman up the middle for 3 yards.
Next Play, Pittman out and Graham is in. Graham up the middle for 9 yards( Finally a real run). (T.Johnson).
Next Play, Pittman (back in) up the middle for 1 yard.
Next Play, Tim Rattay runs for his life and dumps a short pass to the middle to Graham for 26 yards. Rattay looked really good on that play. He made something out of nothing.
Next Play, Graham left for 6 yards (Graham is at least getting more then 3 yards a carry unlike Pittman.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 3 yards.
Next Play, Rattay up the middle for 2 yards.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 6 yards.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 4 yards.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 3 yards.
Next Play, Rattay pass incomplete short right to M.Clayton.
On comes the kicker, M.Bryant 25 yard field goal is GOOD.

Jets get the ball back and can't do anything no real big plays, but the Bucs Defense holds. Jets Punt.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers ball:
We go right back to Graham running like a mad man. Graham up the middle for 2 yards.
Next Play, Rattay pass incomplete short left to I.Hilliard. (Rattay having a lot of Incomplete passes).
Next Play, handoff to Graham off the left tackle for 5 yards.
Bucs have to punt, Simnjanovski punts.

Jets get ball back and drive down and Mike Nugent hits a 20 yard field goal, which is GOOD.

Third Quarter: Changing of the guard, Rattay out Gradkowski in.
Start with another handoff for Graham up the middle for 6 yards.
Next Play, Graham off the right guard for 3 yards.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 3 yards,
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 3 yards
Next Play, finally a Bruce Gradkowski pass to E.Shepherd for 15 yards.
Next Play, Graham run to the left for 2 yards.
Another pass by Gradkowski to Massaquoi for 6 yards.
Next Play, Graham up the middle for 2 yards.
Next Play, Gradkowski scrambles right end for 5 yards
New runner in, Carey Davis run off of right tackle for 7 yards
Next Play, Davis off of right guard for 5 yards
Next play, Gradkowski pass to Davis for 4 yards
Next Play, Davis off of right end for 4 yards
Next Play, Davis up the middle for 4 yards
Next Play, Gradkowski pass incomplete to Shepherd
Here it is his first NFL TD, Gradkowski pass to Warren for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
X.Beitia extra point is GOOD,

Fourth Quarter:
I got tired at this point, but one thing that stood out was
Gradkowski pass to Stovall for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
X.Beitia extra point is No Good.

Over all I was not happy with the first offensive unit for the Bucs. I mean, Cadillac did not play, which I understand, but damn we really did not look good. During the Colts preseason game Vs. the Rams, the Colts come out on their first drive and score a TD. Peyton Manning, Harrison and Wayne orchestrate a touchdown that looked very easy. Why can't our offense do this?

Anyway, I think Davin Joseph looked great, sure he had a huge penalty right off the bat, but he rebound and played very well. He was excellent at opening holes, and he looked very good at pass protection, which Gruden said he would.

I am tired of Mr. Pittman. I know he is the guy saving his job by playing any position that is needed, but I think Graham has earned his spot as the backup to Cadillac. Graham is a better runner and he hits the holes a lot faster then Pittman does. Now I will say this, Pittman has the best hands out of all the runningbacks, and that is what is keeping his job. Torrie Cox was on fire last night and if you were at the game (LIKE ME) had to rub that in, you would see how is becoming a leader and is in on almost every play. He is looking like a young Ronde. Gradkowski is looking even better then what Gruden has been telling us. I think we got a steel with Gradkowski in the 6th round, and I will remind you all that Tom Brady was a 6th round pick also.

Bruce Gradkoski: 13 Att, 11 Comp, 104 Yards, 2 TD, and 84.6% not bad.
Tim Rattay: 4 Att, 1 Comp, 26 Yards, 0 TD, and 25.0% bad.
Chris Simms: 3 Att, 2 Comp, 8 Yards, 0 TD, and 66.7 % over 50% so I'll give it to him.

Earnest Graham 17 Carries, 69 Yards, 4.1 Avg, as always he did very well.
Carey Davis 14 Carries, 67 Yards, 4.8 Avg, did very well
Michael Pittman 6 Carries, 14 Yards, 2.3 Avg, stinks

Maurice Stovall 3 catches, 21 yards, 1 TD, he looks good
Earnest Graham 2 catches, 37 yards, 0 TD looked good
Paris Warren 2 catches, 22 yards, 1 TD looked good
Carey Davis 2 catches, 12 yards
Michael Pittman 2 catches, 8 yards
Edell Shepherd 1 catch for 15 yards

Offensive line gave up 0 sacks (this is huge for 2 rookies)

Bucs D. had 2 sacks, o INT, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery.

Head Coach Jon Gruden (On the overall game)

“I would like to say we’re pretty happy with the performance tonight. A lot
of people played. There weren’t a lot of penalties. We didn’t waste a lot of
time. We got some things done in the running game. Our rookie class got a chance
to play a lot of minutes and we’re happy to win the game. We’ve got a lot of
work to do.”

(On QB Bruce Gradkowski)

“He did some good things tonight and it is a great step in the right
direction. You can’t do much better in your debut.”

(On WR Maurice Stovall)

“Some of the blocks he made tonight, I realize it is a preseason game, but
my God. He’s a very physical guy. He is a special competitor. The guy does not
quit. He has a long way to go, I think, to make a real splash here. He
understands that, but he’s learning, he’s working. He has a physical presence.
We said that when we drafted him and when you look at this tape, you will see
that on tape.”

(On G Davin Joseph and T Jeremy Trueblood)

“I thought they did a good job. New York chose to come in here and rush
three guys for the most part, early in the game; [they] made it tough on us to
throw the ball, a lot of two-deep with six-man underneath and we chose to run
the ball and stick with it and there was a couple great plays that those two
guys made. Some really good physical play at the point of attack, some
athleticism on the backside. I don’t believe we had a sack tonight, although we
didn’t throw it a lot, but there are some real positive signs tonight. (Alan)
Zemaitis made a great play in the end zone on a fade. A lot of young guys, our
draft picks, stood out tonight in some ways.”

(On the choice to sit Carnell “Cadillac” Williams)

“Brian Kelly was excused tonight for a personal matter and (we) hope to
have him back soon. We’re with him. We understand his situation. Carnell
Williams, Joey Galloway, some other players, Kenyatta Walker did not play
tonight. Coach’s decision.”

(On FB Carey Davis)

“How ‘bout that. Derek Watson had an ankle sprain. We didn’t feel it was
right for him to go tonight. Earnest (Graham) took 16 or 17 carries. We wanted
to see him perform as we did last season in the early preseason and he has
proven again he’s is a great back, a very good football player, but Carey Davis
was pressed into service today as a halfback. He’d been playing fullback
throughout the entire offseason into training camp, coming here and carrying 15
or 16 times, run hard, pick up blitzes and catch some passes. He gets steak and
lobster in Orlando this week and that’s a fact. He is going to eat steak and
lobster. He gets the game ball. I know it is a preseason game, but what a gut
check, grit performance by a guy who has really worked hard.”

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