Former defensive end Stylez White played for the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Orlando Predators. He was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense from 2007 to 2010.
I want to be completely fair when I say this. Getting a win on the road is hard anywhere, especially in Dallas with (ahem) “America’s team.” This will not be a play-by-play but a more summarized version on how I felt Sunday’s game was played by our Tampa Bay Bucs.
I must say it was sloppy and slow. The Bucs looked like every other NFL team in their first regular season game. As a retired professional football player I can agree with the limited value and risk of preseason games. I can agree with the pads not being on much in practice. What I can’t agree with is starters not playing at all in a preseason game. How can your team start off fast if the starters/players on your team spent zero time in an actual game?
Playing in the last preseason game for at least two quarters, and a series or two after halftime should be mandatory. I saw guys trying to catch up to game speed while taking real hits for the first time in a year. They are just supposed to adjust? Playing in one preseason game leading up to the season would allow players to get the soreness out and be ready for Game 1.
I saw Julio Jones make a catch last night that was vintage him, but he got up slow. I saw Brady make mistakes he usually doesn’t. Should we be surprised? Yes, Brady is Brady, but with those 11 days off and next to zero snaps in preseason, how could he be sharp? Of course Brady is a Hall of Famer, and a performance like Sunday’s won’t make or break him, but the other players on the roster aren’t Brady.
I need to see the Bucs better prepared physically. I know all of the guys around the NFL are sore today, but I would think that getting that game speed in a game situation in the preseason game would make a big difference.
The o-line needs work, but the Bucs’ run game looked pretty good, and Mike Evans showed why he’s a Hall of Famer. Still there were a lot of points left on the field.
The fun part for me was watching the defense play! I saw them flying around, I saw them making plays (and a few mistakes too). In a new season, defenses just come together faster. Antoine Winfield usually plays safety, but I saw him playing nickleback. Maybe he’s learning a new position or it was just for the Cowboys. Either way defense is about effort, and the Bucs defense did show effort. The Cowboys only put up 3 points, which is a great start. Hopefully we’ll see the same success, and effort, in week 2 as the teams shake off the rust.