Hey folks, it's time for 10 Things the pre-season edition!
1. Quick! Without looking it up, name me the opponent and score of the Buccaneers' first pre-season game last season? Exactly. While you certainly don't want your team to be embarrassed as the Bucs were last night the bottom line is the outcome of the game doesn't really matter. Did you get all the players in the game you wanted to evaluate? Did anyone distance themselves in their respective position battles? Were there any key injuries? Were your plays being executed properly? Those are the things your looking for.
2. Lawrence Tynes, you better get yourself correct in a hurry. First year player Derek Dimke made all three field goals including a 45 yder, did an admirable job on kickoffs and saved a touchdown by horsecollar tackling a returner who sliced through his return team. Not a bad night for a youngster who has been impressive in camp thus far.
3. Dimke's performance was a lone bright spot in an otherwise horrible performance by the Tampa Bay special teams. Dave Wannstedt's unit accounted for 17 of Baltimore's 44 points with a muffed punt recovered by Baltimore deep in Bucs territory, a blocked punt for a touchdown and a 58 yard kickoff return (with a 15 yard horsecollar penalty tacked on at the end). Sometimes these things happen when you're trying out a bunch of guys not used to playing special teams.
4. Chris Owusu has been turning heads in training camp but with the bright lights of Raymond James Stadium on, Owusu had a terrible night. The young Buccaneer fumbled a punt that led to the Ravens first touchdown of the night, dropped a couple passes, bobbled a kickoff and then turned it into just a 15 yd return and then on his one good play of the night, a 41 yd reception from rookie Mike Glennon, he hurt his ankle. Not a good way to make the team, folks.
5. I've been to every Bucs game at Raymond James Stadium, sat through lightning delays and storms but I can safely say I've never seen a downpour like the one we saw in the second quarter last night. Wow. Reminded me of some of those old videos of the 79 Bucs-Chiefs game at the Old Sombrero with the aisle turning into rivers.
6. Johnthan Banks held his own against the Ravens, solid in coverage and supported the run very well. He finished third with 5 tackles on the night and was credited with a pass defense when he broke up a pass intended for Ravens wideout Tardon Doss.
7. Unlike most of the starters last night, DE Da'Quan Bowers continued to play late into the first half. Schiano is definitely not pleased with Bowers, who really made no impact in the game. He wasn't alone, the Bucs defensive line looked punch-less against the Ravens and the only time the Bucs got pressure was when they brought the blitz. If one thing prevents the Bucs defense from taking the step to respectability, it may be the pass rush.
8. Luke Stocker may be losing his shot at a starting gig. Tom Crabtree played well, hauling in 61 yd reception from rookie Mike Glennon and getting open on a few other plays. Stocker has had issues with injuries throughout his career that has prevented him from taking the next step. If he doesn't get off the trainer's table soon, he may again see himself down the depth chart.
9. Danny Gorrer, I see you. The young corner most known for dropping the interception that would have sealed the game against Philly last year picked off Joe Flacco, made a tackle and had two passes defensed on a solid night of work before leaving the game after being hit where no male wants to be.
10 Position battle update:
Running Backs: Brian Leonard appears to be taking a strangle hold on the number two spot. Leonard ran well and with authority while being solid in short yardage. The two Mikes (Smith and James)? Meh. Peyton Hillis channeled his inner Alstott on a few runs but left the game with a "lower extremities" injury.
Third Wide Receiver: Kevin Olgetree looks like the third wideout to me. Ogletree led all receivers with 5 receptions for 65 yds, made some nice plays on 3rd down and caught everything thrown his way. Tiquan Underwood dropped a pass that hit him straight in the numbers and finished with one reception for 6 yds.
Strongside Linebacker: Dekota Watson was invisible, making just two stops while Jonathan Casillas was all over the football field. It was assumed Watson had the job sewn up but Casillas may make it difficult to keep him off the football field.
Final Thought: Myron's Nine Lives has run out.