Saturday night proved to be the baptism by fire for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fielding so many new players and coaches, the only way to evaluate what we have, and see how they hold up is to have live game action. Though the final score didn't total in our favor, the game did feature some bright spots. In this edition of The Point After, let's take a look at how the offense performed and grade them out.
Grades are indicative of the players performance in this game only.
Byron Leftwich - Second QB in. His slow wind up was evident, but delivered the only passing touchdown of the game. When had time, was able to throw strikes and showed fairly good decision making skills. Dumped ball off when needed to. No speed and once touched by a defensive player, the play is dead. Final numbers: 6 for 14, 61 yards, 1TD. Grade: B-
Josh Freeman - First live action in NFL. Displayed good poise in the pocket generally, though he did scramble right into a sack. Telegraphed passes which lead to an interception. Maintained the short throws. Showed a live arm and above average accuracy. Bounced back from interception well. Successful first attempt on the field. Final numbers: 5/9 for 52 yards, 1 INT Grade: C
Josh Johnson - Last of the 4 QB's in. Showed a nice zip on his passes, good decision making, and accurate throws. Scrambled well in a 43 yard TD run. Competition was weak, but didn't show a glaring weakness. Good effort to build on. Final Numbers: 3 for 5 for 15 yards. 1 Rushing TD. Grade: B
Clifton Smith - Showed good ball security, a change from last year. Made several players miss with good jukes and agility. Showed good receiving skills out of the backfield. Was able to find holes and make most of time with ball. Only question could be durability or ability to handle blitz pick up assignments. Final Numbers: 5 carries for 27 yards, 1 catch for 7 yards. Grade: B
Kareem Huggins - Showed good receiving skills, good burst with ball, and ability to hit hole and rack up yards. Not much hesitation, good for a young player. Did not go down without a fight. Final Numbers: 9 carries for 43 yards and 3 catches for 14 yards. Grade: B+
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Bryan Clark - Was the recipient of the only Bucs TD pass. Made an nice adjustment to haul it in. Had a drop, also caused a holding penalty resulting in safety. Not spectacular but made the play when it mattered. Final numbers: 2 catches for 29 yards and a TD. Grade: B
Maurice Stovall - Not hard to see why he isn't a force in regular season. Disappeared for most of the game. 1 catch for 8 yards. Will need to rebound to factor into future plans. Grade: D
Sammy Stroughter -Good debut for the rookie. Looked shaky on a kick return early on, but rebounded well. Displayed good hands and ability to run with ball in hand. Looked comfortable at every level on the field. Final numbers: 3 catches for 42 yards. Grade: B
Kellen Winslow -Didn't play much. As a blocking tight end was just average, if that. Didn't get many opportunities in passing game. 1 catch for 5 yards. Grade: Incomplete
The rest of the bunch - The remaining receivers didn't do much to stand out. As a group they were below average and will struggle to make an impact. Truly shows the lack of depth at WR. Pray that AB or Clayton don't get hurt (again). Grade: C-
The Big Guys - First string had a terrible performance. Didn't open any holes in the running game. Penn was overmatched at points. Provided little to no time for quarterbacks. Running game was a non-factor. This zone scheme is either very complicated to pick up, tough to master, or we might be in over our heads. Not ready to jump ship after 15 plays, but didn't give me much confidence. Grade: D
The second string and beyond provided some good time for Leftwich and other QB's. Running game got going as first stringers left game. Still tough to gauge depth on team as running plays routinely had defense in backfield. Grade: C+
The offense looked lost. It's tough to determine how things are going after one preseason game, particularly after a game where the opponent has one more game than you and was one of the better defenses in 2008. All the hype surrounding the new offense, the new scheme, and the addition of Ward and Winslow left in a hurry. While those two players were not the main culprit in the futile efforts of the offense, the offense as a whole failed (first string). Other squads (the backups and beyond) looked decent, though competition was not of the same level and I don't count on those guys to make an impact during the year. I won't be surprised if the Leftwich/McCown loser is cut if Johnson keeps this up. There is alot to work on going into Jacksonville. Final Numbers: 17 first downs, 5/15 on 3rd downs (33%), 138 yards rushing, 118 yards passing (256 total). 2 TD's and 2 Turnovers. Overall Grade: C-
How did you grade out the Bucs offense? Hit the comments section below and let us know.