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Grading Out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Offense

With it being a short week, we'll get all the "Grading out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers" columns into one extra super duper happy fun time 24 hour period.  When looking at each player/unit, we take into account what they did at their position.  If McCown delivers a strike to a WR but the WR tips it to a defensive player and it gets picked, I'm not holding that against McCown. 

As usual, we are looking at the previous game (Bucs @ Jags) and how each unit/individual did relative to their position on the team, expectations and other factors.  For example (fictitious):  Gaines Adams getting 2 hurries against first string opponent is worth more to me than him getting 2.5 sacks against the 4th string JV team. 

To check out the grades, click the jump and read on.



Byron Leftwich - Got the start against Jacksonville.  Didn't  have a great performance but was able to move the offense with moderate success.  Able to convert a 3rd a long with a strike delivered in the middle of the field.  Still shows long windup, but with good protection was able to find receivers.  Displayed little touch on his passes, relying on arm strength.  When he has time, is able to survey the field.  Not as strong as Week 1, but not a huge step back.  Grade:  B-

Luke McCown - Huge turnaround from week 1.  Looked decisive, didn't escape pocket unnecessarily, was able to connect with two good throws for touchdowns.  Worked with a short field, but was able to convert.  Made good reads on most passes. Showed ability to make tough throws in tight spaces.  Protected the ball.  Grade: A-

Josh Freeman -  Showed same habit of staring down receivers.  Relied too much on arm strength with no touch shown.  Continued to miss high on passes.  Did complete some good passes.  Accuracy was worse than last week, but typically missed in right places.  Able to move pretty well for a bigger quarterback, as shown on his TD run.  Needs work on his celebrations. Grade: C+ without celebration, C- when factoring in celebration

Josh Johnson - After the media hype, underperformed.  Opportunities were limited.  Did move well out of pocket, but no game changing plays. Ability still remains a threat.  Showed good accuracy in limited chances.  Still needs some game time.  Grade:  C-

Running Backs

Derrick Ward - Looked much better in week 2.  Broke a few long runs showing good power, speed, vision, and agility.  Next career may be Olympic hurdler.  Was able to make guys miss 1 on 1.  Got to second level quickly and efficiently and continually fell forward.  Took advantage of holes provided by OL.  Good fit in the system.  Grade: B

Kareem Huggins -  Displayed good quickness, good tenacity, and an ability to make a guy miss.  Shook a few tacklers with some nasty jukes.  Shifty runner who would be labeled third down back.  Need to see blocking ability before crowning him with that title.  Not too powerful, was often stopped at point of first solid contact.  Grade: C+

B.J. Askew - Will prove to be a HUGE asset in the running game.  Can carry out of the FB position and be a good option.  Has good hands and remains a threat to block, run or catch the ball.  Grade: B+

Wide Receivers

Michael Clayton - Was able to get most fans to shut up about the drops, for a week.  Showed good awareness in routes.  Able to catch tough passes.  Still a brutal blocker that will help the running game.  If he can continue on this road, will be a good player in this offense. Showed ability to scoop tough throws.  Still need to see him catch on run, as that has been his bugaboo. Grade: B-

Bryan Clark - Appears as if he doesn't want the 3rd WR spot.  Dropped an easy pass that hit him in hands.  Doesn't seem to separate well in routes.  Not going to demand attention.  Grade: C

Sammy Stroughter - Either our 3rd WR now or in the near future.  Showed ability to take a hit, hang on to ball and run good route all on same play.  Has speed to get open, and appears to have sure hands.  Asset in other phases of game.  (Editor's Note:  Sammy Stroughter will be the end of Dexter Jackson.  They play the same positions, WR/KR/PR, Sammy already has better hands, willingness to take a hit, vision, and security.  With the emergence of SS, D-Jack may be on the unemployment line.  Similar skill set, but fear of contact won't help him make the team, along with injuries.) Grade: B+

Jerramy Stevens - All personal issues aside, will continue to be a weapon for any quarterback.  Nice route, good hands, and good finish will do nothing to deter from his fans. Size advantage is big plus in red zone.  Grade: B

Kellen Winslow - It may just be me, but is this guy doing anything?  He's played both weeks and done little to nothing.  I'd like to see him utilized more.  Don't know if he isn't showing up due to limited snaps, injuries, or lack of familiarity, but trading away a pick and spending some cash, I want more from him.  Grade: D

The Others - Urrutia, Stovall and other remain largely unimpressive.  They can contribute on team, but aren't making strides or showing well on the field. With Clayton still banged up, would be nice to see them with another QB  Grade: C-

Offensive Line

First String - Definite progress. Showed ability to open holes for running game.  Davin Joseph and Jeremy Zuttah were destroying opposing DT's in run game.  Pass protection was much better with defined pocket and above average time for QB's.  A few penalties but a much needed huge step forward.  Grade: B

Every other string - About what you'd expect from the other guys.  Some nice plays, overshadowed by breakdowns and penalties.  Some good provide some good depth on line, but won't make a mark anywhere else.  Grade: C

After a pretty blah performance last week, the offense rebounded this week with more consistency, more big plays, and a better discipline in moving the ball.  Offensive line provided time and holes when needed, quarterbacks delivered, running backs leapt over tall buildings, and receivers (generally) made plays.  Progress is important, and we saw plenty on Saturday night.  Grade: B-