It's always good to have a second set of eyes when evaluating football players, and as fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we can turn to Pro Football Focus for another opinion on how well individual players performed on the field.
Here are some interesting observations from the preseason Week 1 grades for the Buccaneers against the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can check them out for yourself here (subscription required, and trust me, it's worth it!).
Let's start with the good news, shall we? Jorvorskie Lane ended up with the best grade for the Buccaneers on offense, fueled by a positive run blocking score. Sure, Lane only played seven snaps, and earned only a +.8 grade, but someone has to have the best grade, and in this case, it was Lane.
As expected, a majority of the Buccaneers' grades are negative on offense. The four worst players were all offensive linemen: Oniel Cousins (-3.8), Evan Dietrich-Smith (-2.9), Jamon Meredith (-2.8) and Jace Daniels (-2.5). Cousins and Meredith graded out horribly against the pass rushers of Jacksonville, while EDS lost his points thanks to run blocking and a penalty. Daniels struggled in all areas, but none stood out as truly bad.
The worst skill position player on offense was a quarterback, but it's not the one you're thinking of. Mike Glennon earned a -2.2 grade thanks to a poor day of passing. The most concerning aspect of Glennon's poor grade is that he played worse when not under pressure than when under pressure, posting a -3.0 grade when given time to throw, but a +.7 when under pressure.
Josh McCown ended up with a -.6 grade, as his pick-six wasn't enough to drag down his total grade. PFF usually gives credit to players for plays wiped out by penalties, so McCown's strike to Chris Owusu that was called back for holding helped bolster his grade for the day.
Rookies Josh Allen and Kadeem Edwards were the only linemen to post positive grades, and while both only played 11 snaps, at least they did well enough to earn kudos from the PFF graders.
Gerald McCoy only played 14 snaps, but easily earned the best grade of the evening with a +3.4. He got high marks as both a run stopper and a pass rusher, and showed why he's truly the face of the Buccaneers' franchise.
His backup, former defensive end turned 3-technique Da'Quan Bowers, earned the second-best grade, posting the second-best run defense score for the team on the night. The top graded run stopper was defensive end Will Gholston, who earned the third-best overall grade.
Camp standout Bradley McDougald earned a positive grade thanks to good run-stopping marks, while Leonard Johnson and Lavonte David earned top honors as pass defenders. All three of these players have looked good in camp, as well, and while Johnson has been occasionally caught out in drills by Tampa receivers, he didn't allow that to carry over into a game on Friday night.
Steven Means and Adrian Clayborn were the only players besides McCoy to earn a pass rushing grade higher than .1. The Buccaneers need to get after the quarterback better starting next week, as the defense won't be able to play it's aggressive, turnover-inducing style without pressure up front.
It's not all good news on the defense, though. Much-talked-about linebacker Nate Askew posted the second-worst performance of the night on defense, according to PFF, struggling against the run and pass on his 11 snaps. Michael Johnson earned the worst grade for any Buccaneer starter, mainly due to his poor play against the run.
Patrick Murray graded out positively as a kicker and kickoff man, but negatively as a punter. He kicked for distance, but not for hangtime, and PFF dinged him for that.
Damaso Munoz and Solomon Patton earned the best grades for special teamers who don't kick the ball. Patton for his kick return abilities, and Munoz for his coverage of kicks and punts.