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Buccaneers vs. Eagles Final Score: Jameis Winston looks good in first preseason game

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first preseason game 17-9 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they showed promise in certain areas -- others not so much.

Tampa's offseason has been all about new life. A new and energized coaching staff, a great draft and the right free agents brought feelings of a new regime; out with the old era, in with the new -- finally. Well, unfortunately, the start of the first preseason game looked a lot like what Tampa fans have seen before: sighs and head shakes.

From following training camp and interacting with you all on Twitter, I know there are a lot of people who are rooting for Kenny Bell. Many want to see him become a factor in both the receiving and return game. Well, if that was the plan, then things didn't start out according to plan.

Bell fumbled the opening kick off in what head coach Dirk Koetter called, "the worst special teams play I've ever seen in my life." The fumble led to an easy Eagles' touchdown, and Bell proceeded to not return kickoffs from that point forward. I don't think he'll be returning them any time soon. Plenty of time to make up for it, but a step in the wrong direction for Bell tonight.

It wasn't all memories of the "Yucks" coming back to life, though.

The Offense

Jameis Winston went 7 for 9 with 95 yards and a touchdown during his time on the field. The stats looked a little better on paper than the performance on the field, but his night was fine -- even though it did include a lost fumble. He still looks a tad hesitant which seems to be affecting his reaction time, but that's understandable with a young quarterback starting a new season.

The major offensive standout in the first half was wide receiver Russell Shepard who was on the receiving end of Winston's lone touchdown.

Let me settle the wide receiver debate now: Shepard is the team's No. 4 WR, not Bell. The experience makes Shepard look much more natural and aware when he's on the field. Bell still holds potential, but I expect Shepard to take most of the team's reps as the first substitute to Evans and Jackson.

Mike Glennon did not have a great night. He finished the night 7 for 14 with 83 yards. He seemed off judgement wise and threw an interception in a not so great situation.

Maybe we can chalk it up to the lack of sleep after recently becoming a first-time dad.

Cameron Brate got the start at tight end, as expected. Luke Stocker, Brandon Myers and Dan Vitale were the next to get into the mix. Despite ending the game with more catches than any other tight end (two), Austin Seferian-Jenkins did not even see his first snap until Myers went out with a leg injury. Myers appeared to be OK, but did not return.

Offensive Line

The offensive line did not look great. Tampa has some promising young talent, but when defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan were in for Philadelphia in the first quarter, they dominated the Bucs front five at will. Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kevin Pamphile were the culprits I can remember getting beat early on. Throw in a couple false start penalties and it wasn't much to be encouraged by. It doesn't matter how the wide receiver or tight end depth charts play out if the first unit can't hold the line.

The Front Seven

On the other side of the ball, things look more solidified.

We can't really put the early points on the defense because both came off turnovers deep in the team's own zone. When the first team group was able to get their bearings, here's what they did.

That's the McCoy-Ayers-Spence-Smith lineup we've seen defensive coordinator Mike Smith run in practice. It looks like they're going to use it more than just a way to throw the offensive line off. That talent combination is something they can go to to have consistent success. Don't let previous position roles stop you from putting the best talent on the field; I like it.

The team had four sacks in the first half and a few tackles for loss as well. The defensive line is the strength of this team with the front seven as a whole established as the major building block. Once the game settled down, they were able to step up. Noah Spence is basically a starter at this point. Even second team guys like Akeem Spence and Howard Jones got in on the sack party.

The Secondary

I asked Bucs fans before they game who they would like to see really stand out tonight (other than Jameis) and most said rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Near the end of the first half, he almost gave those people their wish.

That one was just out of his reach.

Other than quarterbacks, I would say defensive backs have the toughest adjustment from college to the NFL. The speed, the strength and the creativity wide receivers and their offenses use force secondary players to be smarter, stronger and faster themselves to stay alive. Hargreaves is doing just fine getting the reps he needs to find his footing as a cornerback in the NFL. His plays will come.

Fly Eagles Fly

One of the players fighting for a roster spot is former Florida State corner back Javien Elliott. Despite being just a rookie himself, Elliott gave Philly's No. 2 overall pick, quarterback Carson Wentz, his "welcome to the NFL moment".

"Fly Eagles Fly"

Overall, there are some good things to build off of, but the shooting themselves in the foot problem still looms. Five turnovers and 10 penalties will make the ride back to Tampa a long one. That can't continue.