Three and out isn’t the start any Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive player or coach is going to want to start a game. It’s how the Bucs started their final preseason game of the year against the Houston Texans though, and it was reminiscent of several slow starts from 2020.
Good news is, Tom Brady and the first-team offense got going pretty well after that. Speaking to the media following the game Brady acknowledged the bad, but emphasized the good as a platform to grow from heading into the regular season.
“Honestly, got off to a little slow start (with) the three and out,” Brady said. “But good to get a couple (of) good long drives...just get our feel and get out there and get some rhythm...good to score and good to win.”
Entering the preseason with three games to play in 2021 instead of four, every team had a question to answer regarding how they would approach the final contest in August.
Some, like the Washington Football Team, opted to sit their starting offense and defense choosing preservation over preparation.
Others, like the Baltimore Ravens, chose to play their starters and are now suffering from what is expected to be a season-ending injury to running back J.K. Dobbins.
Tampa Bay opted to play their starters and escaped with positive play and a healthy squad. All’s well that ends well.
In true Brady fashion though, he isn’t getting too excited, and keeping things in perspective.
“It was good to get some things done tonight,” Brady said. “Certainly not a finished product. We’ve got a long way to go.”
It’s good to acknowledge the good in performance-based businesses of course, but owning the negatives as growth points is also important. Never shy about acknowledging the downside to winning efforts, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians also took a similar approach to his analysis of the first-team performance.
“Pleased with everything but the first series on offense,” Arians told media after the game. “You know, we can’t start against Dallas with a penalty and a three and out, and giving them field position. Other than that we had a nice rhythm, love the speed of the defense...I saw the things I wanted to see...”
Tuesday is the next big day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as roster cuts happen and the initial 53-man roster is set. Coach Arians has already acknowledged the initial arrangement will in no way be the final version of the roster, but Brady emphasized coming together after the final set of cuts, as the Bucs get set to launch the season on September 9th.
Hosting the first game of the year, Tampa Bay is less than two weeks from hosting Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Thanks to a strong preseason finale they’ll do so with their confidence, and their health, intact.