With the 2019 version on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking the field for the first time Thursday night, change was on the mind of the team. Change the attitude, change the record or change the ghastly 2018 defensive pass rush. One noticeable change is at starting quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick came out with the first team offense with Jameis Winston suspended for the first three games of the season.
Fitzpatrick gets the first team reps
Fitzpatrick did what is expected of him during his two drives leading the Buccaneers offense down into the end-zone on one of the drives. That is expected the offense has two changes this year to the starting line up and was a top ten offense in 2018. The other side of the line of scrimmage looked a lot like the 2018 version there are a lot of new faces on the line and in the secondary, the performance however looked very familiar with little seemingly changed.
New defensive line faces
The Defensive line got a big overhaul during the off-season with the addition of Vinny Curry, Mitch Unrein, and Beau Allen joining the team as free agents. The Buccaneers added Jason Pierre Paul via trade and Vita Vea in the draft to join Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence to be the new-look defensive line. The defense had a flash with McCoy picking up a sack of the Dolphins Quarterback during the second drive. Around that the team from Miami did not score any touchdowns but did drive the ball with seemingly little push back from the Buccaneers.
The defensive wasn’t the only thing to get a few new faces this year, the secondary added two cornerbacks and a safety via the draft the new young secondary showed some flashes throughout the game. Carlton Davis III and MJ Stewart both had some very nice pass break ups and rookie safety Jordan Whitehead made a couple really nice plays against the run getting a tackle for loss in the process. With the Brent Grimes not playing and Vernon Hargreaves with an apparent leg injury on the teams second drive on defense the rookies got a lot of chances early on to be noticed.
CB Vernon Hargreaves has a groin injury and will not return.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) August 9, 2018
Possible changing of the guard
Cameron Brate is clearly the second string tight end behind second year player OJ Howard. With both getting reps with the starting group Howard’s night ended when the stating offense sat down. Cameron Brate then stayed out with the second offensive group where he performed well. Brate will fight for playing time as this season goes on as 2018 first round pick Howard continues to develop and is likely to emerge as the obvious number one pass catching tight end before the end of the preseason.
It’s just one (pre) season game
With game one in the books we learned little about the new additions, the offense looks good and has the talent to be special. The defense showed some flashes but was not overly impressive. Special teams limited the penalties and covered kicks well, there was a missed extra point and a missed field goal which is similar to how the kicking game looked last year, except for a late field goal to take the lead late in the game. Basically it was the first game of the preseason and a win for the Buccaneers, maybe change is in the air. Tonight though the Bucs started the preseason off with a 26-24 victory over the Dolphins.
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