The Browns 3-4 front seven exposed Tampa Bay’s young and inexperienced offensive line Saturday night, en route to four first half sacks on Jameis Winston.
While Logan Mankins and Evan Smith were as much – or more – at fault for the missed assignments and blown protection, it seemed rookies Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith were especially confused at some of the defensive line’s stunts.
Following the game, Marpet spoke about the performance as a learning experience for an otherwise progressing offense.
“The reality is we underperformed,” Marpet said. “We can do a lot better moving forward, it’s that simple.
“Sometimes they used some different blitzes, but we definitely prepared how we should. Again, sometimes they throw some things that you haven’t seen on tape, but the only thing we can do is learn from this and just get better.”
The night brought back questions of if the Bucs will stick to their strategy of starting two rookie offensive lineman in front of their rookie quarterback this season. As of Sunday, that’s still the plan.
Choosing not to make decisions based off one performance, head coach Lovie Smith addressed the unit’s poor outing as a whole, and is confident the young players will continue improving.
“I’m looking at the overall picture, just like before when we played a lot better (against Cincinnati),” Smith said. “You take everything in, which we’ll do. But that play last night, for the most part, was unacceptable for us and we’ll fix it.”
“If I (based decisions off yesterday), quite a few of us wouldn’t have a job. That’s just not the case. Guys are going to have bad plays, but you look at the overall picture with those guys. For rookie offensive linemen (Smith and Marpet), we think we have two pretty good players. Are they Pro Bowl ready right now? No. But they’re making progress.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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Team is a complete and absolute joke as it has been since the 2009 season (okay, 2010 was a fluke).
We really have no choice here; stay with the rookies. I’m also talking about playing Warren at Center. Evan Smith is far from decent and Gilkey is not an option. Let the young linemen play!
This game was a dress rehearsal for the season and it was a total embarrassment. We did nothing to improve the worst o-line in history from last year. We hung our hats on two drafted rookies and some useless washed up journeymen. Lovie and Licht should do the right thing and turn in their resignation immediately. Just as last year this team came in totally unprepared and looked like a bunch of deer in the headlight players. Even the defense looked horrific. McCoy was dominated, Lavonte has stepped aside and given the reigns to Alexander. David had a handful of uncharacteristic mistackles. The whole d-line was atrocious. I say cut our losses, get rid of Lovie and Licht and bring in a real coach and GM and try to salvage the last half of the year. Get another no. one pick and go from there. It’s a shame to start to look at draft picks for next year before this year starts but can any of you give me an argument why not to??????
I’m definitely not a fan of L&L, but who is the real GM and coach that you are going to bring in? Who is out there right now….just as the season is starting…that would make any difference this year? If you are planning to write off the season and bring in the coach and GM to just evaluate the team this year I don’t think the majority of the fans or players will buy into that.
Anybody who would suggest the Bucs fire their head coach and GM after a preseason game really displays how limited his intelligence is.
The Bucs weren’t prepared for the Browns blitz packages because teams don’t game plan in the preseason.
That’s not to say the coaching staff is without blame. Our OC Dirk Koetter could have gone to some quicker plays to account for the blitzes but it didn’t appear we did.
Winston kept looking downfield on almost every play.
In actuality, it was a great learning experience for what they will see and face against the Titans.
“it was a great learning experience” …for the fans and what they can expect to see a good share of the year from the oline. I know it s just preseason, but this was just the BROWNS. Also, Jameis seems to get tweaked in every game which is concerning, as eventually it will be more than a tweak with the way the oline is underperforming.
Horse: Warren should be the Center and Cherilus should be Right Tackle. Gilkey is horrible at any position. Hopefully, Winston’s ankle will be fine…he may have to scramble a bit. And hopefully, D. Smith will be out of his boot & continue to learn.
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