Let’s face it, the fourth preseason game is the most boring game of the year for football fans. However, for some players, this is the most important game of the season. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me while watching the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back Ronald Jones got the start. While he led the team with 10 carries, he was very ineffective with his opportunities. Shaun Wilson was the second running back into the game and led the Buccaneers in rushing yards with 44 yards on seven carries. He also received the first opportunity as the punt returner and as the kick returner. His abilities as a returner could potentially secure his roster spot as the fourth running back. Dare Ogunbowale finished with five carries for 29 yards.
Maybe the Buccaneers have other positions to worry about than quarterback? Ryan Griffin looked as cool, calm, and composed as I have seen him all preseason. He seems to have complete control over the offense and his decision making has improved since last preseason. His accuracy still needs to improve but solid night overall for Griffin. I know many starters were not playing tonight, but you can only judge based on the competition he played against. Austin Allen had several careless plays, but may still be a practice squad candidate.
Justin Watson did what he needed to do in order to secure the fifth wide receiver spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster. However, Bernard Reedy and Bobo Wilson presented their case that the team should keep a sixth receiver. “Speedy” Reedy finished the game with five catches for 56 yards. Wilson was not far behind with five catches for 51 yards. Both receivers did their damage in the first half with Ryan Griffin throwing the ball. Freddy Martino was held without a catch on the evening.
As a team, the Buccaneers committed no penalties in the entire first half. The team finished the game with only one penalty for five yards. This is a step in the right direction for this team. Now, if only the starters could be that fundamentally sound.
Jack Cichy tied for the team lead in tackles with four solo but he was more active than his stat line shows. He had a sack that was later ruled as a Tanner Lee recovered fumble and Cichy tackle for loss as the Jaguars’ quarterback mishandled a low snap and Cichy was there to finish the play. He was one of two players to record a tackle for loss on the night. This was the showing he needed in his final attempt to make the roster in a crowded linebacker group.