The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off the Greg Schiano era with a dominant 20-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins in their preseason opener on Friday night.
Buccaneers101.com has gone back over the game and here are some of the highlights from the defense:
They showed some quickness and ability to attack, but the pass rush still isn't there. Tampa Bay had a league-worst 23 sacks last season and there weren't many things pointing to an improvement against Miami.
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn was solid against the run and put a big hit on a Miami tailback in the first half. Backup defensive tackle Amobe Okoye showed great awareness by tipping a Matt Moore pass in the first half that lead to an interception by linebacker Lavonte David.
However, the D-line committed too many penalties and needs to work on not jumping offsides on hard snap counts.
There were still a few missed tackles, but this group looked much improved from last season. Middle linebacker Mason Foster had a couple of big hits and was sticking his nose in quite a few plays. Quincy Black seemed to be in position more than last season. Second-round pick Lavonte David displayed great quickness and made several splash plays. He picked off a tipped pass, and had some nice tackles on special teams and defense.
Reggie Bush had a couple of nice runs, but overall Miami struggled to run the ball and that is because Tampa Bay's linebackers were flying to the ball and tackling pretty well.
The Bucs were without Mark Barron, Aqib Talib, and E.J. Biggers, but they still played solid in the secondary.
Eric Wright played well in his Bucs debut. He was in position in coverage, didn't give up anything on defense, had a tackle, and broke up a pass on defense.
Anthony Gaitor stepped up in place of the injured Biggers and almost had a pick-six right before the end of the first half. He showed good closing speed and has a shot to be the nickel corner on defense. He finished as the second -eading tackler with four stops.
Meanwhile, Myron Lewis struggled in coverage after getting rave reviews in camp. It just goes to show that he hasn't put it all together since being a third-round pick in 2010. He was too soft in coverage and almost gave up a TD, but the receiver dropped the ball in the end zone.
At safety, Larry Asante was around the ball an awful lot and lead the Bucs with six tackles.
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