Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/10/14
(Image from TampaBay.com) ESPN sportscaster and former NFL lineman, Mark Schlereth has a wise NFL saying: “Preseason games don’t count, but they do matter.” What he means by this is that the final score may not have an impact on a team’s regular season record, but the effort, progress and adaptation to live play shown in the preseason will have an impact that may change the result of some of those regular season games. Preseason games are all about the lower tier guys. The reason fans watch is to see what kind of talent their team has in its depth chart. The most important quarters are normally the 2nd and 3rd — this allows viewers to evaluate players that will have an impact on substitutions and injuries — but there is a certain trait that should stick out when watching these early games. It’s not speed, athletic ability or even knowledge of the play book. The trait I’m taking about is confidence. As stated before, the preseason tends to focuses on players that are trying to either make the roster or move up on the depth chart, but the biggest takeaway from Thursday night’s game could have very well been the confidence shown from the starters. After the first few conservative plays, the Bucs offense seemed to oppose its will on the defending Super Bowl Champions. Josh Freeman was able to move the ball fluently, throwing all kinds of passes for positive yards including a beautiful over the should pass to Vincent Jackson that, had he not bobbled it, would have been an ESPN top play. Kevin Ogletree and Brian Leonard also played well. When their numbers were called, they delivered and I believe those two made significant progress towards solidifying their spots on the roster — However, If I may, stop comparing Leonard to Alstott. I know we love the instant comparisons, but let’s allow the kid to form his own name, and respect Alstott’s at the same time. The first team defense also played effectively; they were able to contain Joe Flacco and Ray Rice fairly well. With no Darrelle Revis, the starting corners Danny Gorrer, Leonard Johnson and Johnthan Banks showed they all have the confidence to play. Gorrer was even able to intercept Flacco before suffering a minor injury later in the game. Da’Quan Bowers will be under a microscope all preseason and his performance was a bit spotty on Friday. He set himself up to rush more from the inside even though we’ve heard Schiano say he wants Bowers to be more of an outside rusher. The games to follow will reveal whether that was planned or just Bowers being natural. As the 2nd string came into the game, the confidence was maintained, but not sustained long-term. Mike Glennon showed off his cannon arm, but also showed off his inconsistent one; he went 11-23 with 169 yards and an interception. Unfortunately, it was a poor special teams and lack of discipline that took over in the second half as the Bucs let a 13-10 lead fall to a 24-13 deficit with less than a minute left in the first half. Schiano opened the team’s next practice working exclusively with special teams’ discipline. But, it wasn’t all bad with the special teams as new kicker Derek Dimke hit 3 FGs with his longest at 45 yards. Tampa’s next game is Friday, August 16 at New England.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice reportedly wins appeal

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice reportedly wins appeal

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.