Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Fins

August 9th, 2018


The Bucs had lost five consecutive preseason openers, so there are plenty of positives to feel good about after Thursday night’s victory.

There were also several areas of concern because the Dolphins moved the football up and down the field all evening. Let’s give Tampa Bay an overall grade of “B” as the Bucs move on to next week’s scrimmages and matchup in Nashville.

Here are 10 of the particulars:

* Ryan Griffin was the best player on the field, and it wasn’t even close. Griffin threw with touch, he threw with zip and he threw with precision. Yes, he was playing against Dolphin reserves, but let’s not forget he wasn’t throwing to Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson or Chris Godwin, either. And before you entertain any silly notions — Ryan Fitzpatrick is still starting Week 1.

* Todd Monken did a nice job calling plays. He kept Miami defenders off balance for much of the night, although those screen passes are a work in progress. The Bucs just posted their highest score in a season opener since 2003, when they were defending Super Bowl champions.

* Ryan Smith may have sealed the win with a last-second pick,but that doesn’t make up for his continual struggles. The Bucs have tried him at safety and corner without much success and it shouldn’t surprise anybody if he doesn’t make the final roster.

* Hard Rock Stadium recently received a $450 million facelift, but Miami executives should have placed some additional funds in escrow so they can pay fans to show up. Thursday’s crowd size was a disgrace, even considering the game doesn’t count in the standings.

* Chandler Catanzaro’s Buc debut didn’t go exactly as planned. Mr. Automatic pulled his first PAT and his long FG try never had a chance, remaining wide of the right post. Had he shanked that final FG attempt, Catanzaro would have been wise to avoid Dirk Koetter in the locker room.

* While Jason Pierre-Paul was killing it off right end in the opening quarter, Vinny Curry found himself manhandled off left end. I’ll chalk it up to a veteran easing himself into the season, but Curry won’t like the tape.

* Peyton Barber has a habit of falling forward for that extra yard. You can’t teach that kind of determination.

* Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart both had their impressive moments as rookie cornerbacks, but I’ve already grown tired of hearing about Davis’ long arms. The last Buc CB lauded for his length was former second-round pick Johnthan Banks, who played for four teams in the last five years without registering an interception. He’s now out of football.

* Is it me, or does Cameron Brate catch every single pass that hits his hands?

* Very solid efforts by Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston, who is eating a lot of humble pie at the moment. Koetter can’t help but hold his breath whenever Fitz starts to scramble.

Breathe, Dirk, breathe.

21 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Fins”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Koetter also bites his nails on the sidelines. Weird. Confident much?

    I thought Stewart got burnt on more than one play. Carlton stole Ryan Smith’s job today and hopefully Whitehead stole a job too.

    JPP looked like the only one tackling out there. He looked frustrated already. At one point the dline allowed a Mack truck size hole for a run up the middle.

    Finally, I saw someone post this before but didn’t pay attention to it but today it was even more obvious than usual. Teflon Kwon. Yikes!

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    “* Hard Rock Stadium recently received a $450 million facelift, but Miami executives should have placed some additional funds in escrow so they can pay fans to show up. Thursday’s crowd size was a disgrace, even considering the game doesn’t count in the standings.”

    WOW…and considering they don’t even have an evil QB on their roster like us Buc’s fans have been having to deal with for the past 3 years….it’s…it’s…it’s been UNBEARABLE Jameis….I….I can’t take IT anymore.

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  3. Buc1987 Says:

    Don’t know 87……???

    That was sarcasm…in blog form.

    It ain’t easy….

    Takes….a bow.

  4. JayBucBoi Says:

    Love these, Ira!! I always look forward to reading your famous “10 takeaways” column. Keep them coming, sir!!

  5. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    DB55…at one point JPP made a play, was on the ground, and no Buc offered to help him up. He extended his arms as if to say “really?!?”

  6. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Good stuff Ira.

    Ryan Smith is terrible.
    Gerald in my mind was the best player on the field early on. His get off seemed even better than ever.
    Beau Allen was getting moved.
    1st team oline was great. 2nd and on was awful.
    Rojo didn’t show much, certainly not his best. The blocking for him was not good at all though. Same for Simms.
    Quarterbacks all looked good.
    Jameis made some very good throws and showed maturity in taking a sack and throwing it away or checking down. Only had 1 not great throw on the RPO.
    Davis and Stewart made some nice plays and Whitehead did too and likes to hit.
    Too many good WR. Bailey looked good, Watson played great (not a catch), reedy, martino.
    Barber is just a steady eddy 4ypc dude. #44 ogbakdbdiehs looked pretty good too vs the truck drivers and future ninja warriors.
    Overall great start.
    To BUCS!!

  7. Sumo Says:

    Whitehead needs to start. He looks very good. The starting o line looks good too. They are still figuring out the parts they have on defense. Brent Grimes will make a huge difference on D. Hargreaves is a back up now. Ryan Smith may not make it. D will be much improved. The team actually looked motivated. Wow. That’s a change.

  8. Bird Says:

    Ryan griffin the best player on the field. That’s a stretch.

    Offense looked in form. They are so deep at receiver and tight end. They need to find a way to keep Justin Watson and Bobo. Especially since both can play special teams. (Make bobo return guy)

    Not worried about ROJO. He is a rook. But his hands need stick em . Remember the scene from the replacements

    Defense looked ok. Love the trifecta rookies of MJ Stewart , Carlton Davis and
    Whitehead . With whitehead the surprise His name not really showing in camp. Saw flashes of john lynch with him. He was trying to hit guys so hard he almost knocked himself out. Perfect strong safety next to Evans who is perfect free safety

    Monk called good game.

    Mike smith not so much. If he continues to play off so much I may lose my Monday. Ryan smith adios. Bring in brasaud breeland for 2-3 mil plus incentives-no Brainer

    Overall – pretty happy. We need the injured guys healthy And the healthy guys to stay healthy

  9. zestyjameis Says:

    JPP killing it thats a good one Ira. Defense 1s were really bad. Fins offense had their way with them. Again no pass rush. Again no plays from the secondary. Again ineffective LB play better yet getting erased. Can someone please teach Kwon and lvd how to shed a block?!

  10. blowbucsfan Says:

    “The protection was awesome,” coach Adam Gase said. “He was back there peeling an orange.”

    ^^^hahahaha actual quote

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I listened to the game so I missed a great deal…..will watch the replay…..

    Some of my takeaways were:

    The opening and closing drives were very un-Buclike……fast start refreshing and flawless 2-minute game winner.

    Sounds like we still didn’t get pressure on their QB…..sounded like our running game got stuffed alot.

    Also really sounds like we got screwed on that challenge.

    Was actually a fun game to listen to.

  12. FrankPillow Says:

    Ira, the best player on the field was Minkah Fitzpatrick. The kid showed speed, range and the ability to deliver the boom.

    Our rookies played like rookies. Some good moments, some bad moments. The second-3rd unit DL and LBs looked mediocre at best. Lots of poor positioning, terrible tackling, no leverage and very little downhill. The kicking game continues to haunt us.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s kind of tough to get overly excited about anything last night, other than it’s football. Some good, some bad.
    I loved Barber’s runs.
    It’s good to see the rookie DBs play decent. I’m a little concerned that we’re still playing a LOT of off coverage though.

  14. Wausa Says:

    Whitehead really jumped out to me in his first game.
    Jameis, Fitz and Ryan all looked really good at QB.
    The Bucs appear to be in a very fortunate spot at QB considering the starter will be out the first three games.
    Bobo looked very good to me and the line blocked really well considering they have been ravaged by injuries.
    Barber looked good.
    RoJo has a long way to go.
    You have to feel a little bad for Ryan Smith. It doesn’t take an expert to see he’s not an NFL player.
    I thought Gholsten played pretty well also.

  15. m0j0 Says:

    The QB’s and 1st string O-line looked very good, and Barber showed he is going to be the bell cow for the Bucs at RB. On the D-line side, McCoy and JPP looked good, but didn’t see much from anyone else (except for that one flash play by Spence, but he wasn’t consistent after that). Loved what I saw from the young CB’s and Whitehead, very excited about that!

  16. rrsrq Says:

    At least Mike Smith (more likely Buckner) teaching guys to get their hands up, 3 batted balls last night

  17. johnnybuc Says:

    wait i’m confused … so since carlton davis has good length you don’t like him?? because… jonthan banks had long arms ??? i mean … that makes absolutely zero sense to me . way more to corner than how long your arms are and if you believe banks and davis are similar players you are absolutely incorrect johnthan banks played almost exclusively off coverage in college and played off a lot in the nfl . carlton davis on the other hand makes his money being physical and pressing receivers at LOS . that’s the difference banks was knocked for not being physical as a player and davis at times is too physical. i’d just say don’t make comparisons of players based on just how long there arms are. that’s a terrible starting point and not even close to a end point . maybe start with there technique or there tendencies . however long your arms are is just a bonus …..

  18. Wausa Says:

    Spence got doubled on passing downs after he blew past the OT and almost sacked the QB.

  19. Buccernutter Says:

    Not even close? Really Ira?

    Jameis played lights out. As did Fitz. Come on mannnnn.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Very happy to see the fast start. When’s the last time we started a game with 2 touchdowns in the first 2 drives. Thought Peyton Barber looked great and ROJO looks like a rookie, but his TD fun was great and Doug Martin probably wouldn’t have made it. Expected more from our defensive line, but it’s the first preseason game and they’re still getting to know each other and the system. RG4 had the most playing time so had the best stats. Thought all QBs looked great. Overall, super happy with the win – Go Bucs!

  21. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evenly matched game as the final score showed. Plenty of Buc positive to take away going forward.