LG Logan Mankins (#70) is good. That is my summation after him only playing 9 snaps before he was injured with 7:59 left in the 2nd quarter. His aggressiveness is very apparent and can be seen in only his 8th play of the game when he literally throws Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (#25) to the ground like a sack of potatoes for the crime of having the audacity of getting in Mankins’ way. Then, on the very next play, he is chasing DE Greg Hardy (#76) down the field, just to whoop his ass it appears, when the ball is intercepted and he makes the tackle. 10 yards down field. Very impressive. Getting him from the Patriots is the best transaction, of the 216 done by Lovie so far, that the Buccaneers have conducted this year. Logan Mankins is good but there is a problem: has never been on a team this bad.
The Buccaneers have released the injury report for Week 2, when the team with face the Rams. The following players were listed on the injury report:
DE Da’Quan Bowers (#91) – Abdominal injury – Questionable
T Demar Dotson (#69) – Hamstring injury – Probable
DE William Gholston (#92) – Shoulder injury – Questionable
DE Michael Johnson (#90) – Ankle injury – Out
G Logan Mankins (#70) – Knee injury – Questionable
RB Doug Martin (#22) – Knee injury – Questionable
S Bradley McDougald (#30) – Knee injury – Questionable
CB Rashaan Melvin (#28) – Ankle injury – Out
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (#87) – Ankle injury – Out
While most of the players are still listed as questionable, several have been full participants in practice at least part of the week and seem promising to return to the team Sunday. This injury report does not reflect injuries to DE Adrian Clayborn (#94) and CB Mike Jenkins (#24) who both went to Injured Reserve this week due to injuries sustained last week against the Panthers.
OC Jeff Tedford returned to One Buc Place intermittently this week and is expected to return to play calling duties this Sunday against the Rams.
“He is still on schedule,” Head Coach Lovie Smith told reporters Friday. “Nothing has changed from that.”
The injury bug has bit. Five starters appeared on Tampa’s injury report this week, with both CB Mike Jenkins (#24) and DE Adrian Clayborn (#94) being placed on Injured Reserve. An additional five backups also found themselves on the injury report creating concerns about the overall health of the team.
The defensive end position has taken a particularly hard hit this week, with four of the ten players on the injury reporting coming from that position. Losing Clayborn for the rest of the season to a biceps injury is a huge blow to the defense. On the right side of the line, $9 million DE Michael Johnson (#90) is nursing an ankle injury sustained during the Panthers game and has not practiced all week. His status for Sunday against the Rams is undetermined.
That leaves the Buccaneers with DE William Gholston (injured since Week 2 of the preseason), DE Larry English (re-signed Tuesday), DE Jacquies Smith (claimed off waivers from Buffalo on Wednesday), and DE Scott Solomon (waived Wednesday, re-signed Friday). Da’Quan Bowers (#91) is listed on the depth chart as a defensive tackle, but played as a defensive end last year and would be a good candidate to fill in at the position.
With the past two coaches the Buccaneers started their seasons going 3-13 behind Raheem Morris and 7-9 behind Greg Schiano. There are greater expectations for Lovie Smith as both previous Bucs coaches were new to the NFL as a head coach. Lovie has 9 years experience so it goes without saying that he should do better to start than the two previous coaches with no experience. An 8-8 season is the minimum that should be expected out of coach Lovie and the Buccaneers this year seeing as how Schiano did 7-9 in his first year. I would even go so far as to say that a 10-6 season is not out of the question. But without doubt this team should go at least 8-8.
In an unexpected move Saturday the Buccaneers front office made changes in both the secondary and the receiving corps. WR Louis Murphy (#11) and CB Quinton Pointer (#26) were both cut, making room for WR Solomon Patton (#86) and CB Brandon Dixon.
OC Jeff Tedford was spotted on the practice field at One Buc Place on Friday. Head Coach Lovie Smith reports his involvement in Sunday’s game will be made on Sunday.
“Jeff Tedford is getting better,” he said. “I know that I’ve said that each day, but he is getting better. Today he was out [at practice] – I think most you went inside into the shade and we stayed out there in the sun, he was out at practice. That’s a step in the right direction and he’ll be a game time decision.” Continue reading
On the eve of the Buccaneers season opener, definitive answers are finally coming to light surrounding the Buccaneers injury situation and list of players out this week has gotten smaller. The following players have been ruled out for tomorrow’s game:
Football is here and the season opener could not be any more exciting for Buccaneers fans as the team faces off against division rival Carolina Panthers. Last year Carolina stomped the Buccaneers in both games and fans are ready for retribution.
The biggest general matchup in this game is going to be our defense’s awareness of Carolina’s tricky offense. During the preseason this year the Buccaneers defense has been susceptible to misdirection and trickery. Carolina’s offense runs on these principles (if they play anything like last year). Plays such as zone options, quarterback options, play action and misdirection plays constitute a larger percentage of their plays than most teams and they are very good at executing. The brief window of time these plays give the offense is just enough for it to take advantage of the defense being caught out of position. It is going to be vital for our defense to have good on-field awareness to not be deceived by these plays.