Let's start with the good. The first team offense did well, though they had a tough time running against the starting Jags' unit. The pass protection was solid, and Petitgout looked quite good in his first Preseason action. Garcia went 6 for 6 and hit Boston on a designed roll-out for a TD. The second and third team offenses were equally effective, and found running room against the second and third team Jags' defense. For the most part, the Bucs' offense was strong all night, but a couple of turnovers in scoring position killed them.
The first team defense was outstanding, holding the Jaguars to just 20 yards. When the defense went with some second stringers mixed in with 1st string, the defense was solid, but not spectacular. Overall, I thought, for once, the Bucs' starters and some immediate tier back-ups looked good against the Jaguars, something that we haven't seen in the last few Preseason and regular season contests. I was overall impressed with the offensive line as they usually get pushed around by the Jags, but stood up very well this time. They rarely lost at the line, and kept the pressure on our QB's to a minimum. Not bad at all.
The bad...mostly the turnovers on scoring drives (one was within field goal range, with another around the 5 yard line). Some of the center/QB exchanges were bad, and will hopefully be corrected by the end of Preseason. Caddy had a slow running start, though it was against an extremely good and physical Jags' defense.
The ugly...well, the mixture of second and third team defenders that played for most of the second through fourth quarters just outright blew. They weren't very stout in their tackling and looked a little slow to get on top of their coverage. Two of the Jags' scoring drives would have been stalled if solid tackles were made. Even after the Bucs' second fumble around the 5 yard line, the defense had the Jags deep with third and long, and Nicholson only needed to wrap his man up to stop the drive and get the offense the ball back, and he blew the tackle. That drive ended up going 95 yards and killed a "resurgence" by this unit that came out in the second half and stopped the Jags on their first drive and started that second drive strong. I am not impressed with Nece in the middle. I really, really, really hope Ruud stays healthy all year. Nece is simply not aggressive enough, nor strong enough to handle the middle. Ruud was outstanding, but the drop off is too much.
Overall, the offense was solid at all times against a very good, and pretty deep, Jaguars defense. I thought this was a VERY good sign for the offense, and could mean that this unit will do some really good things this year. The offensive line appears to be everything I thought they were after the first Preseason game. This unit looks to be for real, and will be a serious upgrade over the bulk of last year's work. The starting defense, against one of the biggest and strongest offensive lines in the league, held up extremely well, and provided some pressure, including a Kevin Carter sack, against Leftwich. They covered well and we're around the ball a lot. I was very impressed with their performance. Some of the second string defenders looked good as well, including Piscitelli who saved a TD on one play, and nearly picked off a pass on another. Special teams was solid. The only thing that really concerns me was the play of many of the second, and most of the third string defenders. I think some of this is due to experience, and will hopefully resolve itself with continued play and practice. Some of it looked like a lack of physical play and proper tackling technique. If the defense stays healthy, they'll be back in the top 10, no question in my mind (at least to this point). But if we have a rash of defensive injuries, it could get ugly. The offense looks like it can survive a handful of injuries, though, which is a good thing.
I have a feeling we'll see the Bucs pretty much dominate the Dolphins next week. If they don't it'll raise some concerns in me, but they have just played two of the top teams in the league and, despite the effort in the 2nd quarter tonight, held up quite well, even looking like the better team at times. But it's Preseason and we can only gauge this team so far.