Last Friday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the New England Patriots in their second preseason game. During this game the regular starters played very little as quarterback Josh Freeman played only the first two drives going 2-of-3 with only eight yards. The pass that Freeman missed was about a 20 yard pass that receiver Kevin Ogletree dropped. Freeman suffered from three sacks, and on a couple of those he had plenty of time to get the ball out.
Pro Bowl guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks both didn’t even travel to New England as they are still trying to come back from their season-ending injuries a year ago. They were replaced by Cody Wallace and Jamon Meredith, and although these two guards performed well last season, they aren’t seeming to play as well this preseason.
Second year running back Doug Martin had one run for four yards, and after that Martin suffered from a head injury which sidelined him for the remainder of the game. At practice on Monday, Martin’s reps were limited. Hopefully Martin’s injury wasn’t too serious as he will be a huge asset for the Buccaneers during the regular season. When Martin stepped out of the game running backs Peyton Hillis and Mike James stepped up.
I was very impressed with James as he had 81 yards on 15 carries. When James got the ball he moved his feet very fast and kept his legs moving through each hit. Hillis got the ball 18 times and had 73 yards. There was much concern for Hillis as he had a knee injury the first game against the Baltimore Ravens, but he seemed to be doing just fine against the Patriots.
Overall the Buccaneers didn’t perform at their best, but the starters played very little so it is hard to tell how this upcoming season is going to look. Next week the Buccaneers travel to play the Miami Dolphins. During this game the starters will play the most and hopefully this will result in the return of Joseph and Nicks.