That change on the offensive line came at right guard, where the team will start second-year man Patrick Omameh after testing
“We didn’t play as well as we need to, as well as we will,” said Head Coach Lovie Smith. “Some things we were able to work on in practice and I’m anxious to see exactly how far we’ve come this week.
“We have a few guys that played decent football on the offensive line last week, but as a whole we didn’t. We have made one change – Patrick Omameh will start tonight along with Oniel Cousins at the other spot. Our two tackles and our center will remain the same, and hopefully we can do some things to help them out like run the ball a little better.”
The player the Buccaneers lost to injury over the week was a factor in that running attack. Rookie RB Charles Sims, the team’s third-round pick in the 2014 draft, will miss at least the first half of the regular season after sustaining an ankle injury in practice that required surgery. While that is an unfortunate development for the team, they can at least fall back on some rather impressive depth in the backfield.
“It was just a freak injury, no contact involved, came down wrong on his ankle,” said Smith of the loss of Sims. “This was a setback for him; he was doing some good things. We’re excited about what he would bring to our team early on, but we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.
“We were talking about five guys that were doing good things for us, and now we have four. That’s plenty of guys. It will be a few more reps, and more opportunities for some of our guys.”
While the offense failed to find a groove in Jacksonville, the Bucs’ defense was good from play one, when All-Pro DT
But it was far from a successful performance in Smith’s eyes, and that boils down mostly to the team’s lack of takeaways.
“We deferred [on the coin flip] and went three-and-out,” said Smith. “Guys played good ball as far as just getting them off the field. We did some good things – Gerald, of course, getting off the ball. But we had some opportunities. On one play we had an opportunity for a takeaway and three of our guys missed it. I’m not pleased with zero turnovers. You don’t win many games when you’re minus-two in turnovers.”
Smith thinks his team will make a significant improvement from Week One to Week Two of the preseason. If so, they will put on a show for the home crowd in the first action at Raymond James Stadium this summer. This also happens to be the first time that Lovie Smith will walk out of the home tunnel as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“There’s nothing like playing your first preseason game at home,” said Smith. “They keep score, the fans are out there and the fans are ready to go. There’s a lot of excitement. There’s no place like Raymond James Stadium and our crowd will be a big part of our success here.”
There are no official inactives during the preseason but the Buccaneers have indicated that the following players will not suit up tonight: Sims, CB
With Verner and Jenkins out, the Bucs will start second-year player
The Bucs play their 2014 preseason home opener against the Dolphins on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium. The game will be broadcast locally on television by WFLA-TV and on radio through the Buccaneers Radio Network and its flagship station, US 103.5 FM. That radio broadcast will also be carried live on Buccaneers.com.