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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Standouts from Buccaneers vs. Eagles

Five players who impressed during the Bucs' preseason opener against the Eagles.

1. QB Jameis Winston
Winston took the field for about a quarter on Thursday night and had success during his limited action. Winston completed seven of nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, earning a passer rating of 148.6. He took fewer reps than any of the Bucs' three quarterbacks, with Mike Glennon attempting 14 passes and Ryan Griffin throwing the ball 23 times.

2. WR Russell Shepard
After the conclusion of Thursday night's game, Head Coach Dirk Koetter rattled off a few players who he thought performed well. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Shepard, who scored the Bucs' only touchdown and led the team in receiving, was one of them. Shepard caught a dart from Winston from 26 yards out in the first half and finished the day with three catches for 62 yards.


  1. DT Clinton McDonald**
    McDonald's presence was surely felt by the Eagles' defensive line. The stat book will show that he recorded one sack, but he was in on the quarterback a handful of times, including one where he forced Sam Bradford into the arms of Jacquies Smith. McDonald got  significant number of reps, working with the starters and taking a few reps when the second-team defensive line took over.

4. LB Lavonte David
Lavonte David was his usual self on Thursday, recording four tackles, including one for a loss. Despite playing just one quarter, he finished a tackle shy of Luke Rhodes, who led the team. David had a few flash plays, including one where he stuffed Eagles running back Ryan Mathews in the backfield.

Koetter referred to Ayers as a "beast" after the game, and for good reason. He didn't appear on the stat sheet, but was the dominant, physical player that the Buccaneers had hoped he would be when they signed him as a free agent this spring. On one play in particular, Ayers manhandled the Eagles' right guard, knocking off balance and almost off his feet. Ayers then took to the quarterback, nearly taking him down in the end zone for a safety.

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