Pictures from the Buccaneers' preseason matchup with the Redskins.
The skies never did clear up during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' preseason 20-13 loss to the Washington Redskins Wednesday night, but maybe the last few questions about the Buccaneers' depth chart did.
Or did they?
The Buccaneers and Redskins agreed to move up their shared preseason finale by 24 hours in order to avoid Tropical Storm Hermine, but that didn't spare them from a steady and often heavy rain throughout the night. The result was a sloppy game that didn't offer the best environment for player evaluation but was an important final audition for some roster hopefuls nonetheless.
Neither team had much success throwing the wet football, as the Buccaneers finished with 167 net passing yards, almost exactly three times what they allowed to the Redskins. A slight easing of the rain led to a little more aerial offense in the second half after the two teams combined for 10 net passing yards in the first half. However, the real difference in the game was a competent rushing attack for the visiting team, as first-year back Mack Brown led a 245-yard effort with 149 yards on 19 carries, including a 60-yard scoring breakaway in the second quarter.
The Buccaneers' 53-Man roster.
Mike Glennon's third pass attempt of the night was the game's representative play, as he rolled right and tried to throw deep only to have the ball slip out of his hand and roll backward. He recovered the fumble to avoid a turnover but lost 13 yards on the play. Ryan Griffin, who relieved Glennon five minutes into the second quarter, had a similar result on a pass attempt on the last play of the first half.
Glennon started the game along with a host of reserves as both teams held out nearly their entire starting lineups. DE William Gholston was the only one of the Buccaneers' 22 listed starters to participate in the game, while none of Washington's first-teamers were active.
Among the Buccaneer reserves who were given an extended opportunity to prove themselves before this weekend's final roster cuts was rookie running back Peyton Barber. Barber ran 16 times for 44 carries with a long of nine. The undrafted player out of Auburn is battling Mike James and Russell Hansbrough for the third spot on the depth chart behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims, and possibly a fourth spot depending upon how many backs the team chooses to keep.
That decision may impact how many wideouts land on the final 53-man roster, but it wasn't an ideal stage for that position on Wednesday night. Wide receiver Freddie Martino used a big second half to lead the team with six catches for 65 yards. Kenny Bell caught one 13-yard pass but suffered a concussion trying to make a leaping downfield grab in the third quarter. First-year wide receiver Bernard Reedy caught three passes for 19 yards and a TD but perhaps more importantly was given most of the punt and kickoff return duties on the night. That was another tough assignment on a soggy evening and Reedy muffed two punts, although a potential fumble was erased when it was ruled that his forward progress had been stopped.
A collection of the best pictures taken during the Buccaneers' 2016 Training Camp.
The Bucs' best moment on special teams was another field goal by resurgent rookie K Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo shook off two weeks of struggles in Tampa Bay's third preseason game with a nearly flawless night against Cleveland that included three field goals, three extra points and seven touchbacks in seven kickoffs. Aguayo scored the Bucs' first points of the game five minutes into the second half on a 50-yard field goal that had just enough leg to clear the crossbar but was dead-center. Aguayo also hit a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter and was once again strong on kickoffs, blasting two touchbacks plus one that was caught at the one and returned only to the 15. After his early miscues, Aguayo finished the preseason by making his last 11 kicks, field goals and extra points combined.
From an evaluation standpoint, it was perhaps a more useful evening for the Buccaneers' defense. Cornerbacks Johnthan Banks and Josh Robinson are still battling for spots and both had standout moments during the night. Banks had three tackles and broke up a third-down pass to end a Washington drive in Buccaneer territory while Robinson recorded two tackles, a pass-defensed on a potential touchdown play and a stop on special teams. In the competition to fill out the reserve roles in the linebacking corps, Adarius Glanton had a noteworthy outing with six tackles and two tackles for loss.
The Redskins scored first on a drive built almost exclusively on runs up the middle. Rookie RB Rob Kelley ran five times for 30 yards on a 10-play march that ended in Dustin Hopkins' 47-yard field goal. Buccaneers CB Jude Adjei-Barimah made a nice open-field tackle on WR Rashad Ross on third down to force the Redskins to settle for three points.
Tampa Bay went three-and-out on its first drive and RB Mack Brown immediately ripped off a 21-yard run to start the ensuing possession. However, DE Jacquies Smith countered with a seven-yard sack of Sudfeld and the Redskins punted right back three plays later. After two more exchanges of punts, Brown found the end zone on a 60-yard run to make it 10-0 in the Redskins' favor.
Washington extended its lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter after Griffin's first pass was intercepted by S Duke Ihenacho. Griffin rolled out on a play-action fake on the play and tried to hit TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins but the ball was batted back 10 yards by S Deshazor Everett and caught by a diving Ihenacho. Washington settled for second Hopkins field goal after CB Josh Robinson broke up a third-down fade attempt in the end zone to WR Kendal Thompson.
The home team finally cracked the scoreboard on the opening possession of the second half, as Aguayo had no problem with the wet turf on his 50-yarder. The big play on the drive was Griffin's 17-yard hookup with WR Jonathan Krause down the right seam. Washington snuffed out any thoughts of a comeback, however, by countering with an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended in Sudfeld's 13-yard touchdown pass to Ross.
The Buccaneers did score again before game's end on a 17-play drive led by Griffin, who finished the game with 190 yards on 23-of-38 passing, with one touchdown and one interception. Griffin completed two passes to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins for 22 yards on the drive, but the Bucs eventually settled for Aguayo's 22-yard field goal.
Obviously looking for one last chance to evaluate their third-string quarterback before the regular season, the Buccaneers used their last two timeouts to force a punt and turn it over to Griffin with three minutes remaining. That paid off as Griffin was sharp on a nine-play, 76-yard touchdown march, completing seven of 11 passes for 70 yards. The last one was a nine-yard strike to Reedy for a touchdown to pull the Bucs within seven points.
Playing it out strategically, the Buccaneers then tried an onside kick but Aguayo's bouncer went through two lines of Redskins and bounced out of bounds without being touched.