Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Observations on the Buccaneers

By Pat Yasinskas


TAMPA, Fla. -- The panic that was so widespread among Tampa Bay Buccaneers' fans last week can rest for a bit.

The Bucs did some good things in just about every area in Saturday night’s 17-13 preseason victory against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs also did some bad things, but none of them were the kind of mistakes that are unusual for preseason games.

That wasn’t the case in the past week’s loss to the New England Patriots, in which the Bucs did almost nothing positive. Yeah, the Patriots are an annual Super Bowl contender and coach Bill Belichick is known to demand intensity in exhibition games. The Dolphins probably aren’t going to be confused with the Patriots anytime soon, but they’re still a decent team.

Everything’s relative, but the measuring stick on the Bucs looks a lot better than it did a week ago. The defense generated some pressure and LeGarrette Blount flashed some big-play ability as a receiver out of the backfield.

Those are all things the Bucs knew they had to improve on and have been working on throughout the preseason.

Some other observations on the Bucs: