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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Buccaneers' first-quarter report card

By Pat Yasinskas

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in their bye week after finishing the first quarter of their season at 0-4. That means it’s time for a report card.

Quarterbacks: Josh Freeman was dismal before getting benched after three games. Replacement Mike Glennon wasn’t any better in his debut. Grade: F

Running backs: Doug Martin is fourth in the league with 342 rushing yards. But he was bottled up by Arizona and future opponents are going to load up against the run until the Bucs develop a passing game. Martin hasn’t caught the ball out of the backfield as well as the Bucs would have liked. Martin also is on pace for 400 carries. Grade: C+

Receivers: Despite the quarterback struggles, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have had some bright moments. The problem is the Bucs haven’t gotten anything out of the rest of their receivers. Grade: C-

Tight ends: Injuries to Luke Stocker and Tom Crabtree have prevented the Bucs from getting much of anything out of their tight ends. Grade: F

Offensive line: It took a few weeks to get Carl Nicks healthy. This unit hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t hit its potential. Grade: C

Defensive line: Tackle Gerald McCoy is playing like a Pro Bowler and end Adrian Clayborn has been very good. The only downside is that end Da’Quan Bowers has not developed as expected. Grade: B

Linebackers: This group might be the highlight for the entire team. Mason Foster, Lavonte David and Dekoda Watson all have come up with big plays. But the grade is dragged down a bit due to David’s late hit on Geno Smith, which helped the Bucs lose the opener. Grade: B

Defensive backs: This unit is much improved over last year. The coverage has been decent, but there have been too many costly penalties. Grade: C+

Special teams: Kicker Rian Lindell has missed two field-goal attempts at very inopportune times. Grade: D+

Coaching: The Freeman situation has been handled as poorly as possible. The offensive game plans and play calling have been highly questionable. And there have been persistent rumblings that some players aren’t buying into coach Greg Schiano’s ways. Grade: F