Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trevor Scott

Looking at playing time: Defense

January, 17, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. -- We previously showed you the playing time for all of Tampa Bay's offensive players. Now, it's time to do the same for the defense.

The Buccaneers had 1,059 defensive plays. Here's the breakdown of the number of plays each defensive player participated in, followed by my quick take.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Gerald McCoy 962, Adrian Clayborn 933, Akeem Spence 694, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 602, William Gholston 312, Da'Quan Bowers 206, Gary Gibson 164, Derek Landri 123, Steven Means 77, Trevor Scott 54.

Quick take: Most teams rotate their defensive linemen to keep them fresh. But the Bucs didn't do that with McCoy and Clayborn. The theory behind that was that, even when a bit winded, they were substantially better than their backups. The rookie Gholston got a lot of playing time in the second half of the season.

LINEBACKERS: Lavonte David 1,022, Mason Foster 771, Dekoda Watson 257, Jonathan Casillas 197, Adam Hayward 187, Ka'Lial Glaud 6, Danny Lansanah 4.

Quick take: The Bucs played David as much as they possibly could because he might be the best player on the team. Some of Watson's snaps came at defensive end as the Bucs experimented with him at that position late in the season.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Darrelle Revis 948, Johnthan Banks 939, Mark Barron 834, Dashon Goldson 807, Leonard Johnson 691, Keith Tandy 441, Ahmad Black 146, Kelcie McCray 101, Michael Adams 86, Danny Gorrer 83.

Quick take: Even though he wasn't 100 percent as he came back from knee surgery, the Bucs still used Revis a lot.

Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

October, 20, 2013

ATLANTA -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome:

What it means: The Bucs are 0-6, and they’ve lost 11 of their last 12 dating to last season. This loss was similar to the first five of this season. The Bucs were in the game but never able to take control. That storyline is getting old. The lack of progress doesn’t bode well for coach Greg Schiano, who clearly is on the hot seat. About the only thing Tampa Bay fans have to look forward to is an early draft pick next year.

Stock falling: On a play in which the Bucs had seemed to force a punt near the end of the first quarter, reserve defensive end Trevor Scott was called for roughing the passer. That gave the Falcons a first down, and they followed up with a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Jacquizz Rodgers.

Stock rising: Rookie running back Mike James got extensive playing time after starter Doug Martin left with a shoulder injury. James looked fairly solid, which could lead to more playing time, even if Martin is all right. The Bucs have been using Martin too much and need to reduce his workload.

Missing in action: Tampa Bay’s pass rush was pretty much nonexistent. That’s why Ryan, who was without starting receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, was able to have such a productive day.

Why bother? I don't understand Schiano's decision to kick a field goal with five minutes left in the game. Even with the three points, it still was a two-score game.

What’s next: The Bucs host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

Buccaneers want improved pass rush

September, 2, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Perhaps the biggest question mark remaining for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is their pass rush.

It wasn’t very good last year and it’s not like the Bucs brought in any marquee players in the offseason. But the Bucs can’t afford to have a pass rush similar to last year’s.

"That’s not really an option," defensive end Adrian Clayborn said. "We have to get the pass rush going. The coaches expect it of us and we expect it of ourselves."

Clayborn might be the closest thing the Bucs have to an established pass-rusher. He had 7.5 sacks as a rookie in 2011. But Clayborn missed most of last season with an injury. When the Bucs let last year’s leading sacker, Michael Bennett, depart as a free agent, they gambled that Clayborn would be healthy and that third-year defensive end Da'Quan Bowers would emerge as more than a situational player.

Clayborn appears to be healthy. But Bowers remains a big question mark. Coach Greg Schiano has said several times that he would like to see Bowers play at a higher level more consistently. It’s unclear if Bowers even will be a starter. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim was working with the first team early in camp and the newly-acquired Trevor Scott has made a positive impression.

The Bucs also have Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who can provide a pass rush from the interior. But Clayborn said the addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson will have an impact, too.

“We have a guy like Revis and a guy like Goldson, that helps the rush out," Clayborn said. “It makes a guy pump fake or bring the ball down for a second, that’s when you get those coverage sacks."

Clayborn said it's up to the Bucs to silence the critics of the pass rush.

"We haven’t rushed that good in the past so they have reason to," Clayborn said. "We just have to prove them wrong."

Projecting the Buccaneers roster

August, 30, 2013
Roster cuts don’t have to be made until 6 p.m. Saturday. But let’s have a little fun in the meantime.

Let’s take a look at my best guess as to how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 53-man roster will shape up:

Quarterbacks (3): Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovsky

Analysis: A rough outing by Glennon in the preseason finale might have convinced the Bucs it’s best to keep Orlovsky around.

Running backs and fullbacks (5): Doug Martin, Brian Leonard, Mike James, Peyton Hillis and Erik Lorig

Analysis: Hillis is very much on the bubble. The fact he doesn't play special teams could hurt him. But he also could stick around because he has the size to be a backup for Lorig at fullback and could be a valuable short-yardage rusher.

Tight ends (3): Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree and Nate Byham

Analysis: The Bucs may have to keep Danny Noble if Crabtree’s ankle injury is going to keep him out for an extended period.

Wide receivers (5): Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Kevin Ogletree, Tiquan Underwood and Eric Page

Analysis: Page has emerged as the return man and that should earn him the final roster spot.

Offensive line (9): Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks, Donald Penn, Demar Dotson, Jeremy Zuttah, Gabe Carimi, Ted Larsen, Jamon Meredith and Cody Wallace

Analysis: The Bucs could carry an extra lineman if it looks like Nicks will be out for an extended period.

Defensive line (10): Gerald McCoy, Akeem Spence, Adrian Clayborn, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Da’Quan Bowers, Gary Gibson, Trevor Scott, William Gholston, Steven Means and Derek Landri

Analysis: The last few spots are very competitive and the Bucs could look to bring in a defensive tackle from the waiver wire.

Linebackers (6): Lavonte David, Mason Foster, Dekoda Watson, Jonathan Casillas, Adam Hayward and Najee Goode

This position is pretty clear-cut unless the Bucs bring in someone off waivers.

Defensive backs (9): Darrelle Revis, Johnthan Banks, Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron, Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Michael Adams, Rashaan Melvin and Ahmad Black.

Analysis: Melvin is very much on the bubble.

Specialists (3): Michael Koenen, Andrew Economos and Rian Lindell.

Analysis: Kicker Lawrence Tynes still is recovering from a staph infection and could end up on injured reserve.

All throughout the preseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been waiting for quarterback Josh Freeman and the first-team offense to get into a rhythm.

They’re still waiting.

Freeman, who played deep into the third quarter, was far from effective Saturday night in his longest stint of the preseason. He completed 6 of 16 passes for 59 yards in the Bucs' 17-16 victory against the Miami Dolphins.

Sacks, penalties, dropped passes, a lost fumble and inaccurate throws were the story for Freeman and the first unit. The only touchdown by the first team came on a Brian Leonard run after the special teams gave the Bucs good field position when a punt bounced off a Miami blocker.

I never like to read too much into what happens. But I think the Bucs should be concerned about Freeman and the offense.

Some other quick observations on the Bucs:
  • Despite Freeman's struggles, I don't think it's time to declare a quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay just yet. Rookie backup Mike Glennon did lead the Bucs to the game-winning touchdown after safety Sean Baker handed them good field position with a long return of a fumble recovery. But Glennon didn't have a good night overall.
  • The punt team came up with two turnovers that were converted into 10 points. Adam Hayward recovered two Miami fumbles.
  • The unsung story of the night was defensive end Trevor Scott, who recently was signed by the Bucs. Scott was in on three sacks. The Bucs haven’t been thrilled with the development of Da’Quan Bowers, and Scott could end up moving ahead of him.
  • Guard Davin Joseph, who is coming off a major knee injury, made his first appearance of the preseason. Gabe Carimi started at the other guard position in place of Carl Nicks, who is out with a staph infection.
  • Running back Doug Martin sat out, and that gave Leonard more playing time. Leonard continued to look good. He could end up as the top backup to Martin. The Bucs brought in veteran Peyton Hillis, but Leonard and rookie Mike James appear to be ahead of Hillis on the depth chart.
  • Kicker Rian Lindell, who was signed this week, made a 38-yard field goal.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence appears to have locked up a starting spot. He had several tackles for loss against the run.
  • Tampa Bay’s first-team defense gave up some yardage but tightened up twice and made the Dolphins settle for two field goals.