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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Expect Major Improvements in 2014

Aug 11 2014, 2:05am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Expect Major Improvements in 2014
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seeking to improve in spite of a 16-10 preseason opener loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 8.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have nowhere to go but up. 

This is what Bucs head coach Lovie Smith told The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud in the aftermath of Tampa Bay's 16-10 preseason opener loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 8:

"His quarterback was knocked down too many times, but the sky, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said, is not falling.

"After watching video of Friday's 16-10 loss at Jacksonville in the first preseason game for both teams, Smith asked for patience. 

"You guys (in the media) don't lead the charge to start overreacting,' Smith said Saturday. 'Just like when you come out to practice,' Smith said Saturday. 'Just like when you come out to practice, the first preseason game, don't start sprinting up the Super Bowl tickets or cutting everybody on the team. Let things play out a little bit. That's what preseason games are for.'

"Josh McCown was consistently under siege and completed just 2 of 4 passes for 20 yards.

"He also was sacked once and fumbled twice (losing one), and Jaguars safety Winston Guy returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown. 

"Much of the pressure came from inside as starting guards Jamon Meredith and Oniel Cousins were beaten. Meredith also had a false start, and Cousins was flagged for hands to the face (although that was declined). 

"Smith said he believed right tackle Demar Dotson and center Evan Dietrich-Smith played well, but there was plenty of blame to go around. Dotson's holding penalty negated a 17-yard completion to Chris Owusu. Starting left tackle Anthony Collins yielded a sack to end Chris Clemons."

One of the areas which the Bucs can improve on is their o-line, which is why ESPN's Pat Yasinskas suggests trading for San Francisco 49ers guard Alex Boone: 

"Since taking over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht have made a lot of noise about wanting to win now.

"They backed that up with the most aggressive free-agent period in team history. No expense was spared as the Bucs brought in what could be as many as eight starters.

"But it's time to get a ninth starter. It's time for the Bucs to trade with the San Francisco 49ers for guard Alex Boone. He's in a contract holdout, and it doesn't look like the cash-strapped 49ers are willing to give Alex Boone a raise. 

"The Bucs easily could afford Boone. They have $13.71 million in salary-cap room and could sign Boone to a bigger contract than he already has. The price tag for such a trade likely would be a mid-round draft pick.

"That's not too steep a price to pay for a guy who could straighten out the offensive line. And the offensive line certainly needs help. That becomes very apparent during Friday night's preseason opener with Jacksonville. 

"The Bucs are looking at four guards (Oniel Cousins, Jamon Meredith, Patrick Omaneh and Kadeem Edwards) to fill two starting spots. Smith has said it's not time to panic about the guard situation, but it might be time to do something. 

 

"Boone would be an upgrade over any of the guards currently on the roster. He could handle one starting spot. Then, the other four guards could compete for one starting job instead of two." 

The Buccaneers will next face the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 16, their second preseason assignment. 

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 

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