Tom Brady, Patriots Humble Buccaneers With Preseason Blowout

WHO: Patriots @ Buccaneers WHEN: Thursday, 7:30pm. TV: Blacked-out. WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

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McCoy Says Bucs Were Not Ready For Brady's Tempo

Often charismatic second year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy offered up some entertaining, if not embarrassing, insight as to why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were so badly outplayed by Tom Brady's New England Patriots on Thursday night. 

Speaking to reporters post game, McCoy said that they were not prepared to play at the same tempo as New England and that the Bucs were treating this game more as practice while the Pats were in full regular season game mode. The Boston Globe's Greg Bedard transcribed the remarks.

They did not treat this like a preseason game. That’s why they are who they are. And then you come out, (Tom) Brady played until halftime? Yeah. When they came out in two minute I said, ‘Hey! 12 is still out there.’ They came out and they were like, 'This is not a preseason game for us,' at least not in the first half.

The Buccaneers were reportedly playing a lot of base defense, just running their plays, while the Patriots had clearly game-planned specifically for the Buccaneers and were in attack mode from the opening whistle, and it showed. Brady was repeatedly exploiting weaknesses in the Bucs defense while having little trouble picking up their blitzes and pass rush. McCoy expounded on their struggles, pointing to the tempo that which Brady led his team.

Man, I’m telling you man, they came out, they’d turn around huddle, snap, oh, 'There’s the Mike, Go!' I was like, ‘Dang! Um, Mr. Brady, can we line up?’ He didn’t care. He was like, ‘You’re not going to line up.’ When we turned around one time I checked back around and my hand was going to the grass and they were like, ‘Hut!’ And I said, ‘Noooooooooooo!’

After receiving mountains of praise coming off their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week, McCoy thinks this may have been exactly what the young Buccaneers team may have needed; a big serving of humble pie for a team riding too high. McCoy also didn't think to highly of Chiefs backup, Tyler Calabaloo... er, Palko.

(Linebacker) Mason Foster? He needed to see Tom Brady. He didn’t see to see Calabaloo from last week, whatever the dude’s name was. I’m sorry if you can hear this. I don’t know who you were, I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal. (Tyler Palko?) Falko, yeah, the replacement. He needed Tom Brady. That’s what he needed. Now he knows that the preseason is a glorified scrimmage. Now he knows when those live bullets start flying when Detroit comes here, now he knows what to expect. And I’m glad he got to experience that. (DE Adrian) Clayborn came to me and was like, ‘Oh my god, it was so fast!’ I said, ‘I know! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!’ It was a reality check, we needed that.

Let's hope they can put this game in the rear-view mirror and correct their mistakes in the preseasons final two exhibition contests.

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Patriots Humble Buccaneers With Preseason Blowout

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running-back LeGarrette Blount put it best when asked after the game if his team took away any positives from the 31-14 dismantling at the hands of the New England Patriots.

An emphatic "NO!" 

Blount and his comrades came into Thursday night's preseason matchup riding a wave of confidence just a week removed from shutting out the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs, but many of the Buccaneers had expressed excitement about seeing how they would shape up against  one of the leagues preeminent clubs.

The results were not pretty.

Tom Brady, making his first preseason start, showed why he is a perennial MVP candidate while humbling the young Buccaneers en-route to a monster first half. Brady led the Patriots on four separate touchdown drives in the first half, including two passing touchdowns to tight end Aaron Hernandez and newly acquired Chad Ochocinco, whose first catch as a Patriot came on a 8-yard touchdown strike. The leagues reigning MVP would finish his evening with 118 yards on 11 of 19 passing attempts. 

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers "youngry" defense looked more gassed and outmatched than hungry. Patriots running back Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis consistently hammered through the Buccaneers inexperienced defensive line, racking up 51 yards on 11 carries and two scores, while Danny Woodhead added 63 yards of his own on just 5 carries including a 29-yard scamper that could have been worse if not for a touchdown saving tackle by Bucs safety Sean Jones.

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, who remained relatively clean last week in Kansas City, was bruised and battered by the relentless Patriots front four all night. Freeman tallied just 33 yards on 5 of 10 passing, while failing to move the Buccaneers offense anywhere near the red-zone as the Bucs starters were shutout for the entire first half by the Patriots first team defense. Backup quarterback Josh Johnson found a bit more success moving the ball in the second half but by then the game was well out of reach and the Patriots were playing second and third string defenders.

Preston Parker lead Tampa Bay in receiving with 44 yards on 2 catches, while Dezmon Briscoe who had a break out game in Kansas City was held to just 1 catch and 7 yards receiving. LeGarrette Blount gained only 1 yard on 4 rushing attempts.

Perhaps the only positive that can be taken from this contest is that it should serve as a wake up call to a young club that may have been getting a little to high. The Patriots came in with a gameplan and executed it to perfection, leaving the Buccaneers defense looking slow, outmatched, and out-physicaled. If the Buccaneers wan't to take that next step and elevate themselves to a playoff contender they will need to play harder, faster, and stronger against competition of New England's caliber.

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Game Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. New England Patriots

The Tampa Bay Bucs and New England Patriots are getting ready to face off in the second game of the preseason for both clubs, in what should be a healthy test for both clubs. While the Patriots are annually one of the best teams in the NFL, the Bucs are trying to convince people that last season’s 10-6 record was no joke. They dominated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game of the season, rolling past them 25-0, and they appear pumped about making a statement against the Pats.

There are a wide range of game previews already written around the web, so if you’re looking for information on today’s game, here’s the link dump for you:

Five Things To Watch — The Tampa Tribune
Five Things To Watch — St. Pete Times
Offensive Players To Watch — Bucs Nation
Game Preview — SB Nation Tampa Bay

The Times and Tribune both highlight Gerald McCoy, as he’ll be playing in his first preseason game tonight after missing a large chunk of last season due to injury. Another player to watch is rookie Mason Foster, who will be getting his first try in a nickel formation.

Bucs Nation points to Legarrette Blount and Davin Joseph as key players to watch, as they both looked good in the preseason opener but will need to continue to prove themselves against the tougher New England defense. And of course, Josh “Starship 5” Freeman will be watched closely; he was superb against Kansas City, but if we had to nitpick, his timing was off on a few throws and he started off the game not terribly crisp.

Even if it means nothing in the standings and likely has little predictive value on how the season will unfold, tonight’s game should be an exciting one. Too bad Bucs fans won’t be able to watch it at home. Great job, NFL.

For more on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, follow Bucs Nation.

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New England Patriots Invade Tampa Bay For Preseason Battle With Buccaneers

WHO: Patriots @ Buccaneers
WHEN: Thursday, 7:30pm. TV: Blacked-out.
WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

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