When your team is 1-7, there aren't many bright spots. In fact, you would be hard pressed to name three right now. The coaching has been bad. The talent on the team is below average. The decisions by the front office has been suspect at best. Add that all up and you get one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Buried in the teams disappointing loss to Cleveland on Sunday was the play of a young defensive lineman. Defensive end Jacquies Smith opened up some eyes against the Browns. Now, I understand Cleveland had a depleted offensive line but how many times have the Bucs failed to take advantage of a favorable situation this year? Too many. Smith was active. He gave the Bucs a presence on the outside. Smith had one sack in limited action. I'm not sure what the Bucs plans are for the rookie out of Missouri but I'm guessing he's going to get a longer look moving forward.
As Lovie Smith said at his press conference Monday, the former Hamilton Tiger-Cats certainly has some potential. "We have some speed guys on our roster, especially on our defensive line – he’s definitely one of them. He can run, he’s quick, he can bend, and the last couple of weeks – really, since he’s gotten here; that’s why we signed him – we like his upside," Smith said. "He’s starting to feel it a little bit. Had some good rushes yesterday. The week before, he had some. Of course, he’s one of the guys with the arrow pointed up.”
There aren't many things to look forward to when a team is six games under five hundred. I'm looking forward to Smith's progression as a player. If anything, he can give the Bucs some depth at a position that's short on talent. This season is about finding out which players are going to be part of the team next year. After Sunday's performance, Smith definitely has a chance.
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