The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t look great in their preseason opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night. The Bucs had seven dropped passes in their 17-9 defeat. But one poor performance doesn’t mean Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter doesn’t still have faith in their passing game.
“I thought two guys stepped up and showed that they’re in the mix and that’s Russell Shepard and Donteea Dye,” said Koetter. “Those two guys made plays. DD made three really nice plays on special teams, he had that explosive pass that got called back for an OPI.”
Kenny Bell had a rough night. He lost a fumble on the opening kickoff which set up the opening touchdown for the Eagles. He also had a penalty while on special teams and was held without a catch all night. Koetter said those plays didn’t go unnoticed, but he saw Bell make some nice plays that the Bucs weren’t able to capitalize on.
“Kenny Bell (as far as offense goes) beat his man multiple times and just didn’t get the ball thrown to him,” Koetter said. “On the very last drive, he ran a little double-move and was open, we overthrew him. There’s probably five plays in the game where Kenny did his job and got open.
The Buccaneers didn’t play as well as Tampa Bay had hoped for, but it is only the first of their four preseason games. The Bucs have a week to work out the kinks and put on a better show when they take on the Jags on August 20.
“It’s one preseason game, we’ve had 11 other practices,” add Koetter. “In the next two weeks, we’re going to go six times, six days in the next two weeks against other teams. So there’s still plenty of evaluation to go.”