Schiano moving on after Bucs’ loss to Pats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano acknowledged that the

start of Friday night’s 25-21 preseason loss to the New England

Patriots ”was a little bit of a downer.”

In fact the whole first quarter, played mostly by the first

units of both teams, was a textbook look at Tom Brady doing almost

everything he wanted. Referring twice to the Patriots’ quarterback

as a ”first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Schiano said it was best not

to read too much into the experience.

”I thought we played more physical than we did in week one,”

he said, ”but there’s just a whole – what did I say, truckload

last week? There’s a boatload this week that we have to get

corrected. That’s what preseason is about. Hopefully, as we start

getting closer to regular season, we get all our guys back and hit

this thing running.”

Brady completed all eight of his passes on the game-opening

touchdown drive, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Danny

Amendola, and three more on New England’s next drive before finally

throwing one incomplete pass. The Bucs never touched him.

Meanwhile the Patriots sacked Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman

three of the first six times he dropped back to pass.

”We had a couple of issues going on, some communication

things,” Schiano explained. ”Our (headphone) device wasn’t

working great. It was a perfect storm, that first drive, but that

happens in games and you have to be able to overcome all those

things and find a way to get them stopped. We had two third downs

we didn’t execute well on.”

Although running back Doug Martin left the game in the first

quarter after getting kicked in the head on pass protection,

Schiano said early indications are that the Bucs sustained no

serious injuries in their four-day visit to New England.

”I thought we got a lot out of last week, for a lot of

reasons,” he said. ”No. 1 obviously was going against a quality

football team that’s well coached. No. 2, getting out of the heat,

that was big for us, to let our guys recover a little bit. And then

the thing I really liked is we were kind of sequestered, alone by

ourselves, so we had a chance to build some team chemistry.”

The Bucs played again without starting guards Carl Nicks and

Davin Joseph, cornerback Darrelle Revis or veteran kicker Lawrence


The regulars will get their most action of the preseason next

Saturday at Miami, Schiano said, but that doesn’t necessarily mean

the preseason debuts of either Nicks or Joseph.

”That’s a day-to-day (decision),” he said. ”We have a plan,

but we’re willing to tweak that plan based on what we think is best

with one goal in mind – to start the season with our best players

on the field.”

Friday night’s bright spots, according to Schiano, included some

hard running by Peyton Hillis (73 yards on 18 carries) and rookie

Mike James (81 yards on 15 carries), a 63-yard kickoff return by

Mike Smith, the play of right tackle Demar Dotson and the

place-kicking of rookie Derek Dimke, which has been ”darned-near


The offense, Schiano said, ”wasn’t very sharp,” but it doesn’t

have to be sharp yet.

”Let’s see how we do,” he said. ”I’m not concerned because I

believe in the guys that are there and some things have happened

that didn’t allow us to do what we’re capable of doing. You can’t

judge anything by its intentions, you have to judge it by the

actions and the results. Am I concerned? No. I believe these guys

are going to do it the way we expect.”