If you thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked ill-prepared to face the New York Jets yesterday, you’re not alone. Bucs Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph told reporters Monday he didn’t think the team was ready for the noise factor at MetLife Stadium.
“There were a lot of things that were happening in training camp that caught up with us. It kind of opened all of our eyes really.”
There was an early timeout and two delay of game penalties on the same drive, followed by an early shotgun snap that sailed past quarterback Josh Freeman in the end zone.
He was sacked by linebacker Antwan Barnes and the play resulted in a safety.
“I don’t think we did enough to be ready for [the noise] and that’s what I mean by it caught up with us. Our focus [was] on the cadence and we needed to be able to go silent count. We weren’t focusing on that so it caught up with us.”
Players were able to regroup on the sideline after those two disastrous starts on offense, which is how they were able to overcame the noise factor but only to an extent.
“Really just talking about it on the sidelines, guys just trying to understand what everybody’s saying. It really took that series to kind of just wake us up a little bit and we were able to overcome that and really be able to function a little bit.”
Joseph said the Bucs will spend the week focusing on communication, even though they will play at home this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
They’ll also need to hone in on penalties and eliminating things like false starts, which is what happened on third-and-30 with Demar Dotson on the opening drive, and on third-and-9 with Zuttah on the offensive’s third possession.
Dotson also had a false start on second-and-9 in the fourth quarter.
While those penalties weren’t nearly as damning as the two 15-yard unnecessary roughness calls on safeties Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron, or the late hit by Lavonte David that set up the game-winning field goal, they add up, especially in tight games.
“It’s tough; every penalty has a story so we have to learn from every penalty.”