TAMPA — Buccaneers fans weren’t impressed with the play of Tampa Bay’s starting offensive line in Friday night’s preseason opener at Jacksonville.
Neither was one of the participants.
RT Demar Dotson spoke bluntly of the need for marked improvement up front Saturday evening, when the Bucs face the Dolphins in an exhibition matchup at Raymond James Stadium that will be televised locally.
“We need to get in front of our fans and show we can play better football than last week,’’ Dotson said Tuesday. “We put bad film out there — and the film don’t lie. I think it humbled a lot of guys. What we put out last week is not going to win many football games and we don’t want to be another 4-12 football team.’’
In dropping a 16-10 decision to the Jaguars, the Bucs failed to establish an effective ground game and QB Josh McCown faced constant pressure in the opening quarter.
With their guard spots in flux, the Bucs tried rookie Kadeem Edwards and second-year pro Patrick Omameh on the first unit Tuesday.
“Be patient,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. “We’re going to look at some different combinations. We’re not going to get fined if we don’t name the starting guards tomorrow.’’
Dotson, the only remaining starter up front from last year’s unit, will rest easier once the Bucs settle on their core group.
“I can’t wait until they plug somebody in so we can get some continuity,’’ Dotson said. “There’s a lot of bouncing around right now. You don’t know who you’re going to play with. But you can’t worry about that. ... We can’t let that throw us off.’’
S Keith Tandy hobbled off the field with a leg cramp and rookie RB Charles Sims suffered an ankle injury, but Smith said both players should be fine.
Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy was given most of the day off to rest.
After more than two weeks in drenching humidity, Smith declared himself satisfied with the overall tone of training camp.
“We practiced in the heat of the day most of the time,’’ Smith said. “It’s draining just going through a walk-through down here in Tampa. But the guys got through it. We haven’t had any major injuries and we feel like we’ve gotten about the proper amount of physical contact that we need.”
The Bucs signed DE T.J. Fatinikun, who played for Portland of the Arena League last year. ... Smith said RB Bobby Rainey will get an opportunity to join the competition as a punt and kick returner. ... Tampa Bay players, along with ex-Bucs TE Dave Moore, presented the Police Athletic League of Tampa with a donation of $46,675 to upgrade the organization’s gymnasium and outfit it with brand new soundproofing materials. .... Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn attended the practice.