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Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Lovie Smith: Don’t overreact after first preseason game

— There was no game planning, no double teaming. In their preseason opener against Jacksonville on Friday night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive linemen simply lined up and blocked the man in front of them.

Or, as was often the case, didn’t block them.

Not to worry, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. Though he certainly would have liked to have seen his linemen win more of the one-on-one battles that were staged, Smith says he’s not too concerned about the results.

“It comes down to a one-on-one game, period,’’ Smith said a day after the Bucs’ 16-10 loss to the Jaguars. “We didn’t handle some of those situations. In the preseason, (with their best players) it’s not like you’re going to try to double them.

“You want to put guys on an island to see how they perform one-on-one and we got beat a few times, especially inside at the guard position. But we got beat on the outside also too by some of our better players.’’

No one suffered more as a result than quarterback Josh McCown, who completed just two of four passes for 20 yards, was sacked twice, fumbled twice (losing one) and threw an interception that was returned 68 yards for a touchdown.

“It was tough, but we got a chance to evaluate Josh under tough circumstances,’’ Smith said. “That’s why he’s a mobile quarterback. Sometimes you have to move around a little bit.’’

And sometimes you have to adjust a little bit. Smith said the Bucs continue to look for possible upgrades at guard, but he also said he still has faith in the players the team currently has on the roster.

“Don’t overreact is what I would say,’’ Smith said. “You guys (in the media) don’t lead the charge to start overreacting. Let it play out a little bit through the preseason.

“Just like when you come out to practice after the first preseason game, don’t start printing up the Super Bowl tickets or cutting everybody on the team. Just let things play out a little bit, that’s what preseason games are for.

“The first live action this football team has had was last night. From there, give us a little bit of time and then we will see what we need, if we need something else.”

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