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Defense, QBs Gabbert and Griffin Help Buccaneers Squeak Past Browns 13-12

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced the Browns at Raymond James for preseason game 3. As we all know preseason games are just a sneak peak into what we can potentially see from our favorite teams this season, depending on what the head coaches need to evaluate in each game.

As excited as both Bucs and Browns fans were for Friday night’s match-up, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens didn’t play his first string guys much, especially once the first quarter wrapped. On the other hand, Bucs coach Bruce Arians had quarterback Jameis Winston in the whole first half of the game before bringing in Blaine Gabbert. Winston was sacked five times during his time on the field. Two of those sacks Winston took personal fault for in the post-game press conference, stating that he needs to get out of the pocket faster and faster decision making, adding,  “what is pre-season for if not to learn and move forward?”

In quarterback action, the ball began moving when quarterback Blaine Gabbert hit the field in the second half of the game, creating progression for the Bucs offense before he suffered a minor shoulder injury. Details on Gabbert will be released later this week. This put Griffin in Gabbert’s place and quite frankly, we finally started to see some football, starting with the Bucs getting into the end zone. There is an undeniable connection between Griffin and up-and-coming tight end Tanner Hudson. Hudson’s name has come up a lot in preseason because he has proven himself to be a key situational player for this Bucs offense, making some impressive catches against the Browns defense.

Speaking of defense, everyone’s watching the Bucs young and developing defense with anticipation and curiosity of whether they’re headed in the right direction. Friday night, the Bucs defense kept them in the game, especially the secondary. Standouts included cornerback Carlton Davis III and safety Jordan Whitehead. Tampa Bay’s defense let the Browns know there was no margin for error in the red zone and the endurance these players showed in 3rd down situations is what Bucs fans have been waiting for.

Heading into next week’s game, the final pre-season game versus the Cowboys, the Bucs hope to continue progressing their offense and applying coach Arian’s new tempo. As excited as everyone is to see new strides in the Bucs defense, we need to see more strides in the offense, beginning with pass protection. Stay tune as the Bucs head to AT&T Stadium August 29th.

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Kasey Hudson is a Florida National News sports contributor. | social@floridanationalnews.com

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