Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith spent most of this week stressing patience. Judging by the team's performance in their first preseason game last week, Bucs fans may need it in copious amounts.
Smith's first practice game as the Bucs' new head honcho did little to dispel fears about his previous inability to put a successful offense on the field, as Tampa Bay fell to the Jaguars 16-10 in Jacksonville last Friday night. Many questions about the Bucs' interior line play were answered but not in a positive way, as the team struggled to protect the quarterback and didn't make much room for their backs.
But Smith's reputation for building a strong defense showed through, as the Bucs' first unit looked particularly formidable early on, albeit against one of the worst teams the league saw last year.
As with most teams in their first game action, penalties were plentiful for Tampa Bay all night, negating multiple big plays.
But again, Smith continues to ask for patience as he presides over a massive overhaul, reminding everyone that there's plenty of time before Week 1, according to ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas:
Most of you want us to have everything in place the first preseason game. It doesn’t happen like that. Be patient. 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. This is our plan that we have in place. We’re going to let the guys compete on the field, and once someone shows us they’re ready for that I’ll let you know.
Patience is all well and good, but Bucs fans will want to see progress in the team's home opener on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Miami Dolphins, especially on offense. Cleaning up penalties and giving the quarterbacks enough time to utilize some of their new weapons should be a major priority.