TAMPA — Bucs coach Lovie Smith has a simple grading scale.
Much like teachers do with students in school, he grades his players on a scale of A through F. And he didn’t hand out many A’s following the Bucs’ 16-10 loss to Jacksonville in Friday’s preseason opener.
“We’re going to keep (the number of A’s I did hand out) in the locker room right now,’’ Smith said. “But I do look forward to the day when we hand out a lot and on that day I will throw them all out. But right now we’re not there.’’
One player who knows he’s not there is rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jenkins said he can’t remember what grade he received for the job he did in his NFL debut. All he knows is that it wasn’t very good.
“I didn’t play well enough, as you could see,’’ said Seferian-Jenkins, who caught two of the three passes he had thrown to him and gained 28 yards. “I had two holding calls, I didn’t block well enough and I didn’t run my routes well enough. So I didn’t get enough of a satisfactory grade to my liking.’’
DE Da’Quan Bowers and DE Steven Means are nursing groin strains and were on the sideline for Monday’s workout. Also on the sideline Monday were CB Mike Jenkins (upper leg muscle), CB Rashaan Melvin (ankle) and CB Keith Lewis (ankle). CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring) practiced in pads for a second straight day and did more work than he did on Sunday, Smith said.
Player of the day
With the corner position hit hard by injuries, Kip Edwards stepped in and showed that he could be part of the solution. While working with the second-team defense during 11-on-11 drills, Edwards made a diving interception of a Mike Glennon pass and also batted down a Glennon pass.
Play of the day
The defense continued to improve on what Smith said was a disappointing takeaway effort during Friday’s loss to Jacksonville. During an 11-on-11 red-zone drill, MLB Mason Foster raced in from the deep secondary to secure a pick of a Josh McCown pass that DT Gerald McCoy tipped at the line.
Quote of the day
“We get along pretty well in that room. We’re just a bunch of big ugly guys who sit in there and crack jokes about each other.’’
– C Evan Dietrich-Smith on the camaraderie the Bucs’ offensive line is developing inside their meeting room.
Training camp schedule
The following practice sessions are open and free to the public, with all practices at One Buccaneer Place:
Today: 4:30-7 p.m.
Thursday: 2-4:30 p.m.
NOTE: Dates and times subject to change.
Game 1: Jaguars 16, Bucs 10
Saturday: vs. Dolphins, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 23: at Bills, 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Aug. 28: vs. Redskins, 7:30 p.m.
NOTE: Preseason games on NBC, Ch. 8